This Mother’s Day, Budget Low Carb is all about the lemon. Show Mom you love her with a special dessert for less than 10g of net carbohydrates per serving. It’s even more special when these desserts come in under $10 for a family of 4 and won’t leave a sour expression on Mom’s face!
Make Mom a simple low carb meal, such as grilled or pan-seared halibut with fennel and roasted tomatoes (see Dana Carpender’s recipe in Dana’s Kitchen—available in the April Issue of CarbSmart Magazine on sale now at the iTunes newsstand) along with a green salad—perfect! And since we’re talking BLC, if your budget doesn’t stretch to halibut, Dana’s recipe works fantastically with a more budget-friendly fish such as cod, scrod, tilapia, pangasius, or haddock! Any white-fleshed fish works great.
Finish the meal with one of the following BLC-friendly lemon desserts and you’ll “truly” feed your Mom from the soul and nourish her with health this Mother’s Day. If you had to choose between a box of pre-made chocolates or gorgeous lemon cakes, or perhaps, lemon custard with gingersnap crust and a dollop of lemon curd…well we know the choice our CarbSmart staffers made! Pucker up, buttercup!
Raspberry Lemon Cakes
For 4 Servings: $8.28
Cost: 6 servings $12.42
Per Serving: $2.07
Serving Size: 1 cake Yields: 6, 4 ounce ramekins of cake
Preparation Time: 15 Minutes
Total Time: 40-45 Minutes
This recipe is morphed from a version I fell in love with online, but it was high carb and what to do? So I low carbed it. Fantastic and so easy! Remember it’s just a basic type of Revolutionary Roll technique!
- 2 large eggs — separated
- ½ cup sugar equivalent, powder after measuring
- 1 tablespoon coconut flour
- ½ tablespoon oat fiber
- 1 tablespoon King Arthur – Multi-Purpose Gluten Free Bake Mix, or almond flour, or Carbquik
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter — melted
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest — zest of 1 lemon
- 2 lemons juiced –between 3-4 tablespoons of freshly squeezed juice (take the seeds out)
- 1/8 teaspoon Kosher salt — 1 pinch
- 2/3 cup cream, heavy
- 1/3 cup Greek yogurt
- 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1 ½ cups raspberries, raw, custom — divided
- 2 quarts water — hot tap water
- ½ cup raspberries, raw, custom
- 1/8 cup sugar equivalent, powder after measuring
- Preheat oven to 350°. Assemble 6-4 ounce ramekins or custard cups inside a 9×13 inch baking pan.
- Measure out 1/2 cup of sugar equivalent. Place into a clean coffee grinder (I use one reserved for powdering sweeteners — $5.00 at Big Lots — cuz it’s easier). Pulse to a fine powder.
- With an electric mixer, beat egg yolks and powdered sweetener until thick and lemony colored (about 2-3 minutes). Add melted butter, zest, lemon juice, salt, cream, and Greek yogurt. Mix until well-combined.
- In a separate, deep bowl, beat egg whites until frothy. Add cream of tartar and resume beating. Beat whites to the stiff peak stage. Lift the beater, if the whites form a “dollop” on the end of the beater and the tip of it curls slightly when lifted, but otherwise holds its shape, the whites are ready!
- If using the same beater you used for to beat the egg yolk mixture, be sure to wash them well after beating the yolks. Beaters must be free of any oil or grease in order for the egg whites to fully expand. I wipe my beaters after washing with a paper towel moistened with vinegar to remove any oily residue. (Because I work quickly, I frequently prepare the egg yolk ingredients and beat the egg whites first, then switch over and quickly beat the yolk mixture, but you have to work fast so the whites don’t have time to deflate. That way, I don’t have to wash the beaters in between.)
- Fold egg whites into yolk mixture in 3 additions. The first loosens it and can be done without care. The second two additions should use gentle folding motions using large spatula.
- Gently fold in 1 1/2 cups raspberries. Try not to break the raspberries.
- Spoon into ramekins. Arrange the ramekins inside a large baking pan. Place baking dish onto middle rack of oven. Fill baking pan with hot tap water to within about 1 to 1 1/2 inches of the top of the ramekins. I use a pitcher and do this once the pan and baking rack are in the baking position. It prevents the hot water from splashing into your batter and ruining the cakes.
- Bake 30-35 minutes at 350° or until tops are just golden and middle is cooked. Remove ramekins and allow the Raspberry Lemon Cakes to cool at least 30 minutes before serving. Serve warm, dusted with powdered Swerve and garnished with 2-3 additional and perfect raspberries per serving.
Per Serving: 207 Calories; 18g Fat (73.6% calories from fat); 4g Protein; 10g Carbohydrate; 4g Dietary Fiber; 6g Net Carbohydrate
Serving Ideas: Serve Lemon Cakes with a dollop of whipped cream and a sprig of mint. Make Mom a cup of hot coffee in her best china! Perfect!
