Cakes & Bakes: Vegan lemon meringue pie

Slice of home-made vegan lemon meringue pie | H is for Home #recipe #vegan #lemon #meringue #aquafaba

We’re more than halfway through January – did you make (or break) any new year’s resolutions? We’ve been having a ‘Dry January’ and other people may be having a ‘Veganuary’. I’ve been vegetarian for 30 years (and vegan at one point) so I thought that the former would be much more of a goal. Nevertheless, I thought I should try a vegan Cakes & Bakes dish to say that I got into the whole January swing!

Vegan pastry pie base | H is for Home

This lemon meringue pie is surprisingly completely vegan. No butter in the pastry, no eggs or gelatine in the filling and no eggs in the meringue. Brilliant!

cooked chickpeas in a saucepan | H is for Home bowl of cooked chickpeas with measuring jug of aquafaba | H is for Home

Despite being veggie for most of my life, I’ve only recently heard about aquafaba. It’s a versatile egg substitute that was ‘discovered’ by a French chef in 2014. It’s the cooking liquor from (usually) white beans such as butter beans, chickpeas or cannellini beans. If you’re using tinned, buy ones that are unsalted. If you’re making your own, it’s not the water that you soak dried beans in – that contains toxins and gets discarded – you use the water in which the beans have been boiled. I made my own and used the ‘discarded’ chickpeas to make a batch of hummus.

Vegan lemon meringue pie filling | H is for Home

Many of the vegan lemon meringue pie recipes I found on the ‘net included a pinch of turmeric; I obliged but found the resulting filling to be on the orange side and resembled pumpkin pie. It didn’t affect the flavour, however. If preferred, you could use a tiny amount of yellow food colouring.

Vegan aquafaba meringue | H is for Home

Making the meringue was a bit tricky. I think I under-whipped my first batch as the lovely peaks softened and sank in the oven. Some people prefer to pipe the mixture on to a lined baking sheet and cooking it separately. I did this with some of the leftover mixture and I couldn’t tell the difference from egg white meringue! It was soft and gooey and cracked when I broke into it.

Vegan lemon meringue pie | H is for Home

I quickly & carefully blow-torched the top before it went into the oven on the lowest setting for at least 2 hours. This seemed to help it keep its shape. If you go with latter cooking method, The meringue doesn’t get as cooked thoroughly and will sink and begin to liquefy. It will be best eaten on the day you make it.

Click here to save the recipe to Pinterest for later!

Vegan lemon meringue pie
Yields 1
For the pastry
  1. 200g/7oz plain flour
  2. 70g/2½oz 'tant pour tant' (35g/1¼oz icing sugar + 35g/1¼oz ground almonds)
  3. pinch of salt
  4. 100g/3½oz very cold vegetable spread (e.g. soya, olive) or coconut oil
For the lemon pie filling
  1. 550ml/19fl oz milk substitute (e.g. soya, almond, hazelnut, cashew, coconut, oat, rice)
  2. 80g/2¾oz custard powder (Bird's is vegan)
  3. zest of 1 unwaxed lemon
  4. 125ml lemon juice
  5. 100g/3½oz caster sugar
  6. small pinch of turmeric
For the meringue
  1. 125ml/4⅓fl oz aquafaba
  2. 1 tsp cream of tartar
  3. 110g/3¾oz caster sugar
  4. 1 tsp vanilla extractHome-made vegan lemon meringue pie ingredients
Add ingredients to shopping list
If you don’t have Buy Me a Pie! app installed you’ll see the list with ingredients right after downloading it
For the pastry
  1. Put the flour, icing sugar, ground almonds and salt in a food processor. Pulse a couple of times to combine
  2. Add the butter and pulse again until the mixture begins to get lumpy - like dry scrambled eggs
  3. Empty the pastry on to 2 lengths of cling film layered one over the other at right angles
  4. Bring the dough together into a ball by lifting & bringing together the 4 ends of the cling film. Flatten and chill in the fridge for an hour
  5. Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas Mark 6
  6. Once chilled, generously flour a work surface and roll out the dough to ½cm thick
  7. Line the pie dish with the pastry so that it has some overlap all the way around.
  8. Put a length of parchment paper on top of the pastry and fill the pie dish with baking beans
  9. Blind bake for 15-20 minutes, until the edges begin to turn golden brown
  10. Remove from the oven, remove the beans and parchment paper and allow the pie case to cool
For the lemon pie filling
  1. Combine ⅓ of the milk with the custard powder, sugar and turmeric
  2. Whisk to remove any lumps
  3. Pour into a saucepan with the remaining milk and lemon zest
  4. Heat, stirring constantly, until the custard begins to thicken
  5. Add the lemon juice, and continue to stir until it thickens further
  6. Pour the lemon mixture into the pastry case and allow to cool and solidify while you make the meringue
For the meringue
  1. Preheat the oven to 90ºC/200ºF/gas mark ¼
  2. Using a stand mixer with the balloon whisk attachment or an electric hand whisk (on a high setting), beat the aquafaba for 5 minutes
  3. Add the cream of tartar and beat again until soft peaks begin to form
  4. Add the vanilla extract and continue beating for a few seconds
  5. Add the sugar, in stages, one tablespoon at a time, continuing to whisk on the high setting
  6. Continue whisking until you reach the stiff peak stage - this could take 10-20 minutes
  7. Spoon or pipe the meringue evenly over the top of the pie filling
  8. At this stage, you can (if you have one) carefully blowtorch the top of the meringue to get attractive brown bits
  9. Bake in the oven for 2 hours
  10. Allow to cool completely before slicing & serving
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H is for Home Harbinger http://hisforhomeblog.com/

