This vegan redcurrant meringue tart is a celebration of summer. The tang of fresh redcurrants covered in fluffy aquafaba meringue, on top of a crunchy base.
A vegan meringue tart!?
If you showed me this picture a few years ago I would have never believed it was vegan. That was before I discovered the joys of veganism, and the joys of vegan meringue! I always loved making meringue tarts in my youth – lemon meringue pie was one of the first things I learnt how to bake on my own. There’s just something delicious about those three layers – the base, the fruit and the meringue all combining into sweet heaven.
In Austria this delicous dessert is known as Ribiselkuchen. This basically means Redcurrant Cake, but we translated it as Redcurrant Meringue Tart to make the name a bit more descriptive. They also call the meringue cover ‘Schneehaube‘ which translates as Snow Hat – how cute is that!
This vegan redcurrant meringue tart is so tasty because:
- It has a crunchy, crisp base that is very simple to make
- The redcurrant layer is tangy and has an almost jam like consistency
- The meringue adds a fluffy, light topping, which also looks gorgeous!
So how do you make vegan meringue?
Making vegan meringue is actually easier than making it with egg white – no need to faff around separating eggs! The simple magic ingredient is aquafaba – the cooking liquid from chickpeas. You can get it by draining a can of chickpeas and keeping the liquid. I would choose unsalted chickpeas by preference, but we have used salted as well. (That’s all we can find here in Austria)
You can also make aquafaba yourself by cooking chickpeas, and then letting them cool down in the cooking water. The water will thicken and become gelatinous. Aquafaba is a protein rich liquid which makes it the ideal vegan egg replacer and binder in vegan cakes. Our Vegan Austrian Plum Cake for example. Use the leftover chickpeas to make hummus, or chuck them in our delicious Apple Curry!
To make meringue from aquafaba you need a very clean large bowl and an electric whisk. Cream of tartar acts as a stabiliser to help the meringue to become stiff and full of air, and to whip up faster. You simply need to whisk them together until you reach ‘stiff peaks’ – when the mixture holds a point to when you take the whisk beaters out. And then add the sugar, spoonful by spoonful, whilst continuing to beat with the whisk. When all the sugar is added you will have a glossy, stiff mixture, like this…
Making the base
The base to this vegan Ribiselkuchen is a little like a cross between a cake and a pastry. It’s crunchy, a little crumbly, and sweet. To make the base simply mix flour, coconut oil, sugar and a little lemon zest together into a dough. Using your hand press the dough into the base of a large 26cm springform tin. (If you don’t have exactly this size then you can still make this meringue tart, varying thickness will vary the cooking times, so just use your judgement)
Prick it over with a fork and then ‘blind bake’ it for around 15 minutes at 160C until it has just started to brown. Baking the base of a fruit tart before topping it ensures that you have a nice crunchy base without the fruit juice making it too soggy.
Assembling the redcurrant meringue tart
When you have your precooked base, simply cover with destalked redcurrants, and then spoon the meringue on top, so that it totally covers the fruit. You can then uses your whisk to make little peaks on the top of the meringue if you fancy!
To cook your vegan redcurrant meringue tart
Turn the temperature in your oven down to 140C and continue to bake for another 15-20 minutes until the meringue is starting to brown. Take out of the oven and run a knife around the edge of the tin, before releasing the springform. You can enjoy this delicious redcurrant meringue tart warm or cold. It is best when you eat it fresh on the day you make it. Keep in the fridge and serve with some extra fresh redcurrants.
You could also try making this dessert with other fruits, raspberries, blackcurrant, blackberries – what ever you have in season. This is such a good dessert to make when you need to use up a lot of fruit at harvest time!
Vegan Redcurrant Meringue Tart
For the base
- 200 g plain flour
- 150 g coconut oil
- 100 g sugar
- 1/2 tsp lemon zest
- 250 g redcurrants
For the vegan meringue
- 90 ml aquafaba
- 100 g granulated sugar
- 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
- Preheat oven to fan 160C
To make the base
- Combine the flour, sugar, lemon zest and coconut oil in a bowl and mix until you have a smooth dough.
- Using your hands, press the dough into the base of a greased 26cm springform tin, until you have a disc which covers the base evenly.
- Prick the base with a fork, and then blind bake at 160C until starting to turn golden brown, approximately 15 mins.
To make the vegan meringue
- Put the aquafaba in a large bowl, add the cream of tartar and begin to mix with an electric whisk.
- Whisk for approximately 3-5mins until you reach stiff peaks (where the mixture holds itself up in a point from the whisk)
- Continuing to whisk, slowly add the sugar, spoonful by spoonful, until it is all mixed in. The mixture should be stiff and glossy
Assembling and baking the tart
- Turn the oven down to 140C
- Cover the base with redcurrants, and then spoon the meringue over the top so that all the fruit is covered.
- Use the tip of the whisk to make little peaks on the surface of the meringue
- Bake for another 15-20mins until the meringue has started to brown
- To release the tart from the tin, first run a knife around the edge, and then open the springform. Either serve straight from the tin base, or loosen the around the base, and then slide gently onto a plate.
We hope you enjoyed our vegan redcurrant recipe. Why not check out our other vegan dessert recipes next!
Sophie and Paul