Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Vegan lemon slice for a modern afternoon tea

Have you been watching the Diamond Jubilee celebrations in London? I hadn't thought much about them in the lead up to this week, but the news footage over the last few days has drawn me in. I found the progression of boats on the Thames particularly impressive, along with the general atmosphere of celebration in London and across the country. Even my grandparents, who aren't royalists by any stretch of the imagination, have decked out their house in East Sussex with flags and decorations. I guess 60 years doing one job is an impressive feat, royalty or not!


I suspect the Queen partakes in traditional afternoon teas, with scones and dainty sandwiches and perhaps some iced bun or small cakes. I had vaguely thought of making scones to honour her jubilee this week, mostly because I have been meaning to make them for some time and this seemed like as good an occasion as any. However, I am still obsessed with lemon, and after my recent bookclub lemon tart I have been thinking of ways to justify more lemon desserts.


I settled on this lemon slice. Slightly less decadent than tart, it is easy to justify as an afternoon tea snack. The lemon topping is the core component, with the flavours being strong and both sweet and tart. The base is more laid back, just barely sweet, and uses oats rather than standard flour. I found that the combination of the sweet topping and less sweet base worked well, and it helped to avoid the overpowering sweetness that I tend to associate with commercial lemon slices.

I'm not sure if it would be fit for a queen, but it is certainly proving to be fit for me.

Lemon slice

Adapted from the lemon almond torte in The 100 Best Vegan Baking Recipes
Vegan
Makes 1 loaf tin of slices - about 14 small pieces - with some lemon topping left over


Ingredients
For the base
1 cup oats
1/4 cup sugar
2 tbsp non-dairy spread, margarine or butter, melted
Up to 1 tbsp water, as needed

For the lemon topping
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
Juice and rind from 1 large lemon - about 1/2 cup lemon juice and 1 tsp grated lemon rind


Method
For the base
Preheat the oven to 180'C.

In a food processor, process the oats until crumb-like in texture (see above picture). Combine with the sugar and melted butter and mix well to combine. Add some water if necessary to bring the mixture together.

Line a loaf tin (or small square tin) with baking paper and press the base mixture into the bottom. Bake for 10 - 15 minutes, or until golden.

For the filling
While the base is baking, combine the flour, cornstarch, sugar and water in a medium saucepan. Whisk together and then bring to the boil whilst stirring constantly. Then lower heat and continue to stir until thickened, about 5 minutes.

When the mixture has thickened, mix in the lemon juice and zest and leave over low heat, stirring regularly, for a further 2 to 3 minutes. The mixture should start to bubble in the centre.

Remove filling from heat and pour into a bowl. Leave to cool, stirring occasionally.

To make the slice
When the base and filling have cooled, pour most of the filling (about 3/4 of the mix) over the base, and then set in the fridge for 2 to 4 hours. Slice before serving.

The remaining mix can be frozen for later use (and is enjoyable from the freezer, as it doesn't set solid) or used as lemon spread for other products.



I made the lemon topping for this slice thicker than the filling of the recent lemon tart, as I was aware that the base wouldn't provide much of a crust to hold the topping in place. It seemed to work well, and I have found the slice to pair nicely with strawberries, plain yoghurt, or just a cup of tea.


What are you enjoying for afternoon tea at the moment?

32 comments:

  1. I really like the sound of this because it isn't as sweet as other lemon slices around, the oats in the base are a great idea. My fellows loved the lemon slice I veganised from my childhood recently but I have a feeling I would like your version more. This is definitely something I'll try soon as my lemon tree has plenty of fruit to use up!

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    1. I'm still waiting on my lemon tree to start fruiting! Goodness knows what will happen to my lemon obsession when that kicks in...

      I hope you do like this if you try it - your current lemon slice is one that I admire and I like both varieties really (traditional and this one).

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  2. Love, love, love lemon slice - but lately I've been having soup for afternoon tea here - as it is freezing :)

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    1. Now that is certainly different to lemon slice - but perhaps more weather appropriate and a tad bit healthier!

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  3. I am obsessed with the Jubilee and I am a big lemon slice fan so this looks perfect for me!

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  4. love your grandparents house - haven't really managed to follow the jubilee on tv as am not terribly organised - but I have been baking lemon cake today - quite a challenge for me as I am not really into such things

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    1. I did have a thought as writing this that it would not be the slice for you - impressive that you have been making lemon cake! My jubilee watching has been a bit haphazard but it seems to be repeated a lot so I've got a few good segments.

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  5. I have loved the celebrations and am watching the concert right now. What a great party and 60 years on the throne through all the torrid ups and downs is worthy of a wonderful celebration. What a great lemon slice. I love lemon in any sort of dessert or afternoon tea snack xx

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    1. Torrid ups and downs is a good summary actually ;) It is impressive to have ridden through them all and still be going strong.

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  6. This sounds like the perfect afternoon treat!

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  7. I have never heard of these celebrations before- they sound interesting. Your lemon dessert looks really yummy. I love lemon amongst a lot of other things. I bet it would be good with a fresh raspberry or strawberry on top. :-)

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    1. The strawberries were very good company and I think you're right about the raspberries - in fact, they go well with just about everything :)

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  8. I haven't been paying attention to the celebrations, but I could still partake by eating this!

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  9. I've been very good recently, my afternoon tea has been an apple. But people keep posting delicious lemon recipes and I know it is only a matter of time before I cave and make one.

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    1. Apples are usually my lunch dessert :) Or my first afternoon tea...the 3pm one...which precedes the 5pm one...!

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  10. I hosted a Transit of Venus morning tea today, and we live streamed some astronomy. I made "chocolate crinkle cookies" and blackberry-orange pound cake. The cake was the hit - none left over! This recipe, though, makes me really want a lemon tree so I have excuses to bake things like this all the time.

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    1. Oh how fun! I really wanted to watch the transit of Venus but we have had our first real rainy day in weeks and nothing was visible through the cloud :/ I hope you enjoyed your morning.

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  11. Just came across your blog and have loved browsing through it! These look amazing!!

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  12. i love it when u cuties talk about ur midday tea! :) while i don't take a tea break, i'd be up for dropping anything i'm doing and having a slice of that with u!! :)

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    1. Haha, I guess it is a cultural thing (and personal one) :) Quite a nice tradition though!

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  13. These would be great for morning tea around here :)

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    1. I'm finding they go well at pretty much any time of day :D

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  14. oh those look wonderful! dainty and delicious! thanks for sharing!

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    1. Thanks for stopping by! I'm glad you like the look of them :)

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  15. I don't do a lot of afternoon tea, but love lemon desserts, especially in the afternoon :)

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    1. Sometimes exceptions need to be made, and I agree that lemon desserts are as good a reason as any :)

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  16. What a gorgeous looking slice - I am sure that Her Majesty would approve.

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    1. Thank you! And let's hope so :)

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