Vegans have essentially gone from feeling like meringue was extinct to a bountiful supply overnight. Mostly this is thanks to a can of chickpeas. I know, I know. Who’d have thunk it! But, interestingly enough, you can do a lot with a can of chickpeas. I’ve done everything from making Vegan Cheesecake with chickpeas to Blondie Bites to, of course, hummus. But those recipes call for working with the beans from the can. Today we’ll be using something a else that comes from that can of chickpeas. Intrigued? Well, for those of you who are new to this whole idea, here’s my tips on How to Make Vegan Meringue Three Ways!
Version 1: How to Make Vegan Meringue with Bean Brine (otherwise known as Aqua Faba)
I don’t know how the name Aqua Faba came into being, but I mostly just refer to the liquid from a can of beans as bean brine. It’s interesting stuff, because it basically resembles the structure and consistency of egg whites. And since egg whites are a key ingredient in meringue, some brilliant person realized that rather than throwing the stuff out, we could be using it. And now we are.
These are basically the ingredients you’ll need to make your vegan meringue — a can of chickpeas, cream of tartar, sugar, and some clear vanilla. Not too shabby!
So, to make Vegan Meringue with bean brine, simply drain the liquid from one can of chickpeas (you can also use great northern beans but chickpeas are my favorite) into a mixing bowl. Add half of a teaspoon of cream of tartar and mix it for a minute or so to get a nice frothy mixture.
While the bean brine and the cream of tartar is mixing I place the sugar in a food processor and pulse for up to a minute to make a more fine sugar. If you want to skip this step you can always purchase caster sugar at the store.
Once the sugar is ready, I add it one tablespoon at a time into the bean brine mixture. Continue beating.
Once all the sugar is added, continue beating on medium speed. Here’s what it looks like after two minutes of beating.
Here’s what it looks like after 5 minutes of beating. Not too exciting…yet!
Here’s what it looks like after 7 minutes of beating. You can’t see it from this angle, but there are some stiff peaks forming below that mixer!
I like to rub a little of the meringue between my fingers. Do I feel any grit? If so, I’ll beat for another minute or so to get a nice, smooth consistency.
This meringue is ready for a pie! Simply spread this over your favorite pie, making sure to create a seal with each edge of the crust, and bake at 350F for about 20 minutes. If you don’t have browned meringue peaks, then turn the heat up to 375F and bake for another 5-10 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool on a rack for about an hour and then refrigerate.
Make sure you give your family about 3 billion guesses what you used instead of egg whites!
Also, this version of meringue may result in liquid forming at the bottom of the pie after you cut it. I drained that liquid and everything was just fine. The meringue will come out of the oven nice and high, but will most likely settle after being refrigerated. Don’t worry, it will still taste great!
Version #2: How to Make Vegan Meringue with Egg Replacer
If you can’t bring yourself to work with the liquid from a can of beans, I understand. You need another option. And you’re in luck, because I’ve got one for you. This version of Vegan Meringue uses Ener-G’s Egg Replacer product. I use this product in some of my baking, and it turns out it makes a decent meringue too.
Using these ingredients, and the recipe below, you can make a beautiful vegan meringue.
Here’s the Egg Replacer Meringue on top of our Lemon Pie. It’s pretty amazing stuff! Personally, I prefer the bean brine version of meringue, but this one has a more subtle flavor. You know, if subtle is your thing.
Version 3: Either of the Above with Xanthan Gum
I tried both of the recipes above with and without and found both were better with the addition of Xanthan Gum. Here’s the deal, you only need half a teaspoon of this stuff and it adds structure to your vegan meringue. It will take your vegan meringue from pretty to mucho fabulouso in a second!
The bean brine Vegan Meringue is my favorite and it did quite well and looked amazing right out of the oven, but had a tendency to deflate overnight in the fridge. The bean bring Vegan Meringue with just a half teaspoon of Xanthan Gum formed nice, stiff peaks that held their form for days.
Some people don’t like to use Xanthan Gum because it is a manufactured product. I get that. If you’re interested in learning more about xanthan gum and all the technical jargon that goes along with it, click the link above for the wiki page and decide for yourself.
- ¾ cup bean brine (liquid from one can of chickpeas)
- ½ teaspoon cream of tartar
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- Optional: ½ teaspoon xantham gum
- Pour the liquid from one can of chickpeas (salted or unsalted) into a mixing bowl, along with the cream of tartar. Mix for a minute or two until the mixture begins to become frothy.
- In the meantime place the sugar in a food processor and pulse for up to a minute to create a more fine sugar (you can always purchase caster sugar if you want to skip this step).
- While you are mixing the chickpea brine, add one tablespoon of the processed sugar at a time. Once it's all added, continue to mix on medium to medium-high speed until soft peaks form. Add the vanilla and continue mixing until stiff peaks form.
- Optional: Add the xanthan gum to help the meringue form and maintain stiff peaks.
- Spoon the finished meringue over the pie of your choice, making sure to create a seal with the pie crust and creating a peak of meringue in the middle. The more edges you have in the meringue, the more that will brown, creating a beautiful pie.
- ½ cup Egg Replacer*
- 2/3 cup water
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- Optional: ½ teaspoon xanthan gum
- Combine the Egg Replacer and water in a mixing bowl and begin mixing on medium speed.
- In the meantime place your sugar in a food processor and pulse up to a minute (or you can buy fine, caster sugar).
- Pour the refined sugar one tablespoon at a time into the Egg Replacer mixture. Continue beating, pausing to wipe down the sides of the bowl as needed.
- Once soft peaks have formed, add the vanilla. Mix until stiff peaks form.
- Optional: Add xanthan gum to create a more stable meringue that will hold stiff peaks even after baking.
- Spoon the finished meringue over your pie, being sure to seal the meringue up to the edges of the pie crust. Create decorate tips in the meringue that will turn golden upon baking.
- Place in an oven heated to 350F and bake for 15-20 minutes. Turn heat up to 375F and bake for an additional 10 minutes or so until peaks turn golden brown.