I am sorry. I know it’s only Monday. And you are probably at work, trying to focus on numbers, stats, calculations and other important things. And here we come stealing your attention with the most delicious lemon bar recipe ever. So if I were you I would probably stop reading now. I mean it, stop now. Before I tell you that they are gluten free. And dairy free. And very quick and easy to make. Did I mention they are crazy delicious? Sorry. Get back to work now.
The thing is that we have always loved lemon pie and lemon bars, but when you try to make them healthier – without the flour, sugar and butter – you often loose all that is good and gooey about them. So instead of making a traditional gluten free pie crust, we did something else this time. Our crust is more similar to a coconut macaroon, sweetened with maple syrup and then flattened out and pre baked. It’s perfect – sticky, sweet and gooey. And then topped with a rather tart lemon filling and powdered with … no, not powdered sugar, but coconut flour. Yep, it looks strikingly similar! But if you prefer it sweeter you can of course use powdered sugar instead.
Lemon-bar-traditionalists might be concerned with how we tweaked this recipe. Claiming that they won’t taste like original lemon bars anymore. But they do, they really do. Sure, they have their own twist. But they still have everything that is good about a lemon bar. They are in fact better.
A fair amount of people have been asking us about the backgrounds that we use in our photos. I took a behind the scenes photo of some them on my instagram. We often use a few different matte stone boards, wooden planks or old metal sheets. For your information, the huge stone board that we used in these photos is not my friend anymore. I was going to put it back after we used it and dropped it on my big toe! It broke. Ouch. Well, at least we got some good photos …
Lemon & Coconut Bars
Makes around 40 pieces
This is a quite big batch, you could easily half the recipe. Also, the filling is a little more tart than standard. We think it is perfect, but if you know that you are sensitive either add more maple syrup or use a little less lemon juice.
5 tbsp (75 g) coconut oil
3 tbsp maple syrup
2 cups/480 ml (200 g) shredded coconut (unsweetened)
1 cup/240 ml (100 g) almond flour
1 pinch sea salt
2 egg whites (save the yolks for the lemon curd)
3 eggs + 2 egg yolks
6 tbsp maple syrup
1/3 cup / 80 ml lemon juice + 1 tbsp zest (around 2 lemons)
1/3 cup / 80 ml (35 g) almond flour
Dust with 3 tbsp coconut flour (or powdered sugar)
Set the oven to 350°F (175°C). Melt coconut oil in a sauce pan on low/medium heat. Add maple syrup, shredded coconut, almond flour and salt. Stir around until everything is combined. Remove from the heat. Crack two eggs, save the egg yolks for later and add the whites to the sauce pan while stirring. Keep stirring for about a minute. The mixture should be quite sticky now. Line a 12×8 inch (30×20 cm baking dish with baking paper and pour the coconut mixture into it. Use your hands, a spatula or the backside of a spoon to flatten it out. Press it down firmly so it becomes quite compact. Bake for 10-12 minutes and then remove it from the oven. Meanwhile, start preparing the filling.
In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs + the 2 egg yolks with an electric mixer until frothy. Add the rest of the ingredients. Beat for two more minutes. Pour the mixture over the baked crust in the baking dish. Bake for around 16-19 minutes or until edges are light brown and center is set. Let cool for at least 10-15 minutes before slicing up the bars. You always want to dig in immediately, but it is much easier to eat after it is set. Cut into roughly 1 x 2-inch (3 x 6 cm) rectangles. Dust with coconut flour or powdered sugar. Enjoy!