Monday, May 2, 2022

Mini Meringues with Lemon Curd

This is a fantastic spring dessert, perfect for the next upcoming holiday, Mother's Day!  I made these for Easter and they were a wonderful light ending to a big meal. If you're cooking for your mom on Mother's Day, this is the perfect dessert. This dessert is also gluten free so it is great to have in your back pocket if you have guests with that sensitivity.

The sweetness of the meringue is tempered by the tartness of the lemon curd. Then there's the crunch of the meringue contrasted with the smooth lemon curd. But one of my favorite things is that since meringue uses egg white, and the curd uses the yolk, there's no egg waste! This is a far cry of a favorite thing compared to the TASTE of this dessert, but still - there are lots of good reasons to make this.

If you've never made meringues before, or a pavlova, it's not too difficult. You just have to be patient as you whip the egg whites. If you have a stand mixer, this will be a snap. If you're using a hand held electric mixer, you will get a work out. In the end you will have beautiful meringue shells like these. I didn't work to get them too identical or perfect - so another Great British Baking Show fail - but it doesn't really matter. 

Making the lemon curd is not difficult, but again, patience is required. First you'll zest the lemons into the sugar.

Then you'll massage that zest into the sugar for maximum flavor, and it will look like this:

Add the egg yolks,

and whisk until smooth. What a beautiful color this is!

Now cook the curd over boiling water until it coats the back of the spoon - don't let it simmer - this will take about 15 minutes. 

Finally, press the curd through a sieve so that the bigger chunks of zest are left behind. I like a few flakes of zest so I pressed a lot of it through.

Oh my goodness, this is SO GOOD! I could have just eaten it straight out of the bowl. 

But I didn't. I saved it overnight and then made these cutie pies the next day. So cute! So delicious!


Mini Meringues with Lemon Curd


4 egg whites

1/8 tsp. salt

1 cup sugar

1 1/2 tsp. cornstarch

1 tsp. white vinegar

1 1/2 tsp. vanilla

Lemon Curd:

2 large lemons

3/4 cup sugar

4 egg yolks

3 Tbsp. butter


cool whip or freshly whipped cream

For the meringues:

In a small bowl, combine the salt, sugar, and cornstarch. Beat the egg whites on medium/low speed until they begin to thicken, then increase the speed to medium.  With the mixer running, sprinkle in the sugar mixture a small amount at a time. Beat for another minute or two once all the sugar is added, then add vinegar and vanilla. Continue to whip the mixture until the egg whites are glossy, and stiff peaks form.

With a 1/4 cup measuring cup, scoop meringue batter in generous dollops evenly spaced over two cookie sheets lined with silpat or parchment paper. Use the back of a spoon to create an indentation in the center of each. 

Bake at 250 for 35 to 45 minutes, rotating the pans once halfway. When ready, the meringues should feel firm and dry, should give slightly when pressed gently. Turn off the oven and let them dry inside the oven for at least 1 hour.

In the meantime, make the curd: 

Find a heatproof bowl that will fit over a saucepan (double-boiler style). Add the sugar to the bowl then finely grate the zest of both lemons into the sugar. Massage that sugar and peel combo with your hands to release a lot of the flavor. Then, add the juice of both lemons and egg yolks and whisk to combine. Bring an inch of water to boil in the saucepan, then set the bowl over it. Cook, stirring, until the mixture begins to thicken and coats the spoon or whisk (between 170 and 180°).  This will take some time - mine took between 15-20 minutes. Don't let the curd simmer. Remove from the heat, add butter and stir, then strain the curd through a fine-mesh sieve. Cover the curd and let it cool completely. Then refrigerate until assembly. 

When ready to serve:

Place a small dollop of the lemon curd into each meringue indentation. Top with cool whip or freshly whipped cream, or berries. (or both!) 

Meringues can be kept on the countertop in an airtight container for about 5 days before starting to taste "old." The curd keeps in the fridge for quite a while, but it probably won't last that long, as you'll want to eat it with a spoon if you've run out of meringues...

Recipe Source: Smitten Kitchen

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