Cakes & Bakes: Luxury mince pies

Home-made luxury mince pies | H is for Home #recipe #mincepies #baking #ChristmasRecipe #pastry #pie

My home-made luxury mincemeat has been ‘resting’ nicely for a month. It’s now just about ready for me to make my first batch of mince pies.

Making pastry cases for home-made luxury mince pies | H is for Home

We’ve got the luxury mincemeat, so how about a bit of luxury pastry too?!

Filling pastry cases for home-made luxury mince pies | H is for Home

I’ve gone for a buttery shortcrust pastry flavoured with almond. The flavours work so well together – and make for the perfect Christmas treat.

Plate of luxury mince pies and mug of tea in front of the fire | H is for Home

Compliment them with a cup of tea or glass of mulled wine, comfy chair and real fire (sleeping dog optional). It’s what Christmas (in fact, winter in general) is all about for us.

Click here to save my recipe to Pinterest for later!

Luxury mince pies
Yields 12
    For the pastry
    1. 180g/6⅓oz plain flour
    2. 70g/2½oz 'tant pour tant' (35g/1¼oz icing sugar + 35g/1¼oz ground almonds)
    3. pinch of salt
    4. 125g/4½oz very cold butter, cubed
    5. 1½-2tbs cold water
    6. A little beaten eggHome-made mince pies ingredients
    Add ingredients to shopping list
    If you don’t have Buy Me a Pie! app installed you’ll see the list with ingredients right after downloading it
    Instructions
    1. Put the flour, icing sugar, ground almonds and salt in a food processor. Pulse a couple of times to combine
    2. Add the butter and pulse again until you get to the fine breadcrumb stage
    3. Whilst still pulsing, add the ice cold water until the mixture begins to get lumpy - like dry scrambled eggs
    4. Empty ⅔ of the pastry on to 2 lengths of cling film layered one over the other at right angles
    5. Form the dough into a ball by lifting & bringing together the 4 ends of the cling film. Repeat with the remaining ⅓ of the pastry
    6. Chill in the fridge for ½ to 1 hour
    7. Once chilled, preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/Gas mark 4
    8. Grease a 12-hole or two, 6-hole muffin tins
    9. Lightly flour your work surface, remove your larger ball of dough from the fridge, unwrap and divide it into 12 equal pieces (about 20-22g each)
    10. One by one, roll each piece of dough into a ½cm thick round shape. Cut into perfect circles with a cookie cutter (or upturned drinking glass if you don't have one) that's slightly wider than the hole of your muffin tin. **Rolling each pie case individually means that you don't overwork the pastry by re-rolling over & over again**
    11. Gently press the pastry rounds into the muffin tin holes (handy hint: use a small lump of pastry to do this if you have long fingernails!)
    12. Spoon mincemeat into each pastry case and press down gently to level. Don't overfill
    13. Get the smaller batch of dough out of the fridge and again divide into 12 equal pieces (about 11g each)
    14. One by one, roll each piece of dough into a ½cm thick round shape. Cut into shapes with a cookie cutter. I used a star-shaped cutter but you can make other Christmas-y shapes like holly leaves, snowflakes, fir trees and the like!
    15. Top each pie with the shaped pastry before brushing the tops with a little beaten egg
    16. Bake for 12-15 minutes
    17. Allow to cool in the tin completely before removing
    18. Put on a cooling rack or serving plate and sprinkle/dredge with icing sugar
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    H is for Home Harbinger http://hisforhomeblog.com/

