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  • Writer's pictureAudrey Locy

Lemon Bars

An old, summer favorite of mine turned vegan! These sweet, tangy lemon bars are sure to bring back some childhood memories of sunshine and fun!

Circa summer of 2012, I went through a "lemon bar phase" where I baked lemon bars every single week for months. I just could not get enough of these scrumptious, tart treats! Now fast forward to today, I haven't had a lemon bar in years! Shocking, I know; but fear not, today we fixed that!

I finally made a favorite childhood treat completely vegan, and honestly I think these are exponentially better! And one of the best parts about lemon bars is that they could not be easier to make. With just a few ingredients, these will become a staple in your household guaranteed!

First, you will want to mix together the shortbread dough for the crust. If you've ever made shortbread before, this step will be a piece of cake! If this is your first time, allow me to explain the process of mixing in the butter. The butter must be cold before adding it to the dry ingredients. You will want to cut the butter into cubes about the size of a blueberry and drop the pieces into the dry ingredients. From here, you cut the butter into the dough either using a pastry dough knife, also known as a bench scraper, until it is broken into smaller pieces. Then go straight in with your hands and really break up the butter into the flour until you get a texture similar to sand or gravel. If you don't have a dough knife, you can mix with just your hands, however, try and be fast because the butter should remain as cold as possible.

Prep your baking dish with a piece of parchment paper, with the sides poking upward. This will ensure an easy removal of the bars after they have set. Press the dough into the bottom of the baking dish until it forms into a flat layer of shortbread. Bake this layer first for 20-22 minutes. Then whip together the wet ingredients in a pot on the stove until well combined. Cook on medium heat until the mixture thickens up into a custard consistency. Pour over the baked shortbread and place back into oven for another 15-17 minutes.

Place the cooled lemon bars into the fridge to set for at least 2 hours. I normally let mine set over night so they are nice and firm. In my 9x13 baking dish, I cut my squares into 15 large squares, but you can cut them into smaller portions and get 24. Top with powdered sugar when set, grab your sunglasses, find some sunshine, and enjoy!


Lemon Bars

Prep time: 40 min Cook/Set time: 2+ hrs

Total time: 2 hrs 40 min+

Cuisine: Vegan

Servings: 15 *

Category: Desserts


Shortbread crust:

2 cups flour

2/3 cup sugar

1 cup butter, cold

1/2 tsp salt


Lemon filling:

1 cup lemon juice

2 cups sugar

1 can coconut milk

1 Tbsp lemon zest

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 cup cornstarch

1/4 tsp turmeric


powdered sugar


Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350°F (~175 °C).

2. In a large bowl, mix together flour, sugar, and salt until well combined.

3. Cut cold butter into little cubes and place into dry ingredients. Cut butter into the flour mixture, with a pastry dough knife, until it becomes partially combined. Finish combining butter with your hands until the shortbread dough looks like sand.

4. Cut a piece of parchment paper to fit into your baking dish while having tabs on either side to help with easy removal. Place dough into your 9 by 13 baking dish and press with hands into an even layer.

5. Bake dough for 20 - 22 minutes until edges are slightly golden.

6. In a medium sauce pan, whisk together the ingredients for the lemon filling until well combined. Heat on medium until thickened. (The color should become more vibrant and the texture should resemble a custard.)

7. Once the dough is cooked, let cool slightly. Then pour lemon filling onto the dough and place in oven for another 15-17 minutes.

8. Remove the lemon bars from the oven and let cool for about 30 minutes before placing into the fridge. Then, place in the fridge and let cool for at least 2 hours. (I like to cool mine over night to ensure they are firm.)

9. Once completely set and cooled, slice into 15 even squares and sprinkle with powdered sugar. Use the parchment tabs to pull bars out of the dish and enjoy!


Notes

** I cut my bars into 15 servings. However, these are large lemon bars, so you can easily cut the tray 4 x 6 and get 24 lemon bars out of the recipe.




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