The perfect balance of tart lemon filling within a rich buttery crust and topped a fluffy vegan meringue topping. A delicious summer dessert!
This vegan lemon meringue pie is an epic veganized recipe.
It’s one of those recipes that seems almost impossible to veganize. Crusts are usually vegan or easily made vegan; however both the filling and meringue topping contains a ridiculous amount of eggs (both yolks and whites).
Luckily with some ingenuity and understanding of thickeners and starches, it’s fairly easy to make the lemon filling. The meringue is a bit trickier, but thanks to the genius who invented aquafaba, it is possible to make a fluffy white texture that is somewhat darn near close to what you got before.
While you do have to wait for some setting up and things, the recipe itself is fairly easy to make.
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VEGAN LEMON MERINGUEINGREDIENTS:
Below are notes about the main ingredients before we get into the full recipe located lower in this post on how to make this easy vegan dessert recipe:
For the Crust
- Flour – the start of every dough, we are using all purpose flour for this recipe
- Vegan Sugar – we want the sweetness to be throughout the dish so we are using it in the crust and filling
- Salt – salt is used to enhance the flavor
- Vegan Butter – adds richness and flavor but also makes a delicious flakey, buttery crust
- Dairy Free Milk – any non-dairy milk will work and this just helps all our ingredients come together into the perfect dough
For the Filling
- Sugars – Lemon curd is very thick and sweet. Adding sugar helps with both.
- Starch – Egg yolks usually help thicken things, but since we aren’t using them, we are using cornstarch to thicken
- Turmeric – How we get that super yellow color that we need for this to look traditional without the use of egg yolks
- Lemon Juice and Zest- The flavor that you want in a lemon meringue needs both the juice and zest. Do not skimp here and use bottle lemon juice, you definitely want fresh
For the Meringue
- Aquafaba – is the juice of canned chickpeas. It can be made with dried chickpeas, but you have to reduce to a specific texture and it’s not easy to obtain that without a lot of practice.
- Cream of tartar – helps to stabilize our aquafaba when making stiff peaks
SUBSTITUTIONS AND VARIATIONS:
- You can use gluten free flour instead of all-purpose. We do recommend that you use a 1:1 blend
- For the vegan butter in the crust, you can sub out vegetable shortening
- You can sub our non dairy milk in the crust for water
- Turmeric is being used for color. Can use yellow food coloring instead
- You could also sub out a store bought crust instead of making the recipe
- Inside of the filling cornstarch can be swapped for potato starch or arrowroot powder
- If you don’t like the taste of meringue, you can swap it for vegan whipped topping
We do not recommend making any other changes to the filling or the meringue at this time.
Frequently Asked Questions about Vegan Lemon Meringue Pie:
Yes! Use a gluten free 1:1 baking blend instead of flour in the crust. For the vegan butter, you’ll want to use a soy free version. Lastly, make sure that the non-dairy milk you choose is suitable for your allergens.
While we always love homemade foods, if you need to reduce the time, you can swap the entire crust recipe for a store bought crust. Cook crust according to package and let cool before pouring in filling.
Yes you can. The crust, and filling can both be made 3-4 days ahead of time and the proceed with the recipe. Do not make the meringue ahead of time unless you are going to freeze it.
We recommend eating the pie within 12 hours of adding the meringue. If you cannot, we recommend freezing it and then thawing as needed.
Lemon Meringue is designed to be served cold.
We highly recommend a stand mixer because of the length of time it takes to make the stiff peaks. That being said, if you have the time, you can use a hand mixer. Just don’t rush the process.
The biggest reason for a runny meringue or one that quickly falls flat is that you didn’t let the peaks stiffen enough. The second reason is that you leave it sitting out (especially in the summer). This is why we recommend waiting until just being serving to make it. Aquafaba meringue can be quite finicky.
Yes, you need to store lemon meringue pie in the fridge. We recommend that you try to wait to top with the meringue until ready to serve. Or freeze and let thaw as needed.
What other vegan pie ideas could I make?
Pies are just so good, especially for the holidays. Here’s a few more ideas:
- Vegan Caramel Apple Pie
- Traditional Vegan Apple Pie
- Vegan Blueberry Pie
- Vegan Pecan Pie
- Traditional Vegan Pumpkin Pie
- Vegan Coconut Cream Pie
- Vegan Sweet Potato Pie
- No Bake Vegan Chocolate Pie
Pin this vegan lemon meringue pie for later!
Vegan Lemon Meringue Pie
For the crust
For the Filling
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1/4 cup vegan cane sugar
- 3 tbsp corn starch (can sub potato starch or arrowroot powder)
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp turmeric (can sub with 6-10 drops yellow food coloring), optional
- zest of 1 lemon
- 1 cup fresh lemon juice (about 5-6 lemons)
- 1 1/2 cups dairy free milk
- 2 tbsp unsalted dairy free butter
Optional Topping Instead of Meringue
- 16 oz vegan whipped topping, store brand or homemade
For the Crust
- Preheat for 400 degrees F.
- In a food processor add flour, sugar, salt and pulse together. Add in the butter and pulse a few times until the mixture looks like sand. With the processor on low add in the milk and keep the mixer going until a dough ball begins to form.
- Remove all the dough and form a ball place in the fridge to set up for 30 minutes.
- After 30 minutes, rip 2 sheets of parchment paper a few inches larger than pie pan. Lay one piece of parchment paper down and sprinkle with flour. Lay dough down and sprinkle with a touch of flour on top. Add second piece on top. Roll out until a few inches bigger than your pan.
- Press down into pie pan. Pinch or design the edges however you want. Place one piece of parchment gently over crust and add either pie weights or dried beans.
- Place pie on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes then remove the weights and bake for another 10 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.
For the Filling
- Add sugars, corn starch, salt, nutmeg, and turmeric (if using) to a medium saucepan. Stir together. Whisk in milk until well combined. *If using food dye instead of turmeric, add it here at the end and do a drop at a time whisking it in until desired color.
- Put the saucepan on the stove over medium low. Let cook for 3-5 minutes until thickening up, whisking occasionally to ensure no lumps. Add in the butter and whisk constantly until melted and well combined into mixture.
- Remove from the heat. Stir mixture every 2 minutes for 10 minutes while cooling. Pour into pie crust and place plastic wrap directly touching the mixture to prevent a skin forming. Place in fridge for at least 4-6 hours or overnight to setup.
For the Meringue
- *This should be made right before servingPour the juice (aquafaba) from a 15oz can of chickpeas into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Add in the cream of tartar. Turn on high speed for 2-3 minutes until stiff peaks form.
- Turn speed to low and slowly add in the powdered sugar, salt, vanilla, and lemon juice (if adding) and gradually turn the speed back up to high speed for 5-10 minutes or until stiff peaks form.
- Spread over the lemon mixture. If desired, use a food grade torch to torch the peaks (carefully as to not melt the aquafaba).
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