Meyer Lemon Lavender Bars (grain-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free)

It really is grain-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, and egg-free!

It really is grain-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, and egg-free!

This post is a year in the making.  I am so happy to finally have the recipe to share with you.  Toiling with this is one of those things that you really can only do one change at a time to know exactly what isn’t right in the final product.  Last week when I wasthisclosetoit, I had too much agar agar in it and it was more thick gelatin-like than gooey thick like a lemon bar should be.  It was good, but not great.  Yesterday, I ate a second piece right after the first piece.  The last few days have been rough, so hitting jackpot was a big bright spot for me.  Good things can always happen when you let them.

My first trials with this was to make it egg-free before I was even egg-free.  Then I decided to go back to using eggs and for some reason I was still having problems.  Now that I’m egg-free and Meyer Lemons are abundant in stores, I decided it was time to go back to the first trials.  I use agar agar because it will keep things clear and with most foods when trying to get it to thicken, you don’t need to cook it.  Bonus, it has a nice protein content.

The crust is a press in crust, but you need to use pie weights or dried beans when baking it.  Someone forgot to do it this time around.  *looks around whistling*  You also want to bake it completely because once you add the filling it doesn’t go back in the oven.  Also, my final product is fairly tart since I’m using raw local honey.  You can use palm sugar, but the filling will be a darker amber.  If you still use white sugar, you could use that, too.  Just make sure you taste the filling before adding the agar agar to make sure the filling is at your sweetness level.

This calls for some waiting.  The filling starts to thicken as it cools and it can take an hour or more for it to get thick enough to add the lavender. It will set quicker once it’s in the pan.  Also, I dusted the top with homemade powdered sugar.  The filling sucked it up really fast, but it did give balance to the tartness.

Meyer Lemon Lavender Bars – 9 servings

1 1/2 cups almond flour (I use Honeyville)

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup palm shortening (I use Spectrum)

1-2 Tablespoons chilled filtered water

Juice of 6 Meyer Lemons (should yield 2/3 – 3/4 cup), pulp and seeds strained out

1 cup filtered water

1/2 cup raw local honey or palm sugar

1 Tablespoon agar agar powder

1 teaspoon lavender

2 Tablespoons palm sugar

1/2 teaspoon arrowroot.

Preheat oven to 350.  You can grease an 8×8 pan, but I didn’t and nothing stuck to it.  I use a glass pan.  In a medium bowl whisk together almond flour and salt.  Cut in palm shortening with a pastry blender or two knifes until you have coarse crumbs.  Add in a tablespoon of water and stir together.  Add more water a little at a time if it is not forming a big ball of dough.  It will look almost like regular pastry dough, but will feel stickier.  Dump the dough out into your pan and press firmly into the bottom, spreading it out as evenly as possible.  Cover with parchment and weigh it down with pie weights or dried beans.  Bake for 30 minutes and set aside to cool.  Combine Meyer lemon juice, water, and honey or sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat.  Bring to a boil while whisking together well.  Whisk in agar agar powder well.  Remove from heat and allow to cool.  Check every 15 minutes or so and whisk.  Once it starts to thicken enough to suspend the lavender, whisk in the lavender.  Pour into the pan and let it finish setting.  Before serving dust with powdered sugar or unrefined powdered sugar.  To make the unrefined powdered sugar add palm sugar and arrowroot starch to a coffee/spice grinder and grind until the sugar is a fine powder.

This post is linked to Wellness Weekends at Diet, Dessert, and Dogs; at Slightly Indulgent Tuesday at Simply Sugar & Gluten-Free; and Gluten-Free Wednesdays at The Gluten-Free Homemaker.

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18 comments

    • :D It really adds no flavor, just thickens things up instead of using eggs or unflavored gelatin. I used it in one of the Oatmeal Chocolate Chunk Cookie trials. I didn’t know if it was adding to the grittiness so I started using flax egg instead. Now that I know what was causing the texture, I can go back and test it again.

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  2. I’ve had bouts with too much agar agar too! It feels nice to conquer those tricky recipes. Your lemon bars look lovely, and I like that they are grain-free!

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