When I was a kid, lemon meringue pie was a special treat that we ate only rarely, since it was something we bought from a bakery- I think I didn't even know that it could be made at home until I was an adult!
Then I discovered how to make lemon meringue and lemon orange meringue pie, and for a time would make that on a semi regular basis.
Once I stopped eating eggs though, lemon meringue pis seemed out of the question, as all lemon curd recipes- the base of the lemon meringue pie- seemed to be super egg heavy, not to mention the meringue which was basically egg whites with sugar. It is super hard to find egg free lemon curd recipes- most recipes seemed to be tofu based, and I also don't eat soy.
I tried making a few eggless lemon curd recipes, and didn't have much success there. Some tasted great, they were rather runny due to the lack of egg yolks in them. Other ones left much to be desired such as that cauliflower based one... which tasted to me like sweet and sour cauliflower puree. What a waste!
On top of that, there was the issue that most lemon curd recipes were made with white sugar, and I try to stay away from processed sweeteners.
I've been working on a healthy frugal dessert cookbook (Penniless Paleo Confections- watch for it- should hopefully be out within the next month or so) and decided that I needed to figure this one out already- I wanted to be able to include a lemon curd recipe in it, and after a lot of trial and error finally figured it out!
This lemon curd is refined sugar free, egg free, dairy free, and can be made vegan. I've made it with both jaggery syrup and honey and it works both ways. I'm sure it can be tweaked a bit to be made with a dry non refined sweetener like coconut sugar as well (you'll need to add a little extra liquid to it if so. It is quite delicious and everyone that tried it loved it!
You can eat the curd plain or as a topping for lemon bars (it works better in this recipe than the topping listed), and you can use it in lemon meringue pie, but I have to admit that I still haven't figured out how to make a meringue pie topping that is both egg free and refined sugar free. Aquafaba works to make a vegan meringue, but only works with white sugar, and egg white meringue works with non refined sweeteners...
|Lemon meringue pie made with egg white meringue sweetened with honey|
My closest approximation to lemon meringue pie with ingredients I eat would be topping my lemon curd with whipped coconut cream, and using a crust like this.
When making this recipe with jaggery syrup, it is less sweet than with honey, so keep that in mind. Both delicious, but if you don't like things as sweet, you might want to cut back on the honey a drop.
3/4-1 cup lemon juice
3/4 cup jaggery syrup or honey
1/2 cup tapioca starch, potato starch. or corn starch
3/4 cup water
4 tablespoons palm or coconut oil
1-2 pinches salt
1. Mix 3/4 cup lemon juice and all the rest of the ingredients in a pan, whisking well to dissolve any clumps.
2. Heat up on a medium heat. mixing frequently, until starting to thicken.
3. Taste your curd- if you like yours more tart, add up to 1/4 cup more lemon juice, and mix in well.
4. Cook some more, until fully thick.
5. Eat hot, or chill before eating. It thickens even more in the fridge. If baking further, you don't need to chill first, but lemon bars should be spread with this curd before chilling.
6. Dig in and enjoy!
Are you a fan of lemon meringue pie? Did you have it growing up, and if so, did you make it at home or buy it from bakeries like we did?
Have you managed to make lemon curd egg, dairy, soy, and refined sugar free? How do you make it? Any suggestions for a meringue topping that is free from all those as well?
Does this look like a recipe you'd try?