Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Lemon bars with Almond-Cardamom crusts (Gluten-free delights)

In preparation for a monthly dinner with some girlfriends, one of whom doesn't do well with gluten, I investigated options for dessert. This course of the meal I have read, many gluten-free folks unfortunately have to pass up. 

With many lemons on hand, I decided to do a lemon bar using a version of an almond meal crust that I have done before. This time, however, I felt that something was needed to carefully pull together the flavor of the almonds with lemons. I added some cardamom and it did the trick. Hopefully, you enjoy it as much as I did. I almost couldn't stop licking the mixing spoon....I know, TMI.

Almond-Cardamom crust


1 cup ground almond meal (processed almonds)
14 packets of Splenda + 1 packet of PureVia (or 3/4 cup cane sugar)
1/4 cup egg white
1/4 tsp cardamom, ground
1/4 tsp fine sea salt
1/8 tsp nutmeg
Spray oil (Vegetable or Canola...avoid Olive oil due to the flavor)


(1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray an 8x8-inch square Pyrex dish with Pam or canola oil.

(2) In a mixing bowl, mix together the ground almonds, sugar, salt, cardamom & nutmeg. After thoroughly mixing, add the egg white. Mix to combine and spread the mixture into the baking dish and press lightly (with moist spatula) to form a crust.

(3) Bake the crust for 20 minutes. Cool completely before filling, allowing the crust to crisp more.

Lemon filling


2 large eggs + 1/2 cup egg whites
14 packets of Splenda with 3 packets of PureVia or 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tbsp greek yogurt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup tapioca flour (best if freshly ground) or another gluten-free flour
zest of two small lemons (about 2 tbsp)
1-2 tsp powdered sugar (optional, for garnish)


(1) In a spice grinder, grind dry tapioca pearls, enough for 1/4 cup.

(2) Grate lemon zest and juice 2 lemons (1/4 cup lemon juice). 

(3) In a small bowl, beat together the eggs, egg whites, sweeteners, vanilla extract, lemon juice, lemon zest, greek yogurt, and tapioca flour.

(4) Pour filling on top of pre-baked almond-cardamom crust.

(5) Bake for 20 minutes. Cool completely and serve. 

This is a very fast recipe and great if you have other things going on in the background (during those cooling times)... I find it is best to stay out of the kitchen during these times so there is actually dessert left for guests. Hope you enjoy it. Next time, I will totally add finely chopped basil to the filling mix for an surprising and delicious twist.

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