LEMON ELDERFLOWER MERINGUE PIES
Let’s celebrate the arrival of spring with a bunch of little lemony meringue pies!
They are light, bright, and fresh, big enough to soothe that sweet tooth, yet small enough to relish your indulgence to the fullest.
The black tea imbues the crust with character and the lemon curd is…a sweet and tangy slice of heaven, frankly.
Meringue is known for containing egg whites, this recipe however uses aquafaba, the liquid from canned chickpeas,
to create a silky, foamy and delicious meringue topping as well as the desired perfect swirls.
Combine the flours, starch, lemon zest, icing sugar and salt in a large bowl. Add the melted coconut oil and mix well with your hands. Add the black tea. Gently combine all the ingredients into a dough. Wrap in some cling film and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Remove the dough from the fridge and divide it into 8 equal portions. Gently line the inside of each ramekin with the dough by pressing it, in order to achieve an even consistency. Trim the excess pastry with a sharp knife.
Pierce the bottom of the ramekins a few times with a fork, put them into the fridge and allow to chill for about an hour.
Preheat the oven to 175° C 45 min into the pastry chilling time. Line the pastry cases with sheets of baking paper and fill them with rice. Bake for 20 min. Remove the rice and allow the pastry to to cool down completely before filling (the rice will ensure that the pastry does not rise).
Pour the lemon juice, the coconut oil and elderflower syrup into a small pot. Turn the heat onto low and stir continuously in order to prevent the mixture from over-heating.
In another bowl mix the corn starch and the cashew milk removing any lumps, add this to the warm lemon curd mixture. Gently bring to a boil whilst stirring. Allow to bubble for two minutes in order to thicken (the mixture will thicken further as it cools down).
MERINGUE (whip it just before you are ready to assemble the pies):
In a large bowl beat the chickpea water until you get stiff pecks.
To test if whipped chickpea water is ready, gently turn the bowl upside down. You can begin to add 5 tsp elderflower syrup and the icing sugar once the mixture is firm enough and doesn’t slide down. Otherwise, keep on whipping until the mixture stays in the bowl when tilted. The mixture should turn as beautifully sticky and glossy as an egg-based meringue.
Fill the cooled pastry cases with a generous amount of cooled lemon curd.
Pipe meringue on top using a piping bag or a clean ziplock bag by snipping a corner.
Toast the meringues under a hot oven grill. It will only take about 2 minutes but watch the pies like a hawk as they can go from light brown to burnt in seconds! They may also need rotating after a minute if your oven burns a bit hotter at the back. Alternatively you can use a blow torch, if you own one.
Let the pies sit for at least an hour in order for them to set.
Makes eight 7cm-sized pie ramekins.
For the crust:
60g corn flour
60g coconut flour
30g corn starch
2 tbsp icing sugar
Zest of half a lemon
Pinch of salt
60ml coconut oil, melted
50ml strong black tea
For the lemon curd:
150ml lemon juice
5 tbsp elderflower syrup
1 tbsp coconut oil
200ml cashew milk
40g corn starch
For the meringue:
120ml chickpea brine
80 g icing sugar
4 tsp elderflower syrup
The wonderful plate is handmade by Icelandic artist Sigríður Helga Olgeirsdóttir