Before my daughter was diagnosed with celiac disease, I loved to bring lemon squares to family gatherings. People would fight over the last lemon square. I loved the buttery shortbread crust combined with the mouth-puckering tartness and compelling sweetness.
After my daughter’s celiac diagnosis, I mourned the lack of gluten-free lemon bars. Little did I know that lemon squares are easy to make gluten-free. The density of gluten-free flours helps make a firm crust (I used sorghum and amaranth flours to boost nutrition). And I only needed to substitute cornstarch in the lemon filling to make it gluten-free.
My friend Jennifer told me she makes lemon squares with a crushed macaroon crust during Passover. I definitely need to try that next year!
Lemon squares are easier to cut when they are frozen, since they won’t ooze under the knife. Plus, they taste divine cold, so I store them in my freezer and simply transfer to the table when it’s dessert time.
Luscious Gluten-Free Lemon Squares
(gluten-free, kid-friendly, dairy)
- 1 cup (2 sticks) butter
- 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
- 2 cups gluten-free flour (I used 3/4 cup sorghum flour, 1/2 cup amaranth flour, 1/2 cup tapioca starch, 1/4 cup sweet rice flour)
- 4 eggs
- 1-1/2 cups sugar
- 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest, grated
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line 13 x 9 x 2-inch baking pan with parchment paper, covering the bottom and sides of the pan.
- In medium bowl, use pastry blender or two knives to combine butter, confectioners’ sugar and gluten-free flours until it takes on a gravely consistency, with small pea-sized lumps of butter coated in flour. Pat mixture into baking pan, making sure the crust is as evenly leveled as possible, and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven.
- Meanwhile, beat eggs in a medium bowl. Add sugar, lemon juice, cornstarch, baking powder and lemon zest and stir until well mixed. Pour egg mixture over baked crust. Return pan to oven and bake for 15 to 20 minutes (do not overbake).
- Sprinkle with additional confectioners’ sugar, using a sifter that’s only been used for gluten-free food. Lemon squares are easier to cut when they are frozen. Put pan in freezer. When frozen, lift out lemon squares on the parchment paper. Cut into 24 to 36 squares and store squares in an airtight container in the freezer.
Yield: 24 to 36 lemon squares
This post is linked to Gluten-Free Wednesdays at Gluten-Free Homemaker.