Food

Vegan Lemon Meringue Pie Tarts {Recipe}

Sweet and tart lemon filling topped with light-as-air meringue in flaky, buttery pastry tarts have arrived.

Makes 18 tarts

For the aquafaba meringue:
½ cup aquafaba (liquid from can of chickpeas)
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
6 tablespoons powdered sugar
¼ teaspoon xanthan gum

For the pastry:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
½ teaspoon sea salt
1 cup cold vegan butter, cubed
½ cup ice-cold water

For the lemon curd filling:
¾ cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon tapioca flour
1 cup soft tofu
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest and ½ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
⅛ teaspoon turmeric
 
What You Do:

1. For the meringue, into a saucepan, simmer aquafaba until reduced by about half, 5 to 6 minutes. Place in a glass bowl and refrigerate until completely chilled.

2. For the pastry, into a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, and salt. Add cubed butter with a pastry blender until a crumbly texture is formed with small pea-size pieces of butter throughout. Create a well in the center of the mixture and pour in water. Fold pastry together a few times with a spatula until just mixed but still crumbly, being careful not to overmix.

3. Portion half of the pastry on a large piece of plastic wrap. Lift plastic over the pastry to bring it together and gently form a ball. Finish wrapping the plastic and gently flatten into a thick disk. Repeat with the other half. Refrigerate for at least 15 minutes before rolling out.

4. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. On a lightly floured surface, roll out one portion of the pastry to ⅛-inch thick, adding flour as necessary to prevent sticking. Using a 4-inch round cutter, cut out as many circles as possible. Press excess dough together and roll out again to cut out more circles. Place each circle into a muffin or tart pan (working in two batches if necessary) and gently press into the bottom and sides. Pierce the pastry with a fork, and freeze for 15 minutes.

5. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes until golden brown and flaky. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool. Once cooled, remove crusts from pan and place onto a baking sheet. 

6. For the filling, into a blender, combine all ingredients and blend until smooth. Into a Pour a saucepan, pour mixture and cook over medium heat, whisking constantly for 5 to 6 minutes, until thickened. Let stand for 5 to 10 minutes to cool slightly, then pour filling into crusts and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.

7. To finish the meringue, beat chilled aquafaba with a hand mixer or in a stand mixer for 2 to 3 minutes until foamy. Add vanilla extract and cream of tartar and continue beating, 3 to 4 more minutes, until stiff peaks form. Add 1 tablespoon of powdered sugar at a time while beating for another 3 to 4 minutes. Add xanthan gum and beat for another 1 to 2 minutes.

8. Transfer meringue to a piping bag or a large zip-top bag with a small piece of the corner snipped off. Pipe meringue on top of each chilled tart.

9. Set oven to broil and place baking sheet with the tarts in oven once hot. Hold the sheet with an oven mitt and move it around under the broiler to brown the tops as evenly as possible, being careful not to burn. Serve tarts immediately and refrigerate leftovers for up to 1 week.

Photo courtesy of Lauren Toyota

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