With Aquafaba, vegan meringue is as easy as pie. Auafaba is the liquid from one 15 ounce can of garbanzo beans. We recommend buying the unsalted cans. We use the leftover cooking water from cooking dried garbanzo beans. We freeze this leftover water to have it on hand as needed. Aquafaba whips best when really cold. We use an Italian Meringue recipe by Zsu Dever, in her book Aquafaba.
Pastry for single-crust 9-inch pie (use 1/2 of our REAL Pie Crust, Gluten-Free)
For the Filling
2/3 cup vegan sugar (evaporated cane juice)
1/4 cup cornstarch or potato starch
2 cups coconut milk
2 Tablespoons soy lecithin granules or 1 teaspoon sunflower lecithin liquid (optional)
1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
2 tablespoons vegan butter (we use Miyoko’s Kitchen Cultured Vegan Butter)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the Meringue
3/4 cups aquafaba (unsalted, if using canned bean water buy salt-free, if cooking beans from dry do not salt the water)
3/4 teaspoon cream of tartar, divided
1 1/4 cups granulated organic sugar, divided
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon agar powder
3-4 Tablespoons unsweetened shredded coconut
Preheat oven to 385oF.
Prepare two sheets of parchment paper, at least 10 inches per side.
Place dough on one sheet of parchment paper and with hands flatten into a 4 inch-circle. Cover with other piece of parchment paper. Roll dough to a thin circle (about 1/8-1/4 inch thick circle). Remove top sheet of parchment paper. Carefully lift bottom sheet with dough and flip over, on top of a 9-inch pie plate. Trim pastry edges.
Line the unpricked pastry dough with a circle of parchment paper, cut to fit the bottom of the plate. Fill with pie weights, dried beans or uncooked rice. I use a small souffle dish that fits perfectly inside my pie dish. Bake 10-15 minutes or until edges are light golden brown. Remove paper and weights. Cool on a wire rack.
Next, make the coconut custard filling. In a small saucepan, mix sugar and starch. Whisk in coconut milk. Allow mixture to boil while whisking. Reduce heat to low. Add in soy lecithin if using. Cook and stir 2 minutes longer. Gently stir in shredded coconut, vegan butter and vanilla.
Transfer hot coconut milk filling to crust.
Bake 20-25 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack.
I recommend starting the Sugar Syrup for the meringue before beating the aquafaba.
Sugar Syrup: Add the 1/2 cup water and agar to a heavy-bottomed medium saucepan. Set aside to soften for 3 minutes. Add 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar and 1 cup sugar to the water. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring constantly to melt the sugar (this will take a few minutes), over medium-heat. Reduce heat to medium and cover with the saucepan with a tight-fitting lid. Cook for 3 minutes. Remove the lid, wash the sides of the pan with water and attach a candy thermometer; do not stir again. Cook the syrup until it reaches 260oF (hard-all stage). This can take some time. When the syrup reaches 260oF, turn off the heat and allow it to set until it is no longer bubbling. This can also take some time. Do not move or jiggle the pan until then.
Whipping the Aquafaba: Add the aquafaba and 1/2 teaspoon of the cream of tartar to the bowl of a stand mixer. Using a balloon whip attachment, whip the aquafaba on medium power for a couple of minutes. Increase the speed to medium-high and continue to whip for another 5 minutes, or until the aquafaba can hold stiff peaks. Slowly add in 1/4 cup sugar, about a tablespoons at a time.
Once the meringue is ready, keep whipping it until you are ready to add the sugar syrup. Then slow the machine and add the sugar syrup in a steady stream, trying not to touch the sides of the bowl or the whisk. Once all the syrup has been added, increase the speed to medium-high for 4 minutes or more until the meringue is much cooler.
Here we are streaming in the sugar syrup into the Aquafaba Meringue.
Spread the meringue on the pie, spreading it to the edges of the crust to reduce shrinking.
Sprinkle with shredded coconut.
If desired you can lightly brown the top of the meringue with a kitchen torch.
Refrigerate overnight or at least 3 hours before serving. The meringue will settle a little over time.
This pie freezes very well.