Good morning, Peeps! I know it’s been awhile (again) since I posted, but we’ve had company and lots going on in our attempt to finally get settled into a normal(ish) routine here in NY. I hope you’ll forgive me for my blogging slackdom when you see the delicious low carb dessert recipe I’ve got for you today though!
Meanwhile, the weather is finally warming up and I’m getting excited about being able to swim and boat in the lake this summer.
I’m FAR LESS excited about getting into a bathing suit, so it’s a good thing my shiny new treadmill is getting delivered today so I can start racking up some miles! My new running shoes have been sitting on the closet shelf just waiting to get broken in, and I’m thrilled to finally be able to start using them!
I’ll also be hitting the Egg Fast Plan this week to undue the damage done by indulging in copious amounts of fresh cannolis and other pastries from a local Italian market we hit this weekend with my in-laws.
It was fun while it lasted, but now I feel lousy and I’m looking forward to both feeling better and ditching the digestive misery and bloating that comes from main-lining gluten and sugar all weekend. Those cannnnnoliiiiis tho!
You know what DOESN’T make you bloated and guilty but also tastes amazing?
These Low Carb Strawberry Rhubarb Meringue Pie Bars!
Seriously. You need these in your life STAT. Don’t be intimidated by the three layers either – it’s not a complicated recipe to follow, and the most tedious part is separating the eggs.
Originally these weren’t going to have the meringue layer – it was just going to basically be a strawberry-rhubarb version of my recent Low Carb Lemon Bars recipe. While I was waiting for the crust to prebake though, I was brainstorming what to do with the whites for a separate recipe and made a strawberry meringue cookie.
I tasted one from the first batch and it was really good – but then I thought, this would be AWESOME on top of the bars and then it would be like a meringue pie. Incidentally, you could also do that to the low carb lemon bars recipe with your extra egg whites.
I hesitated in case it didn’t work, and I didn’t want to ruin the bars, but decided to go with it in the end and man am I glad I did!
The end result is a sturdy lemon cookie crust, offset by the rich and pleasantly tangy strawberry and rhubarb curd filling, and then the ethereal and slightly creamy meringue on top. BLISS.
Words just don’t do it justice – this is by far one of the best low carb desserts I’ve ever created, and I can’t wait for you guys to try them and report back!
To boost the pink color for the photos, I used some organic beet crystals that I had purchased awhile back as part of my gut health improvement efforts. It’s not necessary but does give a lovely color without dyes or chemicals. Alternatively you can use a drop or two of red food coloring if you’re not opposed to it, or just go au natural and get less of a pink hue to the end result.
Also, you’ll only need about half of the meringue mixture for the top of your bars, leaving plenty to do a tray of the low carb strawberry meringue cookies as well! Keto friendly cookies AND pie from the same recipe? Now that is a win/win if I’ve ever heard of one!
- 6 Tbsp butter
- 2 cups almond flour
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar substitute (I used Swerve)
- 1 Tbsp freshly grated lemon zest
- ½ cup chopped raw rhubarb
- 1 cup chopped raw strawberries
- ½ cup granulated sugar substitute (I used Swerve)
- 6 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 6 egg yolks
- 1 Tbsp Great Lakes Gelatin
- ¼ tsp xanthan gum
- 2 Tbsp lemon juice
- 6 egg whites
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar substitute (I used Swerve)
- ¼ cup strawberry puree (about ⅓ cup chopped, then pureed)
- Melt the butter in the microwave or a small saucepan. Add the almond flour, sweetener, and lemon zest, stirring until fully combined. Press the dough evenly along the bottom and ½ inch up the sides of an 8 x 8 inch square pan. For best results line the pan with parchment paper or foil first, then you can simply lift out the completed bars. Bake at 350 degrees (F) for 10 minutes. Remove and cool while you make the filling.
- Puree the strawberries, rhubarb, and sweetener together in a magic bullet or small blender. Melt the butter in a small saucepan on low heat. Remove from heat and whisk in pureed fruit and sweetener mixture. Whisk in the egg yolks and return to the stove over low heat. Whisk continually until the curd starts to thicken. Remove from the heat and whisk in the the lemon juice, xanthan gum, and gelatin until dissolved and smooth. If using beet crystals or food coloring, add now (1 tsp beet crystals or 1 drop of food coloring) and whisk until desired color is achieved.
- Pour the filling over the pre-baked crust and spread out evenly to the edges of the pan. Bake in a preheated 350 degree (F) oven for 20 minutes. Remove. Reduce oven heat to 325 degrees (F) while you make the meringue.
- Combine the egg whites and sweetener in a large bowl. Whisk until soft peaks form and the mixture is shiny and stiff enough to hold it's shape. Carefully fold in the strawberry puree. To boost the color add ½ tsp beet crystals or 1 scant drop of food coloring if desired.
- Spread ½ the meringue mixture over the strawberry rhubarb curd layer (after the 20 minutes of baking), all the way to the edges of the pan or parchment paper. The meringue layer should be about ¾ of an inch thick across the top.
- Bake the meringue topped bars in a 325 degree (F) oven for 10 minutes. Turn off the oven and leave the bars in for an additional five minutes. Remove and cool until the pan can be handled. Refrigerate bars for at least 2 hours or overnight before removing from the pan and cutting into 16 two inch by two inch squares. Store refrigerated for up to 5 days. Freezing is not recommended.
- Drop or pipe spoonfuls of the remaining meringue mixture onto a parchment lined cookie sheet. Bake at 300 degrees for 15 minutes. Remove and cool slightly before eating. Store in an airtight container for up to three days.
Per meringue pie bar: 186 calories, 18g fat, 3g net carbs, 5g protein
Per meringue cookie: 4 calories, 0g fat, 0g net carbs, 1g protein
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