My favourite – Vegan Lemon Meringue Pie.
A wonderful mix of tangy and sweet. Vegan Meringues are now pretty good, so pies like this can be part of any dairy and egg free cooks repertoire. The main issue is the type of meringue to make.
What type of Meringue?
Aquafaba meringue is all the rage and absolutely makes a nice meringue and is easy to do. It looks the part for sure – fluffy and white. I think it makes a meringue that’s too foamy for my taste. So I prefer the result I get from using Orgran Egg Replacer. It’s a firmer meringue, crisper on the outside, with a little bit of the chewiness you get with egg meringue. We’ve included recipes for both so you can choose which meringue to use to top your Vegan Lemon Meringue Pie.
A lot of Vegan Lemon Meringue recipes call for using a blowtorch to get that nice brown look on the top of a meringue. Sadly, I’m too accident prone to want to arm myself with a blow torch, so I just finish the pie under the grill for a few minutes. Above all, you need to watch it like a hawk so it doesn’t burn.
A couple of tips to make life easier.
- Let the pie crust cool completely before adding the curd or it won’t set properly.
- Once filled let the pie cool in the fridge before topping with the vegan meringue or the meringue will sink into the curd.
- Most importantly, don’t skimp on the time it takes to do the meringues – they will look done in under 10 minutes, but to set they really do need the full time.
- We love lemon zest, so this recipe has quite a bit which you can cut down if you wish.
Vegan Lemon Meringue Pie
- 2 2/3 Cups Plain Flour
- 1 tsp Salt
- 1 tsp Caster Sugar
- 3/4 Cup plus 2 tbsp Vegetable Fat
- 7-8 tbsp Cold Non-Dairy Milk
- 1 tsp Baking Powder
- 2 Cups Fresh Lemon Juice (about 10 lemons)
- 1 Cup Water
- 1 1/2 Cups Granulated Sugar
- 2/3 Cup Corn Flour
- 6 Lemons Zest (less if you're not a fan of zest)
- 1/2 Cup Non-Dairy Milk
- 3 tbsp Non-Dairy Margarine
- 1/2 Cup Aquafaba
- 1/2 Cup Caster Sugar
- 1/4 tsp Cream of Tartar
- 90 g Orgran Egg Replacer
- 1 Cup Cold Water
- 1/2 tsp Pectin
- 1 tsp Vanilla
- 125 g Sifted Icing Sugar
- 1 tbsp Soft Brown Sugar
Make the Pastry
- I think this pastry is best made in a food processor but you can do it by hand if you wish. Make sure the non-dairy milk is chilled and do build in enough time to chill the pastry for 30 minutes after you finish making it.
- Mix the flour, salt, sugar and baking powder together.
- Measure the fat and then add to the flour in 'chunks' or tablespoons. Next using the pulse on the food processor quickly mix until the flour and fat looks like breadcrumbs. If doing by hand use a pastry cutter or two knives and work as quickly as you can. Don't over-mix. Now mix in the milk, one tablespoon at a time until you have a pliable pastry and chill for thirty minutes.
- Bake blind in a hot oven (425°F 215°C). Roll out your pastry so it's larger than your pie dish. You'll have some leftovers from this recipe as I like to have a lot to work with. Line the pie dish with the pastry, and cover it with baking parchment. Add baking beans evenly across the base to weigh the parchment down. I make the parchment big enough to bend over the edges of the pastry but you can use tin foil to protect the edges if you prefer. You need to fold back the parchment or remove the tin foil, for the last 10 minutes of baking to allow the edges to brown. In total bake for 25 minutes in the hot oven until the pastry is a lovely colour. Once baked, put to one side to cool, after removing the baking beans and parchment. In order for the curd to set the pastry needs to be cold.
- Squeezing the lemons does take time, as does the zesting. Zest them first as you really can't get enough grip if you zest after they are squeezed.
- Take the lemon juice, sugar and water and whizz in a food processor to combine and then pop the mixture in a pot on ow heat.
- Put the cornflour in a large bowl and slowly add in some of the warm liquid whisking all the time. To ensure it's lump-free add a tablespoon at a time. You should continue to do this until you've half the lemon juice mixture combined with the corn flour. Now pour the cornflour mixture into the pot and whisk til there are no lumps. Next, heat the mixture, whisking all the time for about 5 minutes or until it starts to thicken and go a darker colour. A low simmer is what you're after.
- Whisk in the dairy-free margarine, lemon zest and dairy-free milk and bring back to a low simmer for about 2 minutes. The mixture should have thickened up, and cover the back of a spoon.
- Take off the heat and cool - it will get thicker as it cools.
- Add the curd to the cool pie crust and refrigerate for a couple of hours.
- I prefer Orgran as I think it's closer to proper meringue. Sift the Orgran into a mixing bowl and add the pectin and mix.
- Put the mixer on high and mix while slowly adding the water - mix for 5 minutes. Then continue to mix on high for another five minutes as you add the mixed sugars a tablespoon at a time. You will end up with a lovely meringue.
- If you are using Aquafaba, add the liquid to a mixing bowl and mix on high and slowly add the sugar and vanilla. As you continue to mix you'll end up with a fluffy meringue, this takes a good 10 minutes.
Assemble and Bake
- After that, spoon the meringues onto the top of the cooled pie and make swirls so you get a nice pattern that browns easily.
- Put in a low oven (140°F, 60°C) for 1 hour 30 minutes. That should dry out the meringue. Now put the grill on high and place the pie close to the grill for 3 or 4 minutes. Keep the door open, and sit in front of it watching the pie like a hawk. Keep checking, and rotating the pie to get a nice brown top.
If you fancy a fun and simple way to make meringues for kids here it is: