Lemon and Raspberry Crumble Bars

Here‚Äôs a fabulous recipe for using up the end of the summer raspberries, or just finishing off the jam to make a new batch come the autumn. Boo hoo, is summer really starting to draw to a close? ūüė¶

These bars are a crisp lemon shortbread base, topped with jam and raspberries (slightly squishy is just fine) and topped with a lemon and cinnamon scented crumble. This gives a perfect three layer texture of crisp, sticky and crumbly.

These rather delicious raspberry and lemon crumble (or streusel if you like) bars are inspired by some fruity crumble bars my lovely grandmother used to buy. My grandparents used to live in a ‘granny annexe’, so just next door, and often when my mother was at work I‚Äôd spend the day with them. They were lovely, kind grandparents and we‚Äôd have fun, but they were also the older generation at a time when older people seemed to prefer a calm orderly lifestyle. So the days would have some predictability with a cooked lunch folllowed by some ‘quiet time’ while my grandmother read her book and my grandfather would sleep in front of the snooker on television (how come snooker was always on I have no idea!). Then we‚Äôd walk the dog and return home for tea and a cake or biscuit. She often had these fruity crumble bars in the cupboard and I particularly liked them. So here‚Äôs a recreation of that memory, made in honour of some easy, happy times – probably nothing like the original but rather tasty and tempting nonetheless!

Lemon and Raspberry Crumble Bars

(dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, soya-free, sesame-free, vegetarian and vegan)

makes 9

for the base:

100g margarine, melted

50g caster sugar

zest of 1 lemon

pinch of salt

125g plain flour

  1. Stir all the ingredients together and then press into a lined, square baking tin
  2. Bake at 180 degrees for 20 mins until golden
  3. Leave to cool

for the filling:

1/2 cup raspberry jan

handful of raspberries

  1. Spread over the cooked shortbread base and dot with halved raspberries

for the topping:

40g oats

60g soft brown sugar

1/4 tsp cinnamon

zest of 1/2 a lemon

40g flour

50g margarine

  1. Rub the margarine into the ingredients together to make a rough crumble
  2. Sprinkle over the jam covered base
  3. Bake for 20-30 minutes at 180 degrees Centigrade until crisp and golden
  4. Leave to cool and then drizzle with water icing (if desired) and cut into squares

Luscious Lemon Mousse (egg, dairy and gelatine free)

dairy-free, egg-free vegan lemon mousse
Whilst you can’t beat chocolate mousse, there’s something so light and refreshing about lemon mousse that makes me¬†crave this cloudy zesty dessert every now and then.

I’ve been veggie for all my adult life, so I haven’t eaten a traditional lemon mousse for a long long time, but I still occasionally think back to those treat lemon mousse pots from M&S in my childhood! Since Big S is a huge citrus fan I knew it would appeal to her too, but it has been a difficult recipe to develop – the lemon juice almost ‘curdles’ any dairy-free cream and most attempts have led to a thick and over-creamy top above some watery lemon soup at the bottom. Which is not nice.
This recipe on the other hand gives you a billowy, cloud-like lemon mousse which is every bit as aerated as an¬†egg, milk and gelatine based original. Using the the same process as my strawberry souffl√©, the aquafaba meringue gives it a¬†light mousse-like texture, the dairy-free cream creates¬†rich creaminess and the lemon gel adds some¬†zingy lemon flavour. It is best eaten on the day it’s made, or the next day (after any longer it will want to separate) but there is no need to hang around before eating it.

As you can see from the following two pictures the texture firms up over time. In the first photo the mousse is about 1 hour post creation and has a light fluffy texture, with the texture of a citrus foam. The second picture shows the mousse the following day and you can see the texture is firmer and more creamy, with a more traditional mousse consistency.

vegan lemon mousse day it's made

vegan lemon mousse, day 2

Luscious Lemon Mousse

(dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, sesame-free, gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan)

egg-free nut-free lemon mousse

serves 4 – 6

zest of 2 lemons

Juice of 2 lemons

1g carragennan kappa or the veggie gelatine equivalent of 2 leaves of gelatine

1/3 cup aquafaba

Pinch of cream of tartar

4 tbsp icing sugar

300ml whipped dairy-free cream

 

