Lemon meringue swirls December 9, 2012Posted by inspiredbywolfe in Fruit, Sweet things.
Faced with an excess of eggwhites after making my apparently now-annual eggnog, I had a look around for what to do with them. I was thinking something to do with meringues, maybe something lemony… when I came across this fabulous idea for lemon curd meringue nests. Here’s my interpretation, although mine are not as cute…
I should note I also had 12 eggwhites to use up so ended up with a lot more nests than the original recipe! But the concept was the same. I started by whipping the eggwhites until they reached soft peaks, and then added caster sugar. I whipped them again until they reached firm peak stage.
I transferred the meringue mixture to a piping bag, and piped out disks onto a sheet of baking paper. I pushed down the peaks with the back of a spoon dipped in water.
As you can see, mine were a bit bigger than the recipe’s, but I figured I had a lot of meringue to use up! Once I’d done the base, I went back and piped two rings on top of the base, to create the sides. The original recipe only called for one ring for the side, but I liked the idea of mine being a bit higher and having more room for the lemon curd.
The meringue was a lot easier to work with than I’d been expecting, and I certainly found that they held their shape very well. I actually had too many meringues to cook at once, so had to leave some on the counter, and even those ones were fine when they were cooked.
I then baked them in a low oven for about an hour and a half, and then let the oven cool with the shells still inside.
At this time I also turned to the lemon curd. Unfortunately I didn’t take any photos from the process, but I used the lemon curd recipe from the same site that the meringue recipe came from. It was called the best ever lemon curd – and I have to agree. I’ve not had much success with lemon curd in the past but this recipe was easy, tasted very lemony and actually thickened as it was meant to!
As the lemon curd also needed time to cool overnight, I left both the meringue shells and the curd overnight and resumed the next day. I should say that the meringues were absolutely fine the next day – still hard and crispy. I assembled my shells ready for filling.
As you can see some of the shells had gone a little brown on top, but I was still pretty happy with how they came out. Then it was simply a matter of filling the shells with the lemon curd. I found that even though I’d added an extra layer of meringue ‘wall’ the shells still only took a couple of teaspoons of the curd. Anyway, since mine are on the large size, one was the perfect size for an afternoon snack.
As well as being a great way to use up all those egg whites, I really enjoyed these lemon meringue nests. They weren’t too sweet and were a clever play on the more traditional lemon meringue pie. The curd was fantastic and very lemon-y which worked very well with the sweet and fluffy meringues.
I was very pleased to use up all my eggwhites in this way, and will certainly be making these again. I can see these being a very useful transportable dessert to take to events – and they’re just a bit fancy to boot.