This vegan lemon meringue pie is made with a tangy-sweet homemade lemon pie filling and topped with a gorgeous vegan meringue. If you’re looking for the best lemon pie, this recipe is perfect!
I have long been a fan of the lemon pie, so when my opportunity came to create a vegan version, I jumped on it! Combining my love of baking with my admiration for the lemon pie was a natural fit.
How to Make Vegan Lemon Meringue Pie
You can find the full printable recipe, including ingredient quantities, below. But first, here are some explanations of ingredients and steps to help you make this recipe perfect every time.
If you knew how easy it was to make the best lemon meringue pie, you’d be making them for every dessert. Why? Because they look so glamourous. There’s nothing like that beautiful meringue on top.
And, besides, most everyone I know loves lemon pies.
Here are the ingredients you’ll need to make this homemade lemon meringue pie: A pie crust (more about that below), sugar, flour, cornstarch, lemon juice, lemon zest, water, lemon extract, butter, and silken tofu.
You can add a little yellow food coloring if you’d like too, to get an extra pop of yellow color.
It’s not an extensive list of ingredients to make a vegan lemon meringue pie, which is another reason we love serving it.
Step One: Prepare the Vegan Meringue
If you haven’t made vegan meringue yet, you’re in for a treat. Here are the ingredients involved in a vegan meringue: the liquid (brine) from a can of chickpeas, cream of tartar, sugar, vanilla, and xanthan gum.
I love this post from America’s Test Kitchen about using aquafaba for meringues and other baked goods.
Follow my instructions for making vegan meringue. It takes several minutes of whipping, but it’s well worth it! When the meringue is done, set it aside while you make the lemon curd.
When you’re ready to spread the meringue out over the warm lemon pie curd, here’s a great tip. It helps to start on the outside of the pie and work your way in when topping a pie with meringue.
As with any meringue recipe for pie, be sure to spread the meringue over hot custard, and be sure it touches the crust around the whole pie. This prevents the meringue from weeping or pulling away from the pie crust.
Use your spoon to create peaks in the meringue. These peaks will turn a nice golden color when baked.
Step Two: Lemon Curd — Version 1
To prepare the lemon pie filling recipe with tofu, combine sugar, flour, cornstarch, and salt in a saucepan. Place it on a burner over medium heat and add water, and lemon juice. Stir to combine and continue stirring occasionally until it comes to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 3–5 minutes.
Note: You can add agar agar flakes to the above mixture for a thicker curd. You can find agar flakes at most health food stores and online.
Remove from heat and add lemon zest and extract. Also, if you’re adding any yellow food coloring, you can add this here too.
Finally, place the silken tofu in a food processor and pulse for several seconds. Add the lemon curd from the saucepan and pulse until everything is combined and silky smooth.
Spread the lemon pie filling into a prepared pie crust (more on pie crusts below).
Step Two: Prepare the Lemon Curd — Version 2
A traditional lemon pie has a more translucent lemon curd. After some experimentation, I came up with a simple vegan lemon curd without tofu.
So, if you want to make the lemon pie filling with the simple lemon curd, in a saucepan combine the lemon juice, sugar, milk, and cornstarch.
Stir to combine the cornstarch. Place over medium heat and stir constantly to dissolve the sugar and to prevent lumps as the mixture thickens. That said, don’t worry if lumps form. I can walk you through that.
Bring the mixture to a low boil, then reduce heat to simmer and cook for another minute or two stirring regularly.
Once the mixture thickens, remove from heat, add the lemon zest, coconut oil, and turmeric. Stir to combine.
If lumps form in your lemon curd, simply transfer it to a food processor or blender and pulse until smooth. See? No problems!
Once the vegan lemon curd is done, pour it into the prepared crust. Set this aside.
Step Three: Bake the Pie
I like to set the oven rack a little lower than normal in the oven to prevent the meringue from browning too quickly. Place the pie in the oven and bake the pie for 25–35 minutes until the tips of the meringue turn a golden brown.
Remove the lemon pie from the oven and set it aside to cool. Your pie needs to cool for at least an hour. Then refrigerate it for 2–3 hours before serving.
Homemade Vegan Pie Crusts
I’ve created the best Vegan Pie Crust recipe ever! This crust recipe makes two pie crusts so feel free to freeze half of the dough. Or you can cut the crust recipe in half to make only one pie crust. Either way, it’s is a delicious pie crust and will work perfectly for this lemon pie recipe.
I make the pie crust the day before. Then the morning of I make the custard and the meringue and bake the pie early to allow it time to cool.
