One of my favorite French desserts is a lemon tart, or tarte au citron. There’s something about the tart lemon flavor in a sweet and creamy dessert that I just love, So I wanted to try and recreate it as a vegan dessert.
In the past, I’ve attempted making a custard like filling using only cornstarch to thicken it… but that definitely didn’t work. Instead, the star ingredient in this recipe is agar agar, which is a planted based gelatin made from seaweed. You can read more about it here. This was my first time cooking with agar agar and I have to say I was quite happy with the finished dessert as well as how quickly the filling thickened. Agar-agar can be found at organic stores in France as well as other health food stores like Whole Foods, and even online on Amazon.
Now that I’ve had success using agar-agar in this tarte au citron I’m excited to experiment with it in other desserts!
To make this tasty tarte au citron, we start by making and baking a tart crust. Next, we simply combine all of the filling ingredients into a sauce pan to heat up for a few minutes. Then, all we have to do is pour the filling into the tart crust and let it chill in the fridge for about an hour. And that’s it!
If you’re a fan of lemon desserts like I am, I hope you get a chance to make this tarte au citron and enjoy how easy it is to make! If you do make it, feel free to share and let me know if you have any questions down in the comments below.
Thanks for stopping by A Veganable Feast!
(Makes about 8 servings)
For the crust :
- 1.5 cups all purpose flour (I used French T45)
- Pinch of salt
- 4 tablespoons vegan butter
- 4 tablespoons cold water
For the filling :
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- 250 mL (1 cup) coconut milk
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- 2 grams agar agar (about 1 teaspoon)
- 1 tablespoon aquafaba (liquid from a can of chickpeas)
- Pinch of turmeric (optional, for color)
- Preheat the oven to 190°C or 375°F. In a large bowl, combine the flour and salt and whisk to combine. Add the vegan butter and use a fork to break the butter up and mix with the flour to create a crumbly mixture. This will take a few minutes.
- Add 1 tablespoon of cold water at a time to the flour mixture, stirring after each addition until the mixture just holds together. (You may need more or less than 4 tablespoons of water).
- Form the dough into a ball and place on a lightly floured surface. Roll out into a circle roughly 30 cm (or 12 inches) in diameter. Carefully place the dough in a tart pan about 22 cm (about 8-9 inches). Gently press the dough into the bottom and sides of the pan and remove any excess dough.
- Using a fork, prick holes all around the dough to prevent air bubbles forming. Line dough with parchment paper and fill with pie weights (you could also use dried beans, rice, etc.). Place the dough in the oven and bake for about 25 minutes.
- After 25 minutes, take the crust out of the oven and remove the pie weights and parchment paper. Place the crust back in the oven for another 5 minutes to brown slightly. Once baked, remove the crust from the oven and set aside to cool.
- For the filling, add all ingredients to a small pot and cook over medium low heat, stirring regularly. Continue cooking for about 10 minutes until the mixture begins to steam and is warm to the touch.
- Pour the filling into the prepared crust and place in the fridge for about 1 hour to chill and solidify.
- Once chilled, slice, serve, and enjoy!