These lovely Almond Raspberry Lemon Bars are the epitome of Spring AND Summer! They are so soft and moist and super easy to make. Plus they are flourless, so they are gluten-free! They're bright, bursting with citrus and tangy fruit flavour, creamy, tender and all those nice things!
WHY YOU WILL LOVE THIS RECIPE
- Almond crust - the base is so quick and easy to make with ground almonds for a nice tender crust and it also means this recipe is gluten free!
- Smooth lemon curd filling - the filling is so smooth, tangy and sweet.
- Raspberry lemon bars - juice raspberries are tucked into the filling before baking
- Crumble topping - you use some of the base mixture to crumble on top before baking to make a delicious crumb topping.
- One pan recipe - this is a one pan bake so there's no need to pre-cook the lemon filling. Just mix all of the ingredients together and pour it over the pre-baked base.
More than just your ordinary lemon square recipe... these bars feature a flourless almond base. That means they're gluten-free if you're wondering... It just so happens to be!
The base serves as both the crust and also the crumble topping which adds texture and sets up into the filling slightly so it's nice and thick and velvety. They're jeweled with raspberries for a tangy punch of flavour in every bite.
- Almond flour - the base and the crumble is made from almond flour which gives it such a tender texture, more flavour and it also makes it gluten-free!
- Tapioca starch - a bit of starch helps to keep the crust together and helps set the filling. You can also use corn starch here.
- Butter - a bit of butter makes a flavourful crust. You don't need as much as other recipes since there is a lot of fat in the almonds.
- Eggs - two eggs will set the filling into a silky smooth custard.
- Granulated sugar - simple fine white granulated sugar keeps the flavour clean so the lemon shines.
- Lemon juice and lemon zest - lemon juice and zest gibes the filling a punch of lemon flavour an tanginess. You'll need about 2 lemons to make this recipe.
- Yogurt - full fat plain yogurt adds creamy, tangy dairy notes and also lightens it up for an extra silky texture.
- Pure vanilla extract - vanilla boosts the creamy flavour and carries the lemon flavour really nicely. I prefer this Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla extract.
How to make a smooth lemon filling for Raspberry Lemon Bars?
It's all about the proportions of liquid and sugar. If there is not enough sugar then the filling can curdle. Eggs and lemon juice both impart moisture, so it's important to have the right balance for the sugar to hold on to all that water.
How does sugar protect the filling?
Sugar is a humectant, which is a technical food science term for "water binding". It dissolves into the water in the eggs and the lemon juice and creates a syrup.
When the sugar is dissolved like this it binds the water tightly and keeps it in place so the filling stays moist. It also interferes with the proteins in the eggs so that they can't bump into each other and form clumps.
The simple volume of liquid helps to dilute the egg proteins so they aren't so close together and can't curdle as easily, and then the sugar helps keep all this moisture in place and slows down the movement in general.
What starch can I use in the filling?
For this recipe I used tapioca starch which is the starch from the cassava root. However, it will work with corn starch or potato starch. Potato starch has a lower gelatinization temperature which means that it will set faster than corn starch, but it won't really have too much of an effect in this filling. It would be more important when making a gluten-free cookie or cake.
How to store Raspberry Lemon Bars?
These lemon bars should be stored in the fridge in an airtight container. I actually prefer them cold!
Since the crust is made from almonds, these flourless raspberry lemon bars have a lovely soft texture with a bit of a firm bite. The lemon filling bakes slightly into the crust and it forms one lovely moreish dessert. It actually feels like more of an elegant dessert than a casual square even though they are so easy to make!
I like to serve them with a dusting of icing sugar and a dollop of thick Greek yogurt or whipped cream on the side. The soft texture means that these can be eaten with a fork for a lovely plated dessert.
Almond Raspberry Lemon Bars
For the Crust and Topping:
- 2 cups 200g almond flour
- ¼ cup 35g tapioca starch or corn starch or potato starch
- 2 tablespoon 25g granulated sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ⅓ cup 75g unsalted butter, cold and diced
For the Filling:
- ¾ cup 150g granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon zest
- Pinch of salt
- 2 large eggs
- ⅓ cup 80ml fresh lemon juice
- ¼ cup 60ml plain low fat yogurt
- 1 teaspoon corn or tapioca starch (or use all-purpose flour)
- ½ cup fresh or frozen raspberries
- icing sugar for topping
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8×8-inch baking pan with parchment paper leaving a 2-inch overhang along each side.
- For the crust, combine almond flour, starch, sugar and salt. Add the cold butter pieces and use your fingers to work the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture is crumbly and the butter bits are about the size of oat flakes.
- Reserve about one-fourth of the crust mixture in a small bowl, and press the rest of it into the base of the prepared pan to form an even layer. Run the back of a spoon over the surface to smooth it out. Bake for 15-17 minutes until lightly golden brown, then set aside.
- For the filling, combine sugar, lemon zest, salt and eggs in a medium bowl and whisk until thoroughly combined. Whisk in the lemon juice, yogurt and starch or flour.
- Pour the filling over the baked crust and scatter raspberries on top. Sprinkle reserved crumb mixture on top. Bake for 18-22 minutes until set and they no longer jiggle. Transfer to a cooling rack and let cool completely, then refrigerate for 1 hour before slicing. Dust with icing sugar before slicing if desired.