I always find veganizing favorite recipes to be pretty fun and rewarding. But admittedly, some present more of a challenge than others. My nephew emailed me asking for advice on making lemon meringue pie. (Alas, he was seeking information for a friend; none of my nephews are vegan.) It was the meringue that had them stumped.
It stumped me, too, so I went straight to the source of information on all things vegan: my twitter friends. They are a brilliant bunch, I must say, and immediately provided me with some good leads.
Apparently there is a product made in New Zealand called Vegan Meringue Cookie Mix which is available from Vegan Essentials. Well-known chef Bryanna Clark Grogan uses it in her lemon meringue pie and has a recipe on her Vegan Feast Kitchen blog. Bryanna adds something called Instant Clear Gel to the meringue mix–I would imagine it makes it fluffier. I don’t know if this is available in stores, but you can buy it on amazon. Hannah Kaminsky also gives the meringue cookie mix rave reviews on her Bittersweet blog.
This meringue recipe, which doesn’t use a mix, looks good, too.
A couple of non-traditionalists suggested skipping the meringue and using a tofu cream topping. And someone else recommended making Lemon Mallow Pie (I like the sound of that!), by topping it with vegan marshmallows. I love Dandies marshmallows and think they would melt very nicely as a pie topping. (And if they don’t work out for the pie, you can just stick them on a fork and toast them over the stove–one of my favorite desserts.)
Finally, I found (and shamelessly copied below) a recipe from the discussion board on the Post Punk Kitchen site, which is a wealth of information.
Coincidently, I posted an article yesterday on my examiner site about eliminating eggs and chickens from menus as an especially impactful first step toward going vegan. Even for those who aren’t yet vegan, finding fun alternatives to especially egg-y recipes like lemon meringue pie can make a big difference for animals. If you have other ideas for vegan meringue, please share them in the comments section.
Here is the Post Punk Kitchen recipe. It uses agar, which is a sea vegetable that makes a great vegan gelatin. (Note: to the best of my knowledge, this is not Isa Chandra Moskowitz’s recipe, even though the site is hers.)
Luscious Lemon Pie
1 (9-inch) graham cracker crust
1 pound medium-firm tofu
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup lemon juice
2 tablespoons cornstarch
Zest of 1 large lemon, grated, or 2 teaspoons lemon extract
1 1/3 teaspoons agar powder (or 1 1/3 tablespoons agar flakes) mixed with 1/4 cup cold water
1/2 cup powdered egg replacer
3/4 cup cold water
1/2 cup sugar
4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon pure lemon extract
Preheat the oven to 350 F.
Combine the filling ingredients together in a blender or food processor until very smooth. Pour this into the crust, and bake for 35 minutes. Cool the pie on a rack, then refrigerate.
To make the meringue mix the agar and water in a small saucepan, and let set for about 5 minutes. Stir over medium heat until it simmers, then allow to simmer 1 minute.
In a deep, medium bowl, beat the egg replacer and 3/4 cup water with an electric or rotary egg beater until it resembles softly mounded egg whites. Beat in the sugar, vanilla, and lemon extract, then the cooked agar mixture. Beat well to distribute the agar evenly. When smooth and glossy, cool it in the refrigerator. It will firm up. Beat it again briefly, then pile the mixture around the edge of the pie, leaving the edge of the crust and the center showing. Make little peaks in the meringue with the back of the spoon. Refrigerate until ready to serve.