Archives for posts with tag: meringue

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I decided that it was time to have another go at making vegan pavlovas: individual pavlovas seemed easiest. This time I reduced my chickpea liquid the day before, as suggested in this recipe from The Blenderist which I followed.

I didn’t start with all the liquid from one can of chickpeas: in the past I’ve ended up with way too much meringe, so I only kept about 2/3rds of a can’s worth of liquid. Then, I forgot to measure the liquid before I reduced it, so I had to just guess when to stop: it’s possible I reduced it too far!  The net result was that I ended up with enough meringue for 3 individual pavlovas, as shown here. The kids got one each and my partner and I shared the third one: such parental sacrifice.  I tried to whip some coconut cream and it did thicken up a bit, but I have never had much luck getting very well-whipped coconut cream. (Do I give up too early, or is there some trick? Any advice gratefully received.) The pavlovas are topped with passionfruit pulp, kiwifruit and strawberries.

The pavlovas were a little flat, so these looked like a cross between pavlovas and pizzas!  We were more interested in how they tasted, and they tasted very nice. Due to the thinness of the base, I didn’t achieve the soft fluffiness that I remember from (egg-based) pavlovas of my childhood: my dream would be to produce a base which has a crispy shell and a mallowy fluffy centre. Perhaps if I had divided my meringue into two larger portions, I would have ended up with thicker bases and some fluffiness would have resulted?  I will try again someday, but meanwhile there’s always these pizzalovas to enjoy.

Beating the chickpea liquid

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.)

Vegan meringue, before baking

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.

Meringue Kisses

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.

Lemon meringue pie

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.)