Simply follow the instructions to make the pie dough, let it chill in the fridge for about 30 minutes, and then roll it out to fit your pie pan. Prick the bottom of the crust (referred to as docking) with a fork (to allow the crust to release steam so it doesn’t puff up while baking).
Bake the crust and then remove it from the oven and allow it cool while preparing the lemon curd.
Store-Bought Vegan Pie Crusts
Vegan pie crusts are now more readily available for purchase. The following are vegan pie crusts you can buy at the store: Marie Callendar’s Pastry Pie Shells, Mrs. Smith’s Deep Dish Pie Crust, and Whole Foods Wholly Wholesome Gluten-Free Pie Shells.
Always check labels because sometimes these companies will change their ingredients.
I used some of the same ingredients for homemade lemon pie filling as I did for my Vegan Lemon Bars (see link above). The thing is, you want a nice, firm custard when you slice the pie.
Love Vegan Pies?
Vegan Lemon Meringue Pie
Option #1: Tofu Lemon Curd
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 4 tablespoons cornstarch
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- 1½ cups water
- 1/2 cup lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- ½ teaspoon lemon extract
- 1 tablespoon agar agar flakes (optional)
- 1 – 2 drops organic yellow food coloring (optional, see notes)
- 1 tablespoon vegan butter
- 1 cup silken tofu or one small package
Option #2: Simple Vegan Lemon Curd
- 3/4 cup lemon juice
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 cup plant-based milk (I used almond milk)
- 5 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon lemon extract
- 1 teaspoon coconut oil
- 1/8 teaspoon ground turmeric
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Prepare the pie crust as directed in the link above and roll it out to about 1/8" thickness and place in a 9" pie pan. Crimp the edges of the pie and use a fork to prick the bottom of the crust several times. Bake the crust 10–12 minutes until golden brown. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.
For the Meringue
- Shake an unopened can of chickpeas vigorously for a few seconds. Then strain the liquid from one can of chickpeas (salted or unsalted) in a mixing bowl, along with the cream of tartar. Use a handheld or stand mixer on medium speed and mix for 1–2 minutes until it becomes frothy.
- In the meantime, place the sugar in a food processor and pulse for up to a minute to create a more fine sugar (or purchase caster sugar if you want to skip this step).
- While continuing to mix the aquafaba (chickpea brine), add one tablespoon at a time of the processed sugar. Once all the sugar is added, continue to mix on medium to medium-high speed until soft peaks form, about 4–5 minutes. Add the vanilla and xanthan gum and mix another minute until stiff peaks form. Do not overwhip as this can cause deflation.
Option #1: Tofu Lemon Pie Filling
- In a saucepan combine the sugar, flour, cornstarch, and salt. Stir with a whisk to combine.
- Turn the heat to medium-high and add the water, lemon juice, lemon zest, lemon extract, and agar agar (if using). Stir occasionally, to make sure the custard doesn't burn. Bring this to a boil and then reduce heat to medium and simmer for 3–5 minutes, until you have a thick mixture in the pan. Remove from heat and add the tablespoon of vegan butter and food coloring (if using). Stir to combine. Set aside.
- Place the tofu in a food processor and pulse until smooth. Add the lemon mixture from the saucepan and pulse it all together until a smooth consistency is reached. Return the curd to the saucepan keep it over low heat while you prepare the meringue.
Option #2: Simple Lemon Curd
- If you're making your lemon filling with the simple lemon curd method, in a saucepan combine the lemon juice, sugar, milk, and cornstarch. Stir to combine the cornstarch. Place over medium heat. Stir constantly to dissolve the sugar and to prevent lumps as the mixture thickens.
- Bring the mixture to a low boil, then reduce heat to simmer and cook for 2–3 minutes, stirring regularly. The mixture should get fairly thick (see post photo). If you get lumps, simply pulse the curd in a food processor or use an immersion blender.
- Once the mixture thickens, remove from heat, add the lemon extract, coconut oil, and turmeric. Stir to combine. Spoon out the lemon curd over the prepared crust.
Assemble and Bake the Pie
- Spoon the hot lemon custard into the prepared pie crust. Top with meringue while the custard is still hot. Use a spoon to push meringue up to the edges of the crust (to create a seal) and create wispy dollops of meringue across the top of the pie.
- Place pie in the heated oven and bake for 25–35 minutes until the meringue has golden edges.
- Remove from the oven and cool for about an hour. Refrigerate for one to two hours before serving.
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The nutrition information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator and should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
We recently updated the photos on this post. Here’s a couple of the old photos: