MThe theory is that everyone has a pudding by default. My dad will always choose the cheesecake, my daughter the ice cream, my husband loves the cheese plates and my best friend the chocolateiest thing on the menu. My weakness has always been lemon tart. Because of this lifelong love, I was skeptical that I could come up with a vegan take that would satisfy my own appetite, but here we are. In this recipe, the silken tofu forms a rich base to top the sharp winter lemons. It is different from the traditional pie in that it is fresher and brighter, so it is by no means a substitute, but another wonderful lemon pie in its own right.
You will need a 24cm removable bottom tart pan and some navy beans (or dried beans) and a food processor. The remaining lemons can be used to decorate the pie, as in the photo. It is best to eat the pie on the day of its preparation or soon after.
Preperation 20 mins
to cook 1h10
Makes 1 tart of 24 cm, for 8 people
For the pastry
150g plain flour
2 tablespoons caster sugar
½ teaspoon fine sea salt
75g vegan butter, cold
For the curd filling
2 packets of 300 g of silken tofu, drained (drained weight 580 g) – I love Clearspring
7 lemons, zested and pressed, to obtain 240ml
200g caster sugar
50ml soy milk
4 tablespoons cornstarch
100g vegan butter, melted
¼ teaspoon turmeric
For the dough, in a food processor, mix the flour, sugar and salt a few times to combine. Add the butter, mix for about a minute, add a tablespoon of pulsed water until the dough comes together, then stop – don’t overprocess it or the dough will be tough. Spread the dough on a work surface, assemble it with your hands into a disk, then wrap it in parchment paper and put in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat the oven to 190C (170C fan)/375F/Gas 5. For the filling, place the tofu, lemon juice and zest, and sugar in a food processor, then pulse to combine. Make a slurry with the soymilk and cornmeal, then add this and the melted butter to the lemon and blitz mixture to mix. Add the turmeric, stir again, then scrape the filling into a pitcher and set aside while you blind bake the pie shell.
Take the dough out of the fridge and roll it out on a clean, floured work surface into a 32cm diameter circle. Using the rolling pin to assist, gently lift the circle of dough into the pie shell, then using your thumbs gently help it into the edges and sides. Once lined, tear off a piece of parchment paper large enough to cover the pie shell with plenty of excess, lay it on top and fill the pie shell with baking beans or similar. Bake blind for 15 minutes, then remove and check the pan for doneness: once the batter begins to be dry and pale beige in color, remove the paper and beans, and bake the pan for another six minutes, until until it is just beginning to brown.
Pour the lemon mixture into the blind-baked pie shell, tap the mold on a flat surface to even out the filling and return to the oven for 30 minutes. After this time, the pie will not look well baked, but don’t worry: just take it out of the oven, let it cool to room temperature, then put it in the fridge for at least two hours, until until the filling is set and the pie is ready to slice and serve.