Mini Vegan Lemon Tarts with Toasted Aquafaba Meringue
I have to admit my attraction to these tarts was mainly for the many styling I wanted to make!! But when I tried the fantastic consistency of the lemon curd, I was hooked! So fresh and light but creamy and rich at the same time. Since I don’t digest cashews very well, I’m continually searching for desserts that give me the dreamy creaminess without using so much nuts as most classic vegan creams do.
The shell is a vegan remake of one Linda Lomellino’s classic from her book, very achievable and quick to make as doesn’t require resting time.
Also, I’m adding a detailed step to step to the aquafaba meringue. You guys, don’t beat this aquafaba nearly enough! All the DM I’m receiving make me realize you just need to have a stand mixer on, and the peace of mind is gonna whip for around 40 minutes! Yees that long, and even more if your machine is not powerful. I’ve upgraded mine to a 60£ stand mixer, compact and still affordable. Also the machine made the difference for a better consistency.
But the good news aquafaba bakes for 2-3 hours, while egg white meringues bake for 7 to 12 hours. I think we got a pretty good deal here and also without the eggs your kitchen is gonna smell fine, and other plus point!
Baking tarts 20 min
Preparation 20 min
Resting 1 hour
Meringue baking 2-3 hours
Meringue preparation 40-50 min
Make 3 tarts, 6” -12cm.
1 cup all-purpose white flour
2 tbsp granulated sugar ( personally I used coconut sugar)
1/4 tsp salt
7 Tbsp vegan butter
250ml cup of coconut milk or soya milk
Juice and zest of 2 lemons
3-4 Tbsp arrowroot
2 Tbsp agar agar flakes.
1/2 cup of sugar (or more if you like it very sweet)
A pinch of saffron powder
1/2 teaspoon of pure vanilla essence
1 can chickpeas in salted water, refrigerated overnight
1 heaped mug of high quality powdered (icing) sugar gluten free and corn starch free ( I use Squires Kitchen)
1/8 tsp Xanthan Gum (this addition helps for toasted raw meringue to stay firm and don’t weep, but can be omitted if you cook the all meringues in the oven).
Preheat the oven at 350° F - 180°C .
Mix the dry ingredients. Melt the butter and add mixing with a fork until the dough coheres.
Press the dough into 3 pie tins and prick with a fork allover the surface.
Bake on the lower rack for 20-25 minutes, until starts becoming golden. Leave to cool.
In a saucepan mix well all the filling ingredients until well combined with no lumps. Bring to a boil and reduce the heat, simmer until all the agar agar flaxes are dissolved (10 min). Add few more spoons of any milk, if the mixtue is too solid before the agar is completely dissolved.
If you get lumps just blend the sauce. (I notice blending helps also to dissolve the agar agar).
Pour the sauce into the crust shells and leave to cool completely. Decor as you prefer!
Preheat the oven at 100°C - 220ºF circa. And prepare 2 racks with baking paper or baking sheet ready on the counter.
1.In a clean bowl drain the chickpeas water through a colander ( a metal one with dense mesh), to be sure absolutely no skin of the chickpeas gets into the aquafaba. Like for egg white, the aquafaba must be perfectly clean from impurities to whip up.
2.Using a standing beater, whip at maximum speed until the aquafaba is thick, smooth and forms waves, (like proper egg white) about 20 minutes to say the least.
3. Mix the Xanthan Gum to the icing sugar. Add 1/3 of the sugar to the aquafaba and let whip for 5 minutes. And then start adding the sugar spoon by spoon with a 30 seconds lapse. It’s important to add the sugar slowly at this stage as it helps prevent the meringue from weeping later. The aquafaba should look more and more firm, smooth and glossy.
4. When all the sugar is all incorporated beat for an other 20 minutes or more, overmixing is not an issue with aquafaba. Keep whipping at maximum spead until you have a thick, firm and billowy consistency that can be piped out in any shape and will keep it. Your meringue is ready when you pipe it out the peaks stay straight and don’t bend.
5. Immediately pipe some meringue on the tarts and toast also immediately using a kitchen flame. (be careful to don’t burn the shell edge like I did :) ).
Using a dessertspoon or the piping bag ease the rest of the meringue on to the baking sheets in shapes of equal dimension. Don’t leave the raw meringues to hang around for too long before baking, infact being fast is crucial for best consistency.
6. Bake for 2 to 2.5 hours depending of the size of the meringues. When ready most of them should come off the paper.