Saturday, 28 August 2010

Vegan Lemon-Berry Tarts from Sweet Utopia

These are by far my most popular vegan desserts - my guys can't stop eating them - including my very picky, decidedly non-vegan teenage son.
The filling is made the cornstarch method- I have used this before with puddings and pie fillings and it is great for vegan style desserts as you can bypass the need for eggs as a stabilizer.
The recipe calls for one 9-inch tart but I made it in my mini cheese-cake moulds, any other little tart moulds would be great too. If you have never made vegan dessert before, this would be the perfect one to start with. The recipe is very straight forward and the results are delicious.
The author guarantees "Sweet Success" with her recipes, and has a beautiful range of treats from rum balls to ice creams to decadent cakes, brownies, cookies and custards. She even offers an ingredient substitution chart that includes non-vegan alternatives if you wish.
I would say that you could find pretty much all of the ingredients in a well-stocked supermarket - with the possible exception of vegan butter substitute. (Sharon recommends Earth Balance, which I can't find, but vegan margarine will do - sticks are best)
So c'mon, get your vegan on! And have a lemon tart!

Sweet Utopia
Simply Stunning Vegan Desserts
Sharon Valencik
with photos by Milan Valencik
Softcover, 184 pages

Graham Cracker Crust *nut free

1½ cups graham cracker pieces or crumbs (about 1 sleeve of graham crackers)
1/3 cup canola oil
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 tablespoon water

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and oil and flour a 9-inch pie pan or springform pan. Process the graham crackers in a food processor or blender until finely ground. Add the oil, sugar, and water and process until combined. Press into the prepared pan. Bake for 10 minutes. Let cool before filling.

Lemon-Berry Tart *nut free

1 Graham Cracker Crust (above) prepared in a 9-inch tart or pie pan (or minis, as I have done)

Lemon Filling
¼ cup cornstarch
2 cups vanilla soy milk
2/3 cups granulated sugar
¼ cup plus 2 tbsp lemon juice
1½ tablespoons finely grated lemon peel
1½ teaspoons lemon extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 to 3 cups sliced strawberries, raspberries, and/or blackberries

To make the filling, combine the cornstarch with 3 to 4 tablespoons of the soymilk in a medium saucepan and whisk until there are no lumps. Place on medium heat and whisk in the remainder of the soymilk and all of the sugar. Cook, whisking often, for about 7 minutes, or until the mixture thickens but does not boil. Whisk vigorously as it thickens to that the mixture is smooth. Remove from heat and pour into a medium bowl. Immediately whisk in the lemon juice, lemon peel, and extracts. Whisk rapidly until the mixture is smooth with no lumps. Pour into the cooled crust. Cool, cover loosely, and refrigerate for 3 to 5 hours before serving.
To garnish, top with the strawberries arrange in a spiral just before serving. Store leftovers loosely covered in the refrigerator.
Serves 8

Three cute little vegan lemon tarts are we...!