  1. Bring the lemon juice and zest and carragennan kappa to a boil, stir and simmer for one minute. Set aside to cool and set
  2. Whisk together the aquafaba and cream of tartar until light and fluffy. Best in the sugar 1 tbsp at a time to make a thick, smooth, glossy meringue. Set aside.
  3. Whip the cream to form soft peaks.
  4. Break up the lemon jelly and whisk into the cream, adding food colour if desired.
  5. Stir in 1 tbsp of the meringue, then gently fold in the rest until the mix is evenly combined.
  6. Spoon into the prepared ramekins and place in the fridge to chill.

dairy-free lemon mousse

Raspberry and Lemon Flapjacks

dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free raspberry and lemon flapjacks

You simply can’t beat a flapjack for energy giving deliciousness but sometimes you want more than just sweet syrupy oats. I’m very fond of coconut flapjacks, but the girls aren’t so keen, so I’m constantly trying to develop new, exciting flavours to enhance such a simple staple.

This version uses freeze dried raspberries and lemon juice/ zest and boy, is it delicious or what! The freeze dried nuggets give a wonderful sweet berry tang and the lemon enhances and flavour and very slightly cuts through the sweetness. They may now be my all time favourite flapjack combination!

Raspberry and Lemon Flapjacks

(dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, soya-free, sesame-free, can be gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan)

vegan raspberry and lemon flapjacks

200g dairy free margarine (I use Pure soya or sunflower)

200g demerara sugar

200g golden syrup

400g oats (preferably not giant oats)

1/2 tsp salt

1/3rd cup freeze-dried raspberry pieces

zest of 1 lemon, juice of 1/2

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees Centigrade. Line a 30×20 cm (approx.) baking tray with foil
  2. Melt together the dairy free margarine, sugar, syrup, lemon juice, zest and salt. When the sugar has dissolved mix into the oats, stir in the raspberry pieces
  3. Spread into the lined baking tray
  4. Bake for 15-20 mins until golden
  5. remove from the oven and press down with a spatula for an even finish
  6. Cool well before cutting into bars/squares. Or freeze whole and cut when defrosted.
  7. Try not to eat too many!!

 

Lemon Layer Cake

egg-free dairy-free lemon cake

Lovely zingy lemon cake, must be one of my absolute favourites. Lighter than some cakes, fresher and effortlessly elegant, this is definitely one to serve non chocolate fans. Whilst I do love a classic lemon drizzle (who doesn’t?!) this is a slightly more fanciful affair with lemon scented sponge sandwiched with lemon buttercream and homemade egg-free lemon curd and then the top drizzled with a zingy lemon water icing. There’s no shortage of lemon flavours in this cake!!

I really would encourage you to try this ramped up variation of the perfect lemon cake (made friendly of course) which I was introduced to by Claire Clark when I studied at Le Cordon Bleu – the lemon drizzle that inspired this one was her all time favourite cake, which definitely says something when it comes from such a master of patisserie and baking. It’s certainly a family favourite here too, often getting wheeled out at birthdays and celebrations, especially when the recipient isn’t such a big chocolate fan.

vegan lemon cake

 

Lemon Layer Cake (dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, soya-free, sesame-free, vegetarian and vegan)

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Makes one 1lb loaf cake

  • 200g self-raising flour
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 100g caster sugar
  • a pinch of salt
  • 100ml sunflower oil
  • 150ml dairy-free milk milk
  • 1/2 tsp lemon juice
  • zest of 1 lemon

For the buttercream:

  • 2 tbps dairy-free spread
  • 1 tbsp vegetable fat, such as Trex
  • 1/2 cup icing sugar
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp lemon essence (optional)

For the icing:

  • 1/4 cup icing sugar
  • lemon juice to make a pourable icing
  • 2-3tbsps lemon curd for filling

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  1. Sift together the flour, bicarb and salt. Stir in the sugar and lemon zest
  2. In a separate bowl, combine the soya milk, lemon juice and oil.
  3. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and gently mix until combined into a smooth mixture. Pour into a lined loaf tin.
  4. Bake at 180 degrees centigrade for approx. 30 minutes (until a knife comes out clean). Cool on a wire rack.
  5. Meanwhile, whisk together the buttercream ingredients.
  6. Once cooled, split in half horizontally and fill with a layer of lemon buttercream and lemon curd. Place the top back on and drizzle with the lemon water icing.

