Friday, July 6, 2012

Its hip to be square, when you are a lemon square.

Let me start by saying I don't love lemon. Especially not as a dessert. In my life, if it doesn't have chocolate, it is not a dessert. Which is probably why I made the chocolate chip coconut cookies the same night I made these lemon squares. But, I have now changed my mind. It is ok to skip chocolate if one of these squares are in sight. If it were not for the towering lemon tree we have in our front yard I would not have looked through every index of every cookbook under L for lemon until I found an intriguing recipe for lemon bars. Of course this recipe was put together by the brainy gals behind Veganomicon, Isa and Terry. It is an involved recipe with time spent on several different stages of prep and assembly. But, the glory that awaits at the end is SO worth it. Most of the time is spent as down time, chill time anyway. Here is how this late night cooking activity went down.
Make crust:
  •  1 3/4 c flour
  • 2/3 c confectioners' sugar + more for finishing touches and decorative purposes
  • 1/4 c cornstarch 
  • 1 c coconut earth balance 
  • 1 lemon shandy leinenkugel, to sip while baking, not to add to the mix.
Throw it all  into the food processor and pulse until coarse and crumby-10sec. Spoon and press into greased 9x13 dish. Play tetris in the fridge by shuffling around jars and produce boxes to make room for this dish to cool for 30 min in the fridge. Then bake for 30 min at 350.
While that is going on, continue to sip beverage, and prepare the filling.
 Fill crust:
  • 1 1/3 c water
  • 3 tbs agar agar flakes-interesting lil ingredient - vital to vegan substitution of gelatin
  • 1 1/4 c granulated sugar
  • 1/8 tsp tumeric-natural food coloring
  • 2/3 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 3 tbs arrowroot powder
  • 1 tbs lemon zest
  • 1/4 c almond milk 
  • 1 more lemon shandy leinenkugel to sip while stirring, not to add to the mix. 
Let the agar agar flakes soak in the water in a saucepan for 15 min. Once soaked, begin to heat until the mixture boils for 10 min. 

Go outside and pick your lemons from your tree,
juice them,

 and zest them

Mandolin lemon into slices and remove rind for decoration later.

 Once agar agar mixture has boiled for 10 min, add tumeric and sugar, stir until all is dissolved. Turn down heat and add arrow root and fresh lemon juice. Let dissolve. Lastly add lemon zest and milk. Whisk until thick. Be careful not to boil, bubbles are cool, but don't let it get out of hand. Take a deep inhale through the nose, it smells citrusy and sweet.
Pour the lemony mixture onto the shortbread crust you created earlier. Let it cool at room temperature before you stick back into the fridge. Refrigerate for a minimum of 3 hrs.
Once the lemony filling has jelled and is jiggling with a good shake you are ready to slice and square these lemon bars up. Sift confectioner's sugar over the beauties and top with sliced lemon decoration.

Share a square with a friend on a summer afternoon.

Made with lots of lemony love,

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