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Expert Opinions

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For your recipe makeover of Lemon Curd, could I substitute agar flakes for the gelatin? I am a vegetarian and do not wish to use gelatin.

Pamela , Morton
It took a couple of tries, but we finally managed to work out an amount of agar to use in place of the gelatin called for in the Lemon Curd recipe. One tablespoon of agar flakes thickened the curd to a consistency equal to the 1 teaspoon of gelatin. The agar took longer to soften than the gelatin, it was ready to use after 30 minutes.

Agar (sometimes called agar-agar) is derived from a species of red seaweed. It can be found in health-food stores and is sold either in powder, flake, or bar form. Agar bars can be crumbled to make flakes. Equal amounts of powder and flakes will thicken dishes differently, so they are not interchangeable. A general rule of thumb is: 1 tablespoon of agar flakes or 1/2 teaspoon of agar powder will thicken 1 cup of liquid.

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