Lemon Rosemary Squares
The Lemon Square is one of my favorite desserts of all time. I adore a sweet treat with a bit of zing. As a child, this made me strange. At a bake sale or church potluck, I’d have the opportunity to choose just one thing. “One thing!” my parents would say. If a Lemon Square was on display it would easily trump a chocolate chip cookie or a chewy brownie. No contest there.
When I became a vegan, I thought I’d have to say goodbye to my beloved Lemon Square because how could that chewy, airy layer be created without the lightness of beaten egg whites? It can be done folks, it can be done. And the result is a cholesterol-free version without that “egg-y” taste that had already begun to turn me off, even as a vegetarian.
These vegan Lemon Squares boast all the qualities of the original but are slightly more rich and dense. To that I say “Bring it on!” since the last time I checked, “rich” and “dense” were pretty awesome adjectives when being used to describe a dessert. Add in the subtle touch of fresh rosemary to curb the sweet tartness of these beauties and you have yourself a winner.
Bring these to your next bake sale or potluck and be prepared to make some new friends, or polish off a pan all by yourself. Did I mention they keep really well in the fridge? So take your time and enjoy… ; ) Here’s what you’ll need for a 9 x 13-inch pan:
For the crust layer
- 1 cup vegan butter, softened
- 2 tbsp powdered sugar
- 2 cups whole wheat flour
For the filling
- 1-3/4 cups sugar (Or a little more or less, depending on your preference. I actually used 1-1/3 cups of sugar and thought it was plenty sweet)
- equivalent of 4 eggs with vegan egg replacer (I use Ener-G brand)
- 1/3 cup lemon juice
- 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp rosemary (finely minced)
- fresh sprigs of rosemary
- powdered sugar
Preheat your oven to 350. Lightly grease your 9 x 13 pan.
Make the crust by creaming the vegan butter and powdered sugar with an electric mixer until smooth. Add in the whole wheat flour and blend until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Pour the mixture into your greased pan and press it down until it’s an even, firm layer. Bake it at 350 for 20 minutes or until golden brown.
In a large bowl, make the filling by whisking together the sugar, egg replacer and lemon juice. Add in the whole wheat flour and baking powder and whisk until smooth. Finally, stir in the minced rosemary. 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 garnish with powdered sugar and sprigs of fresh rosemary.
Happy eating! * Be sure to check out my Orange Squares too! : )