Let the egg-free meringue adventures continue…
Now basic meringues are one thing, but a lemon meringue pie? I thought that really was out of my reach. My previous recipe wasn’t suitable as an Italian meringue substitute. Would ‘aquafaba’ meringue be any more successful? Well, it was. A very successful Italian meringue can be created with chickpea water, giving the necessary soft, foamy meringue topping which can then be browned under the grill or with a blow torch.
Italian meringue is when you whisk a sugar syrup, that was heated up to firm ball stage (116-120 degrees C/242-248 degrees F) slowly into the whisked egg whites. In effect you re cooking the egg whilst the beating is taking place, avoiding the need to further bake the meringue in the oven. And it is the same process with the aquafaba/chickpea water producing clouds of edible meringue which can be piled on top of the lemon tart base and quickly browned. The only noticeable difference is the browned top has less of a crispy character than a usual lemon meringue pie. It’s not really a huge issue.
Lemon Meringue Pie (dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, soya-free, sesame-free, vegetarian and vegan)
makes 1 tart
- Short crust pastry, I used Jus-rol for convenience
- Zest of 1 lemon
- Juice of 2 lemons
- 1/2 cup caster sugar
- 1/4 cup custard powder
- 1 cup dairy-free milk, I like Oatly
- water from one tin of chickpeas
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp sugar
- pinch of zantham gum
- pinch of cream of tartar
- 1 tsp vanilla
– Line and bake blind a shallow tart tin, cool. Find instructions for a great shortcrust (sub dairy-free spread for the butter) and to blind bake here.
– Place the zest, lemon juice and sugar in a saucepan and heat to dissolve the sugar
– Mix the custard powder with a couple of tbsps dairy-free milk to form a smooth paste.
– Add the custard mix and the dairy-free milk to the lemon juice mixture.
– Heat gently, stirring now and then until it starts to thicken. When the consistency is similar to yogurt (gloopy but still a bit runny) pour into the tart shell.
– Leave to set in the fridge for an hour or so before topping.
– Whilst the tart is setting, make the Italian meringue
– Whisk 1/3 cup chickpea water with a pinch of zantham gum and a pinch of cream of tartar until forming soft peaks
– Melt together the remaining 1/4 cup chickpea water (or use water instead) and sugar and bring up to 242-248 degrees F/116-120 degrees Centigrade
– With the stand mixer on medium, slowly drizzle in the hot syrup into the meringue mix
– Turn up to high for a minute or two until you have piles of white glossy clouds of meringue, beat in the vanilla
– Spoon over the top of the pie and brown under a grill or with a blow torch.
– Eat as soon as possible.