What’s the best pie I’ve ever had? Easy answer – It’s this one. Everything about this pie is pure perfection. A buttery flaky crust. The silkiest smooth lemon filling, with just the right balance of tart and sweet. Mounds of luscious meringue. Best of all, it’s my wonderful mother’s recipe and it’s 100% vegan. That’s what makes this the world’s best vegan old fashioned lemon meringue pie.🍋
Becoming vegan does not mean you have to give up many of the traditional dishes you love. By using the right plant-based ingredients to replace animal products, you can update many of your favorite family recipes, making them better than ever! Just like my favorite pie.
It’s hard to imagine improving on perfection. Particularly when that perfect thing happens to be your most cherished recipe, or more specifically, your perfect mother’s perfect recipe, which you’ve adored since childhood – Mom & recipe.
My mom aka “Mama Love” was the epitome of the classic 50’s-60’s housewife and mother. She had the looks and fashion sense of Betty Draper, the flirt and sass of Betty White, the cooking savvy of Betty Crocker, and a kind, generous heart for kids and animals, bigger than Betty Boop’s entire head.
The best vegan old fashioned lemon meringue pie ever!
Mama Love was a fabulous home cook & baker. Every year, for my birthday, she made my absolute, all-time favorite dessert – her homemade lemon meringue pie. 🍋For me, those pies represented the patisserie personification of my pretty, petite, precious mama. The delicate golden, buttery crust. A simply sublime citrusy lemon filling – the perfect balance of sweet and tart – silky smooth, not too firm, not too soft- just right. Her meringue was pure bliss. She took great pride in making sure her magical meringue had fluffy mounded peaks that browned just oh-so lightly. She found such enormous pleasure in her cooking and presentation, I’m sure if the internet had been around in the 60’s, she would have been an Instagram influencer.
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For more than four decades, every year on my birthday, Mom’s pies were the highlight of my day. I knew how much time, effort and love she would put into creating them and, each year, the conversation would be the same “Best lemon meringue pie ever Mom! Even better than last year, if that’s even possible!” When she passed away in 2001, I couldn’t bear to eat any other lemon meringue pie. When I became vegan, I resigned myself to the reality that those precious pies would forever remain as sweet, lemony memories in my past.
That was, until my daughter Madison – who has inherited my mom’s cooking & baking genes – decided to “vegan-ize” her Grammy’s lemon meringue pie recipe for my birthday. By replacing eggs and butter with all vegan ingredients, Madi perfectly duplicated all of the familiar flavors and textures from my mom’s recipe. It was as if my daughter had channeled my mother, via this luscious, scrumptious, picture perfect, lemon meringue pie…just like a warm hug from above. Heavenly 🍋Lemony 💛Bliss.
How to make the world’s best vegan lemon meringue pie
Be sure to read through this entire recipe before starting. Having all of your ingredients prepared in advance will help make your pie baking experience a lot more fun, easier & successful!
This recipe is prepared in 3 stages:
Pie Crust Lemon Filling Meringue
follow our simple steps for creating the best vegan lemon meringue pie ever! 🍋
World’s Best Vegan Lemon Meringue Pie
- Electric hand or stand mixer(your best friend when making meringue)
- 4 quart sauce pan
- Rolling Pin
- Large mixing bowl
- Measuring cups
- Rubber or silicone spatula/scraper
- Can opener
- Pastry cutter or fork
- Wire whisk
- Mesh strainer
- Cooling rack
- Parchment paper
- Large piping bag with star nozzle (optional)
- Hot pads or mitts
Basic Vegan Pie Crust
- 1 c All-purpose flour
- 1/4 C Vegetable shortening chilled
- 1/4 C butter – vegan/non-dairy chilled
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2-3 tsp water cold
Vegan Lemon Pie Filling
- 1-1/4 C White sugar organic preferred
- 1/8 tsp Salt
- 7 Tbsp Cornstarch
- 2 C Water boiling
- 1 Tbsp Lemon zest
- 1/4 C Butter vegan, non-dairy
- 4 Tbsp JUST Egg* egg replacer (important)
- 1/2 C Lemon juice fresh
- 200 ml Aquafaba liquid from one 15 oz. can of chickpeas or garbanzo beans
- 1/2 tsp Cream of tartar
- 270 grams Powdered sugar organic, vegan (roughly 2-1/4 C)
- 1/2 Vanilla pod, seeds scraped
- 1 tsp Xanthum gum for thickening
- 1 Tbsp Lemon zest optional
- Basic Vegan Pie Crust
- In a large mixing bowl, combine flour and salt.
