The Quest for a Vegan Lemon Meringue Pie

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

Filling:

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

Meringue topping:

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.

10 Responses to The Quest for a Vegan Lemon Meringue Pie

  1. Abigail S. Bean May 19, 2010 at 1:53 pm #

    I think this is the first vegan lemon meringue pie recipe I have ever come across; thank you!

  2. precious mae May 20, 2010 at 9:16 pm #

    I am a vegan and I am really into it. Thanks for sharing this recipe. Something new in my diet.
    kitchen table

  3. Alice Leonard May 21, 2010 at 1:57 pm #

    Hi, I'm the creator of the Angel Food vegan meringue mix! I do need to point out that we're a New Zealand company, not Australian! :-)
    The mix makes beautiful crisp little meringue cookies (if you'll pardon me taking this marketing opportunity!) but needs ICJ added to keep a moist centre for pie topping. Best wishes, Alice

  4. Ginny Messina May 21, 2010 at 2:02 pm #

    Oh dear, Alice–I'm sorry about the geographical mix-up. I'm going to make the correction in my post right now!

    Thanks for the info on using the meringue mix for pies. I'm going to order some this weekend.

  5. lea June 13, 2010 at 5:26 am #

    There is an awesome meringue recipe on Everyday Dish in the member section that is fantastic! I used the lemon filling from the lemon bar recipe in Veganomicon and the meringue recipe from Everyday Dish and this is what I ended up with: http://terrabakery.blogspot.com/2009/11/vegan-meringue-oh-yeah.html
    The lemon filling is the perfect flavor, but either us a little less agar or whip it a little before assembling the pie so it is not so firm.

  6. Katelyn August 30, 2010 at 12:51 pm #

     
    Lemon Meringue Pie is one of my favorite recipes of all time! I've never thought it would be possible to veganize, but now I am SO EXCITED :) I'll have to make this for when I see my family around Thanksgiving!
    p.s. LOVE your blog :)

  7. Leonardo Goud November 17, 2010 at 6:31 am #

    Interesting, thank you so much! I spent my childhood in Yorkshire in the UK, and I’ve been trying to find a recipe for this tasyy pie I remember eating all the time, but can’t remember what we called it!!! Do you know any famous pie recipes from Yorkshire?

  8. Karinna Zarate January 5, 2012 at 8:47 am #

    Hi! It’s Karinna from Verdelicious.com …Thank you for this recipe. I’ve recommended it to a few people. Are you on Twitter? (i’m @KarinnaZ ) Cheers.

  9. Kira June 6, 2012 at 5:17 pm #

    Dear friends!
    Tell me, please, if you can somehow make the “egg” powder for the last recipe at home. I live in a country where, unfortunately, is not yet sold

    • the Recipe Hacker July 21, 2012 at 10:35 am #

      this is probably what they are referring to: http://www.ener-g.com/egg-replacer.html

      Ingredients: Potato Starch, tapioca starch flour, leavening (calcium lactate [not derived from dairy], calcium carbonate, citric acid), sodium carboxymethylcellulose, methylcellulose

      i would freestyle copy this ingredient list. its mostly sticky starch and a little leavening. nutrition info for this product says for 4g its 4g of carb and 10% daily calcium (100mg of 1000mg RDA) and 5mg sodium.

      we can assume the carbs is somewhere between 3.5 and 3.9g because it is rounded up to 4g.

      we could go on analyzing the nutriton info and ingredient list to figure out exact amounts but why bother!

      7 parts starch (potato, tapioca, corn, etc)
      1 part leavening (baking soda, etc)
      should work just fine as an egg re-placer.

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