    Luxury home-made mincemeat

    Jars of home-made mincemeat | H is for Home #recipe #Christmas #ChristmasFood

    Many people don’t like thinking about Christmas until the beginning of December – I know I don’t! However, there are a few things that need to be prepared well in advance for them to be at their peak for the big day. Christmas cake, sloe gin, piccalilli  and home-made mincemeat are just a few.

    Home-made mincemeat mixture | H is for Home

    I’m very fussy about my mincemeat; I don’t like it to be overly citrusy – so, very little orange or lemon zest & juice and no mixed candied peel. In addition, it needs to be veggie – so can only contain vegetarian suet. The only way to ensure it tastes the way I like it is to make it myself. A very easy job and well worthwhile. It works out much cheaper than the cost of ‘luxury’ jars of the stuff in supermarkets. Once made, potted up and put away correctly, it stores unopened for years!

    Home-made mincemeat mixture being decanted into jars | H is for Home

    Save my luxury home-made mincemeat recipe to Pinterest!

    Luxury home-made mincemeat
    Ingredients
    1. 200g/7oz currants
    2. 200g/7oz raisins
    3. 200g/7oz sultanas
    4. 100g/3½oz dried cranberries
    5. 100g/3½oz figs, roughly chopped
    6. 100g/3½oz prunes, roughly chopped
    7. 30g/1oz blanched almonds*, roughly chopped
    8. 1 medium cooking apple, peeled, cored & finely diced
    9. 300g/10½oz muscovado sugar
    10. 200g/7oz vegetable suet
    11. zest & juice of 1 lemon
    12. 3tsp mixed spice
    13. ½tsp cinnamon
    14. ¼tsp nutmeg
    15. 6tbsp rum or brandy
    16. 100g/3½oz butter, cubedHome-made mincemeat ingredients
    Add ingredients to shopping list
    If you don’t have Buy Me a Pie! app installed you’ll see the list with ingredients right after downloading it
    Instructions
    1. Put all the ingredients except the alcohol into a large saucepan over a low heat
    2. Stir to ensure the contents are well combined and the suet and butter have melted (about 10 minutes)
    3. Allow to cool completely before stirring in the alcohol
    4. Decant into sterilised jam jars - gently bang the bottom of each jar to fit as much of the mincemeat in as possible.
    5. Seal the jars immediately and store for at least a month before use
    Notes
    1. *To blanch almonds, put them in a heat-proof bowl and cover with boiling water. Allow to stand for 1-2 minutes before draining through a sieve. Pat them dry on some kitchen paper or clean tea towel. You can quickly get the skin off one by one by pinching the broader, rounded end of the nut
    Print
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    Cakes & Bakes: Pear Galette

    Home-made pear galette with ice cream | H is for Home #recipe #baking #cooking #cookery #dessert #pastry

    This week, we’ve watched the first in Rick Stein’s new series, Rick Stein’s Road To Mexico. His first port of call was California where he met up with Alice Waters, owner of Chez Panisse. While there, one of her chefs was filmed making a rhubarb galette – it looked amazing. It’s no longer rhubarb season, so I’ve made a pear galette instead.

    Sweet galette pastry | H is for Home

    I much prefer rustic, unfussy food like this to haute cusine with all its foams, purées and the like. A galette is just the kind of rustic dessert I crave on a cold autumn evening. A circle of sweet pastry covered with in-season fruit and roughly folded in on itself, free-form.

