The retro yellow dessert goes egg-free in this recipe by Avant-Garde Vegan chef Gaz Oakley.
The colour yellow is everywhere in food: from bananas and sweetcorn to saffron, polenta and, er, cheesy chips. But ubiquitous is the lemon, as useful in sweet dishes as in savoury (Stylist favourite Anna Jones reportedly gets through 20 a week).
This recipe is a real crowd-pleaser, a lemon meringue pie with a vegan twist (aquafaba, or chickpea water, makes a brilliant egg-free meringue).
Want to make it extra yellow? Just add turmeric.
Preparation time: 30 minutes, plus 4 hours’ cooling time
Cooking time: 15 minutes
For the pastry:
125g vegan margarine
250g plain flour
125g icing sugar
Pinch ground cinnamon
2 tbsps almond milk
For the pie:
1 x 400ml can coconut milk
2 tbsps lemon zest, plus extra
Juice of 2 lemons
280ml almond milk
4 heaped tbsps cornflour
5 tbsps unrefined caster sugar
1⁄2 tsp ground turmeric (optional)
235ml aquafaba – the liquid drained from a can of chickpeas; you’ll need 2-3 cans of chickpeas
60g icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1⁄4 tsp xanthan gum
Step 1: To make the pastry, place all the ingredients except the milk in a large mixing bowl. Rub the margarine into the dry ingredients until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Pour in enough milk to bring the dough together into a ball. Give it a slight knead for 2 minutes then wrap in cling film and pop in the fridge for at least an hour.
Step 2: Preheat the oven to 180 ̊C/160 ̊C fan/gas mark 4. Grease a 23cm loose bottom tart tin. Roll the pastry onto greaseproof paper. Slide the pastry off the paper and into the tart tin. Trim off any over-hanging pastry, cover with greaseproof paper, weigh down with baking beans, then blind-bake for 6 minutes.
Step 3: Remove from the oven, carefully lift out the paper and beans, and return to the oven to bake for 6 minutes more, or until golden.
Step 4: Once the pastry case is cooked, let it cool in the tin for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
Step 5: Now make the lemon custard filling. Gently heat the coconut milk with the lemon zest and juice in a medium saucepan over a low heat.
Step 6: Combine the almond milk, cornflour and sugar, and whisk until completely incorporated. When the coconut milk is hot, add the almond milk mixture and whisk until it thickens. Add the turmeric if you want a bright yellow colour. Continue to whisk for 2 more minutes until the mixture is thick.
Step 7: Carefully pour the lemon filling into the tart case and neatly spread it out using a stepped palette knife. Place cling film over the lemon filling, making sure there are no air pockets. It’s important that the cling film makes direct contact with the filling as this stops a skin forming. Chill the tart in the fridge for at least 3 hours, until it’s completely cold and set.
Step 8: Just before serving, make your meringue. Using an electric whisk, whisk the chickpea water, icing sugar, vanilla extract and xanthan gum together in a clean bowl, until you have stiff peaks. Spoon or pipe the meringue onto your chilled tart.
I lightly toast my meringue using a blow torch, but this is optional. Sprinkle over any remaining lemon zest and serve.
From Vegan 100 by Gaz Oakley (£20, Quadrille), out now
stylist.co.uk has had a yellow makeover on 15 August, to celebrate our Yellow Issue and pay homage to the colour of the season. Read more about the most playful shade of all here.
Photography: Simon Smith