Each of my Grandma’s had a special dessert, one made the most amazing treacle sponge whilst the other always brought a gorgeous lemon cheesecake when she came to visit (the 1970’s traditional biscuit base with lemon and mascarpone cheese filling kind of cheesecake).
Trying to capture the flavours these childhood desserts evoke has been a quest and this lemon tart is our vegan, gluten-free and refined sugar-free sumptuous take on Grandma’s lemon cheesecake – I do miss the glace cherries though.
Both Sarah and I adore any dishes with a lemon twist to them, so expect to find more lemon recipes appearing.
The base of our vegan lemon tart is made with walnuts and almonds both nuts that complement the flavour of lemon perfectly. The filling is smooth, creamy and leaves a wonderfully clean feeling that only citrus can give your taste buds. In our opinion, this is a perfect dessert.
Soaking and chilling time – overnight
Prep time 30 minutes
Final chilling time minimum of 5 to 6 hours.
For the base
150g ground almonds
40g desiccated coconut
1 unwaxed lemon, zest
2 tbsp. maple syrup
200g cashews, soaked
150g coconut cream
Zest of 4 unwaxed lemons
Juice of 4 unwaxed lemons
100ml maple syrup
100g coconut oil, melted
NOTE on coconut cream –
we prefer using the coconut cream in a tin that has at most 2 ingredients on the label
– coconut and water.
We find this has a better flavour and consistency.
Place a tin of coconut cream in the fridge.
Tip the cashew nuts into a bowl and cover the nuts with cold water. Cover the bowl and leave the cashew nuts to soak for a minimum of 4 hours or ideally overnight. Alternatively, place the cashew nuts in a bowl and cover with slightly cooled boiled water, cover and leave for 2 hours – this won’t be as smooth but is still very effective.
To Make the Base
Use a loose bottomed flan dish about 22cm in diameter.
Line the sides and base of a loose bottomed flan dish with cling film – this ensures that the tart doesn’t stick.
Add the dates to a food processor and blend until they form a paste. Tip in the walnuts and blend again. Add the remaining ingredients and blend together until the mix binds together when squeezed in your hand. The longer you blend the base mix the smoother the texture.
Once the base mix binds, tip it into the flan dish and using your hands, or the back of a spoon, press down the mixture evenly across the base and up the sides of the dish.
Place in the fridge to chill whilst you make the lemon filling.
To Make the Filling
Remove the coconut cream from the fridge and scoop out just the thick coconut cream at the top, weigh out the amount needed.
Weigh out and gently melt the coconut oil either on a low setting in the microwave or in a small pan, then set to one side to cool slightly.
Drain and rinse the cashew nuts, add them to a high-powered blender or a food processor – a smoother resulting filling will be achieved with a blender. Then add the lemon zest, lemon juice, coconut cream, melted coconut oil and maple syrup. Fix the lid to the blender and then start on a slow setting, once it starts to combine turn up the blender to achieve a smooth lemon filling.
Remove the base from the fridge and pour in the lemon filling, gently tap the flan tin onto the worktop to remove any air bubbles in the filling surface.
Place in the fridge to chill for a minimum of 4 hours.
Once set remove the lemon tart from the fridge and slice to serve. You can decorate with lemon zest but to be honest this lemon tart really doesn’t need any adornment.
To store, cover and keep in the fridge for up to 3 days.