    Cored pears | H is for Home

    Instead of a pear galette (or rhubarb), you could make one with stone fruits such as peaches, plums, nectarines or apricots. How about apple & pecan, fig, blueberry or cherry?

    Sliced pears tossed in Demerara sugar | H is for Home Laying sliced pears on pastry round | H is for Home

    A savoury galette with autumn & winter vegetables is also a great idea; carrots, beetroot, caramelised onion… with cheeses and/or herbs – the variations are endless!

    Pear galette brushed with melted butter | H is for Home

    It’s such an easy, versatile dish to prepare and cook – pastry with whatever meat, veg or fruit that you have to hand.

    Sliced home-made pear galette | H is for Home
    Click here to save my recipe to Pinterest!

    Pear Galette
    Serves 8
    For the pastry
    1. 320g/11oz plain flour
    2. 2tbsp caster sugar
    3. ¼tsp salt
    4. 115ml/4fl oz cold butter, cubed
    5. 4tbsp cold water
    For the filling
    1. 2 dessert pears
    2. 3tbsp Demerara sugar
    3. 2tbsp fine semolina
    4. 25g/1oz flaked almonds
    5. 2tbsp melted butterHome-made pear galette ingredients
    Add ingredients to shopping list
    If you don’t have Buy Me a Pie! app installed you’ll see the list with ingredients right after downloading it
    For the pastry
    1. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, caster sugar and salt
    2. Using a food processor (on pulse) or hand pastry blender, cut in the cold butter until the butter is evenly distributed but still in large, visible pieces
    3. Add the cold water all at once
    4. Pulse until it begins to come together
    5. Empty the pastry on to 2 lengths of cling film layered one over the other at right angles
    6. Form the dough into a ball by lifting & bringing together the 4 ends of the cling film
    7. Flatten the dough into a disk inside the cling film and chill in the fridge for at ½ to 1 hour
    8. Once chilled, preheat the oven to 200ºC/400ºF/Gas mark 6
    For the filling
    1. Core & evenly slice the pears and put them into a medium-sized mixing bowl
    2. Sprinkle over 2tbsp of the Demerara sugar and toss to cover the pear slices evenly
    To finish
    1. Tear off 2 sheets of parchment paper of at least 35½2 (14"2)
    2. Roll the dough out between the two sheets into a 30cm (12") circle
    3. Slide the dough on to a baking tray
    4. Remove the top sheet of parchment paper and sprinkle the semolina evenly over the top of the dough
    5. Lay the slices of pear on to the top of the dough in a circle - leaving a 2cm/¾" gap from the edge. Make the slices slightly overlap and ensure you cover the entire surface
    6. Sprinkle over the remaining tablespoon of the Demerara sugar and the flaked almonds
    7. Fold the edge of the pastry over, making sure you overlap it on to itself as you go around
    8. Brush the melted butter over the crust edge
    9. Bake in the centre of the oven for 30-35 minutes until the top is golden brown
    10. Slide the parchment with the galette on to a wire rack to cool for 10-15 minutes before consuming
    Notes
    1. Serve warm with cream or ice cream
    Print
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    Cakes & Bakes: Plum pie

    Slice of home-made plum pie | H is for Home

    British Pie Week has rolled around once again – an annual event in which we enjoy getting involved in wholeheartedly!

    Cubed butter, and flour in a food processor next to a bowl of plums | H is for Home

    I use the week as an opportunity to make a kind of pie that I’ve never made before. This year it’s a home-made plum pie.

    Making a sweet crust pie base | H is for Home

    I used one of my favourite sweet pastry recipes that I borrow from Dorie Greenspan, pairing it with a James Martin spiced plum filling recipe from in a 2008 copy of BBC Good Food Magazine.

    Cooking plums | H is for Home

    I’m not the world’s biggest fan of cloves, but it works amazingly well with the plums.

    Uncooked plum pie | H is for Home Cooked plum pie | H is for Home

    A drizzle of pouring cream or ladle-ful of custard over the top or on the side… a perfect cold weather pudding!

    Home-made plum pie with serving spoon | H is for Home

    Click here or on the image below to pin the recipe for later!

