I love cookbooks, mainly because I have a TERRIBLE memory, like it concerns me sometimes how bad it is. I've always wanted to be the kind of person who just had an arsenal of amazing recipes I could whip up at any moment at the top of my head - and I have tried making things by memory but I always seem to forget an ingredient or two(or add some that I shouldn't). Sometimes during cooking this turns out quite well - but when baking...it usually ends up with disastrous results.
I would already consider myself only a mediocre baker, no, thats a lie...I'm really bad at it actually. So recipes directly in front of my face are a MUST when baking anything. Lately I have been loving America's Test Kitchen Gluten Free Cookbook. They don't just tell you what to use, but why you're using it, which helps when you are making substitutions etc.
They also have a test panel which tests the recipes until they find the one that the most people consider the best, which is great when it comes to gluten-free recipes because, lets face it, most of them - are pretty bad.
I decided to start with lemon bars because I LOVE lemons. My siblings and I used to cut them up and eat them with a little bit of salt. Our grandma has a lime tree that we left completely bare one summer. Delicious.
Anyway, This recipe looks more complicated that it actually is, it just has to be done in parts. I used ATK's Flour blend but you could just as easily use Bob's Red Mill all purpose gluten free mix which would save you some work.
ATK Flour blend
- 24 ounces white rice flour (4 1/2 cups plus 1/3 cup)
- 7 1/2 ounces brown rice flour (1 2/3 cup)
- 7 ounces potato starch (1 1/3 cups)
- 3 ounces tapioca starch (3/4 cup)
- 3 tbsp nonfat milk powder
Note this makes much more flour than you need for the bars, but its great to have this ready made for other recipes you may want to try,
Lemon Bars: Crust
- 1 1/3 cups of Flour Blend
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp xanthan gum
- 8 gbps of butter, softened
Mix the flour, sugar, salt and xanthan powder together in a mixer briefly, slowly add the butter until a dough forms (it will be a bit crumbly still).
Distribute into an 8 inch baking pan (lined with foil) and press firmly down into the pan with bottom of measuring cup until it is an even layer. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until starting to brown. Let cool for 30 minutes.
Lemon Bars: Filling
2 large eggs, plus 7 large yolks
1 cup plus 2 tbsp granulated sugar
1/4 cup grated lemon zest plus 2/3 cup juice (approx. 4 lemons)
pinch of salt
4 tbsp butter
3 tbsp heavy cream
Whisk the eggs and yolks together in a saucepan then add the sugar until combined. Add lemon zest, juice and salt. Add butter and cook on medium until it thickens slightly (about 5 minutes). Don't forget to stir constantly!
Strain the mixture into a bowl and stir in the cream. Pour the filling over the crust and bake until the filling is shiny and jiggles in the middle slightly (about 15-20 min).
Let the whole thing cool for about 2 hours, cut into squares and sprinkle some confectioners sugar on them.
These are super delicious, not overly sweet. Peter loved them even a couple of days later, but they were definitely best when fresh! Enjoy!