A tart lemon curd, topped with a fluffy aquafaba meringue nestled in a crispy gluten-free crust, makes this vegan lemon meringue pie recipe a bright, citrus treat!
Lemon desserts are some of my favorite! The combination of tangy citrus that’s subtly sweetened always brings a little sunshine to my day.
Even when it’s dark, dreary, and rainy outside, if I take a bite of a lemon dessert I’m transported to a warm and sunny place in no time at all!
I know! I didn’t think it was possible to create a fluffy meringue without the use of egg whites, but it’s totally possible, and it tastes amazing!
This pie is made with a simple gluten-free almond flour crust that doesn’t need any coconut oil or vegan butter! It’s totally whole food plant-based!
The lemon filling is made with tons of tart flavor by combining fresh squeezed lemon juice, lemon zest, and sugar.
The meringue topping is made with whipped aquafaba!
I’m going to be honest, making a lemon meringue pie is not the easiest pie in the world to make! It took me a few tries and tweaks to get it just right, but with these tips, you’ll have a superior pie!
You can take this vegan version with you to any summertime pot-luck or event, and I promise you not a person there will even know it’s vegan and gluten-free!
Why you’ll love this vegan lemon meringue pie….
- Vegan and Dairy-Free
- Tart and tangy
- Bright citrus flavor
- A true classic recipe!
- Creamy custard filling
- Crispy crust
- Fluffy white meringue topping
Recipe Ingredients and Notes
Gluten-Free Vegan Pie Crust: You can of course use a store bought vegan pie crust if you prefer. The flour for this easy vegan pie crust is made with a mixture of almond flour, tapioca flour, and oat flour. It’s super easy to make and much healthier than store bought. It has no added oils, or vegan butters. You’ll need to give it a blind bake before filling it with the lemon curd.
Lemon Custard: Most regular lemon custards for pie are made with eggs. This one is made with a combination of dairy-free milk (I suggest coconut milk or almond milk), corn starch (cornflour), sugar, lemon juice, and lemon zest.
It’s important to allow it chill and firm up to avoid a runny custard. I highly recommend using fresh lemon juice! You’ll need about 4-5 lemons!
I also add turmeric to give the pie a natural yellow color instead of using yellow food coloring.
Meringue Topping: Aquafaba is the key ingredient to making this meringue recipe. There are other methods, but I think using aquafaba is by far the easiest, but it does take some patience. In addition to aquafaba, you’ll need cream of tartar which helps to stabilize it, as well as very fine caster sugar, and vanilla.
What is aquafaba?
Aquafaba is the chickpea liquid from a can of chickpeas. When whipped it turns into a light and fluffy egg white like texture.
To use aquafaba, drain a can of chickpeas reserving the water and brine. Reserve the chickpeas to use in a different recipe, like this vegan tuna salad!
Tools and Equipment
10 inch Pie Dish: I recommend using a 10 inch pie dish or pie tin. A glass or ceramic pie dish will work just fine! You could even use a tart tin if you prefer! You’ll need a large bowl, food processor, and rolling pin to create the crust.
Stand-Mixer: I highly recommend using a stand mixer to make the meringue. It takes some time and patience to achieve the consistency you need, and using a stand mixer makes the process much easier!
How to Make Vegan Lemon Meringue Pie – Step by Step
Prepare the Pie Crust:
Step 1: Prepare the gluten-free vegan pie crust. Bake for 20 minutes, and allow to cool. It’s not necessary to use pie weights for this crust, but feel free to use them if you prefer.
Prepare the Lemon Custard:
Step 1: Over medium heat, add dairy-free milk, sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest, corn starch, and turmeric to a pan.
Step 2: Whisk constantly until sugar dissolves and custard begins to bubble and thicken. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
Step 3: Pour the lemon custard into the cooled pie crust. Refrigerate and chill for a minimum of 2 hours, but up to 6 hours or even overnight is even better in order for it to fully firm up.
Make the Meringue:
Step 1: Once the lemon custard has chilled, prepare the meringue. Use the liquid from one can of 15 oz chickpeas. You’ll get about ½ a cup of aquafaba. Pour into the bowl of a stand-mixer. Add the cream of tartar. Beat on high speed using the whisk attachment for about 5 minutes. It will begin to become frothy, and then will thicken even more.
Step 2: While still beating, add the caster sugar one tablespoon at a time. Continue to beat, until stiff peaks form. Add the vanilla extract and bean a bit more until combined. It should quadruple in size.
Putting together the Pie:
Step 1: Carefully spoon meringue onto the pie in gentile heaps on top of the custard. Seal the meringue on the edges of the pie crust. Create swirls, or peaks using a spatula. The more edges, and peaks you form, the more beautiful the pie will look as those edges will crisp and brown.
