Continuing with the meringue theme, here is another easy and tasty recipe that is just perfect for festive entertaining. This impressive dessert can be made ahead and assembled just before serving. It is light, flour-less, and wonderful when served after a heavy meal.
I love the combination of the sweet meringue and the tartness of the lemon curd. If you’re not into making the lemon curd, you can use good quality store bought, or use flavored whipped cream instead.
Best served with fresh berries, or any other fresh fruits.
* If this is the first time you’re preparing meringue, check last week’s recipe for a more detailed explanation about preparing it.
* Meyer Lemon is a cross between lemon and orange or mandarin. If you can’t find it, substitute with equal amounts of lemon and orange juice and zest.
Prep time: 30 minutes
Baking time: 2 hours
Resting time: 2 hours
1 cup fine sugar
1 Tbs cornstarch
4 XL fresh egg whites, at room temperature
½ tsp vinegar
1 tsp vanilla (preferable vanilla paste)
¼ tsp salt
1. Preheat the oven to 200F (93C). Line two cookie sheets with baking paper. 2. In a small bowl, mix the sugar with the cornstarch.
3. Separate the eggs carefully and place the egg whites in a mixer bowl, fitted with the whipping hook. Add the vinegar and start whipping on medium-low speed.
4. When large bubbles start to form, increase the mixer speed to medium and start adding the sugar slowly. Increase the speed to medium-high and continue whipping until a firm and shiny meringue is formed. In the last stage of whipping, add the vanilla and salt. Fill a pastry bag, fitted with a star tip, with the meringue.
5. Lower the oven temperature to 190F (88C). Pipe 12 4” (10cm) discs on the paper, and then, create “nests” by piping one or two ring layers around the edges. Use any leftover meringue to pipe smaller discs that can be used as a cover, or prepare “kisses” as shown in THIS recipe. Bake for 2 hours. Turn off the heat and keep in the oven for 2 hours.
6. Keep the prepared nests and discs at room temperature in a dry area, for up to 3 days.
7. Fill each nest with 1-2 Tbs Meyer lemon curd just before serving. Add a disc to top (optional), berries or any other fresh fruits.
Meyer Lemon Curd
Makes: 2 cups
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes
zest and juice from 2 medium Meyer lemons
4 XL egg yolks, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 stick (115 grams) butter, soft, cut into cubes
1. Mix the zest and juice in a small bowl and let sit for 10 minutes. Strain the juice and zest through a sieve and keep aside.
2. Fill a large bowl with ice water and set aside. Fill a medium sized pot halfway with water, bring to a boil and lower the heat to medium.
3. In a medium size heatproof bowl, mix the egg yolks, sugar and strained juice. Place on top of the pot, so that only the bottom touches the water, and whisk for 2-3 minutes, until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is warm. Add the butter, a few cubes at a time, and whisk until it melts and the mixture is warm and glossy.
4. Take the bowl out of the pot and place it in the bowl with the iced water. Whisk occasionally, until the curd cools down and thickens. The curd can keep, in a jar in the fridge, for about 2 weeks. Bring to room temperature and mix well before using.