Lemony Vegan Summer Tart With Dairy-Free Coconut Cream
This vegan dessert features dairy-free coconut cream | image/Hazel & Cacao

I have a slowly growing essential oil collection (which I barely use). I’ve been meaning to use them more and more but am still finding it hard to remember to use them. I do absolutely love using them in food, however, I realised that I still hadn’t created a recipe using my lemon oil. This was a tricky oil for me to use as I use lemon quite often in a lot of my desserts and so never saw the need to use lemon oil instead of actual lemon.

Since I really wanted to give it a try I thought I would experiment and I am so glad I did. The flavour comes out quite different from using normal lemon. It’s a lot deeper and more pronounced. The taste of the tart reminds me of a lemon lolly/candy which is very different from the taste of using an actual lemon. It almost heightens the sweetness of the desert and is just delicious. As a bonus, I didn’t have to deal with lemon pips which drive me crazy!

I am definitely not an expert when it comes to essential oils, the main reason I am drawn to them actually has nothing to do with their healing benefits (although I’m sure they are great) but rather that you can use them to flavour food (only the edible oils of course).

It has recently been brought to my attention that some people believe it is unsafe to ingest edible essential oils due to the fact that it may affect the gut? Although I am no expert I get confused by this as the alternative is chemical-laden, alcohol-based food flavouring which cannot be good for our digestion or any part of our health either! I know that many health-conscious food companies have turned to using essential oils in their products as a safer, cleaner natural alternative and I am so very happy about it! However, if you are uncomfortable using essential oils in this recipe or simply do not have any you can sub the oil for the juice and zest of 1 extra lemon in the filling.

This recipe was republished with permission from Hazel & Cacao.