I have been working on this recipe on and off for years, going through dozens of iterations to get the perfect shortbread texture using combinations of grain-free flours and starches for the bottom layer of these custard bars (the custard was actually much easier and I nailed it in the third iteration). And, as I get ready to launch my new website, Nutrivore.com in the coming weeks, I had all but given up ever being happy enough with this recipe to share it… until I tried it one last time using Beth Blends Grain-Free Flour Blend. Wow!
Over the last year or so and after Beth sent me some bags of her flour blends to try out, Beth Blends Grain-Free Flour Blend has become my go-to flour to use for everyday cooking. But, it was only recently that I had the chance to try it in this recipe. In my previous iteration of the shortbread base, I had used 6 (yes, SIX) different grain-free flours and starches to try and get the perfect texture for the shortbread bottom layer (not too crunchy, not too crumbly, but strong enough to support the custard layer, two versions were actually squeaky when you bit into it, which was super weird). And, I’m so glad I did, because I now feel confident sharing this recipe with you, just on time for the holidays!
Variations: Because I’ve iterated this recipe so many times, I feel like I’ve tried it all! My favorite is the combination of lime and lemon in this custard, but I’ve tried using just lemon, just lime, Meyer’s lemons (on their own or with lime) and orange (on its own or with lemon). They’re all tasty, so feel free to experiment with other citrus fruits in this recipe. I’ve also used different sugars to sweeten. My preference is unrefined cane sugar because I feel like it doesn’t compete with the citrus flavors, but it’s also tasty with maple sugar if you want to use a more nutrient-dense sugar. You can make this in an 8″x8″ pan for a thicker bar (like in my photo), or a 9″x9″ pan for a thinner bar. It cooks a bit faster if you make it in a 9″x9″ pan. And, if you want to make the shortbread base with a different grain-free flour blend, all I can say is, nothing I tried worked as well as Beth Blends.