Saturday, February 14, 2009

Saint Valentine's Lemon Bars

LinkI have been craving a lemony dessert for a while so when I was trying to figure out what kind of tasty treat I could whip up for Valentine's Day that would be good and easy, I set out on the search for the perfect lemon bar recipe. The Veganomicon recipe was a bit involved with its call for both agar agar and arrowroot powder, so I opted to use the version in The Joy of Vegan Baking.

This is a wonderfully simple recipe. The crust is a simple shortbread made with vegan margarine, powdered sugar, and flour. The filling is simply lemon, silken tofu, sugar, flour, and cornstarch. This was my first time using silken tofu and I'm not sure I used it the correct way. After I had blended all the filling ingredients, the mixture was surprisingly runny. Sure enough, I had to add 12 minutes on to the suggested 20 minute baking time to get the filling to set and not be a runny mess. I am assuming this means I was supposed to drain the tofu first? That had occurred to me before I started but I didn't see any mention of draining the tofu in the recipe nor was it explained in any other part of the book, so I thought that you just must not have to drain silken tofu. Can anyone advise me on this? I'd like to try a silken tofu chocolate mousse next but if it will be runny like this filling was before I baked it, I won't even bother. If you are indeed supposed to drain it, how do you do it? It's very fragile so I can't imagine it holding up well being pressed between paper towels.
The only baking dish I had that was an appropriate size was this round one, so I guess these are more like lemon bar pie slices than lemon bars. I added about 1/8 teaspoon of turmeric to give the filling the yellow hue of traditional lemon bars. I used Twizzler's Pull 'N' Peels (yup, they're vegan!) to form little hearts for a garnish. I didn't really believe the recipe when it said that the powdered sugar on top would sink into the filling, but it's true. After about twenty minutes the powdered sugar had disappeared, so make sure you do that step just right before your about to serve these babies up.

Even with the hardened crust that came with the extra baking time I tacked on, these lemon slices were deeeeelish and the recipe was easy enough for me to whip it up quickly after work. Happy Valentine's Day!!!

11 comments:

Vegyogini said...

You shouldn't need to drain the silken tofu first. It's probably just a simple measuring issue. How did you measure it? You could either pack it into a dry measuring cup or you could use the displacement method and put a block into a liquid measuring cup that's filled with a cup of water. When the water comes up to the 1.5 cup level, you have 1/2 cup of tofu. I'd weigh it, though; that's the most accurate way to go. :)

All that being said, the one Joy of Vegan Baking recipe that I've tried was a complete disaster (and I'm a skilled baker), so maybe it's just the book! I've been reluctant to give it a second chance ever since.

trina said...

You do need to pour off the little bit of water in the package - that's the only draining necessary. After I slit it open, I pour out the excess liquid, holding the tofu safe in the box.

Happy Valentine's Day, Liz!

Virginia said...

i love lemon bars!! those look awesome! i have never tried that recipe but the best recipe that i have used is from vegweb.com and it is called "time-warp lemon bars". they are really really really good and SO simple!

Ruby Red Vegan said...

I made some lemon poundcake using silken tofu once and the silken tofu wasn't too hard to deal with. I just drained the box of excess liquid and patted the outside of the tofu lightly with a paper towel before I chunked the tofu into the blender. I love that your bars ended up being in a pie shape! It's kind of like cookie cake...but lemon bars!

Sophie said...

I like how you used the tumeric to give it color, and the twizzlers look so cute!

duodishes said...

Lemon bar pie's all good. How cute are the Twizzlers!

Kirby! said...

I love lemon bars!!! These look very delicious.

Katy said...

Besides dumping the excess water out of the box, I've never drained or pressed silken tofu. I've made this recipe, but I don't remember it being too liquidy or having to cook it longer (but it has been a while).
I've made chocolate mousse using silken tofu and it's wonderful and super easy! You should definitely try it!

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Bethany said...

mmmm... lemon bars. one of my alltime faves.

I sort of drain silken tofu, but it's really slight. i put a knife inside the box between the box and the tofu itself, so it can drain out. maybe add in more thickener next time.

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