Lemon Marmalade Is A Fantastic Topper

Greek yogurt is the latest power dairy snack, favored by teachers, moms, office workers and many others seeking a portable tasty yet healthy snack.  I eat it too.  But sometimes I want a more basic, yet way above average, yogurt.  My little secret for great yogurt is the brand; Stonyfield Organic.  I buy the large 32 ounce container of plain unflavored; cheaper than small ones and I can use a bit for cooking and the rest for lunch or snacks.  I usually get the one percent low fat yogurt.  Organic milk makes amazingly creamy flavorful yogurt, far superior to any made with non-organic milk.

Occasionally I treat myself to Stonyfield’s whole milk yogurt. This is thick, creamy and oh so delicious.  The top layer is like cream yogurt; crazy yummy!  I eat a dish of this yogurt with fresh jam, all that jam that I don’t eat on toast anymore.  I know, whole milk. But sometimes you have to enjoy the best that life can give you and frankly experts say that non-fat yogurt is less healthy than yogurt with some fat.  Go on, live wild and try this fabulous organic yogurt.

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You can also enjoy this yogurt with honey drizzled on top.  Sprinkled with my homemade granola it is very healthy, filling, and delightful tasting.  It is also a great topping for apple crisp, smooth delicate flavor to match with the spicy crisp.

My latest version is with homemade lemon marmalade spooned on top.  Simple, clean tasting and tangy, a perfect after work snack before doing afternoon tasks.

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Here is the lemon marmalade recipe if you want to whip up a batch.  It is much in favor with my friends and family. Great on toast too.  I bet it will taste great made with regular lemons too.  It is pretty easy to do; lots of chopping up lemons and stirring the preserves as they cook.  But the effort is well worth it as the lemony flavor is outstanding and buying some at a store will set you back quite a bit for a small jar. Yours will have more fruit in it and less stuff; two ingredients if you don’t count the water!  Make your jam reputation on this winter treat!

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Lemon delivery from my brother Robert in Texas. Yumm!

Meyer lemons are very fragrant and have a less sour taste.  The rind is quite edible. I make candied lemon peel sometimes after making lemoncello.  That is another blog post though!

Meyer Lemon Marmalade

Ingredients

6 or 7 Meyer lemons (1 1/2 pounds)

4 cups water

4 cups sugar

Special equipment:

Cheesecloth or small fabric bag to put seeds in

Kitchen string

The day you can it up:  you will need 6 half pint Mason jars, heated to boiling in a big pot of water.  Along with the lids and rings also heated.  The lids must be new ones.  You shouldn’t boil them more than a few minutes; turn down to low.

Directions:

Halve lemons crosswise and remove seeds and reserve them. Quarter each lemon half and thinly slice. Tie seeds in a cheesecloth bag.  Combine with bag of seeds and water in a 5-quart nonreactive heavy pot (I use my cast iron enamel coated pot) and let mixture stand, covered, at room temperature 24 hours.

Bring lemon mixture to a boil over moderate heat. I leave the seeds in for this part too.  Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, until reduced to 4 cups, about 45 minutes. Remove seeds; let the liquid drain off into the pot; full of pectin so your marmalade sets up!

Stir in sugar and boil over moderate heat, stirring occasionally and skimming off any foam, until a teaspoon of mixture dropped on a cold plate gels, about 25 to 40 minutes.  I scoop out any seeds that got in by accident!

Ladle hot marmalade into jars, filling to within 1/4 inch of top. Wipe rims with dampened cloth and seal jars with lids and rims.

Put jars in a water-bath canner or in a deep pot. Add enough hot water to cover jars by 1 inch and bring to a boil. Boil jars, covered, 5 minutes and transfer with tongs to a rack. Cool jars completely. The lid should vacuum seal within minutes of you setting them to dry and cool.

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This is two batches together. That white stuff is gf flour mix on my cutting board.

I like to let it ripen for 3 or 4 weeks before opening a jar. The jarred marmalade keeps a year in a cool dry place out of the sun; basement shelf works great.

Any extra marmalade that isn’t enough for a jar goes in the fridge and gets eaten within a few weeks.  Original recipe came from epicurious. com.

