Eggs are central to traditional lemon meringue pie — especially the whites, for that airy meringue topping. For this vegan lemon meringue pie, we used aquafaba, the liquid from canned or cooked beans; it contains a combination of proteins and starches that, when beaten, creates a thick, foamy, stable mixture that looks and performs like beaten egg whites. A little turmeric powder adds a pale yellow hue to the filling in the absence of yolks. The meringue is best browned with a culinary torch; if you don’t have one, you can brown the meringue under an over broiler. Preheat the broiler first, the put the meringue-topped pie on the upper rack and brown for a minute or two; keep an eye on it, and turn it frequently for even browning.
1. Preheat oven to 400° F. Zest two lemons; set zest aside. Juice lemons to make about 1 cup juice. Place pie weights in crust, or prick crust 10 or 12 times with a fork, and bake for 10 minutes until just golden. Remove from oven. Transfer to a rack to cool.
2. While crust cools, make filling: whisk together sugar, corn starch and salt in a medium saucepan. Whisk in almond or other milk, lemon juice, water and turmeric until smooth. Bring to a high simmer over medium heat, whisking constantly, until bubbles form. Continue cooking, stirring almost constantly with a rubber spatula, about 3 more minutes; mixture should be extremely thick.
3. Remove from heat and stir in lemon zest and vegan butter or coconut oil. Pour filling into baked pie crust. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing wrap directly against the surface of the filling. Refrigerate for 4 hours, or until chilled through and very firm.
4. After pie has chilled, make meringue: strain chickpea liquid (aquafaba) into the bowl of a stand mixer, or into a large bowl for a hand-held mixture. Reserve chickpeas for another use. Beat aquafaba on medium for 1 minute, until foamy. Sprinkle in cream of tartar, turn mixer to high, and beat for another 3 to 4 minutes, until mixture is thickened and soft peaks begin to form. With mixer running, slowly add powdered sugar and vanilla extract. Continue beating until meringue is glossy and stiff peaks form.
5. Remove plastic wrap from chilled pie. Spoon meringue on top of lemon filling, spreading all the way to the edges; use a spoon to create peaks. With a kitchen torch, brown meringue peaks until golden, or brown under oven broiler set on low. Serve immediately.
- Serving Size 1 slice