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Lemon drizzle scones

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Spring makes me want to add some zing – some bright, sunshine freshness to add light to the palate and awaken the taste buds after months of comforting cosy foods.

My mum recently gave me a lovely little elegant plate which was my grandmother’s favourite. It’s so pretty that I decided it needed to be used for an elegant but also traditional dish, and not much fits the bill as perfectly as some scones.

But these scones don’t just look pretty, they also provide the double whammy of lemon scented insides and surprisingly zingy lemon drizzle topping. Unusual for a scone that’s for sure, but also totally delightful. Best served with a warm blueberry compote.

Lemon Drizzle Scones (dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, soya-free, sesame-free, vegetarian and vegan)

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Makes about 12

  • 220g plain flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tbsp dairy-free spread
  • 2 tbsp caster sugar
  • Juice and zest of 1 lemon
  • Pinch of salt
  • Up to 100ml oat milk
  • 1-2 tbsps granulated sugar
  • Juice of 1/2 a lemon

– Preheat the oven to 200 degrees centigrade/Gas mark 6
– Grease and flour a baking sheet
– Mix together the flour, salt, baking powder, sugar and lemon zest. Rub in the spread until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
– Pour in the lemon juice and some of the oat milk. Gently bring together to form a soft dough (do NOT knead or you’ll end up with rock hard scones!). Add more milk if necessary.
– Gently pat out to a circle about 5cm thick. Stamp our circles and place on the baking sheet. Gather up the remaining dough, pat out again and stamp out more circles until all the dough is used up
– Brush the tops with lemon juice and sprinkle over some granulated sugar
– Bake for 20-25 minutes until well risen and golden on the tops and bottoms

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Lemon Melts

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I wanted to make some cookies – you may have noticed¬†my passion for making cookies by now¬†– but it seemed too sunny for chocolate; and besides, we were off to the beach for the day, so the idea of sandy, oozy chocolate chips didn’t really appeal. And that brought me to making these chewy citrus-packed lemon cookies. The lemon flavour is surprisingly zippy and zingy, making these softish cookies ideal to be paired with a nice¬†cup of Earl Grey tea, or just any time really.

To make ‘fairy cookies’, certain to appeal to any little (or big) girl, roll the balls of dough in hundreds and thousands (also called non-pareils or funfetti) before baking.

Lemon Melts (dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, soya-free, sesame-free, vegetarian and vegan)

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makes about 18

 

  • 2/3 cup soft brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup caster sugar
  • 2/3 cup sunflower oil
  • 1/4 cup oat milk
  • 1 tbsp cornflour
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp lemon extract (optional)
  • 1 3/4 cups plain flour
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp sprinkles (for the fairy-cookie variety)

– Preheat the oven to 160 degrees centigrade/gas mark 3/325 degrees Fahrenheit
– Whisk together the sugar, oil, oat milk, lemon zest and essence and corn flour.
– Sift in the flour, bicarb and salt.
– Mix together to form a soft dough.
– Make tbsp sized balls and place well apart on the baking sheet, press each one down slightly
(for fairy cookie variety, roll each ball in sprinkles before placing on the baking sheet)
– Bake for 10 minutes, until starting to turn golden
– Cool briefly on the baking sheet before transferring to a wire rack.

 

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Lemon Scented White Chocolate Truffles

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I had intended to make these truffles to stand in as the little chocolate eggs found on chocolate cornflake nests for the girls to take in for their classes as an Easter treat. As it turned out, little S’s class was well catered for on the chocolate nest front, and I didn’t want to step on any toes by making basically the same thing. Also, with our recent house move it’s been hard to find time to do much other than unpacking boxes!

So in the end these turned into conventional truffles rather than egg-shaped mini ones. They’re so pretty rolled in icing sugar, like little snowballs of sweet deliciousness! I scented mine with a hint of lemon by using 1tsp of lemon essence, which worked well to cut through the intense sweetness of the white chocolate.

Lemon Scented White Chocolate Truffles (dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, sesame-free, gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan)

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makes about 24

  • 150g white chocolate (I used Sweet William)
  • 2 tbsp dairy- free cream, I used Oatly
  • 1 tbsp dairy-free spread
  • 1 tsp lemon extract (optional)
  • 1/3 cup icing sugar, for coating

– Melt together the white chocolate, cream and spread either in a Bain Marie or using short bursts of heat in the microwave. Be sure not to overheat the mixture or it may become grainy
– Stir in the lemon extract, if using
– Cover and leave to cool at room temperature.
– Make your hands as cold as possible (run under the cold tap), roll the mix into even sized balls.
– Roll each one in icing sugar to give a good even coating.

