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How to make dessert using vegetarian gelatine substitute (agar).

Updated on June 20, 2013

Fresh juicy lemons, perfect for making Citrus Snow.

Recipe for making vegetarian citrus snow.

Being a vegetarian doesn't mean that you have to avoid desserts that are set using gelatine, you can always switch to using Agar, a suitable veggie alternative. It works just as well as non veggie gelatine and is guilt free.

This citrus snow dessert is wonderfully sharp and fresh tasting, it is the perfect thing to serve after a rich meal.It makes a great tasing, lighter alternative to the more traditional ice cream or cream. The citrus snow looks very impressive piled high in tall sparkling glasses dewcorated with lemon zest or lemon skin twists.

I also like to use martini glasses and decorate the citrus snow with lime zest and an orange twist. This is what I would call an adult dessert, some children do like the tart citrus taste but I’ve found it can be a little bit too sharp tasting for most of them.

My own children liked this snow with some raspberry or strawberry syrup poured over it to sweeten it up a bit. To make it even more special try substituting a fluid ounce or two of Cointreau for the water. Gran Marnier works well too. Of course, this version is also for adults only.

Citrus snow recipe.

The amounts given here will serve six people if you use glasses or four if you are going to use larger glass dishes.

Buy your Agar- Agar from Amazon.


1 orange.

1 lime.

1 lemon.

1/2 pint ice cold water.

1 sachet of vegetarian gelatine substitute.

4 oz sugar.

3 egg whites.

1 small orange cut into very thin slices to decorate. Or the zest from the lime and lemon.


Prepare the vegetarian gelatine substitute using the cold water as per the instructions on the packet, I have found they can all differ slightly. The best vegetarian alternative I’ve found is Agar- Agar which is a seaweed derivative, you can buy it in strips or powder form. Other vegetarian gelatine substitutes to look out for are Guar, Xanthan gum and Carob fruit. Thinly peel the citrus fruit and add this to the gelatine mixture with the sugar. Heat this mixture through over a low heat until the sugar has dissolved, only stir this with a metal spoon and never allow the mixture to boil as this will ruin the flavour.

Remove this from the heat and leave to cool for around ten minutes. Squeeze the juice from the citrus fruit, sieve the gelatine mixture through a fine mesh sieve and add it to the fruit juice. Sir well and then put it in the fridge for an hour, stirring occasionally. The mixture should thicken quite well by the end of this hour, if it still looks a bit runny just give it another thirty minutes in the fridge. Remove from the fridge and add the egg whites.

Buy a good quality electric beater from Amazon to speed up making all your desserts.

Whisk with an electric beater for at least ten minutes until the mixture is very light and fluffy. There really is no other way to make this snow as you have to use an electric beater, it can’t be done by hand I‘m afraid. Pour into chilled, individual serving glasses and refrigerate for at least two hours before serving. I have found that it is best to make this citrus snow the night before you want to use it, it sets a lot harder and is easier to use.

Just before you take this dessert to the table decorate it with a thin slice of the small orange arranged into a twist on the top. Another good way of serving this snow is to use some hollowed out large lemons. Take a thick slice from the top and a thin slice from the bottom of each one so that they will stand, scrape out the inside with a spoon making sure to remove all of the bitter tasting pith. Chill the lemon shells in the freezer for an hour before using. Fill these lemon shells with the citrus snow mixture and use the slice from the top as a ‘hat’.You can also replace the lemon shells with orange shells or a mixture of the two different citrus fruits. You can also make this recipe using all lemons, if preferred, but you will need to add a little more sugar to taste.

Of course you don’t need to throw the three left over egg yolks away, if you aren’t going to use them the same day as you are making this snow. You can freeze them in a plastic container for up to six months. Remember to label them clearly with the date that you froze them and use them on the same day as you defrost them.

This snow is also a wonderful thing to use to make floats with. I often use it instead of ice cream in coke and lemonade floats. It tastes a lot nicer in my opinion, it isn't as sweet as floats made using standard ice cream. I sometimes add a drop or two of good vanilla essence as well.

Check out my blog for more great tasting recipies and tips for making vegetarian and vegan food.

Vegetarian gelatine. Agar.

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