Susie T’s NOTES: Lemon Cakes are a perfect end to a delicious low carb meal – just a taste of something light and lemony. Mom will love them!
Make the batter ahead of time, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until ready to bake. You can also bake them ahead and reheat when ready–only 30 seconds in the microwave. It’s a great dessert, cake-like on the bottom and custard on top. So creamy, and the raspberries are dispersed throughout for a burst of tart spring flavor.
(I do not figure the sweetener into the nutritional calculations because it isn’t digested.)
My Fluffy Chix Cook favorite combination for 1 cup Sugar Equivalent is: powder after measuring
½ c granular erythritol
¼ c granular xylitol
1/12 teaspoon stevia powder (I use Sweet Leaf and 1/3 teaspoon = ¼ cup sugar equivalent)
Lemon Berry Custard with Gingersnap Crusts
For 4 Servings: $8.16
Cost: 6 servings $12.24
Per Serving: $2.04
Serving Size: 1 ramekin Yields: 6 ramekins
Preparation Time: 15 Minutes (If gingersnaps and lemon curd are made ahead)
Total Time: 45 Minutes
A simple and delicious dessert. The lemon custard is fantastic on its own, but add the gingersnap crust and a dollop of lemon curd, and the entire dessert becomes worthy of rave reviews.
- 12 servings Gingersnaps (Recipe Follows), or ground walnuts or almond flour
- 1 tablespoon sugar equivalent, powder after measuring
- 1 tablespoon coconut flour – Bob’s Red Mill
- ¼ cup unsalted butter — melted
- 3 cups heavy cream
- 1 ½ tablespoons lemon zest — about 1 1/2 lemons zested
- ½ cup sugar equivalent, powder after measuring
- 1/8 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 6 large egg yolks
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 quarts hot water
- 12 raspberries
- 6 tablespoons Low Carb Lemon Curd (Recipe Follows)
- Preheat oven to 350°. Place oven rack in center of oven.
- In a food processor or blender, crumble gingersnaps and pulse into crumbs. (Note: Cookies need to be crisp to form crumbs. You may need to place them back into the oven and re-bake for about 3-5 minutes. Remove and cool on wire racks, then make crumbs with them.)
- Add melted butter, coconut flour and 1 tablespoon sugar equivalent. Pulse to combine.
- Divide crumbs between 6 ramekins. Press firmly into the bottoms and about ½ inch up the sides. Bake crusts at 350° for 5-8 minutes, until crusts are set. Remove and cool completely—about 30 minutes.
- Turn oven down to 325°.
- Using a microplane, finely grate the zest of 2 lemons, about 1 ½ to 2 heaping tablespoons. Juice and strain lemons and reserve (about 1-2 lemons).
- In heavy, medium saucepan, over medium heat, combine heavy cream, lemon zest, sweetener, and salt. Stir with a spatula until sugar dissolves. Don’t whisk. You don’t want to introduce air into the cream. Heat cream until you see whiffs of steam start to rise, you may even see small bubbles forming around the sides of the pan. The sweetener will be dissolved.
- While cream heats, beat eggs with a whisk until frothy (about a minute). Slowly whisk cream into egg yolks. Add vanilla extract and lemon juice. Strain custard with a fine mesh strainer to remove any egg pieces, shell, and lemon zest. The texture needs to be smooth. Divide custard between the 6 ramekins.
- Place ramekins onto baking pan into a large roasting pan on the middle rack of oven. Pour in enough hot water to come about halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake until custard is just set but still wiggly in the center–about 30-45 minutes.
- Remove custards from water bath when done. Cool completely. Wrap tightly with plastic and chill a minimum of 4-6 hours or up to 2-3 days. They’re better the second day.
- Top with berries and serve immediately!
Per Serving: 705 Calories; 71g Fat (88.2% calories from fat); 10g Protein; 11g Carbohydrate; 2g Dietary Fiber; 9g Net Carbohydrate
Serving Ideas: A glass of champagne would be fabulous with this dessert, as would a gorgeous cup of coffee.
Susie T’s NOTES: While the low carb gingersnap crust and lemon curd are optional, they add so much definition to this gorgeous lemon custard. I highly recommend making gingersnaps and lemon curd ahead and storing them in the freezer for future use. The snaps are based on Dana Carpender’s TNT recipe.
Per Cookie: $0.32
Yields: 42 Cookies
Preparation Time: 20 Minutes
Total Time: 60 Minutes (not including chilling time)
Delicious and crispy. Perfect on their own or to replace graham crackers in crumb piecrust. This recipe is morphed from Dana Carpender’s TNT gingersnap recipe. Thanks, Dana!