 

Lemon Squares, Very Tasty

I strongly believe in seasonal eating and winter is the season of citrus so more power to the lemon! As mentioned previously, my brother sent me a big box of juicy Meyer lemons from his tree down in Texas. I also believe in making my own treats; truly they are a lot healthier than store made sweets.  I have made lemon meringue pie, lemon shortcake cookies, lemon buttermilk tart and this weekend I made some lemon marmalade. Last night we enjoyed lemon squares, gluten free and very dainty with the special flavor of Meyer lemons.  Of course, you can use the regular lemons available in the store; will be a tad sharper/brighter in flavor but they will work great.  lemon squares 008u

These cookies are very easy to throw together; I made a shortbread cookie style gf press and bake crust and the filling ingredients are whisked together in my mixer and poured into the partially baked crust.  So easy to make and I wanted something light and delicate after all the fancy holiday desserts.  You would never guess they are made without all purpose wheat flour.  Anyone will love them if they are a fan of lemon. Take these to your next gathering, they will be scarped up pretty fast, and you will be seen as a real baker. Best of all you are eating a safe treat that is relatively guilt free; no gluten, no preservatives, not that much sugar compared to a cake and homemade flavor. Score!

Meyer Lemon Squares

 Cookie Tart Crust

1 cup brown rice flour mixture (recipe below)

¼ cup sugar

1 tsp. xanthan gum

5 tbsp. cold butter cut up into 6 or 7 chunks

Directions for crust:

Mix the dry ingredients with a stand mixer, add the butter, blend with the paddle blade until the butter is small pebbles.  Press into an 8 inch square pan, be sure to first spray the pan with cooking spray and sprinkle with rice flour.  Bake 15 minutes in a 350 degree oven.  While it bakes make the filling.

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Baked cookie crust

Filling

3 large eggs, warm them close to room temperature

¾ cup granulated sugar

1/3 cup Meyer lemon juice

2 tbsp gf flour mix

2 tbsp finely grated Meyer lemon peel

Directions:

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Beat eggs until fluffy, add the sugar slowly but steadily, mix, add rest of ingredients, Mix until smooth.

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Adding the lemon zest.

Pour into crust and bake at 350 degrees for 20-22 min; until set.

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Just out of the oven.

Cool completely and refrigerate if you want to serve them cold. They do not freeze well and only keep about 3 days, if any square are left that long!   I like to sift some powdered sugar on right before serving them. Use a sieve and about 2 tbsp. powdered sugar.  Luscious lemony goodness can be yours with minimal effort.

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Brown Rice Flour Mix
2 c brown rice flour

2/3 c potato starch

1/3 c tapioca flour

This recipe is from Annalise Roberts; Gluten – Free Baking Classics, a fantastic source for baking gluten free treats, full of recipes just like  your old wheaty friends but so so much safer!

Lemon Shortbread Cookie Bliss

Sometimes you want those fancy, full of stuff kinda cookies and that is fine but occasionally a simple but delicious cookie is the way to go, like shortbread.  Dainty crisp shortbread cookies are great with a cup of tea or coffee.  I hadn’t tried them gluten free until this holiday season.  I now wonder why it took so long.

meyer lemons

I baked lemon ones using Meyer lemon peel but you can use whatever lemons you buy at the grocery store.  Mine were sprinkled with a touch of green colored sugar.  Top yours as you wish or leave them plain.

No forming needed.  You glop the soft dough onto a long piece of plastic wrap, close it and roll on the table to shape.  Chill well and cut the dough into slices, onto the baking sheet and into the oven.  Simple to make and they are perfect for many festive occasions. I can’t wait to try some other variations on these shortbread cookies.

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Lemon Shortbread Cookies

½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature

¼ cup granulated sugar

1 tsp. vanilla

½ lemon extract

1 tsp. lemon zest

¾ cup brown rice flour mix; recipe below

1/4 cup sweet rice flour

¼ tsp.  xanthan gum

1/8 tsp. salt

Directions:

Beat together the softened butter and sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy, add the vanilla, lemon extract, and zest and mix.

Mix flour, xanthan gum in small bowl; add to butter/sugar mix.  Mix until a soft dough is formed.

Place lumps of dough in a line along a big sheet of plastic wrap; from it into a 1 ¼ inch log of dough.  Twist ends shut, smooth into a round long by rolling it on the table top.  Chill it at least an hour; until firm.

Heat oven to 350 degrees, racks to center of oven.  Lightly spray 2 baking sheets with cooking spray.

