Lemon meringue pie is definitely not a part of our Italian heritage, but that doesn’t mean that we don’t like a slice of perfectly prepared pie with the most amazing and fluffy torched topping. The amount of requests we’ve got to tackle this pie is unbelievably high, and because we do care about what our viewers desire, here is the result of almost 4 months of recipe development, and let me tell you that it was well worth it. What else can I say; the preparation isn’t one of the easiest, but certainly is one of the most rewarding, and if you decide to go ahead and make everything from scratch like we did, you won’t believe your eyes when you see the final pie.
- For the crust, blend the flour, the sugar and the butter to obtain a sort of breadcrumbs, combine the mixture with the vinegar and the soy milk, and knead briefly to obtain a dough.
- Wrap the dough in cling film, place it in the fridge and chill it for at least 3 hours, or overnight.
- Once the dough is ready, preheat the oven to 150°C – 300°F (no fan).
- Roll down the dough into a 30cm (12 inches) disk of roughly 5mm (¼ inch) thickness, and use the disk to line a 23cm (9 inch) non-stick pie tin.
- Scrunch a piece of greaseproof paper under water and squeeze it to remove any excess moisture.
- Line the pie tin with the wet paper, add plenty of rock salt to it and use it as a weight for the blind baking process. This will prevent the dough from rising and moving.
- Bake the base in the preheated oven for 45 minutes, rotating it every 15 minutes to allow for even browning. Let it cool down completely, and remove salt.
- For the filling, mix a third of the sugar with the agar agar, and set aside.
- Mix the remaining sugar with the starch and the cream, and set aside.
- Place the milk in a saucepan over a medium heat, pour in sugar/agar mix and whisk to properly combine the ingredients.
- Add the zest, bring to a boil, and simmer gently for 3 min to hydrate the agar.
- Add food colouring to taste and stir again; we added the colouring in 6 times using the tip of a toothpick.
- Now, lower the heat to the minimum and pour in the cream/starch mixture. Bring the filling back to a boil stirring constantly, and as soon as it starts boiling again, turn off heat. Add in lemon juice and stir once more to complete the filling.
- Pour the filling in the precooked shell through a fine sieve to remove the zest, and let the pie set at room temperature for 30 minutes before placing it in the fridge for 3 hours to fully set.
- Whip the aquafaba and the lemon juice using a stand mixer at full power for 8 minutes, and then, gradually incorporate the sugar 1 tbsp at the time, making sure to wait 40 seconds between each addition.
- Once the sugar is finished, whip for another 4 minutes at full power before placing the meringue topping in a pastry bag and piping it onto the pie or onto the slices before serving.
- Torch the topping if desired, making sure to be careful and gentle because aquafaba does not coagulate, so it won’t react as egg whites would. A gentle torching and a little colour goes a long way to add a nice colour, and subtle caramel flavour to the pie.
Cooking Temperature: 150°C - 300°F (no fan)
Storage Times: The cake keeps for 3 days in the fridge, but the topping must be prepared as needed as it won't keep for long after it has been prepared