Vegan Lemon Meringue Pie

This vegan lemon meringue pie is sure to impress your guests. With a crisp buttery shortcrust pastry, tart and fresh lemon curd filling and the most perfect Italian meringue topping. All while being completely dairy free and eggless.
Prep Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Chilling Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 5 hours 10 minutes
4.88 from 8 votes
eggless lemon curd tart with meringue on a wooden serving board.

This my friends, is good as the real deal. A buttery, crisp and flaky shortcrust pastry, tart and fresh lemon curd with the silkiest vegan Italian meringue topping that’s gently caramelised for a slight toasted marshmallow flavour. Is this the best vegan lemon meringue pie recipe in the world? Hard to say, but I’d love to hear what you think, it sure is the best I’ve personally tried. If you’re looking for a slightly healthier take on lemon meringue tart I’d recommend checking out the no-bake version from my cookbook.

Traditional lemon meringue pie recipes are loaded with eggs and dairy, from the butter based pastry to the egg yolk curd and meringue that uses egg whites. So how do you make a lemon meringue pie vegan?

Why This Recipe Works

  • This pie has a buttery, crispy and slightly flaky shortcrust pastry which works so well with the smooth eggless lemon meringue pie filling.
  • The pie crust is easy to make and comes together in your food processor, so no need to tire out your hands rubbing the butter into the flour.
  • It has a vegan lemon curd filling is rich and smooth thanks to the addition of vegan butter.
  • It’s also fresh and tangy, using real lemon juice and zest for an intense tart flavour to contrast the sweet meringue topping.
  • Topped with the most stable of meringues: vegan Italian meringue. It’s stable enough to hold in the fridge and take a hit from your blowtorch.
 

slice of vegan lemon curd pie with meringue topping.

Ingredients overview

  • Plain flour: Regular all purpose flour is best for this recipe.
  • Vegan butter: To make this non dairy lemon meringue pie you’ll want a good quality vegan block butter is what you’ll need for this recipe. I use flora unsalted plant butter.
  • Caster sugar: Known as superfine sugar if you’re based in the US. This is used for all parts of the recipe to keep things simple.
  • Sea salt: As I always recommend, this is such an important ingredient to bring out the flavours of your pastry.
  • Soya milk: This forms the base for this vegan lemon curd recipe, you could also go for another plant based milk if preferred.
  • Lemon juice and zest: You will want to use freshly squeezed lemon juice and zest for this eggless lemon curd recipe. You just can’t beat fresh lemon!
  • Cornflour/cornstarch: This is the thickening agent which replaces the function of egg yolks in regular lemon curd.
  • Agar agar powder: This is a vegan alternative to gelatin. Just a little agar agar powder helps to set the curd so that it’s stable but doesn’t set to a jelly consistency. You can replace it with a vegan gelatin such as veg gel.
  • Aquafaba: This is the egg white replacer and the main ingredient for the vegan meringue topping. It becomes light and foamy when air is incorporated, just like egg whites.
  • Cream of tartar: This is a stabiliser and helps to create a stronger and more stable meringue.
 

ingredients for vegan lemon curd pie.

How to make this recipe (with step-by-step images)

(Full ingredient quantities and instructions can be found in the recipe card at the end of this post)

Step 1 : How to prep ahead

First you’ll want to reduce the aquafaba in advance for the vegan meringue topping. This step is not always necessary, although I do recommend it as reducing the aquafaba increases it’s potency and makes the consistency a closer match to egg whites. If your aquafaba is already thick, you can skip the following step and use half the amount of aquafaba (chickpea brine) listed in the recipe.

Step 2: Pie crust

Making the pie crust for lemon meringue pie is super easy. There’s no need to rub the butter into the pastry, simply add the ingredients to your food processor and blend until they form a dough consistency

Next wrap up the dough in cling-film or place in an airtight container and refrigerate for 30 minutes, this makes it much easier to work with the dough and also helps to create a more evenly baked crust.

