Eliminating sweets and sugar from your diet is a large part of the Paleo philosophy but it’s still nice on occasion to indulge in a lightly sweetened treat. The following recipe for Paleo Lemon Bars was developed by mom who also eats Paleo.
They remind me of my grandmother’s lemon pie from decades ago – back when I could tolerate gluten. She made homemade crusts with flour and lard, made her own wholesome filling, and topped it with meringue. These bars took me back to those precious moments at her kitchen table where I always found contentment and happy memories. I would look out her window to see the beautiful fields and barns that were a part of her welcoming countryside home.
The Paleo diet typically doesn’t include sugar but we did make our first batch with organic cane sugar – which made the crust a nice consistency. We didn’t make them with meringue the first time but the egg whites that are not used for the recipe can easily be re-purposed to make a meringue – or you could opt to serve them with some homemade whipped cream.
As always, opt for organic local ingredients if at all possible. It’s always better to pay the farmer rather than the doctor.
Paleo Lemon Bars
Makes 12 bars
- 1 1/2 Cup fine Almond Flour
- 1/4 Cup Tapioca Starch
- 1/4 Cup Honey (or 1/2 cup organic Cane Sugar)
- 1/2 Teaspoon Sea Salt or Himalayan Salt
- 1/4 Cup melted Ghee, Butter, or Coconut Oil
- 2 Tablespoons Arrowroot
- 6 Egg Yolks + 2 whole Eggs (reserve the egg whites to make meringue if so desired)
- 1/2 Cup Grade A amber Maple Syrup
- 3 Tablespoons organic Lemon Zest
- 1/2 Cup freshly squeezed Lemon Juice
- 1/4 Cup Ghee or Butter
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Mix together all the ingredients for the shortbread crust until a thick dough forms. Pat the dough evenly into an 8″ x 8″ baking pan, pressing the dough up the sides about 1″. Bake the crust about 20 minutes, until it becomes a light golden brown.
While the crust is baking, whisk together all the ingredients for the filling, then put the filling into a double boiler. Stir constantly with a wire whisk until the filling thickens.
Once the filling is ready, remove it from the heat and pour it over the hot crust, then bake it till the filling is just set, not jiggly in the middle, for about 10 minutes.
Cool the lemon bars completely before slicing. Ideally it is best to let the bars cool in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 hours before serving. Refrigerate any leftovers for 2 to 3 days.
A double boiler is a kitchen tool used for applying gentle heat on the stove top, for delicate tasks. Instead of the ingredients going directly into a pan on the stove top, we bring some water to a simmer in a pot and then fit a glass or metal bowl over the top of the pot, leaving room for steam to heat the contents of the bowl. Make sure the bottom of the bowl doesn’t come into contact with the water while being mindful that the water doesn’t evaporate entirely. You can purchase a dedicated double steamer insert or you can create one on your own if you have a pot and a stainless steel or glass bowl.