Gluten Free Vegan Mini Lemon Pies

 I was so excited to bring home a basket of fresh, plump lemons from my family's old lemon tree. A lemon tree has been in the backyard at least 15 years, and produced the deliciously juicy citrus fruit for the first time this year.

  Totally worth the wait!

 As I picked the darling yellow fruit from the tree, my mind raced spastically, flitting with all the possible recipes and delicious creations these beauties could be used to make...

 Lemon bars
 Lemon ice cream
 Lemon cookies 
 Lemon pie
 Lemon cake
 Lemon glazed scones 


 Not to mention I love adding fresh lemon to a warm mug of tea or starting my day with hot lemon water, it puts a zing in your step!

 The camera loved them!

 Anyhow, back to that huge decision I was faced aunt and my mom both freeze fresh lemon juice for later use, and my mom will include the zest as well. Simply juice and zest the lemons when fresh and plump, pour into ice cup trays, freeze, and once frozen solid, you can transfer to a resealable container or zip-top bag to store in freezer until you make a recipe that calls for fresh lemon juice!
 I was simply too excited to put off their use. I decided on sugar cookie lemon tarts.

 These darling little pies have a coconuty crust with a hint of caramel, filled with a deliciously refreshing lemon curd filling.

Gluten Free Vegan Mini Sugar Cookie Lemon Tart Pies

sugar cookies

-1/2 cup coconut sugar
-1/2 cup powdered sugar
-1/2 cup coconut oil, softened
-1/2 cup vegan buttery spread
-1 vegan egg
-1 Tablespoon pure vanilla extract
-1/2 cup brown rice flour
-1/2 cup white rice flour
-1/2 cup tapioca starch
-1/2 cup coconut flour
-1/2 teaspoon baking soda
-1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

lemon curd filling

adapted from this recipe by vegansaurus
-1 cup fresh lemon juice
-1/2 cup water
-1 cup sugar
-1/4 cup arrowroot powder
-1/8 teaspoon pink Himalayan sea salt
-zest of 2-3 lemons
-1/3 cup plant based full fat milk or creamer
-2 Tablespoons vegan buttery spread

1. Begin preparing sugar cookies: Preheat oven to 350F and spray or oil muffin tin.

2. Cream buttery spread, coconut oil and sugars until fluffy. Add egg and vanilla, combine. Gradually add flours, baking soda and cream of tartar. Mix until throughly combined, but not overmixed.
3. Scoop by Tablespoonful into prepared muffin tin, form into bottom and up sides to create a cup or small pie crust. Bake 10-12 minutes or until edges are golden. Remove from oven and allow to sit at least 15 minutes before removing carefully from tin.
4. Prepare lemon curd filling: Combine lemon juice, water, sugar, arrowroot powder, and salt in food processor (you can omit this step by thoroughly mixing until smooth and no lumps remain). 
5. Pour into medium saucepan, add lemon zest and bring to a boil over medium heat, whisking until it comes to a full boil (about 10-15 minutes), allow to boil, undisturbed, for one minute. It should appear clearer and noticeably thicker, remove from heat.
6. After you have removed the pan from heat, add milk or creamer and vegan buttery spread. Whisk until everything is thoroughly combined. Allow it to thicken and cool in saucepan then pour by 1-2 Tablespoonful into the mini sugar cookie pie crust cups.
The lemon curd filling thickens as it cools, so refrigerating will help it solidify if it does not appear to be doing so at room temperature.


optional substitutions:
-egg: see list of egg substitutes here, most are in your cupboard!
-coconut sugar: organic white sugar
-coconut oil: vegan buttery spread
-vegan buttery spread: coconut oil
-alternative gluten free flour combinations would work (sorghum, potato, almond, cashew, or any of your favorites! I would avoid any with a strong flavor, like garbanzo bean)

Mangia! Mangia!