    Home-made plum pie recipe | H is for Home #BritishPieWeek #pie #recipe #plums

    Plum pie
    For the pastry
    1. 400g/14oz plain flour
    2. 120g/4oz icing sugar
    3. pinch of salt
    4. 250g/9oz very cold butter
    5. 2 egg yolks
    For the filling
    1. 750g/oz ripe plums stoned & thickly sliced
    2. 140g/oz golden caster sugar, plus extra
    3. ½tsp ground cloves
    4. 1 heaped tbsp cornflourHome-made plum pie ingredients
    Add ingredients to shopping list
    If you don’t have Buy Me a Pie! app installed you’ll see the list with ingredients right after downloading it
    For the pastry
    1. Put the flour, icing sugar and salt in the bowl of a food processor and pulse a couple of times to combine
    2. Scatter the pieces of butter over the dry ingredients and pulse until the butter is cut in coarsely - you'll have pieces the size of oatmeal flakes and pea-size pieces and that's just fine
    3. Stir the eggs, just to break them up, and add it them little at a time, pulsing after each addition
    4. When the eggs are in, process in long pulses - about 10 seconds each - until the dough, which will look granular soon after the egg is added, forms clumps and curds
    5. Just before your pastry reaches this clumpy stage, the sound of the machine working the dough will change, so listen out
    6. Turn the dough out onto a work surface. Very lightly and sparingly - make that very, very lightly and sparingly - knead the dough just to incorporate any dry ingredients that might have escaped mixing
    7. Butter the pie dish and press the dough evenly along the bottom and up the sides of the dish and over the rim. Don't be stingy - you want a crust with a little heft because you want to be able to both taste and feel it. Also, don't be too heavy-handed - you want to press the crust in so that the pieces cling to one another and knit together when baked, but you don't want to press so hard that the crust loses its crumbly shortbread-ish texture
    8. Freeze the pastry for at least 30 minutes, preferably longer, before baking
    9. Preheat the oven to 175ºC/375ºF/Gas mark 4
    10. Butter the shiny side of a piece of aluminium foil and fit the foil tightly against the pastry
    11. Bake the pastry for 25 minutes, then carefully remove the foil. If the pastry has puffed up, press it down gently with the back of a spoon
    12. Bake for another 3 to 5 minutes. Allow to cool before adding the pie filling
    For the filling
    1. Put the plums, sugar and ground cloves in a pan
    2. Simmer until the sugar dissolves and the plums are juicy (8-10 minutes)
    3. Combine the cornflour with a little of the syrup, then mix well into the fruit
    4. Boil for another few minutes, stirring until thickened
    5. Allow to cool completely
    6. Roll out the remaining piece of pastry into a round and, using the rolling pin, carefully lower the pastry over the filling
    7. Press the pastry lid into the pastry bottom either with your thumbs or a fork. Trim the excess and brush the top with a little beaten egg
    8. Make a slit in the pastry lid to allow steam to escape
    9. Bake at 175ºC/375ºF/Gas mark 4 for 20-25 minutes or until crust is brown and juice just begins to bubble through the slit in the crust
    10. Allow to cool for a few minutes before slicing & serving
    Notes
    1. Serve with pouring cream or hot custard
    Print
    H is for Home Harbinger http://hisforhomeblog.com/

    Cakes & Bakes: Blueberry pie

    Slice of home-made blueberry pie | H is for Home

    It’s been almost six months since I last posted a pie recipe on Cakes & Bakes. I’ve righted that wrong this week with a blueberry pie.

    Blueberry pie pastry dough | H is for Home Uncooked blueberry pie pastry case | H is for Home

    Blueberries, sugar & spice | H is for Home

    My recipe is a hodgepodge of three others. The blueberry pie filling is from my vintage 1950s Betty Crocker cookbook, Dinner for Two; the sweet pastry is from Dorie Granspan’s Baking: From My Home to Yours and the crème anglaise is from that catering college staple, Ceserani & Kinton’s Practical Cookery.

    Blueberry pie pastry case and sugared blueberries | H is for Home

    Much as I enjoyed this bake, if I were to make another blueberry pie, I’d do it a little differently.

