This is one of my favourite recipes and I've made it time after time for guests, occasions, event catering and, well, for myself. A lot. It's one of those things that looks extremely unpromising as it goes into the oven, but comes out looking, smelling and tasting like nothing on this earth you have ever tried before. It is a bonus, then, that they are gluten, grain, dairy and sugar free. The base was inspired by a grain free desiccated coconut flapjack i recently experimented with, and although it is quite unlike a biscuit (common in most lemon bar recipes) it is a thousand times more flavoursome and has a much chewier, cakey texture.
Perfect with a hot drink or as a light, healthy after-dinner dessert. These also make great gifts for foodies and health conscious friends and family. Wrap them in baking paper and seal with some twine or some ribbon.
6 Tablespoons Coconut Oil
3 Tablespoons Coconut Blossom Nectar, Agave or Date Syrup (any unrefined syrup will work)
2 Cups Desiccated Coconut
1 Cup Ground Almonds
1/4 Cup Coconut or Buckwheat Flour
2 Egg Whites
2 Egg Yolks (leftover from the crust)
Juice of 2 Lemons
Zest of 1 Lemon, optional
Juice of 1 Lime
5 Coconut Blossom Nectar, Agave, Maple or Date Syrup
1/3 Cup Ground Almonds
1 Tablespoon Milled Chia Seeds, optional
Preheat the oven to 175c. Grease a small rectangular oven proof dish with coconut oil or line it with greaseproof paper.
Melt together the coconut oil, unrefined syrup of choice, shredded coconut, almond flour, salt and coconut or buckwheat flour. Stir to combine and remove from the heat - be careful not to burn the coconut. You only need to heat the mixture until the oil and syrup have completely dissolved. Add your egg whites to the mixture, saving the yolks to use in the filling, and stir thoroughly until the mixture comes together in a doughy, sticky paste. Arrange the mixture in your prepared dish, using a spatula or spoon to spread the mixture out evenly across the base of the dish, pressing firmly to ensure it is compact to ensure it sticks together nicely.
Bake for 10 minutes until the top begins to brown. It may also begin to rise but will flatten again as it cools. If the tops aren't browning after 10 minutes, you should still remove it from the oven, as you will continue to cook it once the filling is on top, so it will all come together in the end. Once you've removed it from the oven, place it in the fridge to set whilst you prepare the filling.
Vigorously mix together the eggs and egg yolks, either by hand if you're feeling up to it, or using an electric whisk. Wait until the become frothy before adding the lemon and lime juice, zest - if using, sweetener, ground almonds and chia seeds - if using. Continue to whisk for 1-2 minutes until everything comes together nicely and is still relatively frothy. Pour the filling mixture over the cooked base and bake for another 15-20 minutes. The top should feel spongy to touch and should bounce back slightly when you prod it. If it is too runny, lower the heat and cook for a further 5 minutes.
Leave to cool or set in the fridge before slicing and enjoying. It tastes perfectly delicious as a gooey mess, but once it's set, there aren't even words to describe it. Sprinkle with gluten free flour or desiccated coconut and enjoy as they are, or serve with fresh mint leaves and/or homemade coconut cream.
+ You can also experiment with adding passion fruit to the filling, or homemade apple or mango juice or puree.