Thursday, January 12, 2006

almost there

Today's batch of low carb lemon squares was much better than the first batch, which suffered from a pasty crust, most likely the result of undercooking and the combination of ingredients I used. I was going for taste and didn't realize how much the texture would suffer. Mom and DH didn't seem to mind, but to me: Ew! Not as bad as "yuck!" but I'm not about to publish the recipe.

So today I left out the paste-makers and went in a different direction entirely, and the result was very tasty, indeed. I had to add an extra step to improve the texture of the custard top, but overall, these squares got nods of approval from everyone.

I thought I was done tinkering until I started putting them away. The crust is much too crumbly! I ended up leaving about a third of it in the pan. Obviously, some culinary glue (aka egg whites) will be required. Regular high-carb shortbread doesn't have much in it besides butter, flour, and sugar, but regular flour has its own "glue", gluten, that helps it stick together. Low carb ingredients need all the help they can get, and I thought that including xanthan gum would make up for the lack of gluten, but it isn't enough. So tomorrow, one last trip to the kitchen.

I don't need to make another whole batch of lemon squares, though -- I'll just make a little batch of shortbread, and see how it turns out.

If I've piqued your interest, the recipe will be published on the first of the month.

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