- ½ cup sesame seeds
- ½ cup rolled oats, gluten-free, old-fashioned long cooking (Bob’s Red Mill)
- ½ cup pumpkin seeds, hulled and unsalted
- ¼ cup unsalted butter
- ½ cup coconut oil
- 1 cup sugar equivalent, powder after measuring
- 1 tablespoon blackstrap molasses
- 1 large egg
- 1 large egg white
- 1 cup vanilla whey protein isolate (I like Designer Whey brand)
- 1 teaspoons baking soda
- ½ teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground cloves
- Grind sesame seeds, pumpkin seed kernels and rolled oats to flour consistency in a clean coffee grinder or blender.
- With an electric mixer, “cream” the butter, coconut oil, sweetener and molasses until light and fluffy. Add whole egg and egg white until creamy and well combined.
- Mix nut and oat flour with vanilla whey protein powder, baking soda and spices. Add dry ingredients into wet and mix until well combined. Chill dough for about 30-45 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350°. Dough will be soft but will hold a shape. Spoon by scant tablespoons and form balls. Place on parchment lined baking sheet about 2 ½ inches apart–cookies will spread. Bake 7-9 minutes or until just starting to turn golden around the edges. Cool on wire racks and store in an airtight container.
Per Serving: 60 Calories; 5g Fat (72.8% calories from fat); 2g Protein; 2.14g Carbohydrate; .5g Dietary Fiber; 1.64g Net Carbohydrates.
Susie T’s NOTES: Dana’s original recipe called for 1 cup of almond meal. It will give you the best texture and taste, but if you are allergic to almonds, or you simply feel like playing around with a slightly different flavor, substitute the sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds and gluten-free oats blended to flour. The flavor is very good and quite different, but not as good as Dana’s Gingersnaps.
They work great in pie crusts to replace graham crackers. Keep them made up and frozen so you can grab them quickly for crumb crusts or for a bite of gingersnap with a spoon of lemon curd. Delicious and easy!
Per Serving: $0.10
Serving Size: 1 tablespoon Yield: 2 cups (32 tablespoons)
Preparation Time: 5 Minutes
Total Time: 13 Minutes
This recipe was morphed from two of my favorite cooks. It’s a beautiful recipe and you control the sweetness by adding concentrated sweetener drops after the curd is well-chilled.
- ½ cup ice-cold, unsalted butter – cut into ½ inch cubes
- 1 cup lemon juice — freshly squeezed
- ¼ cup sugar equivalent, powder after measuring
- ½ teaspoon EzSweetz — or concentrated stevia drops to equal 1 cup sugar equivalent
- 3 large eggs
- 1 large egg yolk
- 2 tablespoons lemon zest
- 1 pinch Kosher salt
- Cut well-chilled butter into 1/2 inch cubes.
- Measure, then powder, your granular sweetener in a clean coffee grinder. (I use one dedicated to grinding sweeteners and nuts/seeds.)
- In a microwave safe bowl, whisk powdered sweetener and eggs until smooth—2-3 minutes. This is the way to get a workout. Yolks will thicken slightly and turn pale yellow. Stir in lemon juice and zest. Add cubes of chilled butter and stir to coat butter with egg mixture.
- Microwave on high at 1 minute intervals, stirring completely after each minute. Curd is done when it coats the back of a spoon: dip the spoon and run your finger down the back side. It should remain separated and feel thickened. (About 5-8 minutes).
- (Optional Step) If you want a smooth curd, run it through a mesh strainer as soon as you remove it from microwave. Press with the back of a spoon and be sure to scrape the underside of the strainer to get all that lemon curd goodness back into your strained curd! I strain mine because I like it silky and smooth.
- Cool completely. Curd will continue to thicken as it cools. Lemon curd will last 2-3 weeks in the fridge, or portion and freeze it for up to 3 months.
- After curd is well-chilled, taste for sweetness level and adjust to suit your tastes with drops of your favorite concentrated sweetener such as EZSweetz or concentrated Stevia drops.
Per Serving: 36 Calories; 4g Fat (70.0% calories from fat); 1g Protein; 3g Carbohydrate; 2g Dietary Fiber; 1g Net Carbohydrate
Serving Ideas: Use in all types of desserts or on low carb scones and biscuits.
Susie T’s NOTES: A delicious lemon curd recipe that will serve you well for all sorts of desserts or for use with low carb biscuits, scones and biscotti.
You can make Lemon Curd using Meyer lemons which are a sweeter variety of lemon but if you do, cut back on the sweetening combination to about 1/2 cup sugar equivalent. You can also make Lime Curd made with freshly squeeze key limes or widely available Persian limes.
I keep lemon curd made up in the ice box at all times and even have an entire recipe portioned out and frozen in ice cube trays, then stored in a zip top bag for quick use in recipes. Each cube is 1/8 cup.
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