This post is actually a two-fer, because it not only contains this completely fun vegan lemon meringue french toast, but our standard, loveable, dead-simple, cinnamon-laced french toast recipe serves as the base.
We're of the mind that this recipe sells itself, so in between shots of fluffy, barely sweetened vegan meringue, we're giving credit where credit is due, and there's plenty to go around.
Speaking of stability, this is fairly delicate stuff. It whips up great, but can't be held, so make sure you have your french toast prepped so you can serve it all up right when the meringue is done.
Whipping the flax gel is straightforward and takes only minutes, but you will need to plan ahead. It whips up best frozen and thawed, which takes time. So make the flax gel right now (really, right this minute), stick it in the freezer where it can sit until you're ready, then simply transfer to the fridge the night before you want to make this dish. Then the whole thing's done in less than 15 minutes.
And full disclosure: that stuff up there isn't lemon curd. It's a mango concoction we had left over from filling doughnuts (recipe soon!) after we ran out of our batch of lemon curd. It tends to go fast. Our totally tasty chamomile lemon curd--adapted from the infinitely useful Vegan Food Gifts--is smoother than what's pictured above, and only that brilliantly colored right after cooking:
Once chilled, which is when you'll actually use the stuff, the fat solids turn it pale and opaque:
And now what we all came for:
Vegan Lemon Meringue French Toast
Note: this recipe has been updated, September 2016
serves 2 generously, inspiration from here
2 TBSP chickpea flour
1/4 cup unsweetened soy milk (or other nondairy milk, or water)
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp nondairy butter or coconut oil
2 large slices bread
lemon curd, recipe follows
vegan meringue, recipe follows
Whisk together chickpea flour, water, cinnamon, and salt.
Heat fat in a skillet over medium-medium-high heat. When thoroughly heated, dip each slice bread in the chickpea mixture, coating both sides, and cook for 3 minutes on each side, checking the second side after 2 minutes.
Serve with maple syrup for plain french toast or with lemon curd and meringue for lemon meringue french toast.
Chamomile Lemon Curd
yields 1 1/2 cups, adapted from Vegan Food Gifts
6 TBSP hot water
1 TBSP dried chamomile
1 cup natural cane sugar (evaporated cane juice)
1/2 cup lemon juice (from about 3-4 lemons)
zest of 1 lemon
1/4 cup nondairy butter
1/4 cup cornstarch
Steep chamomile in hot water for 10 minutes. Strain, reserving liquid, and discard chamomile.
Bring sugar and lemon juice to a boil over high heat. As soon as it bubbles, reduce heat to medium. Stir in zest and butter. Stir until melted.
Whisk together chamomile tea and cornstarch until smooth. By now, the pot should be bubbling again. Add chamomile-cornstarch slurry to the pot and stir constantly until thickened, a few minutes. (When it's ready, the curd will begin to come away from the bottom of the pot as you stir.) Allow to cool, then chill.
adapted from Miyoko Schinner
1/3 cup brown flax seeds
2 cups water
1/8 tsp cream of tartar
1 TBSP powdered sugar
1/8 tsp vanilla extract (optional)
Add seeds and water to a small pot. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat as necessary to keep the pot from boiling over, but maintain a steady high simmer. Cook for 20-25 minutes, until the strained gel measures 1/3 cup when you pour the whole mixture through a fine mesh sieve and give it a few good stirs to help release the gel a bit. (More volume, and it will be too delicate to reach stiff peak stage, at least that was our experience.) Reserve the seeds for another purpose.
Cool gel thoroughly, transfer to an airtight container and store in the freezer. (It should keep well for some time.) When ready to use, transfer to the refrigerator and let sit for at least 8 hours, or overnight.
Place the thawed gel in the bowl of a stand mixer (the gel may or may not still have a bit of ice crystals in it) fitted with the whisk attachment and whip on high for a total of about 9 minutes. (An electric hand mixer will work, too.) Add the cream of tartar after the first couple of minutes, when the mixture turns opaque and begins to gain volume. Add the sugar after 7 minutes, when it should be near stiff peak. Add the vanilla extract at the very end and whip just until incorporated.