The small addition of honey in this recipe softens the tones of raw grapefruit while leaving its extra-bright and unique flavor to shine. If you cannot tolerate honey, simply omit it and add an extra 1/4 cup of sugar or light syrup of your choosing. In this version of the classic citrus bar cookie, we have omitted eggs, gluten, dairy, and soy. We made an egg version, too, but found that this recipe turned out better. You can also try this in tangerine, lemon or lime.
For the Crust
1/2 c. non-hydrogenated shortening or non-dairy margarine
4 oz. applesauce (I used one of those single serve snack cups. I like to keep them on hand for my child and to have fresh applesauce on hand for vegan baking)
2 cups gluten free flour mix
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
For the Filling
2.5 Tablespoons EnerG egg replacer mixed with 1/2 cup water
Zest of two grapefruits (about 2-3 Tablespoons)
Juice of two grapefruits (about 1 to 1 1/4 cup liquid) – juice into a separate liquid measure cup, not the bowl
1/4 c. honey
2/3 cup tapioca starch
1 tiny drop of allergen-free red liquid food coloring (optional)
Directions – CRUST
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Coat a 9X9 inch baking dish with a little bit of the shortening or with cooking spray.
In a large bowl using a beater or in a stand mixer, beat the shortening and sugar together until well-combined. Add the remaining ingredients and beat for another minute or two until the mixture begins sticking together. If it is too crumbly, add a bit of liquid.
Press the mixture into the dish and bake for 15 minutes. Bring it out of the oven and let cool for a bit while you finish the filling.
Directions – FILLING
Stir together your egg replacer and set aside. (Note: if you do not have egg replacer and you are not allergic to eggs, use 4 eggs for this recipe. Alternatively, you can try flax or chia seed gel. If you do, let me know how it turns out as I have not tried a seed gel for this recipe yet.)
In a large bowl, add the tapioca starch and slowly whisk in the grapefruit juice until the starch is well combined. Add the remaining ingredients and whisk together until well combined. Pour the mixture gently on top of the cookie crust and return the pan to the oven.
Bake for approximately 25 minutes.* The edges will look set but the center will still be quite liquid. That is okay. Tapioca-based desserts tend not to be fully set until cooled completely.
*If using eggs in this recipe, bake about 30-35 minutes and make sure that the center is set before taking it out of the oven.
Let cool at room temperature for 15 minutes and then transfer to the refrigerator to further cool and set. It should be ready to cut and serve in about 2-3 hours.