“This dish tastes great and has just three components: the pastry, the pumpkin custard and the Italian meringue. It’s also wondrous to make meringues using a by-product such as the liquid from a can of chickpeas. It’s a perfect pudding for the colder months with a hint of spice,” says Chantelle Nicholson.
For the vegan sweet pastry
- 100g coconut oil
- 130g coconut sugar
- 200g gluten-free flour
- 80g rice flour
- 10g baking powder
- 5g xanthan gum
- 110g coconut cream
- Chickpea water, for brushing
For the vegan pumpkin pie filling
- 80ml coconut milk
- 60g coconut sugar
- ½ tsp ground ginger
- ½ tsp mixed spice
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- 80g chickpea water (aquafaba)
- 225g pumpkin, diced and steamed until soft
For the vegan Italian meringue
- 200g caster sugar
- 100g chickpea water
- To begin, make the pastry. Mix the coconut oil and sugar together in a large bowl. Sieve the flours, baking powder, xanthan gum and a pinch of salt into a separate bowl.
- Add half the dry mixture to the coconut oil and sugar and mix to create a smooth paste. Add the remaining dry mixture and combine until it forms fine breadcrumbs. Gradually mix in the coconut cream until a smooth dough is formed.
- Turn the dough on to a clean work surface and knead a little to just bring together. Wrap in clingfilm and place in the fridge for 20 minutes. Preheat the oven to 170°C/gas mark 3½.
- Once chilled, roll the pastry out on a sheet of parchment paper until around 4mm in thickness. Slide on to a baking tray and bake in the oven for 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and press 8 x 7cm pastry rings on top of the pastry, pressing down to cut a round out with each. Leave the rings in place and return the pastry to the oven for 10 minutes until golden.
- Remove from the oven, brush with a little chickpea water and set aside while you make the filling. Turn the oven down to 120°C/gas mark ½.
- Bring the coconut milk, sugar and spices to a simmer until the sugar has dissolved. Reduce the heat, add the chickpea water and stir for 3 minutes. Add the pumpkin and blend until smooth. Pass through a fine sieve.
- Open the oven and gently pour the pumpkin custard into each pastry ring. Bake for 25 minutes, then check if the custard is set – it should have a slight wobble in the middle. If not, cook for a further few minutes at a time. Refrigerate the tarts while you make the meringue.
- Place the sugar in a saucepan, saturate with water and bring to a rapid boil. Place the chickpea water in a stand mixer fitted with a whisk and start mixing to form soft peaks. When the sugar syrup reaches 118°C, gently pour it down the side of the mixing bowl. Allow to whisk at high speed for at least 15 minutes, or until the meringue is stiff and the mixture has cooled to room temperature.
- Remove the rings from the tarts and gently spoon the meringue on top. Blowtorch until golden and serve.
Recipe courtesy of greatbritishchefs.com