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 for 10 to 12 minutes until golden brown. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.
For the Meringue
Shake an unopened can of regular chickpeas vigorously for a few seconds. Then strain the liquid from the can of chickpeas in a mixing bowl, along with the cream of tartar. Use a handheld or stand mixer on medium speed and mix for 1 to 2 minutes until it becomes frothy.
As you're mixing, add the powdered sugar a little at a time. Stop and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Continue to mix at medium-high speed until soft peaks form. Then add the vanilla and mix to incorporate it.
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 to 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 to 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 to 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.
This recipe makes one pie.Note: Nutrition estimate includes crust, filling, and meringue divided into 8 slices.Because this lemon tofu custard is made without eggs, it has less of that sunshine yellow hue to it. Adding a drop of organic (natural) yellow food coloring or 1/8 teaspoon of turmeric gives it a burst of yellow color.
These are my favorite notes for making sure your vegan meringue bakes into a fluffy mountain of delicious on your pie:
Adding Sugar. Sometimes an aquafaba meringue will deflate if the sugar is added all at the same time rather than adding a little bit at a time. By the way, adding less sugar can also cause the meringue to deflate. That’s because the quantity of sugar helps with the texture of the meringue.
Aquafaba consistency. Some cans of chickpeas have thicker liquid than others. Some may be the consistency of water whereas others are much thicker. I find the thicker liquid usually works best. If the consistency of your chickpea liquid is thinner, try cooking it in a saucepan over medium heat until it comes to a simmer. Then simmer until it reduces by about half. Let that cool completely and move on to the next step in making the meringue.
Salt. I use regular chickpeas rather than the no-salt variety. I find the low-salt variety does not create the best meringue.
Expired Cream of Tartar. This product is important because it stabilizes the meringue. If your cream of tartar is old, it may not be providing that stabilizing effect. To tell if your cream of tartar is good, stir 1/2 teaspoon into a cup of warm water. Then add a pinch of baking soda. It should bubble and create foam. If it doesn’t, your cream of tartar has expired.
Xanthan Gum. If none of these tips work, this one will. Add a bit (1/2 teaspoon) of Xanthan gum to the meringue as you’re whipping it. I usually add this in at the same time as the cream of tartar. Why? Xanthan Gum is used in a lot of products to help make them shelf-stable and it’s that stabilization effect that works wonders with vegan meringue. You can find it at health food stores (it’s even in the health food section of my local grocery store) or online at places like Amazon.