One recipe many of you have often asked me to make here on the blog, is a healthy Lemon Meringue Pie. So here she is – entirely plant-based, no dairy, refined sugars or eggs, very low in total sugar, naturally wheat free, and 100% delicious. I’ve made quite a few of these lovely yellow spheres the past few weeks, honing the various elements, and am super happy to share with you the final result!
This Healthy Lemon Meringue Pie is quite different to my other tart/pie recipes, in that I’ve heated the filling with arrowroot to thicken it, instead of using coconut oil which hardens on chilling. This leads to a markedly different texture inside, more gooey and tangy rather than creamy and rich, exactly like a traditional lemon meringue should taste. It also means it’s a lot less energy dense than a traditional cashew or nut based cheesecake. I’ve also only added the tiniest amount of sweetener, instead allowing the natural zesty lemon to shine through.
The base meanwhile is just stunning – so simple to make and with truly affordable ingredients. Once you’ve tried it, I’m certain it will become a staple tart base for you, long after this creation.
Then comes the meringue. Now meringue without egg whites is a rather hard task (although it can be done using chickpea soaking water, but it’s rather laborious and time consuming). I’ve instead opted to top our lovely tart with a gorgeous Coconut Cashew Whip. Not only is it entirely sugar free and requires only three ingredients, it works perfectly with this pie, acting as the dollop of whipped cream you no doubt already want to add to the side of your Lemon Meringue Pie anyway.
I’ve spoken about lemons, the key ingredient, in details before in this Lemon Coconut Truffles recipe here, so if you’d like a wee refresher on why lemons are such a fabulous addition to your diet have a read of that there. Meanwhile I hope you love this recipe, I’m really excited about you trying it out!
If you make this luscious Lemon Meringue Pie, I’d love to see your version on Instagram – tag me @begoodorganics and #begoodorganics so I can come say hello!
Have a beautiful Sunday, and til next week, stay happy and well.
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Please note – if you are wanting to meet any of the specific dietary requirements below, please read my recipe notes.
- 1 1/2 cup oats
- 1 c coconut
- 1 c dates
- 2 tbsp hot water
- 1 tbsp coconut oil melted
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 1/3 cashews + 1 1/2c water or 1 1/2 c soy/coconut/almond/rice milk
- 1/3 c arrowroot/tapioca flour/cornflour
- 4 tbsp yacon root powder
- 1 tbsp brown rice malt syrup
- 2 1/2 lemons zest, juice and flesh = 2/3 c juice, 2 tbsp zest
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/8 tsp sea salt
- 1/8 tsp turmeric optional, for colour
- 400 ml coconut milk ~18% fat
- 1 c cashews
- 3 tbsp coconut oil melted
- Base: blend all base ingredients in a food processor or blender until it forms a dough that holds together between your fingers when pinched. Press into a pie or tart tin lined with biodegradable wrap.
- Filling: blend all ingredients excluding the arrowroot, yacon root powder and lemon zest in a high speed blender until super creamy and smooth, then add the yacon powder at the last moment (it will thicken the mix, so don’t add it too early). Pour 1/2c of the liquid into a bowl with the arrowroot and stir until completely combined. Pour remainder of the liquid into a pot and heat on low, then slowly pour in the arrowroot mixture whilst stirring, until the filling becomes thick and gooey. Stir through the lemon zest, then pour everything into your base and place in the fridge to set overnight.
- Meringue: blend coconut and cashews in a high speed blender until super silky smooth, scraping down the sides if needed. Then with the motor on low, pour in the coconut oil slowly until it emulsifies into the cream. Pour into a bowl and place in the fridge to set overnight with the pie.
- The next day, whisk the cream with a fork until light and fluffy, then dollop on top of your pie (remove it from the tin and biodegradable wrap first). Place back in the fridge for an hour to set, or in the freezer for a quick set. Top with lemon zest, then serve.
- If you are coeliac or would prefer a 100% gluten free option, the oats in the base can be replaced with buckwheat. If you want to make this even more bioavailable for your body (able to absorb the nutrients, and reducing nutrient inhibitors), use activated buckwheat.
- To make this nut free, choose a nut free milk for the filling (organic soy is great) and use 1 1/2 c. For the topping, omit the cashews, and instead use 2 cans of coconut cream – one being the whole can, the other just being the cream on the top (put the can in the fridge so the cream portion hardens on the top – the water underneath you can just pour off and use in your bircher muesli or a smoothie).
- For extra lemon zestiness, add a few drops of lemon essential oil to the filling. If you do this, just make sure you’re using a high-quality, food grade essential oil – I personally use and love these ones here.
- If your dates are a little firm, they may need soaking. Simply cover with 2 tbsp hot water and leave to sit for 10 minutes before adding them to your blender.
- If you don’t have any ready made plant-based milk, you can replace this with 1/3 c cashews blended with 1 cup water.
- Pouring the coconut oil into the creamy topping whilst the blender is running on low allows it to emusify into the mix, and avoids it setting and forming tiny lumps through your cream.
- I topped my pie with the full cream mixture, as wanted to create some dynamic height, but if you prefer you can use less, and simply keep the remaining cream in the fridge, either for serving alongside the pie, or for topping fruit or another dessert with.
- I’ve used turmeric as a natural way to add a lovely vibrant yellow colour to the filling, but it’s entirely optional so feel free to make without if you like.
- I’ve used a combination of yacon root powder and brown rice malt syrup as sweeteners in the filling. This was mainly so as not to colour the delicate yellow of the filling brown (which happened when I tried coconut sugar and coconut nectar). If you don’t have yacon root powder, you can use your favourite sweetener (I recommend starting with 3 tbsp total, as yacon root powder is not as sweet as most sweeteners). Just be aware that your lemon filling may turn slightly brown with coconut nectar/agave/maple/coconut sugar unless it is a light coloured variety (and even then, the organic ones all vary in colour from batch to batch).
- If you don’t have any yacon to hand, you could substitute this for stevia (given that it also has a neutral colour). However, given stevia’s distinctive taste, I would recommend still using a blend of brown rice syrup alongside this.
- I love the texture of the extra zest stirred through the lemon portion, and I used long thin strands so they remain separate to the main filling. If you’d prefer a 100% smooth inner though, you can omit this stir through option (if your zest bits are too small, it may make your filling slightly grainy).
- For the meringue/coconut cashew whip, be sure to use regular coconut cream, not light. Have a look on the back, the fat content should be around 18% (light versions are just regular coconut cream watered down with water anyway, so much more cost-effective to buy the regular stuff, then water it down yourself if you choose to do so!).
- If your blender is not super powerful, you can replace the cashews in the topping with additional coconut cream, or even soy milk.