Dessert, Gluten Free, Dairy Free

Lemon Bars

I love lemon bars.
It’s not easy for me to admit. My mom has a thing for chocolate, so craving a dessert outside the realm of cocoa when I was a kid only led to broken dreams. Vanilla ice cream? Who am I kidding. For most families chocolate syrup was a topping, in our house it was an ocean in which your kayak of ice cream could capsize.

I can’t blame her. My grandmother raised my mom in a strictly “chocolate-only” household and my grandpa was an ice cream delivery man (one of his many, many hats). He is responsible for Cleveland’s first ice cream truck route (Ohio, you may thank him now), as well as my mother’s addiction to good chocolate ice cream. All of this leads to my current position: shameful love of a bright, tart, summery treat. I’ll chalk it up to the renegade in me and beg for forgiveness later, for now I’m eating these by the tray full.

New York is finally showing us the summer we’ve been craving. Cool mornings, breezy days and dry nights (although as I type this I can feel the specter of humidity come home to roost). Obviously the Park Slope Food Coop is in its prime right now with produce of every color. The fruits and veggies looked so exquisite that I couldn’t resist making a pride flag of my chopping board.

There’s been loads of gay news lately, and I was overjoyed with the upheaval of Prop. 8 a few weeks ago. Unfortunately, the indefinite stay on Judge Walker’s ruling feels like a slap in the face. Every five minutes. That keeps stinging. I’m a big Obama fan but it hurts to know that the president I voted for won’t defend my rights. Glenn Beck’s march on the anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I have a dream” speech has me spinning over what we deem “civil rights” in this country.

I used to say that marriage equality was low on my priority list for gay activism. I thought I’d like to see the community rally for better sex education and/or AIDS research funding. But after talking with a board member from Boulder Pride I realized that downplaying the importance of marriage equality was, on some level, a form of self-hate. Denying my desire for the right to marry is to think of myself as “less than” and I am not about the jump in that bag. It’s never a bad idea to quote RuPaul in situations like these, so imagine the glamazon shouting from ruby red lips, “If you can’t love yourself, how the hell are you gonna love anybody else?”

If I can’t stand here and say that marriage equality is as important to me as getting better food in school cafeterias how can I love myself?

I realize I’ve strayed far from the original topic this time, but sometimes lemon bars lead to bigger things, yes? How do you feel about what’s happening with Prop. 8?

Pride in the kitchen,

Free of Gluten, Dairy, Nuts, Tree Nuts, Soy and Corn.

Bar Crust

  • 1 cup Sorghum Flour
  • 3/4 cup White Rice Flour
  • 1/4 cup Tapioca Flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Xanthan Gum
  • 1 cup Powdered Sugar
  • 3/4 cup Vegetable Shortening


  • 4 Whole Eggs
  • 2 Egg Yolks
  • Juice of 3 Lemons (~1/2 cup)
  • Zest of 2 Lemons (~2 tbs.)
  • 1 1/3 cup Agave
  • 1/4 cup Coconut Milk
  • 1/3 cup Rice Flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon Salt

Get Busy

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Begin with the crust. In a food processor, buzz together all the dry ingredients for the bar crust.
  3. Add the vegetable shortening in spoonfuls and then pulse the mixture until it resembles sand.
  4. Dump the contents into a 9×13 baking dish and press it into place using your fingers or a fork. Make sure to push the crust up onto the sides so that the lemon filling can’t seep under.
  5. Bake the crust for 15-20 minutes, or until it’s light brown and toasted.
  6. Allow the crust to cool slightly before pouring in the lemon filling.
  7. Speaking of the filling, whisk together the eggs, yolks, lemon juice, lemon zest, agave and coconut milk.
  8. Add the rice flour and salt and whisk until terribly smooth.
  9. Pour this filling into the cooled crust and put the whole tray back in your oven to bake for another 18-20 minutes, or until the middle of the tray is set.
  10. Take the lemon bars out of your oven and let them cool for at least 15 minutes before putting them in the fridge to chill. Then? SLICE AND EAT.

Yield: One 9×13 tray
Prep. Time: 30-35 minutes
Baking Time:15-20 minutes for the crust, 18-20 for the finished bars