GFCF Lemon Bars Recipe
Do you have a standard dessert that you know you can make with things that you keep regularly in your pantry? Mine, even before we went gluten-free, has for years been lemon bars… Shortbread crust and a thick custard-y, tart, lemony top. Yum. I use a recipe from a 1979 edition of a cookbook compiled from the staff of Oral Roberts University that my dad got for me when I was a little girl. I’ve altered the recipe to make it g.f., and made a few procedural changes… but, in essence, it’s still the recipe of one Sharon Walters, who was the secretary of the Biochemistry department. So, with thanks to her…
2/3 c. sweet rice flour
2/3 c. corn starch (or other starch)
2/3 c. brown rice flour (or white rice flour)
1/2 c. powdered sugar (plus additional for dusting)
1 c. shortening (I use Spectrum non-hydrogenated)
optional: 1-2 tsp finely grated lemon zest
2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup lemon juice
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 c. (additional) sweet rice flour
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9″ x 13″ pan with nonstick foil AND spray lightly with nonstick oil spray.
Combine 2/3 cup each sweet rice flour, corn starch, brown rice flour and 1/2 c. powdered sugar in a small bowl. With a whisk, combine thoroughly. With a wooden spoon, stir in shortening (and 1 tsp. lemon zest, if using). It will form a dough that is “wetter” than your standard “crumbly” flour and shortening mixture, and will be fairly sticky. Using plastic wrap to help you manipulate the dough, press it into the bottom of the pan. Press the dough a little higher along the sides of the pan, up about 1/2 inch, so that the dough is “dish” shaped. Bake this crust in the oven for about 20 minutes until it is lightly browned.
In a small bowl, beat together the eggs, sugar, lemon juice (and an additional, optional 1 tsp lemon zest). In another small bowl (or even a 1 c. measuring cup), thoroughly combine the remaining 1/4 c. sweet rice flour and the baking powder. When the crust is nearly done baking, whisk the flour mixture into the egg mixture, combining thoroughly. Pour this over the crust, and bake for an additional 25 minutes, or until the top is lightly browned and no longer jiggles when you gently shake the baking pan.
Cool, then dust with powdered sugar* and cut into bars with a sharp knife. (Or, lift the whole thing out of the pan by the foil, lay on a flat surface, and cut with an oiled pizza cutter.)
*To dust the bars, simply place a couple of Tablespoons of powdered sugar into a small wire mesh strainer and tap it with the heel of your hand over the bars.
These are especially good with a cup of hot tea. Enjoy!