As soon as I saw Laura Calder make her lemon madeleines on the Food Network many years ago, I fell in love with these pretty little French teacakes. They’re just so delicate and snack-sized that you can’t help but feel sophisticated when you nibble them. When I finally managed to track down these pans a few years ago at a kitchen supply store, I used her recipe to make a batch. And then the pans went into hibernation for a while as I explored other kitchen adventures.
I decided to pull out my madeleine pans two weekends ago when I wanted to make something sweet for a dinner party in honour of a close friend who was moving to Vancouver. Of course, I had to find a healthier version to make, and decided on a gluten-free recipe that I modified from La Tartine Gourmande (she has a gorgeous website full of beautiful photos). Her recipe is a marbled chocolate vanilla madeleine (which I think would be lovely for the holidays), which I made into a lemon version, uplifting and unexpected for winter. They turned out delicious and they are actually not complicated at all to make requiring only the special scalloped pan, some elbow grease and an oven.
Gluten-free Lemon Madeleines (modified from La Tartine Gourmande)
- 3/4 cup quinoa flour
- 1/2 cup ground almonds
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 3 organic eggs
- 1/3 cup organic blond cane sugar
- Pinch of sea salt
- 1/2 cup organic butter, melted and cooled slightly
- 1 tbsp. pure vanilla extract
- zest of 1 organic lemon
1. Preheat oven to 420 degrees Fahrenheit and thoroughly grease a madeleine pan with organic butter. I like to tear off a piece of the foil wrapper around the butter and use that to grease the pan. Put the pan in the freezer.
2. Combine the dry ingredients in a small bowl: quinoa flour, ground almonds and baking powder.
3. In a medium bowl, beat together the eggs and sugar and salt until foamy. Then add the butter, vanilla and lemon zest.
4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir until well-mixed. To avoid having the batter spread during baking, let refrigerate for an hour. If you are in a hurry, you can bake them right away, just don’t fill the molds up as full.
5. Remove the prepared mold from the freezer and fill about 3/4 full with the batter.
6. Bake in the oven for 7 minutes, then reduce the heat to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and bake for 4-5 more minutes. The tops may crack a bit (that’s apparently good!) and the edges may be golden. Remove the pan from the oven and let cool for a few minutes. If the batter has baked over the edge of the mold, use a knife to cut around the cookie while still warm in the pan. Carefully remove each madeleine from the pan and cool completely on a rack.
7. Serve warm immediately (to die for!) or let cool completely and store in an airtight container for a few days.