You may have heard of "aquafaba" meringues or chickpea meringues using the liquid from a tin of chickpeas (or other legume*) to make the meringue because "chemically" it's very similar to that of an egg white i.e. approx 10% protein which is suspended in water.
This recipe is adapted from the wonderful Wallflower Girl. The texture, colour and smell is exactly the same as egg white meringues and from what I can remember the taste is extremely close.
This recipe didn't work the first time - see below my "mistake" meringues and some tips to avoid these. Now....on with the recipe!
Yield: Varies but creates about 40 droplets (given this you may like to half the recipe)
Time: 3 hours 5 minutes - 15 mins active - 1 hour 50 cooking + 1 hour oven cooling
- Water drained from a can of chickpeas* (I love Biona Organic) - approx 1 cup - Ensure that the water is not salted, otherwise you're going to end up with salty sweet meringues - which I can't imagine being a good combination!
- 1 tsp of fresh lemon juice
- 1 1/4 cup icing sugar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract (optional)
Preheat a fan oven 110c and line 2 large baking trays with greaseproof paper.
Add the water drained from a can of chickpeas into a large bowl and use an electric hand-held to whisk for 5 minutes - it should more than double in size and it will quite quickly go white and foamy. I'm not sure if you can actually over whip this but I whipped it for 5 mins.
Add the teaspoon of lemon juice and whisk again for another minute. Slowly and gently start adding in the icing sugar - I put the sugar in to a tea strainer sized sieve and slowly added it. Continue to whisk until the mixture forms stiff, glossy peaks. If you're using vanilla extract add it in here and then whisk again for another minute.
Scoop a heaped teaspoon of the mixture and drop it onto the greaseproof paper, as you drop it on to the paper flick the end of the spoon to make a nice little tip to the droplet.
This next part is key and it will vary depending on your oven so expect a little experimentation here on your part! Bake for 1 hour and 50 mins and do not open the oven at any point during this time. After the time is up, turn the oven off but leave them to cool in the oven for at least another hour and again do not open the oven. When I took them out of the oven the meringues were completely cool. That's it, you're all done! Now enjoy!
Storage: According to Wallflower Kitchen these meringues should keep for a couple of weeks in an air-tight container and can be frozen - I haven't yet tried either so I will update this in a week (if they last that long!).
Tips for avoiding mistakes...
Here's a photo of the meringues that didn't work I found that the weight of them caused them to collapse inside themselves. I think I left them in the oven about 20 mins too long plus the oven was too warm - note that I left them in at 120c for 2 hours in my fan oven. Feel free to comment/send my your pics and I'd be happy to help you dissect the mistakes if you make them. Also happy to see successes of course.
* you can use other water from tinned legumes, but because of the colour I would say butter beans and cannellini beans would be best (not that I've tried though). I can imagine you'd get a rather strange colour if you opted for kidney bean or black bean water - though perhaps black beans could be cool for Halloween!