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Lemon Cream Pie

We’re mixing things up this Thanksgiving with a new take on a classic pie. Lemon cream pie isn’t the typical fall dessert, but this recipe is a showstopper and is perfect for festive occasions. Its tartness is perfectly balanced by the sweet creamy filling, while the crust provides a satisfying crunch. We hope you enjoy this delicious recipe!

This recipe can be made vegan using vegan graham crackers, vegan butter, maple syrup, sweetened condensed coconut milk and non-dairy whipped topping. We have all these ingredients available for purchase at the Co-op.

 

Ingredients:

Crust:
2 packages of graham crackers
12 T butter
½ cup honey

 

Filling:

1 can sweetened condensed milk
½ cup fresh lemon juice
2 Tsp lemon zest
2 cups heavy cream

 

Topping:

Lemon Slices
1/2 cup heavy cream
½ Tsp cornstarch

 

Instructions:

Find the pan you’d like to use for this recipe and set it aside. This recipe makes a lot of filling, which requires you to use a dish with tall sides to hold it in. I recommend using an 8-inch pie pan with tall sides, about 2 to 3 inches tall. You can also use an 8-inch springform pan, which is what I used for this pie. Alternatively, you can also split this recipe into 2 pies in a standard-height pie pan. Just be mindful of the size of your pan.

Crush your graham crackers until they are the texture of coarse sand, with no large chunks of graham cracker left.

Melt your butter in a small saucepan or in a small bowl in the microwave.

Add your butter and honey to the ground graham crackers. Stir until fully combined.

Pat your crust into your pan in an even layer, creating a wall of crust along the side. Set your crust aside to make your filling.

Zest your lemons and put your lemon zest into a medium bowl.

Juice your lemons. Measure the juice and add it to your bowl.

Add your sweetened condensed milk to the lemon juice and zest and stir until combined.

In a large bowl, add your heavy cream and whip it on high with a hand mixer until you reach stiff peaks. Your whipped cream has reached stiff peaks when it stands on its own and makes defined ribbons and peaks as you’re whipping it.

Add your whipped cream to the lemon mixture. Gently fold the ingredients together until fully combined, careful to avoid deflating the whipped cream.

Spoon your filling into your crust. Make the surface level and smooth using a spatula or spoon.

Allow the filling to set in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or overnight before decorating.

To decorate your pie, add your heavy cream and cornstarch to a bowl and whip it into stiff peaks. The cornstarch will help the whipped cream keep its shape for a longer period of time. Pipe the whipped cream onto the pie using a piping bag or a sandwich bag with the corner cut off. I recommend going in short puffs around the edge of the pie, as shown in the photo.
Slice your lemons and place them on your pie in the pattern of your choosing.

Your pie is ready to serve. Enjoy!

 

PB&J Cookie Bars (Vegan)

The classic peanut butter and jelly gets reimagined for dessert. These cookie bars are chock-full of rich peanut and sweet fruity flavor, just like your favorite childhood sandwich. These dessert bars can be made vegan for everyone to enjoy and they’re sure to fly right off the plate.

 

Ingredients:

9 T unsalted butter (vegan or regular)
⅔ cup peanut butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 ¼ cup granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 ½ cups flour
½ tsp salt
½ tsp baking powder

 

For the topping:

4 sheets of graham crackers
1 T butter
1 T peanut butter
1 jar of jelly or jam

 

Instructions:

Preheat your oven to 350°

Grease an 8×8 or 9×9 pan with butter or line it with parchment paper

Melt your butter in a small pot over medium heat.

When your butter has melted, add the peanut butter, and mix until combined.

Transfer your mixture into a large bowl.

Add your brown sugar, granulated sugar and vanilla extract to the bowl and stir until combined.

In a separate smaller bowl, add your flour, salt, and baking powder. Mix until combined.

Pour your dry ingredients into your wet ingredients and stir until they’ve just come together. Be careful not to overmix.

Pour the batter into your prepared pan and create an even layer of batter with a spatula.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the sides become golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow it to cool for 10-15 minutes before adding any toppings.