- Using either a pastry cutter or fork, begin working the shortening and butter into the flour. Keep cutting in the shortening and butter until the dough becomes crumbly, turning into pea-sized pieces. If you need to, use just the tips of your fingers to work the flour and fat together, avoiding over-heating or meting the butter and shortening. The trick to creating a nice flaky crust is keeping your fats cold, so don't overwork the dough with your hands.
- Once the dough has reached a crumbly consistency, begin adding cold water, one teaspoon at a time, just until you can roll the dough into a ball. While you can roll out your dough immediately, I recommend wrapping the dough ball in a piece of plastic wrap and placing it in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours to completely chill.
- When you're ready to roll out your dough, you'll want to prepare a clean, flat surface. A large cutting board or silicone mat works best. Sprinkle and spread a small amount of flour onto your board and rolling pin and begin rolling out the dough in each direction until you have about an 11-12 inch circle.
- Lay the circle of dough over the rolling pin and lift it off the board, gently setting it across your pie dish. Very carefully, use your fingers to lightly press the dough into the dish, making sure not to tear the dough.
- Once the dough is completely pressed into the dish, take a sharp knife and cut around the rim of the pie dish, removing the excess dough. You can finish the edges of the crust either by pinching or fluting the edge, or easier still, gently press the back of a fork all along the edge creating a ridged pattern. Or, if you are using a classic style fluted pie dish, simply shape your dough to fit the rim.
- 🥕NOTE: This recipe calls for a pre-baked or 'blind-baked' pie crust. Using a fork, prick the bottom of the unbaked shell several times on the bottom, or weight the bottom of the shell using dried beans or pie weights. This helps to keep your crust from bubbling up from the bottom or shrinking around the sides when baking. If you use beans or weights, just make sure to first line the unbaked crust with a layer of parchment paper before adding the weights. Bake the shell at 450º for approximately 12-15 minutes, until edges are slightly golden.
Vegan Lemon Pie Filling
- Place sugar, salt, and cornstarch in a 4 qt. or medium size sauce pan. Add boiling water and lemon zest.
- Cook on stovetop over medium-low heat, stirring continuously with a wire whisk until thickened (approx. 15-20 minutes). Add butter, don't stir. Remove from heat.
- In a small bowl or measuring cup, stir together the JUST Egg and lemon juice, then pour into hot mixture, stirring until fully combined. Pour lemon filling through a wire strainer (to remove any possible lumps or lemon seeds) into a pre-baked pie shell.
- Bake at 400º for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and place on wire rack while preparing meringue. (Pie filling will still be liquid when removed from oven.)
- Preheat oven to 325º
- Pour aquafaba into a deep mixing bowl or stand mixer bowl.
- Add cream of tartar.
- Using an electric hand or stand mixer with a whisk attachment, whisk on medium speed for 3-5 minutes, until foaming. Increase speed to high and continue whisking for 5-10 minutes, until stiff peaks form.
- Start adding sugar, one tablespoon at a time, while continuing to whisk into a stiff meringue.
- Add vanilla seeds and xanthum gum. Whisk an additional 30 seconds.
- Spoon the meringue into a large piping bag fitted with a star nozzle. Pipe meringue over pie, covering completely. If you don't have a piping bag, simply spoon dollops of meringue with a spatula or large spoon over the pie filling, covering to the edges.
- Place pie into oven at 325º and bake for approximately 18 minutes or until meringue is lightly brown on the peaks. Pie filling will be wobbly and not yet fully set. Remove from the oven and place pie on cooling rack for 20-30 minutes. Sprinkle with zest (if desired), then refrigerate, uncovered, until filling is completely set (1-2 hrs.)
- JUST Egg is a specific name-brand egg replacer which I have found to be ideal for creating this recipe. Here is a link to find it at a store near you: https://find.ju.st/justfoods/site/locator.php?MM=panel2
- Do yourself a favor and buy a food scale, particularly if you enjoy baking. Many recipes require very specific measurements and a food scale be the difference between a hit or a miss. I have this one and I paid less than $10 for it.