Using a rolling pin, roll out the chilled dough so that it is an inch or so larger than the circumference of the tart tin. Use the rolling pin to carefully lift the pastry over the tin and use your fingers to gently ease the pastry into the side of the tin. Use a knife to cut around the edges if needed and try to get the sides as even and smooth as possible. Pierce several holes into the base of the pastry using a fork.

Take a sheet of parchment paper and cut it into to a circle slightly larger than the tart. Rest it on top of the pastry and fill the base with dried beans, rice, lentils or baking beads. Blind bake in the oven for 20 minutes. Remove the beans/baking beads and bake for another 20 minutes. Place the tin on a cooling rack and cool to room temperature.

Step 3: Eggless lemon curd filling

In a small bowl, mix together the cornflour, agar agar powder and a ¼ cup of the soya milk to form a paste. Set aside. Add the vegan butter to a saucepan and melt over a medium heat. Add in the remaining soya milk, lemon juice, lemon zest and caster sugar and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the cornflour mix to the saucepan and simmer for another 3 minutes, whilst whisking.

Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly for 5 minutes. Whisk the lemon curd well and pour it into the cooled tart shell. Transfer to the fridge to chill and set for at least 4 hours.

Step 4: Meringue topping

Meanwhile, prepare the vegan Italian meringue topping for your vegan lemon pie.

Transfer the Italian meringue into a piping bag fitted an open star nozzle and pipe peaks on top of the pie. Before serving, use a blowtorch to slightly toast and brown the top of the meringue.

browning lemon meringue pie with a blow torch.

Expert tips to make the perfect lemon meringue pie

How to avoid/fix lumpy lemon curd

To avoid a lumpy lemon curd first mix your cornflour with a little soya milk before mixing it into the other ingredients. I also recommend passing the finished curd through a fine mesh sieve to make sure it’s completely smooth and silky.

How to avoid a soggy pie crust

Blind baking is an important step when your pie filling is unbaked and helps to avoid a soggy or uneven crust. Blind baking involves baking the crust with weighted parchment paper until it is half baked. Thekitchen have a great post which goes into detail on when and how to blind bake pastry.

FAQs

What is the best meringue for lemon pie?

I find vegan Italian meringue to be the best meringue recipe for pie. It’s a very sturdy meringue recipe and stable enough to not need any additional setting agents.

Can lemon meringue pie be left at room temperature

As long as you’re not blazing the radiators and your room is a pleasant cool temperature, you can keep this lemon meringue pie out for several hours or the day of serving it.

lemon meringue pie with italian meringue topping on serving board.

Variations

  • Mini lemon meringue pie: If you fancy you can divide the recipe into mini tart tins and create smaller serving sized pies. Bear in mind that the baking time will be less. So keep a close eye on the pastries and check them after the first 10-12 minutes of blind baking, then bake further until golden brown.
  • Lemon passion fruit meringue pie: Swap out half of the fresh lemon juice for passion fruit juice to create a fun tropical twist on this classic pie recipe.
  • Gluten-free lemon meringue pie: Swap out the plain flour for all purpose gluten free flour to make this a gluten free vegan lemon meringue tart.
  • Coconut topping: If you want to skip the Italian meringue topping you could try some whipped coconut cream in it’s place.
 

Storage instructions

Store this vegan meringue pie in an airtight container in the fridge. For best results, the meringue topping will hold in the fridge for up to 2 days. As another option you can prepare the rest of the recipe a few days in advance and top with the meringue on the day of serving.

slice of eggless meringue pie with bite taken out of it.

Related recipes

More vegan lemon recipes

 

More vegan tart recipes

eggless lemon curd tart with meringue on a wooden serving board.

