Friday, September 26, 2014

Vegan lemon meringue pie


I think I may have reached the pinnacle of my baking adventures. Right now, I can't think of anything more magical than this lemon meringue pie. It has the requisite crisp base, zesty set centre, and fluffy - so fluffy! - meringue topping. And it is vegan. I wasn't confident going in, but can now say that meringue without eggs really is possible!


I knew I wanted to make a lemon meringue pie for Vegan MoFo, but this wasn't one of the dishes I prepared ahead of time. In fact, I only made it this week. I was worried it wouldn't work, or that I'd be up all night repeating my efforts if the first pie failed.

In the end, it was oddly easy. I made the meringue topping with egg replacer - a hefty 1/3 cup of it - which was whipped for 5 minutes with water while gradually adding sugar. In other words, it was just like making regular meringue. The same was true for the rest of the pie. There is a lot of sugar and the recipe is a little bit time consuming, but the end result is very much worth it. 




For those of you who can remember what we do and don't have in our kitchen, last week I didn't have electric beaters but now I do. This doesn't signal the arrival of our shipment (although it is looking positive for that coming in just over a week). Instead, I remembered that I didn't ship my beaters. I donated them to my sister. Having remembered that, I hastily bought a new set just in time to make this.

It has been a while since I've had lemon meringue pie, but as far as I can recall, this tastes like the non-vegan versions. My 'meringue' component didn't brown on top as egg versions do, and perhaps tasted a little bit different to meringue made with eggs, but you would have to pay a lot of attention to notice. Perhaps the best accolade is that the pie was well received by Mr Bite, who is a big lemon meringue pie fan.

All in all, I am calling this a success and venturing a confident assertion that I'll be making it again.


Vegan lemon meringue pie
A truly magical dessert
Vegan; could be gluten free if you use gluten free flour

Makes 1 pie

Allow time for the lemon filling to set before making the meringue topping, about 2 hours

Author: Bite-Sized Thoughts, adapted from a vegan lemon meringue pie recipe on Guardian Witness


Stage 1 - the pie base
Ingredients
1 cup / 230g plain flour
1/2 cup / 120g non-dairy spread
1 tbsp sugar
Pinch salt
Dash of cold water, as needed to bring the dough together

Method
Combine the flour, sugar and salt in a mixing bowl, and then rub in the non-dairy spread with your fingers. Add a drizzle of water to bring the dough together, if needed. Roll the dough out to 1-2cm (1/2 inch) thick and arrange in the bottom of a pie tin. Put in the fridge while you heat your oven to 200'C (400'F).

When the oven is ready, prick the pastry at the bottom of the pie tin, and then cover the pastry with baking paper. Fill with enough baking beans, nuts or seeds to hold the paper down. Bake for 10 - 15 minutes, until just firm and golden.

Set aside while you make the lemon filling.

Stage 2 - the lemon filling
Ingredients
1-1/4 cups (300g) caster sugar
1/2 cup (55g) corn flour
1/4 teaspoon vegan gelatin or agar powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup non-dairy milk
1 cup water
Zest of 2 lemons (approximately 1-1/2 tbsp)
Juice of 4 lemons (approximately 3/4 cup)

Method
Put all ingredients in a non-stick saucepan and bring to the boil, stirring regularly with a wooden spoon. Once boiling, stir constantly for 4 to 5 minutes, until the mixture is thick and very difficult to stir. Pour into the prepared pie base and allow to cool for at least 2 hours (I left mine to cool for 30 minutes at room temperature and then 1-1/2 hours in the fridge).

Stage 3 - the meringue topping
Ingredients
1/3 cup (5 tbsp + 1 tsp) egg replacer (I used the Orgran brand, which is available in the UK and Australia; the Guardian recipe linked to above used the Ener-G brand)
2/3 cup (167ml) ice cold water
3/4 cup (180g) caster sugar

Method
Place the egg replacer and water in a clean mixing bowl and stir to combine. Beat with electric mixers for 5 minutes on high speed, adding the sugar gradually as you go. The mixture is ready when it has formed soft peaks and look like meringue. If you have a stand mixer that does the beating for you, this would be a good time to use it!

Spoon meringue over the lemon filling, covering the base, and then add dollops in heaps around the centre of the pie to form discrete peaks.

Let the pie stand for approximately 15 minutes, while you heat your oven to 100'C (210'F). Bake for 30 minutes until the meringue topping is just crisp on the surface. 

Best served chilled, although you may not be able to wait for it to fully cool before trying some!



Are you a lemon meringue pie fan? Or do you have much experience with vegan meringue?


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This post is part of my participation in the 2014 Vegan Month of Food. This week I have been focusing on dessert options. I'm also sending this recipe to Healthy Vegan Friday.

