Tag Archives: pie

Vegan Meringue for Mother’s Day

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?!?

Whipped Aquafaba

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. ūüôā¬†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!

Lemon meringue pie

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.

Meringue Cookies


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.

If you do some playing of your own and come up with anything you’d love to share, email me and I’d love to feature your recipe in my blog and/or next newsletter!


Vegan Bon Appetit: Apple Torte with Breadcrumb Hazelnut Crust

There have been a lot of posts about squash and pumpkins recently and I feel like I’ve been neglecting another one of my fall favorites: apples!

Again, I turned to an old edition of Bon Appetit, a cover recipe that I had flagged two years ago and still hadn’t taken the time to prepare. ¬†Looking at that October 2010 cover photo again, I knew that I had to finally make that Apple Torte with Breadcrumb Hazelnut Crust.

I knew going into it that this torte was going to be rather labor intensive and time consuming (the recipe does give a total time of 5 hours). I hoped the reward of spending five hours prepping, baking and cooling that the result would be incredible. Instead, it verged on the side of really good. Would I make it again exactly in the same way from start to finish? Probably not.  Would I make it again using some of the components? Absolutely!

The apples were great. The use of hard cider adds such a great taste element that you don’t get using water like in a traditional apple pie. ¬†Also, I loved incorporating hazelnuts into the crust; they were such a classy touch. ¬†If I make this tart again, I think I would mix it with flour (probably a gluten free mix) instead of breadcrumbs.

This was another one of those seemingly complicated explanations that Bon Appetit likes to give for their recipes, except in this case when you break it down, it is actually simple for anyone, even less experienced bakers, to recreate this torte at home.

Apple Torte with Breadcrumb and Hazelnut Crust 

Apple Filling


2 pounds Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, cut into 1/2-inch wedges
1/3 cup sugar
1 cup hard apple cider or dry white wine

1. Arrange apples in even layer in heavy large skillet. Sprinkle with sugar, then pour apple cider over. 2. Cover and cook over medium heat until apples are tender, gently turning apples occasionally, 8 to 10 minutes. 
3. Uncover; cook until juices evaporate, frequently but carefully turning apples to keep wedges intact, about 10 minutes. 
4. Remove from heat. Let apples cool completely in skillet. 
DO AHEAD Can be made 1 day ahead. Transfer to bowl. Cover; chill.


8 cups fresh breadcrumbs made from crustless Italian or French bread (finely ground in processor)
1 cup hazelnuts, toasted, husked
10 tablespoons sugar, divided
4 teaspoons finely grated lemon peel
1/4 teaspoon (generous) salt
3/4 cup non-dairy milk
6 tablespoons vegan butter, cut into 1-inch pieces, or solid coconut oil 
Preheat oven to 350¬įF. Spread breadcrumbs on large rimmed baking sheet.¬†
1. Bake until dried and light golden, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes. Cool. (*Bon Appetit says the 8 cups will bake down to 3 cups, but mine did not. If you have leftovers, reserve them for another use.)

2. Finely grind hazelnuts and 6 tablespoons sugar in processor. Add 3 cups breadcrumbs; process 5 seconds. Transfer mixture to large bowl. Stir in 4 tablespoons sugar, lemon peel, and salt. 

3. Combine milk and butter, or oil in small saucepan. Stir over medium heat just until butter melts. Pour milk-butter mixture over breadcrumb mixture; stir until moistened (dough will be sticky). Let dough rest in bowl until liquid is absorbed, about 15 minutes. 
4. Transfer 1 cup dough to floured work surface. Gather into ball; flatten into disk. Press out to 9-inch round; wrap in plastic. Chill at least 1 hour for top crust. 
5. Transfer remaining dough to work surface. Gather into ball; flatten into disk. Press disk onto bottom and up sides of 9-inch tart pan with removable bottom, pushing crust up to extend 1/2 inch above sides. Cover; chill at least 1 hour. 
DO AHEAD Dough can be made 1 day ahead. Keep chilled.
(**Instead of making a full crust for the top layer, I opted to make a slightly thicker bottom layer with part of the dough and used the remaining to sprinkle over the top like a crumble.

To Bake the torte: 

Preheat oven to 375¬įF. Fill crust with apple mixture. Place top crust over filling (or sprinkle if making it crumble style). Fold bottom crust overhang up over top crust edges, pressing together to seal.

Bake torte until crust is deep golden and crust begins to separate from sides of pan (top crust may crack), about 1 hour. Cool in pan on rack at least 2 hours. Carefully remove sides from tart pan. Transfer to platter.  Cut into wedges. 

If desired, dust with powdered sugar. Serve with whipped cream, or drizzle with coconut cream.

Gluten Free Vegan Tart Crust

I used to not be much of a pie person, but it’s been growing on me. The only pie I used to eat was apple, but only if it had a crumble on top. Lattice or full cover just never did it for me. Half the time I wouldn’t even eat the bottom crust. Pumpkin was my least favorite. Lately, however, I’ve been craving pies. Why the change of heart? I think it was discovering the perfect kind of crust: shortbread. Shortbread is usually the common crust found on the bottom or fruit tarts, and I suppose tarts are a form of pie. Playing on a standard shortbread crust, I came up with this gluten free version and it’s delish!

In an attempt to find another use for the leftover pumpkin dip that I stuffed my French toast with the other day, I decided to whip up a few mini tart shells and fill them with some of the dip.  The result was a dense pumpkin pie that I actually liked!  To use this crust for savory items, just omit the sugar.

Gluten Free Shortbread Crust
1 C brown rice flour
1 C quinoa flour
1 tsp xanthum gum
2 T powdered sugar
1/2 C + 1 T non hydrogenated shortening
5 T cold water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Combine dry ingredients. Cut shortening into flour mixture until a crumb like texture forms. Add water. Work dough with hands until soft and form into ball.
Place dough in 9 inch tart pan with removable bottom and press it into the bottom and sides. (It is a little easier to press into the pan if you roll it out first to over lap the pan a little; it does not have to be a perfect circle.)
Use fork to prick the bottom of the crust several times. Place crust in oven check on it after 15 minutes of baking.  If edges are golden brown, remove from oven. If not, bake an additional 5 Р10 minutes until they are.  Place on a cooling rack and cool completely.

If you are using crust for a tart that requires additional baking after filling is added, do not bake completely.