Daring Indeed, Part II

In the last post, I wrote about making vegan savory lasagna for my first Daring Baker challenge. I ate one piece, then fed the rest to the neighborhood critters. Unsatisfied with my mediocre results, I took notes on how to improve the dish, and then devised a plan for a sweet take on the recipe.

I began with a basic set of ingredients. Lemons, blueberries, and pine nuts. Simple, tart and sweet. I created a pine nut pasta dough for the lasagna along with a tofu-based lemon cream, and lemon sauce. I used unadorned blueberries in each layer, adding more to finish off the top.

My Mister and I tried a piece the night I made it. While it was good, it was really good the second day after sitting in the refrigerator overnight. By the third day, it was heavenly. Then it was gone.

Needless to say, this recipe needs its rest for the flavors to congeal. One thought I had after making it was that I should have doubled the lemon sauce recipe not only because I could not stop licking the bowl after making it, but also because the sauce’s sweet tartiness adds even more depth to the lasagna. If you try it, let me know what you think…

Lemon Blueberry Lasagna

Step 1.

Pine Nut Pasta Dough

1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
1 3/4 cup spelt flour
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts (ground)
3 Tbs cane sugar
zest from one lemon
pinch sea salt
About 1 1/3 cup cold water
2 Tbs lemon juice

Whisk flours, ground pine nuts, sugar, lemon zest, and salt together. Add lemon juice and cold water slowly to make a spongy dough. Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface for about 20 minutes or until satiny smooth and very elastic when pulled. Wrap the dough in a damp towel to rest for 30 minutes.

Using a regular-length rolling pin, divide the dough into quarters and roll out one-quarter of the dough at a time while the rest of the dough is wrapped in the towel. Lightly dust a work surface with flour; shape the dough into a ball; begin rolling it out to form a circle. Turn the disc a quarter turn frequently. As it thins out, roll the disc back on the pin a quarter of the way toward the center and stretch it gently sideways by tracing the palms of your hands over the rolled- up dough. Work from the center of the pin outward. Unroll, turn the disc a quarter turn, and repeat. Do two more times.

Continue to stretch and even out the center of the disc by rolling the dough a quarter of the way back on the pin. Then gently push the rolling pin away from you with one hand while holding the dough in place on the work surface with the other hand. Repeat three more times, turning the dough a quarter turn each time.

Repeat the two processes as the disc becomes larger and thinner. The dough should have an even thickness. For lasagna, the sheet should be thin enough to see your hand through it. Cut into rectangles. Dry the pasta on a drying rack, cloth-covered chair backs, or broom handles. Store dried pasta in sealed container or bags.

Step 2.

Lemon Cream
Adapted from Sweet and Natural, by Meredith McCarty

1 1/2 pounds soft or medium tofu
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup brown rice syrup
1 vanilla bean (seeds scraped)
1/2 cup lemon juice
pinch of sea salt

Puree all ingredients until smooth and creamy. Refrigerate until ready to assemble lasagna.

Step 3.

Lemon Sauce
Adapted from Sweet and Natural, by Meredith McCarty

1 1/2 cups rice, soy, or almond milk
3 Tbs brown rice syrup
3 Tbs maple syrup
2 1/2 Tbs arrowroot powder
scant 1/16 tsp turmeric
3 Tbs lemon juice

In a medium saucepan, whisk dairy-free milk, brown rice syrup, maple syrup, arrowroot powder, and turmeric and bring to a boil. Let simmer for several minutes, then turn off heat and whisk in lemon juice. Refrigerate for 15 minutes to thicken sauce.

Step 4.

Blueberries

Rinse and drain about 6-8 handfuls of blueberries (fresh or frozen). Set aside.

Step 5.

Cook the pasta.

For this recipe, I used about 2/3 of the Pine Nut Pasta Dough to fill a 9-inch square baking pan.

Bring two pots full of salted water to a boil. Fill a large bowl with cold water and set aside. Drop about four pieces of pasta in the water at a time. Cook fresh pasta for about two minutes and dried pasta about four minutes, taste and continue cooking if necessary. The pasta will continue to cook during baking, so it should be barely tender. Lift the lasagna from the water with a slit spoon or spatula, drain, and then slip the bowl of cold water to stop cooking. When cool, lift out and dry on paper towels. Repeat until all the pasta is cooked.

Step 6.

Assemble the lasagna.

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly oil a 9-inch square baking pan. Begin with an overlapping layer of pine nut noodles, well drained. Add generous spoonfuls of lemon cream. Add a few spoonfuls of lemon sauce and two handfuls of blueberries. Repeat for four layers. Add extra lemon sauce and blueberries on the top layer. Bake for 45-50 minutes. Let cool, then refrigerate overnight for optimum flavor.


Step 7.

Serve.

Cut lasagna and spoon drizzles of lemon cream sauce.

The March 2009 challenge is hosted by Mary of Beans and Caviar, Melinda of Melbourne Larder and Enza of Io Da Grande. They have chosen Lasagne of Emilia-Romagna from The Splendid Table by Lynne Rossetto Kasper as the challenge.

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Comments

  1. Mmm, your lasagne looks amazing!! I love that you did the dessert and the savory versions =D!

  2. ice tea: sugar high says:

    WOW! you did both version, sweet & savoury. Very well done. Both looked amazing. Especially the beautifull purplish blueberry on the sweet one. Gorgeous!

  3. Very clever! I like the combination of flavours, and it looks almost like cheesecake!

  4. silverrock says:

    Wow, this sweet-lasagna looks beautiful. You a truly a daring baker, such amazing creativity!!

  5. Mmmmm this looks so good! I wanted to make a sweet version as well (did the savoury one with great results) but for various reasons it didn’t work out. I will definitely bookmark this and try it out.
    Well done!

  6. madcapcupcake says:

    Oh, this so right up my alley,…lemons, blueberries, and pine nuts! Simple, tart and sweet! Everything looks and sounds delicious, well done :)

  7. dokuzuncubulut says:

    I like it. I'm going to try…

  8. Ed Schenk says:

    very interesting. I never really though of a dessert lasagna but I guess it makes sense.

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