Recently I discovered a problem with me. And I’m proud to say that I’m probably not the only one. I’m sure that even as I’m typing this, someone is guilty of commiting this ‘problem’. And how can anyone blame you? It’s not your fault that you don’t always have fresh nutmeg to grate or vanilla sugar you so dutifully prepare every time you have a vanilla pod just…lying around. So what do we do? We improvise, and change, and sometimes, invent.
But you see, the big problem with that, my friend, is that I don’t really know how a recipe from my stash of cookbooks is really supposed to taste like. And that, is a problem. How can I tell if this is the best possible way to do something if I don’t know the original way it’s supposed to be done! So I decided, I shall follow a recipe for once, just this once, and see how it turns out. Okay, so I cheated and used a book I had utmost faith in, but I just couldn’t bear the thought of something horrid coming out of the oven.
I made Rebecca Reilly’s Lemon Squares from her Gluten Free Baking book. The squares were really, and I mean really simple to make. And quick and most importantly, absolutely tasty. The shortcrust bottom is not to thick or dense, but doesn’t crumble too easily, a fault many GF cookie bases suffer from. The lemony filling? Slightly sticky, sour and easy to cut through and impossible to mess up.
Gluten Free Lemon Squares from here
2 c GF flour blend
1/2 c almond meal/hazelnut meal
1 stick of butter, diced and kept in the freezer for 5 minutes
1/3 cup icing sugar
1/4 tsp xantham gum
1/8 tsp salt
1) Preheat the oven to 175degreesC. Lightly grease a 13 x 9inch baking pan for thin bars or an 8inch square pan for thicker bars. Line the pan with buttered parchment paper.(I didn’t do this because my pan was non-stick)
2) To make the crust, mix together the gluten-free mix, almong flour, icing sugar, xantham gum and salt. Using your fingertips, work the butter into the dry ingredients. Do not overmix. You want to have a crumbly texture. (To test if it was ‘wet’ enough, I lightly squeeze the crumbs to see if they would form a dough) Press the mixture ino the prepared pan and bake for 20 mins of under slightly golden brown. (Mine ended up slightly undercooked so I recommend baking it for a little longer, maybe 23 mins)
1 1/2 c granulated sugar
1/3 c fresh lemon juice
1) To make the filling, beat the eggs and sugar together. Add in the lemon juice and whisk.
2) Pour the filling over the hot crust. Return to oven and bake for another 20 mins. The edges will begin to brown. Cool before dusting with more icing sugar. Cut into about 2inch squares.