Previous 2014 Vegan MoFo posts:
Breakfasts-                                                          Snacks-
#1 - Vegan French toast                                                                     
#6 - Chocolate coated banana chips
#2 - Apple and strawberry muesli                                                   
#7 - Barbecue inspired nori snacks
#3 - Mango coconut buckwheat breakfast pudding                   
#8 - Carob latte
#4 - Tips for a vegan breakfast on the go                                     
#9 - Tide Tables Café
#5 - Chickpea pancakes with spicy kale and mango                  #10 - Dark chocolate and espresso almonds

Main meal options-                                         Desserts-
#11 - Moroccan tagine                                                                        #16 - Liquorice cake
#12 - Teriyaki tofu                                                                              #17 - Lemon-tahini potato fudge
#13 - Sesame crusted carrot noodles                                              #18 - Fruity chocolate marshmallow dessert 
#14 - Vegan pizza from Pizza Express and Zizzi                          #19 - Montezuma's chocolate & cafe, Kingston

36 comments:

  1. I love this. I'm starting a file of vegan recipes so I will always be ready. This would just be a great pie whoever ate it. :)

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  2. Ohhh look at that vegan meringue! Lemon meringue pie was one of my favorite desserts as a kid, haven't had it in forever though. I'm not sure how much I trust the American egg replacers, but I'm wondering if I can make up something by looking at the ingredients list of the Orgran egg replacer, because this looks totally amazing.

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    1. I was pretty skeptical about the egg replacer too! I'm not sure if the Orgran brand is better than others or egg replacer just does more than I thought it could. Do you have the Ener-G brand near you? That was used in the recipe I adapted, so should also work :)

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  3. Wow! Amazing! It's so beautiful too!

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  4. oh gosh! So awesome. I actually was in Boston, MA (U.S) last night and bought a slice of vegan lemon meringue pie! It was so good but I was sad that I didn't know how to make it myself...so, perfect coincidental timing!

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    1. Oh, that was excellent timing! How fun to have found a vegan lemon meringue out too :)

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  5. oooh congratulations, this is fabulous! I haven't had a vegan pie and this was one of my favourite dessert pre-vegan!

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    1. Hopefully now you can have it as a favourite again!

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  6. I never dreamed it would be possible to 'veganize' meringue but you've done it! You're an absolute star Kari! ♥
    I'm so excited to give this a try. Lemon meringue pie is one of my all-time favourites :o)

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    1. Isn't it exciting?! I can't believe it took me so long to summon up the courage to try - I too thought meringue would be impossible.

      I hope you enjoy it :-)

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  7. The answer to my dreams! I adore lemon meringue pie and I thought I'd never have it again. Thank you :)

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    1. I really hope you enjoy it! Have fun rediscovering the dessert :-)

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  8. Oh.my.gosh! This looks incredible! I've never attempted a vegan lemon meringue pie but I'm happy to have a recipe for one now :)

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  9. I agree and think that the best judge is a no. 1 fan of a certain pie. I'll take Mr Bite's nod on this and put in my list! Thanks for the share!

    Gourmet Getaways

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  10. One of my favorites before becoming vegan. I'm definitely going to make this. Yum!

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  11. I have this recipe bookmarked from Guardian Winess, as well as another blog, but am so happy to see it on your blog, as it has encouraged me to make it much sooner than I had anticipated. Really looks fab, I wonder what my husband will make of the vegan version.

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    1. If he's like mine, you'll have to fight him to get half of the pie ;)

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  12. This pie looks fabulous! I love how you turn traditional treats into vegan versions.

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  13. Oh yum! I haven't had meringue in ages. Thanks for the reminder.

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  14. Lemon meringue pie is such a classic dessert and I'm so glad there's a great vegan version to enjoy. I love the look of your pie, Kari, it looks very authentic. Great work on the meringue! It's piled so high! xx

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    1. Thanks Charlie - I was delighted at the meringue height!

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  15. I take heart from your comment that it may taste a little different to the meringue made with eggs because I was never a fan of lemon meringue pie but they always look so spectacular that I wish I liked them - this might be my answer. It looks amazing - and I am surprised it didn't brown as I would imagine sugar would be important in the browning.

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    1. Perhaps it was just me under-cooking it then! The top did get the slight crunch on top I associate with meringue topping, but I was also surprised at the lack of colour.

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  16. Consider my tiny mind blown. I was never a huge fan of lemon meringue in my pregan days, but this looks so fun, I'm massively tempted to try it. Fluffy topping in particular looks beautiful!

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    1. I'm the same - lemon meringue pie wasn't my favourite before, but there's something about thinking it impossible to have vegan that increased its appeal!

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  17. This looks absolutely amazing! I'll have to hunt down some egg replacer and give it a go.

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  18. My husband is a big lemon meringue pie fan - I have only ever made it in a vegan version for him once, and like you was surprised at how easy it came together! :-)

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  19. Yum yum, i love this. So delicious, thanks for sharing this recipe.



    Simon

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