    Home-made blueberry pie and lid | H is for Home

    Firstly, the blueberry pie filling was WAY too sweet for my taste. Perhaps it wouldn’t have tasted so sweet if the pastry I’d used had been just a plain shortcrust.

    Uncooked home-made blueberry pie | H is for Home

    Secondly, the filling recipe calls for ½ teaspoon of cinnamon; Justin liked it, but it just didn’t work for me.

    Crème Anglaise ingredients | H is for Home

    Thirdly (and lastly), I had my first slice with crème anglaise and my second (not straight after, obviously 🙂 ) with double cream. I much preferred the latter version.

    Home-made blueberry pie | H is for Home

    Perhaps I’ll test my 3rd portion with vanilla ice cream – all in the name of research on behalf of our readers, of course!

    Blueberry pie
    For the pastry
    1. 400g/14oz plain flour
    2. 120g/4oz icing sugar
    3. pinch of salt
    4. 250g/9oz very cold butter
    5. 2 egg yolks
    For the filling
    1. 125g/4½oz caster sugar
    2. 30g/1oz plain flour
    3. ½tsp teaspoon ground cinnamon
    4. 375g/13oz blueberries
    5. 2 tbs butter
    For the crème anglaise
    1. 300ml/½pt milk
    2. 25g/1oz caster sugar
    3. 2 egg yolks
    4. 2-3 drops vanilla extract (I used ¼tsp vanilla bean paste)Home-made blueberry pie ingredients
    Add ingredients to shopping list
    If you don’t have Buy Me a Pie! app installed you’ll see the list with ingredients right after downloading it
    For the pastry
    1. Put the flour, icing sugar and salt in the bowl of a food processor and pulse a couple of times to combine
    2. Scatter the pieces of butter over the dry ingredients and pulse until the butter is cut in coarsely - you'll have pieces the size of oatmeal flakes and pea-size pieces and that's just fine
    3. Stir the eggs, just to break them up, and add it them little at a time, pulsing after each addition
    4. When the eggs are in, process in long pulses - about 10 seconds each - until the dough, which will look granular soon after the egg is added, forms clumps and curds
    5. Just before your pastry reaches this clumpy stage, the sound of the machine working the dough will change, so listen out
    6. Turn the dough out onto a work surface. Very lightly and sparingly - make that very, very lightly and sparingly - knead the dough just to incorporate any dry ingredients that might have escaped mixing
    7. Butter the pie dish and press the dough evenly along the bottom and up the sides of the dish and over the rim. Don't be stingy - you want a crust with a little heft because you want to be able to both taste and feel it. Also, don't be too heavy-handed - you want to press the crust in so that the pieces cling to one another and knit together when baked, but you don't want to press so hard that the crust loses its crumbly shortbread-ish texture
    8. Freeze the pastry for at least 30 minutes, preferably longer, before baking
    9. Preheat the oven to 175ºC/375ºF/Gas mark 4
    10. Butter the shiny side of a piece of aluminium foil and fit the foil tightly against the pastry
    11. Bake the pastry for 25 minutes, then carefully remove the foil. If the pastry has puffed up, press it down gently with the back of a spoon
    12. Bake for another 3 to 5 minutes. Allow to cool before adding the pie filling
    For the filling
    1. Combine the sugar, flour and cinnamon
    2. Stir in the blueberries
    3. Turn into pastry-lined pie dish and dot with butter
    4. Roll out the remaining piece of pastry into a round and, using the rolling pin, carefully lower the pastry over the filling
    5. Press the pastry lid into the pastry bottom either with your thumbs or a fork. Trim the excess and brush the top with a little milk
    6. Bake at 175ºC/375ºF/Gas mark 4 for 25-30 minutes or until crust is brown and juice just begins to bubble through slits in the crust
    For the crème anglaise
    1. Boil the milk in a medium-sized saucepan. Allow to cool a little
    2. Mix yolks, sugar and vanilla in a basin before adding to the milk
    3. Put the saucepan back on a low heat and stir with a whisk or wooden spoon until the desired thickness. Do NOT boil
    4. Pass through a fine sieve into a serving jug
    Print
    H is for Home Harbinger http://hisforhomeblog.com/