Vegan Lemon Meringue Pie

4.88 from 8 votes
PRINT RECIPE PIN RECIPE
This vegan lemon meringue pie is sure to impress your guests. With a crisp buttery shortcrust pastry, tart and fresh lemon curd filling and the most perfect Italian meringue topping. All while being completely dairy free and eggless.
Prep Time 1 hr 10 mins
Chilling Time 4 hrs
Total Time 5 hrs 10 mins
Servings 10

INGREDIENTS

Shortcrust pastry

  • 1 ¼ cups plain flour
  • 3.5 oz vegan butter
  • 2 tbsp caster sugar (superfine sugar)
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • 1 tbsp soya milk cold

Lemon curd filling

  • 3.5 oz vegan butter
  • 1 cup lemon juice freshly squeezed
  • 2 tbsp lemon zest freshly grated
  • 1 cup soya milk
  • 1 ½ cups caster sugar (superfine sugar)
  • ¼ cup cornflour (cornstarch)
  • ½ tsp agar agar powder NOT flakes

Meringue topping

INSTRUCTIONS

Preparation

  • I highly recommend reducing the aquafaba for the meringue topping to thicken it as you want it to have a similar viscosity to egg whites. If your aquafaba is already thick, you can skip the following step and use half the amount listed in the recipe (118g).
  • Add the aquafaba to a saucepan and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and allow it to simmer until it has reduced to half a cup in volume. After 5 minutes of simmering, check the volume by pouring the liquid into a measuring cup. If there's more than half a cup of liquid continue to simmer until it reduces to the required half cup.Pour the reduced aquafaba into a jar and refrigerate. This can be done the night before or at least one hour in advance of making this recipe.

Shortcrust pastry

  • In your food processor, combine the flour, vegan butter, caster sugar, salt, and soya milk until the ingredients stick together to form a ball of dough. Wrap the dough in cling-film or place in an airtight container and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Meanwhile preheat your oven to 180°C (356°F). Lightly grease the base and sides of a round 9" tart tin with some oil or vegan butter, if desired you can also line the base with parchment paper.
  • Using a rolling pin, roll out the chilled dough so that it is an inch or so larger than the circumference of the tart tin. Use the rolling pin to carefully lift the pastry over the tin and use your fingers to gently ease the pastry into the side of the tin. Use a knife to cut around the edges if needed and try to get the sides as even and smooth as possible. Pierce several holes into the base of the pastry using a fork.
  • Take a sheet of parchment paper and cut it into to a circle slightly larger than the tart. Rest it on top of the pastry and fill the base with dried beans, rice, lentils or baking beads. Blind bake in the oven for 20 minutes. Remove the beans/baking beads and bake for another 20 minutes. Place the tin on a cooling rack and cool to room temperature.

Lemon curd filling

  • In a small bowl, mix together the cornflour, agar agar powder and a ¼ cup of the soya milk to form a paste. Set aside.
  • Add the vegan butter to a saucepan and melt over a medium heat. Add in the remaining soya milk, lemon juice, lemon zest and caster sugar and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the cornflour mix to the saucepan and simmer for another 3 minutes, whilst whisking.
  • Remove from the heat and pass through a fine mesh sieve. Allow to cool slightly for 5 minutes. Whisk the lemon curd well and pour it into the cooled tart shell. Transfer to the fridge to chill and set for at least 4 hours.

Meringue topping

  • Meanwhile, prepare the vegan Italian meringue topping.
  • Transfer the Italian meringue into a piping bag fitted an open star nozzle and pipe peaks on top of the pie. Before serving, use a blowtorch to slightly toast and brown the top of the meringue.

RECIPE NOTES

*aquafaba - drain cans of unsalted chickpeas, use only the liquid part.
 

Storage instructions

Store this vegan meringue pie in an airtight container in the fridge. For best results, the meringue topping will hold in the fridge for up to 2 days. As another option you can prepare the rest of the recipe a few days in advance and top with the meringue on the day of serving.
 

Variations

  • Mini lemon meringue pie: If you fancy you can divide the recipe into mini tart tins and create smaller serving sized pies. Bear in mind that the baking time will be less. So keep a close eye on the pastries and check them after the first 10-12 minutes of blind baking, then bake further until golden brown.
  • Lemon passion fruit meringue pie: Swap out half of the fresh lemon juice for passion fruit juice to create a fun tropical twist on this classic pie recipe.
  • Gluten-free lemon meringue pie: Swap out the plain flour for all purpose gluten free flour to make this a gluten free vegan lemon meringue tart.
  • Coconut topping: If you want to skip the Italian meringue topping you could try some whipped coconut cream in it’s place.
 
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