Lemon Bars (Gluten Free)

So good.  So so good.  If you like lemon, this is a recipe you must try.  It is perfectly tangy with wonderful textural contrast between the crust and the creamy lemony filling on top.

I found this recipe on the SmittenKitchen (one of my new favorite food blogs).  She adapted a recipe from The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook.   You should check out the blog.  So many fun recipes to try and beautiful pictures. Puts my weak blogging attempts to shame.  But I’m thankful that others out there are “professionals” because I can take their great recipes and adapt away and make them GF.  Yay for that!

This is a very easy recipe to make GF.  All you do is substitute your favorite GF flour blend for the all purpose flour  listed on the ingredients and add a teaspoon of xanthan gum.  I am going to try them with sorghum flour next time, only because I have had good results with it recently and I’m curious.  I know it is weird, but these are the things my mind loves to ponder.

The recipe below gives two different choices:  one with a thick filling and one with a thinner filling. I went with the thicker.  Very glad I did. More lemony goodness. 🙂   Choose whichever one your prefer.

Lemon Bars (Gluten Free)

For the crust:
1/2 pound unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 cups flour (I used Pamelas Baking mix but I think any GF flour blend would probably work.  If you use one without xanthan gum make sure you add 1 tsp xanthan gum) (UPDATE: the second and third times i made this I used plain white rice flour.  I actually liked it better than using Pamelas mix)
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

For the full-size lemon layer:
6 extra-large eggs at room temperature (or 7 large eggs)
2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 tablespoons grated lemon zest (4 to 6 lemons)
1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 cup flour (I used Pamelas GF Baking Mix.  If you use a flour blend without xanthan gum,  add between 1/2 -1 tsp.  I wonder if this could be omitted and still achieve similar results?  I bet the amount of eggs in this is enough to bind it well ) (The second and third times i made this i used plain white rice flour with great results. No xanthan gum)

Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting

[Or] for a thinner lemon layer:

4 extra-large eggs at room temperature
1 2/3 cups granulated sugar
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest (3 to 4 lemons)
2/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
2/3 cup flour (GF flour)

Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting

Preheat the oven to 350°F and grease a 9 by 13 by 2-inch baking sheet. I like to line mine with parchment paper. It makes them so easy to get out of the pan.

For the crust, cream the butter and sugar until light in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Combine the flour and salt and, with the mixer on low, add to the butter until just mixed. Dump the dough onto a well-floured board and gather into a ball. Flatten the dough with floured hands and press it into the greased baking sheet, building up a 1/2-inch edge on all sides. (I was worried about these sticking so I lined my baking dish with parchment paper and then sprayed it with cooking spray.  After they came out of the oven I let them cool for a while and then lifted them out by holding onto the parchment paper. Super easy! and no sticking).

Bake the crust for 15 to 20 minutes, until very lightly browned. Let cool on a wire rack. Leave the oven on.

For the lemon layer, whisk together the eggs, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, and flour. Pour over the crust and bake for 30 to 35 minutes (less if you are using the thinner topping), or about five minutes beyond the point where the filling is set. Let cool to room temperature.

Cut into rectangles and dust with confectioners’ sugar.

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One response to “Lemon Bars (Gluten Free)

  1. Just made these tonight and they were delicious! I used Bob’s Red Mill white rice flour plus the recommended 1 tsp. of xanthan gum for the crust and it turned out great. I only had 1.5 sticks of butter on hand, so I just went with that and reduced the white rice flour to 1.5 cups.
    I used Pamela’s Baking & Pancake Mix in the lemon layer. Overall the bars had a great texture and weren’t grainy like some other recipes I’ve used that involve white rice flour. The lemon wasn’t too tart which I think was due to the 2.5 cups of sugar. Perfect combination of sweet and a little tart!

    Great recipe!

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