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Blueberry and Lemon Mousse

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Gosh, I’m on a pudding roll at the moment!……. (and there are lots more to come ;-))

Blueberries work so well with lemon. I find the hint of zing adds another dimension to the blueberry flavour. Besides, blueberries produce such a stunning colour when cooked that they just had to be a wonderful ingredient for my dairy / egg-free mousse recipe. I can’t say it’s exactly like a fluffy egg-white and cream mousse, but it does give a richness and unctuousness that you don’t usually get from a dairy-free dessert. The recipe really involves making a simple jam which is thickened with cornflour and then dairy-free yogurt is whisked in to give an extra creaminess. This is definitely a recipe worth having in your allergy friendly/vegan repertoire.

Blueberry and Lemon Mousse (dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, sesame-free, gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan)

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makes 4 mousses

  • 200g blueberries
  • dash of water
  • juice of 1 and 1/2 lemons
  • 3 tbsps cornflour
  • 1/2 cup caster sugar
  • 1 cup dairy-free yogurt (I used Alpro Soya)

– Put the blueberries in a saucepan with the dash of water. Cook over a medium heat until the berries are soft and soupy. Strain into a bowl (or not if you like the fruit pieces)

– Using the same saucepan (no need to wash out) add the sugar, lemon juice and cornflour. Whisk over a low heat until smooth and lump free.

– Pour the blueberry ‚Äėsoup‚Äô back into the saucepan. Whisk over a medium heat until thick and jammy.

– Pour back into the bowl and place in a fridge to cool and set.

– Once cold, puree with a hand held blender until smooth.

– Whisk in the soya yogurt. Pour into four ramekins and chill. Decorate as desired.

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Lemon and Thyme Welsh Cakes

Someone mentioned the combination of lemon and thyme in a sweet context the other day. It’s a pairing that I’d only ever really thought about as a savoury thing. I’ve never seen lemon and thyme welsh cake (lemons and thyme a bit more Mediterranean) but since I really like welsh cakes, I thought why not? I’ve left out sultanas as my children don’t like them.

Wow, it certainly does work! Citrusy and fragrant little drop scones sprinkled with sugar Рnot sure what  Welsh traditionalists would say but they are delicious.

Lemon and Thyme Welsh Cakes (dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, soya-free, sesame-free, vegetarian and vegan)

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makes 8-12

  • 1 cup of plain flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup dairy-free spread
  • 1/4 cup of caster sugar
  • 1/4 cup sultanas
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsps oat milk
  • 1 tbsp thyme (preferably lemon) chopped finely
  • caster sugar, to sprinkle

– Sift the flour, baking powder, salt and spice into a bowl.

– Rub in the spread until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs

– Stir in the sugar, lemom zest and thyme.

– Add the oat milk and lemon juice and mix to form a slightly sticky dough.

– Roll out on a floured board and cut out shaped with a cookie cutter ‚Äď circles are the traditional shape but any would be fine.

– Heat a dry non-stick frying pan (or any frying pan wiped with a smear of spread)

– When hot add the cakes and dry fry/griddle for 2-3 minutes on either side until golden.

– Sprinkle with caster sugar and serve.

– To reheat warm in an oven or microwave

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Lemon and Ginger Wafers

These crisp lemon and ginger wafers are a tried and tested pairing of flavours. The ginger gives a subtle spicy heat to the fresh, bright tang of lemon. Loosely based on a recipe in ‘Scandalicious Baking’ these are really rather nice with a cup of tea or coffee. Also, as an added bonus, they keep brilliantly for up to 2 weeks.

Lemon and Ginger Wafers (dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, soya-free, sesame-free, vegetarian and vegan)

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makes about 20 wafers

  • 1/2 cup dairy-free spread
  • 1/2 cup caster sugar
  • 2 tbsps golden syrup
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • 1 1/4 cups plain flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt

– Preheat the oven to 190 degrees centigrade/Gas Mark 5

– Line 2 cookie sheets with baking parchment.

– Bake for 8 minutes until puffy and turning golden.

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