Many of us have heard of ‘aquafaba’ now. The juice out of cans of chickpeas can be used to make vegan meringues, and as more people experiment we are discovering more ways it can be adapted to suit many of the complex uses of egg meringue.
So do you want to make your own vegan lemon meringue pie? Did you think going vegan would mean you would have to miss out on treats like this? Not at all! Here’s the recipe!
Vegan Lemon Meringue Pie
- Pour the liquid from 2 cans of chickpeas (unsalted) into a saucepan, and set on the stove to simmer and reduce in volume for 10 minutes. After ten minutes, remove from heat and set aside to cool to room temperature.
- While chickpea brine is simmering, prepare your favourite sweet short crust pastry case in a round 9 inch pan.
For the lemon custard filling:
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons plain flour
- 4 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 2 lemons, juiced and zested
- 1/4 teaspoon lemon extract
- 1 tablespoon agar agar
- 1 cup extra firm silken tofu
- a few drops yellow food colouring
- In a saucepan, add the sugar, flour, cornstarch, and salt, and stir with a whisk until combined.
- Add the water, lemon juice, lemon zest, and lemon extract. Heat on medium high, stirring regularly.
- When mixture begins to thicken, add the agar agar, and continue to stir over the heat until none of the grittiness of the agar agar remains (you can test this by tasting a small amount). Mixture should resemble a thick gel. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Place the tofu in a food processor and blend until smooth. Add the lemon mixture and blend together until a smooth mixture is achieved. Add yellow food colouring to achieve desired colour. The lemon flavour can be adjusted at this stage by adding more lemon essence if a stronger flavour is desired.
- Pour the lemon filling into the cool pie crust, and put aside to set while you prepare the meringue topping.
For the meringue topping:
- 1 cup reduced chickpea brine (liquid from two cans of salt free chickpeas)
- 3/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 3/4 cup caster sugar
- 1/2 vanilla
- 3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
- Measure one cup of the room temperature reduced chickpea liquid to a mixing bowl, along with the cream of tartar. Mix with an electric mixture for around 2 minutes, until the mixture becomes frothy.
- While mixing, begin adding the sugar, one tablespoon at a time, until all added. Continue mixing on medium-high speed until soft peaks form.
- Add the vanilla, and continue mixing until stiff peaks form. You should be able to tilt the bowl nearly upside down without the meringue mixture moving (be careful though, don’t tip it on the floor showing off!).
- Add the xanthan gum to stabilise, and give a final mix to combine.
- Spoon the finished meringue over the cool pie filling. Ensure that the edges of the pie crust are covered (to prevent burning), and use the spoon to draw up peaks across the meringue.
- Place the pie into the 160°C oven, and bake for 20 minutes, or until the peaks have turned brown and the meringue has golden edges. Turn off the oven, and allow the pie to sit inside the oven for one hour.
- Remove from oven, and after cooling to room temperature, transfer to refrigerator for two hours before serving.
We haven’t included a recipe for the pastry case, but your favourite pastry case should work fine!