Spring is finally here! And around here along with the spring come berries. Strawberries, raspberries and blueberries are available for an all too short period of time. Gotta get my berry on while I can. So I decided to do a little twist on the traditional and make these raspberry-lemon aquafaba meringue mini pies. Yep, they’re vegan.
How are they vegan, you’re asking? Isn’t meringue made with egg whites? Not these babies. My meringue is made from aquafaba, i.e. bean juice. Simply take a can of garbanzo beans, drain off the liquid and whip it into fluffy meringue heaven. It’s a technique I learned from the Facebook group Vegan Meringue – Hits and Misses! Lots of people over there have experimented with lemon meringue pies and thanks to their hard work and experimentation, I’ve come up with these raspberry-lemon aquafaba meringue mini pies.
I don’t have much of a sweet tooth so the thought of making an entire pie and being stuck eating it for the rest of the week didn’t appeal to me. So I made these mini pies in a muffin tin and they’re the perfect portion size for when you want just a little hit of sugar. I recommend cutting strips of parchment paper to line the bottom of your muffin cups and make it easy to get the pies out once they’ve been assembled and baked.
I looked around a bit for ideas on how to do a vegan lemon filling. Most recipes I came across used agar agar or silken tofu to thicken. I wanted something more simple and accessible for most people and was happy when I came across this recipe. Oh man, is it ever tasty! And so easy to make. I reduced the recipe by half and added raspberries to have the perfect quantity for 12 delicious raspberry-lemon aquafaba meringue mini pies.
Filling adapted from http://csmaccath.com/content/vegan-lemon-meringue-pie#.Vv-c2HonKNo
Makes 12 mini pies
- 1 single pie crust - I used a coconut oil vodka pie crust (link in notes below)
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup + 1/2 Tbsp cornstarch
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 2/3 cup water
- 1/2 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- Grated zest of one lemon
- 65 grams (2.3 oz) raspberries, pureed in a food processor or blender
- 4 tablespoons aquafaba (liquid from a can of garbanzo beans)
- 1/8 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 3 tablespoons fine sugar (grind granulated sugar in a blender until powdery, almost like icing sugar)
- 1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 175°C (350°F)
- Cut strips of baking paper and place them inside each cup of your muffin tin with the ends out and folded over. This makes tabs you can pull to lift the mini pies out easily. Roll out your pie crust and use the rim of a glass to cut out circles large enough to line the cups of your muffin tin. I found it easier to get the pastry into the muffin tin by cutting a slit from the edge to the middle of the circle and folding it into a cone then pressing the pastry into the muffin cups and pressing the folded edges together. Prick the bottom of each pie with a fork.
- Line each pastry case with baking paper and fill with beans or rice. Blind bake the crust for about 20 minutes. Then remove the beans and baking paper and continue baking for 10 – 15 more minutes or until the pastry is golden brown.
- Meanwhile, prepare the filling by combining the sugar, cornstarch, salt, water, and non-dairy milk in a small pot. Heat the pot over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture begins to simmer and then suddenly thickens (about 5 - 10 minutes). Remove from heat. In a separate bowl combine the lemon juice, lemon zest and raspberry puree. Slowly add the lemon-raspberry juice to the filling, stirring constantly until combined. Pour the filling into your mini pie crusts.
- Turn the oven up to broil.
- In a very clean bowl with no oil residue, whip the aquafaba using the whisk attachment of an immersion blender, hand mixer or stand mixer until reaching the consistency of firm peak egg whites. Add the vinegar. Begin adding the sugar, one tablespoon at a time and whipping for about 30 seconds with each addition. Finally mix in the vanilla extract. Transfer the meringue to a piping bag and pipe it over your raspberry-lemon pies. Place the pan back in the oven under the broiler for a minute to allow the meringue to brown. Watch it the whole time because it can burn very quickly. Remove from oven and allow to cool before removing from the muffin tin.
Notes: This is my recipe for coconut oil vodka pie crust. If you keep your mini pies in the fridge, you might notice the oil in the crust hardens a bit from the cold. Allow your pies to warm to room temperature before serving.