Brûléed Tart Lemon Bars (Gluten Free)

It’s not news that I love lemon. I do, I can’t help it. Sure I may not have enamel on my teeth when I get old, but that is just the price you have to pay for a dessert that make you pucker.

Anyway, I think I can speak for the masses when I say…who doesn’t love a lemon bar? I like mine extra tart. Sour to the point of that little twinge starting at the back of your jaw, but just sweet enough to stave it off, equaling the perfect lemon bar. 

My recipe makes a sheet pan full, (usual recipes yield a 9×13 baking dish) but you can easily half the recipe if you won’t eat that many. I get a lot of foot traffic in and out of my house so I don’t worry much about sweets not being consumed. The other main difference is that most recipes will have a glaze over the to or a hearty sprinkling of powdered sugar, I like to bruelee the tops and get that crunchy glassy carmel-ed sugar texture to compliment the creamy lemony filling with that flaky shortbread crust. Seriously!… You have to try these!

brûléed tart lemon bars

brûléed tart lemon bars


For the Crust:

1 cup almond flour

3/4 cups brown rice flour

1/4 cup tapioca starch

2/3 cup powdered sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

12 tablespoons cold butter (1 1/2 sticks), cut into small cubes

For the Filling:

8 large eggs 

2 2/3 cups granulated sugar

6 tablespoons white rice flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

2 tablespoons grated lemon zest, from 2 large lemons

2/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice, (about 3 to 4 lemons)

1/3 cup buttermilk, (regular milk or heavy cream can be used) 

1/4 teaspoon sea salt


Preheat oven to 350° F.

Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.

For the Crust: In the bowl of a food processor, pulse together the flours, powdered sugar, tapioca starch, and salt (this can be done by hand).

Add the cubes of butter and pulse to combine, (you can cut the butter into the dry ingredients using a pastry cutter or your fingers. Work quickly as to not melt the butter). Don’t overwork the dough, you just want a corse meal. Sprinkle the meal around your sheet pan and press with fingers to make an even layer across the bottom of the pan. Create a “well” around the edges to about 1/2 inch.

Refrigerate for 15-30 minutes before baking.

Bake on middle rack, for about 20 minutes or until golden brown.

For the filling: While crust is baking, I use a blender, but you can hand whisk the ingredients, add all ingredients to the blender. In blender, layer together the eggs, sugar, and flour. Then lastly add on lemon zest, juice and milk. Blend until combined.

Pour the filling onto the warm crust (it’s important that the crust is still warm!) and reduce the oven temperature to 325° F. Bake an additional 18-20 minutes until the filling feels slightly firm to the touch. Cool the bars to room temperature. Cut into bars.

To brûlée: Sprinkle sugar over the top of the bars, and torch until sugar melts and forms a glasslike surface. If you don’t have a torch you can place bars under your bottler for 5-10 minutes, but watch carefully so they don’t burn!

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