My blow torch and I have become inseparable kitchen partners. After the success of my Vegan Baked Alaska, I decided to try out one of my all time favourites, lemon meringue pie. I have tried to keep the recipe fairly simple. Try not to be put off by the Italian meringue, boiling sugar to a set temperature may seem very complicated, but it is surprisingly easy. This method creates a delicious, light meringue which is far more stable than an oven baked aquafaba meringue. A couple of notes, I saved some of the pies in the fridge overnight and, although they didn’t dissolve or collapse, the meringue layer became a little softer than when first made. Secondly depending on the depth of your tins, you may have a little left over lemon curd, but it is great with some yoghurt and muesli or in a lemon cake. Finally, If you don’t have a blow torch, you can brown the meringue under a very hot grill, just be careful as they can burn very quickly.
Lemon meringue pie – makes around 6 – 8 individual pies
6 – 8 loose bottom pie tins ( I used
For the pastry:
180g plain flour
100g coconut oil (it should be in a solid state) or vegan margarine
a pinch of salt
For the lemon curd:
200 g sugar
60 g cornstarch
a good pinch of salt
2.5 dl/ 250 ml plant based milk, I used oatly ikaffe
1.25 dl/ 125 ml water
zest of 4 large lemons
2.5 dl/ 250 ml fresh lemon juice (around 5 – 6 largish lemons)
a pinch of turmeric for colour
1 tbsp vegan butter/ margarine
For the meringue:
1 dl/ 100 ml aquafaba
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
100 g sugar
0.6 dl/ 60 ml water
To make the pastry combine the flour and salt and add the coconut oil/ margarine. Quickly rub the oil/ margarine into the flour until you have fine breadcrumbs. Next, add a few teaspoons of ice cold water at a time , stirring in with a knife until your pastry begins to come together. You should then be able to use you hands to form the pastry into a ball. Cover with cling film and refrigerate for 20 -30 minutes.
Flour a surface and a rolling pin and roll out your pastry to around 3 mm thickness. Cut pieces of pastry to line your pie tins. Prick the bottom of the pastry with a fork and blind bake in the oven at 175 degrees c. for 8 – 10 minutes. Remove the paper and baking beans/ rice and bake for a further 6 – 10 minutes, until the pastry turns a light golden colour. Allow to cool.
Meanwhile make your curd. Add all the ingredients except the butter into a large pan. Don’t be scared to add the turmeric, you won’t taste it, but it will add a beautiful deep yellow colour. Stir continuously over a medium heat, until you have a thick smooth curd. Stir in the butter and allow to cool completely.
Finally, make the Italian meringue. Add the aquafaba and cream of tartar to the bowl of a standing mixer. Whisk the aquafaba until it forms stiff peaks. This can take a while, be patient as you need it as stiff as possible.
Next make a sugar syrup. Add the sugar and water to a saucepan and bring to a slow boil. Using a sugar thermometer allow the syrup to continue boiling until it reaches a temperature of between 116 and 120 degrees c.
Turn your mixer back on and slowly drizzle the syrup into the aquafaba as it whisks. Finally turn the mixer up to full for a final one to two minute whisk. The meringue should be thick and glossy.
Dollop a generous amount of the curd into each pastry case. Spoon the meringue into a piping bag and pipe to cover the curd into a nice dome shape. Use a blow torch to caramelise the outside of the meringue. Be careful as it can catch and burn easily.