Gluten Free Vegan Lemon Meringue Pie


Lemon Meringue pie is an all-time favorite of mine, but I haven't had any in years, because I didn't know it was even possible to make this pie vegan. Lemon Meringue Pie is traditionally made with a egg  yolk centric lemon custard filling, and a meringue topping made from whipped egg-whites. Being vegan, I do not eat eggs, so what's a girl to do? I put on my creative thinking hat, and after I learned how to make meringues, I felt pretty confident that a lemon meringue pie was something I could figure out. 

This vegan lemon meringue pie is full of lemon flavor, and the turmeric adds a beautiful vibrant yellow color. I added coconut milk to deepen the consistency of the filling, as I wanted it to be more opaque and less see-through, but in all honesty, it doesn't do anything to the flavor of the pie, so if you wanted to make the pie without coconut milk, the flavor and texture would still be the same - so if you don't have coconut milk, don't panic, you can still enjoy a delicious lemon meringue pie. The one ingredient that may raise eyebrows, but is so important for this recipe, is aquafaba. Aquafaba is the liquid from canned or cooked chickpeas. It whips up just like egg-whites, so this is what I use for the vegan meringue on this egg-free lemon meringue pie. Don't panic, you wont be able to taste chickpeas in your dessert, but it will create a fluffy, marshmallow-y meringue, perfect for toasting under a broiler or with a culinary torch. 

The Home Baked Vegan's Lemon Meringue Pie is:

Gluten-free
Egg-free
Dairy-free


NOTES:

The turmeric and coconut milk can both be omitted from this recipe if you so choose, as they are merely for color, and do not effect the flavor or texture of the pie. 


If you are allergic to nuts, use a pre-baked pie crust, or try my vegan-friendly traditional pie crust from my apple pie recipe.

If you don't have the patience (or enough lemons) to make fresh lemon juice to use for this recipe, you can use the Lemon Juice that comes in a bottle - though I do recommend still using the zest from a lemon if you can. 


When you place the meringue onto the pie, be sure to spread it right to the edges of the crust, creating a seal - that way it is less likely to shrink and pull away from the edges as it cools. I use a rubber spatula to scrape the meringue onto the edges of the pie crust, and then dollop the rest of the meringue into the middle of the pie and shape it with the spatula. 

To toast the meringue, you can use a culinary torch or the broiler setting in your oven. Keep a close eye on the meringue because it burns fast... Think of it like roasting marshmallows by a fire. 



Here is my recipe for Vegan Gluten-free Lemon Meringue Pie:


Ingredients:

Crust: 
2 2/3 Cups Almond Flour 
3/4 Cup Vegetable Shortening 
1/2 Cup Shredded Coconut 

Filling:
2/3 Cups Lemon Juice
1/2 Cup + 3 Tbsp Cold Water
1 Cup Sugar
4 Tbsp Corn Starch
1 tsp Lemon Extract
2 tsp Lemon Zest
2 Tbsp Coconut Milk 
1/8 tsp Turmeric 

Meringue:
1/2 Cup Aquafaba
1/8 tsp Cream of Tartar
1 tsp Vanilla
3/4 Cup Sugar



Method:


Prepare the crust: 

Mix together Almond Flour, Shortening, and Coconut, until a uniform dough is formed. 
Press into a pie plate.
Bake at 375' for 17-23 minutes until golden brown. 

Set aside to cool.



Prepare the Filling:

In a small sauce pan, whisk together the lemon juice, 1/2 Cup water and sugar, over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved. 

In a small bowl, mix together corn starch and 3 Tbsp of cold water, until milky and without lumps. 

Stir the cornstarch mixture into the saucepan, and add remaining ingredients. 

Turn the heat to medium-high, and bring to a boil, whisking constantly.

Boil for 2-3 minutes, constantly stirring the filling so it does not stick to the bottom or create lumps. As the filling boils, it should become glassy, and bright yellow. 

Pour the filling into a baked pie shell, and set aside to cool. 



Prepare the meringue:

In a stand mixer with a whisk attachment, whip the aquafaba on high speed. 

Once it becomes frothy, add the cream of tartar and continue whipping. 

Once the meringue reaches the soft peak stage, add the vanilla, and continue whipping.

Once the meringue reaches stiff peaks, slowly add the sugar, 1 tsp at a time, until the meringue is quite stiff and glossy. 

Spread the meringue on top of the lemon pie (see notes)

Place the pie in the oven under the broiler, with the broiler heat set to high. Keep the oven door open, and remove the pie once the meringue is light golden brown. (see notes)

Place the pie in the refrigerator for 5 hours, or overnight, to set. 


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