Slice into ½ to 5/8 inch rounds. Place 1 ½ inch apart on sheet, sprinkle with colored or plain sugar.  Chill in fridge 15 minutes. Bake 12-14 minutes until lightly golden. Mine all took 14-15 minutes.  Let cool on cookie sheet 2-3 minutes so they solidify; transfer to a cookie cooling rack.  Store in airtight cookie jar once cooled.

My recipe says the dough can be kept in the fridge for a week or in freezer for up to two months.  It made about 32 cookies. They went fast!

They are delicate; if left out in the air unsealed they will get soggy and loose their crisp, delicate texture.

To make them plain leave out the lemon extract and zest and add another ½ tsp. vanilla.

Brown Rice Flour Mix base mix
2 c brown rice flour

2/3 c potato starch

1/3 c tapioca flour

This recipe is out of Annalise G. Robert’s great cookbook: Gluten Free Baking Classics, second edition.

Lovely Meyer Lemon Buttermilk Tart

My brother Robert sends me a big box of fat and juicy Meyer lemons from his trees every November.   Like 15 of them, nestled into packing material with stems and leaves attached, fresh from his tree! The box releases a cloud of lemon scent when I carefully slice the packing tape open. November and December are the season of perfect Meyer ripeness. Meyer lemons are a cook’s dream.  Their flavor is sweeter than store lemons; not all that tart, with a gorgeous floral scent, perfect in cookies like the lemon squares everyone loves, which I make gf now a days. I also make lemon meringue pie, lemon marmalade, lemonade and this delicate yet gorgeous buttermilk tart.  Which I am sharing with you today.

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It is very easy to construct; I use a shortbread cookie style, gf, press and bake crust and the filling is just whisked together and poured into the partially baked crust.  Be sure to use a fine grater to carefully remove all of the lemon peel onto a slice of wax paper before you halve it to make the juice for the filling.  I used one big fat lemon plus a little bit more; 2 medium sized ones will work great.

So easy to bake up and it is perfect with a big spoonful of fresh real whipped cream.  Sometimes I lay slices of Meyer lemon down the length of it when I use my special rectangular tart pan.  Sensational looking and just as yummy as it looks.  A round tart pan works great too. I have used a regular gf pie crust which is a tasty alternative to the cookie crust.

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You could make it with regular lemons but I suspect it would need more sugar to make it sweet enough as Meyer lemons are far sweeter than the grocery store lemons.  I think a few places may carry Meyer lemons; check at Wegmans. If you want to use all purpose flour in your crust and in the filling – go right ahead.  I have been making this tart since long before I went gluten free: simple, tasty, and impressive looking – tart perfection!

Meyer Lemon Buttermilk Tart

Cookie Tart Crust

1 cup brown rice flour mixture (recipe below)

¼ cup sugar

1 tsp. xanthan gum

5 tbsp. cold butter cut up into 6 or 7 chunks

1 tsp. vanilla extract

2-3 tsp. water

Mix the dry ingredients in your stand mixer, add the butter, blend with the paddle blade until the butter is small pebbles.  Add the vanilla and water.  Press into a tart pan with a removable bottom, be sure to first spray the pan with cooking spray. Don’t press too hard or you will over compact the crust and it will lose the delicate texture that makes it delightful.

lemon tart 002  Bake 10 minutes in a 375 degree oven.  Cool 10-20 minutes before filling and baking.

Filling

¾ cup buttermilk: let it warm up for 10 or 15 minutes before mixing

½ cup granulated sugar

2 lg eggs, warm them close to room temperature

6 tbsp. Meyer lemon juice

2 tbsp flour (I use sweet rice but you wheat can use white rice flour)

2 tbsp finely grated Meyer lemon peel

——————–

Heat oven to 375 degrees.

Bake ten inch tart crust for 10 min

Cool at least ten minutes before filling

Mix all filling ingredients in a mixing bowl until smooth.  Pour into crust and bake at 325 degrees for 25-30 min; until just barely set.  Cool completely and refrigerate until chilled.  Can decorate tart with thin slices of Meyer lemon tart. Serve slices topped with a dollop of this lightly sweetened cream.

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Topping:

1 cup heavy cream

2 tbsp powdered sugar

Beat cream, add powdered sugar.  Serve a dollop with each slice of tart.

Brown Rice Flour Mix
2 c brown rice flour

2/3 c potato starch

1/3 c tapioca flour

Filling recipe modified slightly from one on food network.com, flour mix and crust from Annalise Roberts, Gluten – Free Baking Classics.