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Key Lime Meringue Tart: A Sweet, Citrusy Vegan Treat

Posted by Ida on May 9, 2018

Vegan substituting in dessert is an interesting process. Obviously, substituting dairy has been easy. Need to substitute milk? No problem, there’s almond, soy, or coconut milk. Need to switch out butter? Easy, there are a lot of commercial non-dairy butters like Earth Balance. If you’ve read any of my other blogs, you’ve seen I have homemade substitutions for condensed milk and heavy cream. 

However, when substituting eggs, that’s when you have to do some thinking. In baking and cooking, eggs have multiple properties: they bind, leaven, emulsify, soften, enrich, add fat, add color, and even flavor. There are so many great egg substitutes, but all of them usually have only one, maybe two of these properties. So when trying to make a vegan version of a non-vegan dessert, you have to look at what the eggs do in the recipe, and work from there. A good example of that is my key lime meringue tart. 


In a traditional key lime pie, egg yolks are used as a thickener and an emulsifier, which gives it that creamy texture. A great substitute for the thickener is cornstarch and silken tofu makes a great emulsifier for this tart. 

If you’ve followed my blogs, you’ve seen I love to use aquafaba (chickpea liquid) to make meringue. Below is my variation of my classic recipe.  

Perfect Vegan Pie Dough

Makes 1 double crust

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • Pinch fine sea salt
  • 1 ½ sticks Earth Balance, chilled and cut into small cubes (must be sticks, not from a tub)
  • ¼ cup shortening, cold
  • ⅓ cup cold water 

Put flour, sugar and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade and pulse to combine. Add the shortening and butter to the processor and pulse mixture until crumbly and butter is in small pieces throughout the flour. With the machine running slowly, add the entire ⅓ cup of cold water. Process until the dough just forms a ball. 

Turn out dough onto a work surface and form into an oval. Cut the oval in half and press the cut side of each disc down to form a disc. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Key Lime Meringue Tart 

  • ½ recipe of Perfect Vegan Pie Dough
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • ¾ cup non-dairy milk
  • 1 package silken tofu (NOT soft or firm), puréed
  • 1 tbsp lime zest
  • ¾ cup key lime juice
  • 1 ¼ cup sugar
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract 

Swiss “Meringue”

  • 1 ½ cups unsalted chickpea liquid (about 2 cans worth)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ¼ tsp cream of tartar
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste 

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

2. Sprinkle a work surface with flour. Using a rolling pin, roll your pie dough into a circle no thicker than ⅛ inch. Transfer to a tart shell, and remove the excess dough. Using a fork, poke holes in the bottom of the shell. Line a sheet of parchment on top and cover with pie weights. Bake the shell for 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown.

3. In a saucepan over medium heat, stir together cornstarch, non-dairy milk, silken tofu, lime zest, key lime juice, sugar, salt, and vanilla. Whisk constantly until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Place into the tart shell, and place in the fridge until set, about 60-90 minutes. 

4. To make the meringue, place the chickpea liquid into a saucepan over medium heat. Reduce to 1 cup. Add in sugar and store until dissolved. Set aside to cool to room temperature. 

5. Once cooled, pour into a stand mixer with the whisk attachment. Add cream of tartar, and whisk on high until stiff peaks form. Whisk in vanilla bean paste until combined. Spread the meringue over the custard. Using a torch, brûlée the top.

This tart is just one of the vegan recipes that make up the curriculum for The Chopping Block's brand new Vegan Boot Camp which I helped develop and which makes its debut on Sunday, June 24 at our Merchandise Mart location. You'll also learn how to make:

  • Seitan Gyros with Vegan Tzatziki
  • Pasta Primavera with Garlic-Cream Sauce
  • Scrambled Tofu Tacos with Black Beans and Salsa Verde
  • Lentil and Farro Soup with Kale

This is our most intensive and fun vegan cooking class we've ever offered to date, so I hope you can join me!

Sign Up for Vegan Boot Camp


Topics: meringue, dessert, Recipes, tart, vegan, vegan boot camp, key lime

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