RECIPE: Gluten-Free Lemon Orange Bars

I recently had a lovely working lunch al fresco with a fellow board member of a women-led food organization I am a member of, Les Dames D'Escoffier. She invited me to her lovely home and she had a wonderful garden in the back, where we sat amongst the flowers, worked and chatted. She asked me to bring a dessert for us to enjoy, and we are both cutting out gluten when we can from our diets. I wanted to make something light and easy to eat with our fingers (assuming by dessert we would be working on our laptops) and summery (we were eating outside on a warm day) and gluten-free. I landed on making custardy lemon bars. I kicked up the sweetness by mingling in orange juice and zest. I used almond meal combined with a good quality GF flour blend (like Bob's Red Mill or Pamela's Artisan GF Flour) and used some cornstarch in the filling to help it set.

They turned out great! If you want to make these with gluten, just replace the GF flour with regular flour. This is my new go-to recipe for the hubster. One of his favorite cookies is lemon bars.

Gluten Free Lemon-Orange Bars

1 cup of almond flour 
1 cup of good quality gluten-free flour 
3 tablespoons of cornstarch 
1/4 cup of sugar 
1/4 cup of powdered sugar 
1 teaspoon of lemon zest 
1/4 teaspoon of Kosher salt 
8 tablespoons of chilled butter, cubed 
3/4 teaspoon of lemon juice 

4 large eggs 
1 large egg yolk 
1 cup of sugar 
2 tablespoons powdered sugar 
1 tablespoon of orange zest
1 tablespoon of lemon zest 
1/4 teaspoon of Kosher salt 
1/4 cup of orange juice 
1/4 cup of lemon juice 
1/4 cup of good quality gluten-free flour


Spray a 11 x 7 Pyrex pan with nonstick cooking spray. Line with parchment paper with a 2-inch overhang the spray it again. (trick*-cut a slit down the corners to make tight corners.) Set aside. Preheat oven to 325°.

In a food processor, pulse the dry ingredients for the crust. Add the butter and pulse until crumbly and the mixture starts to come together a little bit. Add the lemon juice and pulse again. Pour into the waiting 11 x 7 pan and flatten using the back of the spatula. Chill the crust for 15 minutes and then bake for 25 to 30 minutes. You're looking for golden edges and a light gold top.

While the crust is baking make the filling. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs with the sugar and the powdered sugar. In another bowl mix the juices with the zest then add the juices and the zest into the egg mixture and whisk. Add the salt and the flour and whisk until combined.

When the crust comes out of the oven, pour the egg mixture gently on top. It's okay if the crust is hot/warm. Bake again for 15 to 20 minutes. You're looking for light brown edges and at the top is dry. You don't want a jiggly middle, make sure the filling is set.

Let cool on the rack before cutting. To cut, pull the parchment up and out of the pan and lay on a cutting board. Use a serrated knife to cut into squares. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve.



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