Lemon Chess Dessert

The new theme appears to be working quite well; I’ve gotten most of the bugs worked out – the only one left is a minor issue with my recipe plugin, and I’m just waiting to hear back from the developers on how to solve it.

In the meantime, it’s back to business as usual.

Today’s recipe was one of the indulgences we enjoyed as part of our Thanksgiving dinner – and boy, was it good.   Well, of course it was, since it is merely a reworking of my Lemon Chess Pie recipe.  The original recipe is baked in a crust and is made with refined sugar, milk and butter; this version is baked in individual bruleé dishes and is made with evaporated cane juice, ghee and coconut milk.  Yes, evaporated cane juice is sugar, but it’s not been refined and bleached so it retains what dubious nutritional value sugar cane possesses.  Besides, it is made from sugar cane, not sugar beets, one of the most widely genetically modified crops grown in this country.

A tablespoon of corn meal is also an ingredient, and one that I decided not to omit or change simply because it plays an integral part in the texture of the dessert.  Since I had a small bag of certified organic, gluten-free corn meal (corn meal is often produced in the same facilities as wheat flour, so it may not be gluten-free, even though corn itself is not a gluten-bearing grain), I decided to go ahead and include it.  It was, after all, a treat.  (You might be able to use almond flour instead, but I can’t vouch for how the dish will turn out.)

A treat we enjoyed for days – this is really, really rich and serves 10; each dish contains two servings, so it’s best to share.

Traditional lemon chess pie has a lovely lemon-yellow hue, but because I used evaporated cane juice the dessert was a rich caramel color, and since evaporated cane juice is more reminiscent of brown sugar in flavor, the flavor of this Lemon Chess Dessert is much more complex than the traditional pie.  It is absolutely delicious and decadent, and perfect for the holidays.

If you wish to go truly dairy-free, sub the ghee with coconut oil – I’ve used coconut oil in lemon curd before instead of butter, and it was quite good.  You could also cut down on the amount of sugar and carbs in the dessert by using coconut sugar; it will also be a little less sweet, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing, either.

Lemon Chess Dessert

Lemon Chess Dessert

Serves: 10
  • 2 cups evaporated cane juice
  • 1 tablespoon tapioca flour
  • 1 tablespoon corn meal
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup ghee, melted
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest, grated
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (about 1 large lemon)
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons coconut milk
  • 4 large eggs
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Butter or grease 5 individual brulee dishes.
  2. Whisk together the sugar, flour, cornmeal and salt. Add the melted ghee, zest, lemon juice, water and coconut milk; mix well. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  3. Divide the mixture evenly between the brulee dishes and bake until the desserts are set, about 30 to 35 minutes.
  4. Cool completely on a wire rack before serving.
  5. Nutrition (per serving): 218 calories, 7.2g total fat, 86.6mg cholesterol, 89mg sodium, 54.7mg potassium, 36g carbohydrates, <1g fiber, 34g sugar, 2.7g protein

10 thoughts on “Lemon Chess Dessert”

  1. I love citrus desserts. They just taste so fresh and delightful! This one looks particularly good.
    Speaking of fresh and delightful, I love the new site design. Awesome job! : D

    1. I, too, am partial to citrus desserts, and pretty much for the same reason. This is a good one.

      I’m digging the new site design, too – but I get a bit of a shock every time I open it in a browser. I guess I’m just not used to it yet!

  2. Lemon Chess Pie is one of my holiday favorites! I am so happy to have a paleo version! I need to skip dairy so I’ll try it with coconut oil when I make it! Yum!

    1. It is absolutely delicious – one of my favorites! I haven’t made it in a large dish, but I don’t see why you couldn’t; just increase the baking time to about 45 or 50 minutes. I hope it’s a hit at your Easter dinner! I’m trying out leg of lamb for the first time this year. 🙂

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