Vegan Lemon Meringue Pie
This vegan lemon meringue pie has everything going for it. It has the perfect combination of crisp (from the pastry), tart and sharp (from the filling) and sweet (from the meringue). Best of all, it’s simpler to make than you’d think and it will make you feel like you have your life completely together.
30 mins (+ chilling)
170g plain flour
¼ tsp salt
110g cold plant based butter, cubed
75ml cold water
240ml lemon juice (6-8 lemons)
1 lemon, zested
250g icing sugar
¼ tsp salt
⅛ tsp turmeric
20g plant based butter
1 x 400g tin chickpeas
½ tsp cream of tartar
150g caster sugar
250g golden syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ tsp salt
Start by making the crust. Add the flour and salt to a bowl and stir it to combine. Add the cold cubed butter and use a fork to work it into the flour for 2-3 minutes - until the pieces of butter are roughly the size of peas.
Pour 60ml cold water into the flour and use the fork to toss the flour mixture, incorporating the water as you go. Add another 15ml water and continue to toss the flour mixture until a dough comes together.
Transfer the dough onto a piece of cling film or parchment and form it into a disc before tightly wrapping it. Let it sit in the fridge for at least 20 minutes - it can also be made ahead of time and sit in the fridge overnight.
Preheat the oven to 200˚C fan/220˚C conventional.
Once the dough has chilled, remove it from the fridge and roll it out, on a lightly floured surface, into a circle that's around 0.3 cm thick. Starting from the edge, wrap the dough around the rolling pin and carefully place it onto your pie dish.
Press it down through the base and sides of the pie dish. Trim the excess dough and crimp the edges by using your thumb and index finger to squeeze the dough, then using the index finger of the opposite hand to press in between the two fingers - forming a V on the rim - and repeating that process with the rest of the pastry.
Use a fork to prick the pastry throughout the base and sides. Place a piece of parchment paper onto the base of the pastry and fill it with pie weight, beans or rice.
Bake the pie crust for 12-14 minutes, then remove the parchment and pie weights and continue baking it for another 8-10 minutes - until the edges are golden brown and the base looks set. Let the pie crust cool until it reaches room temperature.
Next, make the filling. Combine the lemon juice, lemon zest, icing sugar, milk and salt in a small saucepan over medium low heat. Stir the mixture until it reaches a gentle simmer.
In a bowl, combine the turmeric and cornstarch. Add the water and whisk to form a smooth slurry.
Whilst whisking the lemon sugar mixture, pour the slurry in. Whisk the filling for 2-3 minutes, over medium heat, until the mixture thickens. Whisk in the butter then remove the filling from the heat and let it cool for 2-3 minutes.
Pour the filling into the pie crust. Let the filling come to room temperature, then transfer the pie dish into the fridge and let it set for one hour.
When the filling has almost finished setting, start prepare the meringue topping. Drain the chickpeas over the bowl of a stand mixer (reserving the chickpeas for another use). Add the cream of tartar and whip the chickpea water on medium high speed, until it reaches soft peaks - this takes around 7-8 minutes.
In the meantime, add the caster sugar, golden syrup and water to a small saucepan and stir to combine. Stop stirring, then bring the mixture to a simmer over medium heat. Let the sugar syrup cook undisturbed (as this will create hard sugar crystals) until it reaches 115˚C.
With the mixer running, slowly pour the sugar syrup into the stand mixer in a thin steady stream. Continue to whip the mixture for 7-8 minutes, until it’s thick and fluffy. Add the vanilla and salt, and whip the meringue for 1 more minute.
Once the filling has set, gently spoon the meringue over the filling and use the back of a spoon to create swirls on the topping.
Use a blow torch to brown the peaks and swirls of the meringue topping. If you don’t have a blow torch, place the pie in the oven on the ‘grill’ setting, for 8-10 minutes, rotating it frequently to ensure it doesn’t burn.
Let it cool for 10 minutes, then serve it straight away.
by Valentina Concordia
Valentina is our Food Creative, who dreams up our tasty dishes and recipes for our social channels. She has loads of experience cooking up a storm in Italian kitchens, so it’s no surprise she can’t live without good-quality olive oil (don’t come between her and her olive oil) and fresh pasta.