Vanilla Bean Lemon Bars, GF
I bought these Vanilla Beans in Ca. and we just got back to Costa Rica and I was thinking Lemon Bars with the Vanilla Bean seeds in the Lemon Curd would look cool and taste good so here I am trying it out. And now that my niece is GF and Dairy Free it is making me check out ways to make a few, let me say again a few ways to make GF. Sorry Stacy these are not dairy free but you might find a way to take out the butter maybe use coconut oil in place of the butter. I love the way the little vanilla seeds show in the lemon curd and the taste is very subtle and interesting in a good way. I took these to a little sunset party and I didn't bring any home, so I think everyone was satisfied.
I ground up almonds and this only takes a few seconds and they are the perfect size for me.
This is an almond shortbread cookie crust and it can't be beat. I think anyway. Let me know what you think.
Chuck is my main squeeze
It gets nice and thick in about 5 minutes. Keep stirring!
I keep the Lemon Bars in the freezer.
For the crust
One stick of unsalted butter or 8 Tablespoons at room temp.
1/2 cup of powered sugar
1 cup Gluten Free flour or all purpose
3/4 cup of almond meal. I put about 1cup of almonds in the food processor and pule until it's like almond meal.
You will have left over almond meal for chocolate covered bananas.
1/2 teaspoon salt
The vanilla bean lemon curd
4 large eggs
4 large egg yolks
1 cup sugar
zest from 5 to 6 lemons
3/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick of unsalted butter
1 vanilla bean, cut open and scraped of it's seeds, set the seeds aside
Heat oven to 350 degrees, place parchment paper in a 8 or 9 inch square pan, let some of the paper hang over the edge.
Prepare the crust by beating together the butter and the powdered sugar in medium bowl.
I use a spoon and mash the butter into the sugar first so when you turn on your mixer the powered sugar does not go everywhere.
Make sure the butter and sugar are completely combined. Stop mixing and scrape down sides of bowl
Add the GF flour, almond meal and salt to the bowl, beat on low just until combined. It might seem crumbly but it should press into the pan well.
Press the dough into the pan, make sure you make it even and press into the corners. Prick all over with a fork and bake for 20 minutes or until edges are golden brown.
Makes 9 large or 16 medium squares
While the crust is baking prepare the lemon curd. Whisk together the 4 eggs, 4 yolks and the sugar in a small saucepan, whisk in the lemon juice, lemon zest, salt and vanilla bean (that has been scraped of it's seeds,) to form a smooth mixture. Set a small strainer over a medium bowl and place next to the stove for easy reach. Have your instant read thermometer next to you also.
Place the pan with the mixture over medium heat and stir gently but continuously until mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon and registers 155 degrees on the thermometer, this doesn't take to long about 5 -6 minutes, make sure you scrape the bottom and edges of the pan as you stir. If the mixture starts to coagulate to quick remove form heat.
Strain the lemon curd and vanilla bean into a bowl that has the butter and the vanilla bean seeds in it. Stir until the butter melts ,now it is ready to pour over the crust. If the crust is ready before the curd it is all fine, it can cool. Now put it back in the oven, crust and curd and bake for 10 to 15 minutes until edges of the curd are set but still jiggly in the center. Let it cool and then freeze or refrigerate. I like mine a bit frozen but then I live in a very hot jungle and everything needs to be a bit frozen for me. It's like lemon curd ice-cream. Hope you enjoy!!