A sweet and flourless finale to any meal, these ethereal meringues are elevated to great heights with dollops of lemon cream and adorned with luscious fresh strawberries.
Meringue Tarts with Lemon Cream and Fresh Strawberries
(Makes 4 servings)
Recipe courtesy of FoodChannel.com
- 4 large egg whites
- 1 1/2 cups sugar, divided
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- 4 large egg yolks, lightly beaten
- 3/4 stick unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons
- Pinch of salt
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 8 large strawberries, quartered
FOR THE MERINGUES
Preheat oven to 180 F. Place medium saucepan with two inches of water on stove and heat until simmering.
Beat egg whites and 1 cup of sugar in bowl. While mixing constantly, heat egg mixture in bowl over pan of simmering water until sugar dissolves and eggs feel warm. Take bowl off water at this point.
Whip warm egg mixture on high until very stiff and glossy, about 5 minutes. Sift cornstarch over and fold in carefully. Fold in vinegar and vanilla.
On parchment-lined baking sheet, spoon meringue into 4 even piles and spread them into rough circles, about 5 inches in diameter with slight dip in center (does not need to be exact).
Bake in preheated oven for 1 1/2 hours, then while keeping oven door closed, turn off oven and let dry out for 2 hours.
FOR LEMON CREAM
Start by making lemon curd: Combine lemon juice, 1/2 cup sugar, lemon zest, egg yolks, and pinch of salt in medium saucepan, stirring with wooden spoon over medium heat. Stirring constantly, cook until it thickens and coats back of a spoon. If using aluminum pan, do not use wire whisk or the curd will turn gray in color. Take off heat and beat in butter, a few pieces at a time. Refrigerate covered until cold. Can be made one day ahead.
Whip heavy cream until thick. In large separate bowl, whisk chilled lemon curd until smooth. Fold whipped cream into curd and spoon into tops of meringues. On each meringue, arrange strawberry pieces on top of lemon cream. Serve immediately.