Today, I present to you this vegan lemon meringue pie* in honor of…
Sarah of Snixy Kitchen’s virtual baby shower!! Yay babies!!
In honor of her baby girl (coming soon in February), Todd and Alanna are hosting a virtual Cheese & Sweets-themed baby shower (also in honor of things Sarah loves) with a fantastic group of bloggers. See the bottom of the post for a zillion INCREDIBLE cheesy, sweet, and cheesy AND sweet recipes! (Mostly all gluten-free in honor of Sarah!)
In a stroke of great luck, I’ve gotten to meet Sarah in real life before! Last year when I was home in California over winter break, Alanna hosted a potluck for a few local blogger friends in her lovely home. What struck me about Sarah (aside from her adorable glasses and bangs) was the fact that she was not only an incredibly talented gluten-free food blogger and photographer, but also a blog design back-end whiz AND getting her PhD in math education. WOWOWOW. Her baby is lucky to be sharing those star-packed genes.
So this pie, I’ve tried making it before. Because ever since I found out you can make billowy, fluffy, snow-white, honest-to-marshmallow MERINGUE from aquafaba (aka the magical chickpea brine), lemon meringue pie has obviously been on my to-do list. (Even though I’ve never really been a huge lemon meringue fan.) (It still had to be done.)
Many lessons were learned in the second making of this pie. Like:
- Juicing lemons by hand takes a lot of time.
- You should have a crust recipe in mind before making the pie.
- In terms of fun level, swirling meringue is on par with eating a bite out of twenty different cookies (or close, anyway).
But I’m sure you’re wondering: how does it taste?
To me, the satiny, glossy, lightly toasted and sticky meringue tastes just like the real deal. The tofu-based lemon curd is quite tart and bursting with fresh lemon juice, which completely dominates any tofu flavor. I think the thin layer of curd is well offset by a fairly thick layer of meringue so that the sweet, relative blandness of the meringue cuts the tartness.
The crust is what I might change if I made this again. It’s thick, hefty and nutty where a lighter crust that almost shatters in your mouth might be a better fit. I made this previously with a non gluten-free crust (a simple vegan olive oil/all-purpose flour crust like this), which was flakier and more delicate. I was still happy enough with this version to post it, but if you have a favorite pie crust, feel free to use it in place of the one that’s written and please report back! Let’s crowdsource this until we make it perfect!
*PS. I realize this was made in a tart pan, so it’s technically a tart, but you could also make this in a deep-dish pie pan to make it an actual pie. That would be ideal since I had excess filling after making this in a 10-inch tart pan.
Congratulations Sarah!! I look forward to seeing photos of you and your beautiful cheese baby girl!!
A few notes about aquafaba:
- While you can make aquafaba meringue using chickpea brine straight from the can (alternatively, some have had success using the liquid from boiling dry beans), I find that reducing the aquafaba first makes for a stronger, stiffer meringue that is less likely to weep and disintegrate into foam after sitting in the fridge.
- Also, you must use chilled aquafaba during the whipping step; I tried using it warm from the stove and it never reached the stiff peaks stage. This is why the recipe is written so that you reduce the aquafaba in the beginning, and then chill it as you work on other components. You can also reduce and chill the aquafaba the night before.
If you’re looking for more recipes with aquafaba, I’ve also used it successfully as an egg replacer in these waffles and these cookies!