I know what you’re thinking: “Aren’t meringues made with sugar, cream of tartar and … egg whites?” Yes … traditional meringues are. But these are anything but traditional. THESE meringues are made with (wait for it) chickpea water.
I’m talking about making perfect, delicious, and authentic meringues with the liquid you typically discard when you drain a can of chickpeas! Vegan baker Goose Wohlt discovered this magic ingredient, which he coined “aquafaba.”
This concept proceeded to “break” the Internet with recipes upon recipes using aquafaba, like marshmallow spread, lemon meringues, s’mores pie, baked Alaska, honest-to-goodness French macarons, and homemade moon pies.
If you find this is hard to believe (and maybe even a little “ick”), I understand — I felt the same way. And then I whipped up a batch of meringue cookies. And the look, texture, and flavor were identical to the traditional recipe. Crispy exterior. Sweet, airy interior.
The baked meringue melts in your mouth without a trace of bean-y flavor whatsoever. And best of all? It is super easy and foolproof. If you’ve struggled with getting egg whites whipped to perfection, you will love this recipe. The liquid whips up beautifully every single time, with no danger of overbeating or deflating.
I’m sharing one of my favorite egg-free meringue recipes, for adorable individual Vegan Berry Pavlovas. But the sky’s the limit with this versatile ingredient!
Vegan Berry Pavlovas
Makes: 12 4-inch pavlovas
Liquid from 15.5-ounce can of chickpeas (~ 6 ounces liquid)
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 cup sugar
Optional: pink food coloring (you can use a bit of beet, cranberry, or pomegranate juice if you prefer)
12 strawberries, chopped
2 tablespoons sugar
1 cup blueberries
1 cup raspberries
1. Preheat oven to 200 F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and trace 6 4-inch circles on each. Flip the paper over and set aside.
2. Place the chickpea water and cream of tartar in the bowl of your mixer. Using the whisk attachment, beat at low speed until the surface is completely covered in tiny bubbles. Increase speed to medium and slowly add the sugar. When all of the sugar has been added, increase the speed to high, and beat until mixture is pure white, stiff, and glossy (about 5 minutes). Tint meringue if desired.
3. Using a large spoon or spatula, dollop the meringue into the center of each circle. Spread out the mixture to the edges of the circle, and use the spoon to create a slight indent in the center. Bake for 2 hours, or until no longer sticky to the touch. Turn oven off, open the door slightly, and leave trays in for another hour.
4. Toss the chopped strawberries with the sugar and let sit for 10 minutes. Add the blueberries and raspberries and toss gently to combine.
5. Just before serving, fill each pavlova with some of the berry mixture. Serve immediately.
Notes: Any leftover meringue can be piped out and baked into little cookies. They can be stored up to 3 days in an airtight container at room temperature.