I used to love lemon bars growing up. In fact my Nana used to make the best tasting lemon bars south of the equator. We lived in South Africa then!
But for a long time I hadn’t enjoyed lemon bars because as most of you will know, they call for buckets of butter and extreme amounts of eggs. But then I decided to experiment with Nana’s lemon bar recipe and came up with what I humbly consider the best vegan lemon bars recipe.
I find these vegan lemon bars to be tasty and tangy, just like lemon bars should be. I also find the texture to be reasonably close. Regardless, using silken tofu does give these lemon bars a creamy and smooth texture that you would find from using eggs.
This recipe for lemon bars that are vegan have non cholesterol and less saturated fat than regular lemon bars.
In fact, a lot of recipes call for 4 eggs and a whole cup of butter. Substituting silken tofu and vegan margarine saves you 1,334 mg of cholesterol (there is no cholesterol in vegan lemon bars) and it saves you 106 grams of saturated fat. Classic lemon bars have 123 grams of sat fat as compared to vegan lemon bars’ 17 grams of sat fat.
This recipe will make about 24 lemon bars. Per serving you’re saving 56 mg of cholesterol and 4.4 grams of saturated fat.
Okay, let’s learn how to make vegan lemon bars.
Lemony vegans’ lemon bars
For the crust:
1 cup margarine
1/2 cup white sugar
2 cups of all purpose flour
For the filling:
1 cup of Mori-Nu medium or firm silken tofu
1/4 cup all purpose flour
Juice of 2 whole lemons
Preheat the oven to 350. In a medium bowl mix together all the ingredients for the crust i.e. 1 cup margarine, 1/2 cup sugar and 2 cups of flour. Press the crust onto the bottom of a non-stick 9 x 13 baking pan.
Bake the crust for about 15 to 20 minutes until crust is firm and looks golden.
In another clean bowl or food processor mix together all the filling ingredients i.e. 1 cup of silken tofu, 1/4 cup flour and juice from the 2 lemons.
You’ll find this easier to mix if you actually use a food processor rather than doing it in a bowl or by hand. This will also create a much smoother, custardy filling.
Pour the filling over the baked crust and bake for another 20 minutes. Allow to cool in the baking pan for 5 or so minutes before cutting into squares and then transfer to a wire rack to cool. Dust with icing sugar.
For a terrific vegan cookbook solely based on desserts and other yummy sweets that will astonish your friends and make your mouth drool you should take a look at My Sweet Vegan.
TIP: For a change of pace you can replace the lemon juice with lime juice and/or add a few drops of green food colouring for a festive St. Patrick’s Day green paddy’s day vegan limey bars!