I got a chance to experiment more with the chickpea brine meringue (aquafaba, as the kids call it). I did some research and it turns out..aquafaba does much more than I realized. Lemon Meringue pie is one of my favorite desserts, and when I went (mostly) vegan I resigned myself to never having it again. My wonderful grandma made an amazing one back in her day, and the thought of never enjoying that again felt almost like a denial of my heritage. But in line with my foodology, I am determined to make health(ier) variations of the great food I grew up with that accommodate my fussy dietary restrictions.
I found a few vegan lemon meringue recipes and created a mishmash of them based on what I had in the kitchen. Hope you enjoy this as much as I did!
Makes 12 mini tarts
1/2 cup almond meal
2/3 cup gluten free all purpose flour
4 TB coconut oil
4 TB cold water
1 TB maple syrup
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
dash of salt
1/2 cup cashews (soaked and drained)
1/2 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
5 TB maple syrup
2 tsp corn starch + 1 tsp water
1/2 cup chickpea brine
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Chill the chickpea brine in fridge while you prep the crust and lemon custard.
To make the crust:
1. Blend all crust ingredients in a food processor until it forms a dough ball.
2. Flatten dough to 1/2″, wrap in saran wrap and refrigerate 20 minutes.
3. Press dough into mini muffin tin and bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes, until lightly golden.
To make the custard:
4. Blend cashews, lemon juice and maple syrup in food processor until creamy.
5. Mix the corn starch and water in a small bowl
6. Pour cashew mix into sauce pan and heat on medium, stirring constantly. Add corn starch and continue to heat and stir until custard thickens.
7. Once crusts have cooled, pour the custard in each and chill while you make the meringue.
To make the meringue:
8. Whip up the chickpea brine with a high speed mixer until it stiffens
9. Add vanilla and then add sugar gradually until the whip forms stiff peaks (whipping may take up to 20 minutes total)
10. Turn the oven onto broil. Spoon (or use a pastry bag) the meringue onto chilled tarts.
11. With the oven door open in order to watch carefully, lightly toast the meringue for about a minute or two, turning the pan to make sure they brown evenly.
12. Chill the tarts uncovered in the fridge for at least an hour to firm up, and serve the same day.
These turned out quite excellent, although there’s no comparison to Grandma’s. It could work to serve them the next day, but the meringue sags and loses its shape so it’s not recommended.
There you have it. Vegans will never be deprived of their lemon meringue again!