Snow is knee-deep in stormy Quebec and I’ve been on a quest for bright and sunny recipes to help me feel like I am living where there is white sand and turquoise water. Indeed, when my toes begin to freeze over, I love envisioning myself in more tropical and exotic regions, hence today’s recipe – lemon pie bars.
I love how tart and lovely this popular pie is but the thought of making it with the usual eggs, gelatin (hi-bye pork bone extract), bleached flour and butter makes me want to give it a makeover. Therefore, today I bring you a veganized version of it (vegan fist pump!). For the custard-like filling, the lemon curd is sweet without being overly sweet, and vegan and organic Earth Balance spread is used in the place of butter. Plus, I honestly have to say I had never used so much lemon zest in a recipe but I am really loving what it has yielded as a result 🙂 . The crust is reminiscent of shortbread and is perfectly crumbly.
The pretty bright yellow hue of lemons just makes me happy. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that lemons bring me back to the Amalfi coat of Italy, where lemons are everywhere, as large as fists and the freshest I’ve ever laid taste buds upon.
All along the Amalfi coast, I saw lemon trees. From my understanding, the lemons were first brought to this region hundreds of years ago on trade routes from the Middle East and were sought out by sailors for their capacity to ward off scurvy and other ailments whilst at sea.
It doesn’t get much fresher than this. 🙂 The smell in this lemon grove was intoxicating.
A word about the goodness in lemons. Lemons contain flavonoids, a type of antioxidant which helps to slow progression of cancer. Also, limonoids, another compound found in lemons, are too thought to have anti-cancer properties. Lemons also possess anti-inflammatory qualities and a healthy dose of vitamin C. In sum, a lemon a day keeps the doctor away. 😉
Without further beating around the bush, here is the recipe. Let me know how yours turn out! 😉
The Lemoniest Lemon Squares Eva
For the crust:
- 1/2 cup Earth Balance margarine
- 1/4 cup icing sugar
- 1 cup organic all-purpose flour (unbleached)
For the heavenly filling:
- 1/8 tsp. turmeric (don’t worry, even the most trained palate will not detect this spice)
- 1/2 cup organic silken tofu
- 1 cup organic sugar
- Juice and zest of 3 organic lemons
- 2 tbsp. cornstarch
- 2 tbsp. organic all-purpose flour
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Grease an 8 in. x 8 in. square pan with coconut oil or Earth Balance margarine.
- Pulse crust ingredients together in a food processor until ingredients form a coarse meal.
- Press crust mixture into bottom of pan and using a fork, poke a few holes into the crust.
- Bake crust for 20 minutes in oven.
- During this time, prepare the smooth and soft filling for the squares. Mix all ingredients for the filling in a food processor.
- Once crust is baked, pour filling atop it and place in the oven for another 30-40 minutes.
- Allow to cool before sprinkling with icing sugar.
- Cut into about 16 squares.
- Taste. Jubilate.
I truly love how the yellow tint of the filling intensifies with cooking.
Gorgeous cafe-style bars you can really sink your teeth into. 😉
Stay sweet my friends! 🙂