We have this lemon tree in the back yard.
And I swear every time I turn around, it’s grown even bigger.
The plus side is that we have a lot of lemons to use up all year round, but unfortunately lemon is something you can get bored of sometimes.
Luckily, this pie comes in handy for those juicy lemons!
This pie contains a vegan crust and curd, so emit the meringue or replace with a vegan alternative and voila! Vegan lemon meringue pie.
Now for the healthy part:
I modified the crust to emit the egg yolk and butter, as well as the refined sugar and flour, replacing with nutritious ingredients.
Don’t panic about the coconut oil, I have done a fair few hours of research and the fats within the oil are beneficial to the body – so don’t fear the coconut!
The great part is that coconut oil can replace butter, making it a great and healthy alternative! Do not get processed coconut oil however, this stuff is just horrible for you and pretty much has no nutrients.
The lemon curd is adapted from a dessert blogger named: http://dessertswithbenefits.com/, who is an idol of mine and please check out her blog, she posts healthy versions of classic desserts :3
Now for the pie!
Serves: 12 (15cm pie tin)
Healthy Lemon Meringue Pie
- 6.5 tbsp. ice-water
- 1 tsp. lemon zest
- Pinch salt
- Pinch cinnamon
- ¼ cup oil of choice
- ½ cup organic coconut oil
- ½ tsp. vanilla extract
- 2 cups whole-meal flour (spelt/coconut/etc.)
- Preheat oven to 200C. Grease pie/tart mold if non-stick with oil of choice.
- In a mixing bowl, sift dry ingredients together.
- Using a wooden spoon, mix in ¼ cup of oil (not coconut yet), as well as the lemon and vanilla.
- Using a crumbling technique, add in solid coconut oil and using your hands, rub together with the flour to create a crumb like texture. This process is exactly the same as butter pastry dough.
- Gently pour in ice-water, stirring well, till the dough just comes together, but is not saturated. You may require more or less of the ice-water, depending on circumstance.
- Press the dough into the pie mold (due to the nature of the dough, this technique will work better than rolling it out), till the mold is completely covered.
- Place a sheet of baking paper over the pie crust, then weigh down with pie weights of choice, such as rice, popcorn kernels, etc. Place into the oven and bake for 15-17 minutes.
- Remove the baking paper and weights, place back into the oven and bake for a further 10 minutes or until golden.
- Place onto a cooling rack, set aside.
Lemon Curd Filling:
- 1 tbsp. cornstarch
- ¾ unsweetened almond milk (soy milk/rice milk/oat milk/milk)
- 6 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
- 2 drops yellow food colouring (optional)
- Pinch salt
- 6 tbsp. unrefined sugar (caster/brown/organic/stevia)
- ¼ cup organic coconut oil
- Heat milk and cornstarch in a small pot on medium heat, stirring constantly till uniform.
- Using a whisk, blend in all other ingredients aside from the coconut oil and turn the heat up to high.
- Whisking constantly, stir until thick in consistency.
- Turn off the heat, take the pot off and stir in the coconut oil efficiently.
- Pour the curd into a bowl and leave to cool at room temperature, stirring occasionally to prevent lumps from forming.
- 4 organic, free range egg whites
- ¾ fine sugar (of choice)
- Pinch cream of tartar (optional – adds stability to meringue)
- Whip egg whites in a clean bowl with an electric beater or by whisk until soft peaks form.
- Whisk in cream of tartar, then gradually whisk in grains of sugar until completely dissolved.
- The test: To truly know if your meringue is ready, tip the bowl over your head, or somebody else’s 😉 Now if there is no egg in your hair, it’s ready to go!
- Take the baked pie base, and spread the lemon curd in an even layer.
- Pre-heat the oven to 180C.
- Gently transfer the meringue onto the top of the pie.
- Place the pie into the oven and bake until the meringue is golden and crisp at the peaks.
- Take the pie out, and leave to cool on a drying rack for at least an hour, or until the curd has re-solidified.