Step 2: Place the pie under the broiler for 1-2 minutes until golden brown. Keep an eye on it so that it doesn’t burn! Or use a kitchen torch to lightly brown the top of the meringue.
Tips for Making Vegan Lemon Custard
- Make sure to whisk the custard continuously so that no lumps form. Another tactic is to add the dry ingredients first, and then the wet ingredients.
- Don’t heat too fast! Keep the burner at medium to medium-low. Allow the custard to gently come together.
- Be patient, and continue to whisk until the custard begins to bubble and thicken. Allow it to bubble, while whisking for about a minute. Then remove from the heat.
- Transfer the custard to the pie crust and chill.
- Allow a good amount of time for the custard to chill. I recommend a minimum of 2 hours, but even overnight is a good plan!
Tips for Making Vegan Meringue with Aquafaba
- Be patient! Giving the aquafaba enough time to whip is key!
- Wait for the aqaufaba to double, triple, and quadruple in size before adding the sugar.
- Use the cream of tartar to help stabilize the meringue. It can be added and whipped with the aquafaba at the beginning.
- Add the sugar very slowly.
- Use an extra fine sugar like caster sugar. If you don’t have caster sugar, take regular sugar, and place in in the food processor. Process for one minute, and sugar will become extra fine.
- If it’s not doubling, keep whipping. Sometimes it takes up to 15 minutes to achieve the right texture.
- If you have it, add ½ a teaspoon of xanthan gum to help maintain stiff peaks.
- For more tips and different recipe variations check out this vegan meringue post!
Variations and Substitutions
Refined Sugar Free: Use coconut sugar in place of organic cane sugar.
Less Sweet: Reduce the amount of sugar you add to the custard, and increase the amount of corn starch. Use ¾ cup of sugar, and ⅓ cup corn starch.
Less Lemon: This pie has a real punch of lemon flavor. If you would like a more subtle lemon flavor use 1-2 tbsp of lemon zest instead of three.
How to Store and Keep Vegan Lemon Meringue Pie
Store: Place the pie in the the refrigerator. Don’t leave it out for an extended period of time as the meringue will begin to sink, and become less light and fluffy. Leaving at room temperature will be fine for a short time. Lightly cover it with plastic wrap.
Keep: It will keep in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
More delicious vegan dessert recipes!
Vegan Lemon Meringue Pie
- 1 gluten free pie crust or store bought vegan pie crust
- 1 cup organic cane sugar
- ⅓ cup corn starch
- 1 ¼ cup unsweetened almond milk or coconut milk (other dairy-free milk)
- ⅔ cup fresh squeezed lemon juice about the juice of 4-5 lemons
- 3 tbsp lemon zest the zest of 3 lemons
- ½ tsp turmeric for color
- ½ cup aquafaba the liquid from a 15 oz can of chickpeas
- ½ tsp cream of tartar
- ½ cup caster sugar of regular sugar finely ground
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
Prepare the Pie Crust:
- Prepare the gluten-free vegan pie crust. Bake for 20 minutes, and allow to cool.
Prepare the Lemon Custard:
- Over medium heat, add almond milk, sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest, corn starch, and turmeric to a pan.
- Whisk constantly until sugar dissolves and custard begins to bubble and thicken. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
- Pour the lemon custard into the cooled pie crust. Refrigerate and chill for a minimum of 2 hours, but up to 6 hours is even better in order for it to full firm up.
Prepare the Meringue:
- Once the lemon custard has chilled, prepare the meringue. Use the liquid from one can of 15 oz chickpeas. Pour into the bowl of a stand-mixer. Add the cream of tartar. Beat on high speed using the whisk attachment for about 5 minutes until it begins to quadruple in size, and stiff peaks form.
- While still beating, add the caster sugar one tablespoon at a time. Continue to beat, until soft peaks form. Add the vanilla extract and beat a bit more until combined.
Put the Pie Together:
- Carefully spoon meringue onto the pie in gentile heaps on top of the custard. Seal the meringue on the edges of the pie crust. Create swirls, or peaks using a spatula. The more edges, and peaks you form, the more beautiful the pie will look as those edges will crisp and brown.
- Place the pie under the broiler for 1-2 minutes until golden brown. Keep an eye on it so that it doesn't burn! Or use a kitchen torch to lightly brown the top of the meringue.
- Store in the refrigerator lightly covered with plastic wrap for up to 4 days.
- Be patient with the meringue. It can take up to 15 minutes for it to whip to the texture you desire.
- Add the sugar to the meringue slowly 1 tablespoon at a time. Add the vanilla last.