While your cookie is baking, you can make the topping.

Heat a tablespoon of butter in a small bowl or saucepan. You can use a microwave or a stovetop.

Crush your graham crackers into crumbs and add them to the bowl.

Add a tablespoon of peanut butter to the bowl.

Stir the ingredients to combine them. This can be done with a fork or spoon, but it’s much easier when done with your hands.

Once your cookie has cooled, you can begin topping it.

Spread an even layer of jelly or jam over the top of the cookie, about ½ an inch thick.

Sprinkle a layer of your graham cracker topping on top of the jam, making sure to cover all the visible jam.

Cut it into squares and enjoy!

 

Peach Icebox Cake (Vegan)

Refreshing cold desserts are a great relief from the summer heat. This peach icebox cake can help you beat the heat and satisfy your sweet tooth. Using locally grown peaches and just a few ingredients from your pantry, this treat is simple to make and easy for everyone to enjoy.

Ingredients:

8 peaches
1 box vegan graham crackers
1 (15 oz) can of full-fat coconut milk

For the pudding:

Coconut milk + 2 T coconut cream
¼ cup sugar
½ T cornstarch
1 tsp vanilla extract

For the whipped cream:

Coconut cream
¼ cup sugar
1 T vanilla extract
1 tsp cornstarch

 

Put your can of coconut milk in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 hours before making your icebox cake. This will separate the coconut milk and coconut cream.

Peel, pit and slice your peaches. Set them aside.

Open your can of coconut milk. There will be a distinct layer of coconut cream at the top of the can. Scoop the coconut cream into a separate bowl and pour the coconut milk into a small pot. Take 2 tablespoons of the coconut cream and put it in the coconut milk, stirring to combine.

Set your coconut cream aside in the refrigerator.

Cook your pot of coconut milk over medium heat. Add the sugar, vanilla, and cornstarch to the pot. Whisk it constantly to dissolve the cornstarch and it thickens to pudding consistency. This will take 10-15 minutes.

Remove your coconut cream from the refrigerator to make your coconut whipped cream.

In a medium mixing bowl, add the coconut cream, sugar, vanilla extract, and cornstarch.

Whip the coconut cream using a hand mixer until soft peaks form.

Gather your coconut whipped cream, peaches, pudding, and graham crackers to assemble your cake.

In an 8×8 pan, add a layer of graham crackers to the bottom.

Pour your coconut pudding on top of the graham crackers.

Add a layer of peaches, saving some for the decoration on top.

Place another layer of graham crackers on top of the peaches.

Smooth the coconut cream on top of the graham crackers.

Top the cake with peaches and crumbled graham cracker pieces.

Refrigerate your icebox cake for 2 to 3 hours before serving. Enjoy!

 

Strawberry Shortbread Sandwich Cookies (Vegan)

Local strawberries have arrived at the Co-op and the possibilities for scrumptious strawberry desserts are endless. We decided to make these adorably delicious sandwich cookies using freshly sliced strawberries and vegan ingredients so everyone can have a bite. Serve them for dessert or as a sweet treat on a sunny afternoon

 

Ingredients:

For the cookies:

2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
¾ cups powdered sugar
1 ¼ cups softened vegan butter (unsalted)
½ tsp vanilla extract
1 T water

 

For the filling:

½ cup vegetable shortening or soft vegan butter (unsalted)
2 cups powdered sugar
1.2 tsp vanilla extract
½ T water
10-12 thinly sliced strawberries

 

Instructions:

Preheat your oven to 325°. Prepare two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, add your flour and powdered sugar. Mix them to combine.
Add your softened vegan butter and vanilla.

Mix the dough with a hand mixer on medium speed until the dough is blended together. It will be
crumbly but just barely stick together.

Add your tablespoon of water. This will help prevent the dough from crumbling too much when you roll it and cut out your cookies.

Roll out your dough into a ¼ inch thick sheet. Make sure your rolling pin and surface are floured well to keep the dough from sticking. You can also roll the dough between two sheets of parchment paper if desired.

