In case you haven’t heard, some wonderful person discovered that if you keep the liquid when you drain a tin of chickpeas, and you whip up that liquid with a handheld beater, then you can make ** vegan meringue **. It’s some kind of vegan miracle. (Actually, I think it’s probably due to starch: there’s an explanation at the end of the first paragraph of this post on Seitan is My Motor.)
I heard about vegan meringue on Twitter, then immediately did some googling and found this recipe for vegan lemon meringue pie on Seitan Beats Your Meat. (As a mathematician, I loved her Pi Day reference too.) Pictured above is the pie, a mini-pie made with some leftover lemon filling and meringue topping, and one of the THREE trays of meringue kisses that I made with the rest of the leftover meringue. You won’t believe how much meringue one tin of chickpea liquid can produce.
Here we see some meringue kisses. Cute!! I did find that these kisses soaked up moisture from the air very quickly (and we have humid air in Sydney at the moment). But I followed someone’s tip which is this: store your meringue kisses in an airtight container with a few packets of dessicant (e.g. silica gel): those little packets you get with shoes or vitamins, to keep things dry. It works! The kisses were crunchy on the outside and chewy on the inside. At most there’s a tiny hint of a bean taste, if you concentrate and try to find it, but you have to look for it pretty hard: really these just taste like meringue.
The cooked pie looked more or less the same as the uncooked pie, but the meringue was crispy. I finished baking after midnight, so we had to wait until the next evening to eat the pie. The meringue layer had softened, which is what you want for this dessert I think. The lemon layer was very lemony. I had cheated somewhat and used store-bought (vegan) shortcrust pastry, instead of making the pastry from the recipe. (I’d also baked it a little too long in the blind baking stage, but it was still yummy.) This pie was really fun to make and very tasty to eat.
To sum up: vegan meringue exists (and you don’t need to use weird egg replacer powder to make it.) Grab a tin of chickpeas and give it a go. (Remember to use the hashtag #legumeringue because it was Leigh Drew’s idea and it is genius.)