My mom was not a cook. I got that love from my dad. My mom did enjoy baking, however. Especially pies. I remember my mom always experimenting with different pie recipes. She even made a Mock Apple Pie once made from Ritz crackers instead of apples. Yeah, I don’t get it either, but it was rather tasty if I recall. Mom would mostly make pumpkin pies, but every now and then, although very rarely, she would whip up a lemon meringue pie.
Back then, I wasn’t the biggest fan of lemon meringue, but I just discovered something this week that was kind of mind blowing. Chickpea meringue! If you follow food trends, this is a hot one right now. It’s one of those things that I heard about, but didn’t believe it could possibly be true. So I had to try it for myself. And it was so cool, that I wanted to share it with you.
If you google “Aquafaba” you’ll see a slew of videos and blog posts singing praise to this amazing discovery. A French man named Joel Roessel discovered that you can whip chickpea water (that’s the slimy stuff you get when you drain a can of chickpeas) into a fluffy cream, identical to the texture and firmness of whipped egg whites. WHAT?!?
With Mother’s Day coming up and vegan meringue being the latest trend, I decided to start experimenting. This is just a teaser – I’m working on a healthier lemon meringue pie recipe in honor of mom. 🙂 First run was okay. It tasted great, but the meringue fell when I took it out of the oven. Going to keep tweaking it though!
In the course of experimentation, I also made (sugar based) meringue cookies, mostly following this recipe from Kelly Paloza (slightly adapted):
1 15 ounce can chickpeas
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1. Pour the liquid from the can of chickpeas into the bowl of a stand mixer, or use electric hand mixers. Add the cream of tartar. Whip the bean juice with the whisk attachment at high speed until it starts to thicken. Gradually add the sugar and vanilla and continue whipping. This process took me about 5-7 minutes, but it could take up to 15 or 20 minutes.
2. It’s done when the mixture reaches the consistency of thick whipped cream, and stays on a spoon when you hold it upside down.
3. Pipe the cream onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake at 210 degrees for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, until firm and very, very lightly browned on top.
Now that you’re intrigued, start saving your chickpea water (aquafaba), dust off your stand mixer with whisk attachment, or your hand mixer, and get playing! I promise you’ll be as impressed as I was. I’m still experimenting and playing around with new recipes that I can’t wait to share.