Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Home Grown Tomatoes presents...

Pink Lemonade Tartlets

Home Grown Tomatoes is a weekly Vegan/Vegetarian column by Giovanina Bucci

I am a kid in a candy store...the potential of a "snow day" is knocking at my University office door. The anticipatory feeling of having a surprise day off brings me right back to being a child. Waking up early to snow falling, running into my parents room and jumping into bed to listen to the WIRY school closing list, fingers crossed. It's 15 years later...and nothing has changed. We're expecting 2 feet by tomorrow! Perfect for all things hot and sweet.

I'm not going to lie, sometimes I buy things because they are small and cute...like Coronitas (mini Coronas). Seriously, they only take about five gulps to finish, but they're just about the most adorable things, as far as beer goes (and you feel much less guilty for finishing a 6-pack!).

Anyway, these little pink lemonade tartlets are tipping the cuteness scale (not to mention, they're one bite wonders of sweetness). This recipe is another one I snagged from My Sweet Vegan. The only thing I would try and render next time is the use of cornstarch. Other than that, these are the right amount of sweet, colorful and fantastic for a fix without stuffing an entire piece of pie or cake down your throat (although I can't say I don't enjoy that sometimes...it's more so that my ass disapproves).

Makes 24 tartlets:


6 Tbs. butter (again, I use Earth Balance)

1/2 C. confectioner's sugar

1 Tbs. flax seed*

2 Tbs. water

1 1/2 C. non-bleached/non-enriched flour

1/4 tsp. salt

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and grease mini-muffin pan(s).

I mixed the crust by hand and it still came out successfully (it's no surprise given my huge biceps, ha!). Nonetheless, if you have a mixer, do take advantage. Begin by mixing the butter and sugar. I used the Magic Bullet to grind down the flax seed and water, and then added that to the mix. Finally, add the flour, half at a time, and salt along with the second half. If you're dough is crumbly, add up to 2 Tbs. of water to moisten it up. Drop walnut-sized balls of dough into your muffin pans and press to make the shell. Bake for 12-15 minutes.

Lemon Custard

1 C. of milk (I use Rice Milk)

2 Tbs. cornstarch

2 tsp. raspberry jam (go for an organic brand that is not made with corn syrup!)

1/3 C. confectioner's sugar

2 Tbs. fresh squeezed lemon juice

1/2 pint raspberries for garnish (optional)

Heat the milk on medium heat. As the temperature rises, add the cornstarch and whisk vigorously (2-4) minutes and watch as the mixture thickens considerably. Stir in the jam and sugar until mixed well. Finally, remove from the heat and whisk in the lemon juice. Fill your, now cool, shells and garnish with raspberries. Refrigerate for at least an hour before serving. And there you have it!

To make these even more festive, I think you could try different kinds of jams and garnishes: blueberry, strawberry, peach, etc. They are extremely easy to make and not at all time consuming. In other words, perfect to squeeze in for a holiday dessert amidst loud, runny-nosed children, hungry husbands, vacuuming tinsel, and the insanity of shopping. Enough said.


*Flax seed is full of omegas and it can be used as an egg substitute in certain circumstances. It has a faint nutty flavor and is great for smoothies too!

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