I adore lemon squares and have made a vegan version that satisfies my craving from time to time. But my dear husband has never been a fan. The tartness of the lemon has always been a bit too much for him. So I was determined to come up with a solution that would tickle both our tongues.
Allow me to introduce you to the Orange Square. It has all the chewy, sweet, citrusy goodness of a lemon square with only a fraction of the zing. It’s a pleasant surprise for those expecting the standard lemon square. And with healthier ingredients than what you’d normally find with this type of dessert — the crust is made from whole wheat flour and ground almonds — you can indulge without too much guilt. That’s how I like it!
Here’s what you’ll need for the crust:
- 2 cups whole wheat flour
- 1/2 cup ground almonds
- 1/2 cup brown rice syrup
- 1 tbsp fresh orange juice
- 1/2 cup vegan butter, softened
And for the top layer:
- 1-3/4 cup sugar
- equivalent of 4 eggs with vegan egg replacer (I use Ener-G brand)
- 2 tsp orange zest
- 1/3 cup fresh orange juice
- 1/2 tsp orange extract
- 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
If you were unable to find ground almonds, grind your own. I took slivered almonds and placed them in a food processor.
In a large bowl, combine the flour, ground almonds, brown rice syrup and orange juice until well blended. Using two knives, cut the vegan butter into the mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs like this:
Bake it at 350 for 20 minutes or until golden brown.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the sugar, egg replacer, orange zest, orange juice and orange extract. Add in the whole wheat flour and baking powder and whisk until smooth. Pour this mixture over the crust layer, using a spatula to spread it evenly if necessary. Return the pan to the oven for another 20 minutes.
When you remove it from the oven, the top layer should be bubbly but may still appear like a liquid. It will solidify as it cools.
Once the pan is completely cool, cut into squares and sprinkle with powdered sugar. I don’t own a sieve but I use a tea strainer to do this. I place some powdered sugar into the tea strainer and then using a small spoon, move the sugar around in the strainer while holding it over the squares. The sugar will sift evenly through it.