Prep 20 mins
Cook 1 hr 20 mins
You don't have to be a vegetarian to enjoy these! However, they are a great option for anyone on a no/low cholesterol regimen since they are egg free. Cook time includes time needed to "set".
- 1⁄2 cup lemon juice, freshly squeezed
- 3 tablespoons agar, flakes
- 1⁄2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1⁄2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
- 1 cup granulated raw sugar (I like using granulated cane juice when I can find it)
- 1⁄3 cup margarine, chilled
- 2 teaspoons arrowroot
- 1 cup reduced-fat coconut milk
- 2 lemons, zest of, grated large
- powdered sugar (optional)
- Grate the zest from 2 large or 3 medium lemons, then squeeze the lemons to obtain the 1/2 lemon juice for the recipe.
- Combine lemon juice and agar flakes in a small non-reactive saucepan (stove method) or a 2 cup heatproof measuring cup (microwave method) and set aside for 15 minutes or until the agar has softened.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Grease an 8x8 baking pan.
- Whisk flour and 1/4 cup sugar together in a medium bowl.
- Add margarine in small chunks and cut in with a pastry cutter until mixture resembles small crumbs.
- Press crumb mixture evenly into the prepared baking pan.
- Bake for about 10-12 minutes in the preheated oven or until lightly browned at the edges.
- Let crumb base cool.
- If you will be using the stove to heat the lemon mixture, place the saucepan with the lemon and agar on the burner and bring to a boil over medium low heat.
- Simmer, whisking every few minutes, until the agar dissolves; about 10 minutes.
- If you will be using the microwave to heat the lemon mixture, place the heatproof measuring cup with the lemon mixture into the microwave and cook on high for 1 minute.
- Remove the cup from the microwave and stir.
- Continue to cook the mixture on high at 30 second intervals, stirring well after each time.
- The agar should be dissolved after about 2 minutes of cooking, though this depends on the microwave.
- Now, combine 3/4 cup sugar with the arrowroot powder in a small saucepan.
- Add the coconut milk and stir together.
- Bring this mixture to a boil over medium heat, stir, then reduce heat and simmer for 1 minute.
- Remove the pan from the heat and add the lemon juice mixture and the lemon zest.
- Pour lemon filling into the baking pan on top of the crust and let it set at room temperature for about 1 hour.
- At this point, either serve the lemon bars or cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 3 days.
- Bring the bars to room temperature before serving.
- Dust with powdered sugar, slice into 12 bars and serve.
- NOTE: It is very important that your agar flakes be fresh or their jelling power may be lessened.
- To test your agar for this recipe, put a spoonful of the prepared lemon mixture on a small plate and chill it for 15 minutes.
- The mixture should be firm.
- If it isn't, dissolve some more agar and stir it into your lemon mixture and repeat the test until the mixture jells properly.