Use the cookie cutter of your choice to cut out your cookie shapes. Place your cookies on the prepared baking sheet.

You may continue rolling and cutting out cookies using the leftover dough. Depending on the size of your cookie cutter, you should have about 24 cookies. Make sure you have an even number of cookies to sandwich them in the final step.

Bake the cookies for 14-16 minutes, or until the bottom of the cookies are slightly golden brown. Allow the cookies to cool for 30 minutes.

While your cookies are cooling, you can make your filling.

In a medium sized bowl, add your powdered sugar, vanilla extract and water.

With a hand mixer, mix them on low speed until combined. Set aside.

Slice your strawberries and set them aside.

To assemble your sandwich cookies, spread about a tablespoon of frosting on the inside of each cookie. You can do this using a butterknife or a pastry bag.

For half of the cookies, place 2-3 slices of strawberry on top of the filling to create a layer.

Gently press another cookie on top of the cookies with strawberries inside. The filling will create a glue to hold the cookies together and keep the strawberry in place.

After you’ve assembled your cookies, place them in the refrigerator to help the filling set.

These cookies will hold up for 24 hours in the refrigerator if made ahead. Enjoy!

Lime Bars (Vegan)

A sweet and tangy treat is a great way to celebrate the warmer weather. These bars are a summertime twist on a springtime favorite, the lemon bar. They’re tart with just the right balance of sweetness, and they’re perfect for enjoying while sitting in the sunshine. I hope you enjoy these delicious lime bars!

These lime bars are vegan, substituting eggs and butter for coconut milk and vegan butter. You can also use melted coconut oil or vegetable shortening in your crust recipe. If you’re gluten-free, substituting your flour for gluten-free all-purpose flour will work wonderfully in this recipe. I wouldn’t recommend using a different non-dairy milk in this recipe. Canned coconut milk has a high fat content compared to other non-dairy milks, which helps the filling set and gives it a silky texture.

 

Ingredients:

For the crust:
1 cup melted vegan butter
½ cup sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
¼ tsp salt

 

For the filling:
½ cup lime juice (about 4 limes)
2 T lime zest (roughly the zest from 2 limes)
1 ¼ cup full-fat coconut milk (one 13-14 oz can)
1 ½ cup sugar
6 T cornstarch
¼ tsp vanilla extract

 

Instructions:

Preheat your oven to 350°.

Grease the bottom and sides of your chosen pan. You can use an 8×8 square pan, a 10-inch springform pan, or a 10-inch cake pan for this recipe.

Melt your vegan butter. You can do this in a small microwave safe bowl or over the stovetop.

Add your flour, sugar, salt, and melted vegan butter. Mix them to combine. Your dough will be thick and moldable.

Press the dough into the bottom of your pan. Spread it out and pat it down to create an even layer in your pan.

Let your crust bake in the oven for 18-20 minutes. When it’s done baking, set it aside until your filling is ready. Don’t turn off your oven, as you’ll need it in the final steps of this recipe.

While your crust is baking, you can begin making your lime filling.

In a large saucepan on medium heat, add your coconut milk, lime juice, lime zest, sugar, and vanilla extract. Stir it to combine.

Add your cornstarch and mix it well until it’s dissolved into your filling mixture.

Stir the filling constantly over medium heat with a whisk. This will keep the cornstarch from settling at the bottom of your pot and help it cook evenly. Continue this for 5 to 8 minutes, until the filling begins to thicken.

Your filling is ready when it becomes thick and gelatinous. It will be difficult to stir, and it will no longer simmer over the stove.

When your filling is done, pour it on top of your crust. Spread it out evenly and smooth out the top. You can also tap the pan on top of your counter to release any air bubbles trapped inside of the filling.

Bake your lime bars for 15 minutes at 350°.

When your lime bars have finished baking, allow them to cool at room temperature for 30 minutes.
Once cooled, transfer your lime bars to the refrigerator to help them set. They will need to chill for at least 3 hours before serving or chilled overnight.

Cut them into squares or slices and enjoy!