Vegan Meringue Nests with Lemon Curd

A few months ago, I would've said that it couldn't be done (without the help of fancy machines and chemicals).  But you can make meringues without eggs!

When I was visiting my parents, I went to a small gluten-free market near their home.  My mom pointed out this interesting product called "No Egg" by Orgran.  It's a mix of starches and baking powder - nothing too weird.  For the most part, I followed their meringue recipe verbatim.

At first, I was a little too gung-ho and started off trying to make macarons, my favorite.  It. did. not. go. well.

I was much more conservative while making this recipe.  It went so well, that it gives me hope in making macarons sometime soon!  The secret is the pectin/No Egg combination.  It really gives it an authentic, meringue-y taste.

These meringues have a light vanilla flavor.  If you're familiar with the texture of meringue, you'll know that it has a dry, crunchy feel - but not in an unpleasant way.  People often dip them in chocolate or serve them with a glaze or sauce.  For this recipe, I chose to use my lemon curd recipe.  I didn't have organic shortening on hand, so I used a little Melt.  That's why the color is a little translucent.

I made cute little meringue nests with a piping bag.  I wanted to create a well for the lemon curd to sit in.  Just a reminder, when you're putting a filling in there, make sure you are serving it soon.  The meringues are somewhat porous, so you don't want too much liquid sinking through.  You can also just make little gobs of meringue.

Vegan Meringue Nests with Lemon Curd
Adapted from Orgran

1/3 c. No Egg (grab some here from Amazon)
1/2 tsp. pectin
scant 1 c. water, cold
1 tsp. Activz Beet Powder, for color
3 T. vanilla-infused bourbon (learn more about infusing your own liquor!)
1/2 c. + 1 T. vegan powdered sugar
1 T. coconut sugar

lemon curd, or other filling

Directions
Preheat the oven to 250°. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat.

In a large stand mixer bowl (whisk attachment), combine the No Egg and pectin.  Pour in the cold water/beet powder.  Beat this mixture on high for a solid 5 minutes.

After, add the vanilla and coconut sugar in, one tablespoon at a time, scraping the sides as necessary.  Add the powdered sugar, mixing slowly at first and then raising the speed to high - again for 5 solid minutes.  Scrape the sides as necessary.  From the first beating to the second, the meringue should have almost doubled in size.

Spoon the meringue mixture into a piping bag and swirl to make nests (or just gobs).  Bake the meringues for 2 hours - don't open the oven door.  When 2 hours have elapsed, turn the oven off and leave the door closed.  You can get the baking sheet out in a half hour.

Vegan Meringue Nests with No Egg and Lemon Curd 55.jpg

As a side note, I made my lemon curd with St. Elder Elderberry Liqueur and it was AMAZING!  I highly recommend this combo!

There you have it - light and crunchy meringues!  Eat these soon because it doesn't take long for them to get stale.

Cheers!
-Aileen