My friend Marlene Scher was having a few guests for dinner and asked if I’d make my Pavlova for dessert. It’s one of her favorites and also one of mine. While piping the meringue onto the baking tray, I realized that I’d made a huge amount, and that there would be extra. What to do? Aha! Lemon meringue kisses!
The execution is simple. Make the meringue. Pipe little circles of meringue and bake. While they’re in the oven, combine the lemon curd with whipping cream. When cool, top with the lemon cream and plop a seasonal berry as the crown! Sprinkle a bit of confectioners’ sugar over them and you have Meringue Kisses. Mwah!
Cooking — It Ain’t Rocket Science!!
Mise en Place:
WHAT YOU NEED:
Sweetex or soft butter
3 egg whites
170 grams extra fine sugar
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract or paste
250 milliliters whipping cream, softly whipped
175 gram jar lemon curd (find it in the jelly/jam section)
UTENSILS AND TOOLS:
2 piping bags fitted with wide nozzles
Stand mixer fitted with whisk
Tiny hand whisk or fork
Thin metal spatula
PREHEAT THE OVEN TO 300F
Baking Tray. Parchment. Sweetex or Butter.
Spread a thin line of Sweetex onto the baking tray. This holds the parchment to the tray, not allowing the paper to move and making it easier to pipe the meringues. Cut the parchment to size and place it on top of the Sweetex.
Piping Bag. Wide Nozzle. Wide-Mouth Jug.
Pre-prepare the piping bag. Insert the nozzle and place the bag into the wide-mouth jug. Turn the top down, forming a wide cuff. The jug supports the bag while you fill it.
Egg Whites. Sugar.
Whisk egg whites in a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. When they reach the foamy white stage, slowly add the sugar, a tablespoon at a time. Keep whisking until all the sugar granules have disappeared when tasted. Don’t worry about over-whisking. It won’t happen. Stop when the mix is glossy and smooth.
Corn Starch. Lemon Juice. Vanilla.
Mix the above in a small dish until blended. Add to the egg white mixture and continue to whisk until fully incorporated.
Spatula. Piping Bag and Nozzle. Wide-Mouth Jug. Meringue. Teaspoon.
Scrape the meringue into the piping bag. A curved-edge spatula works well here. When full, unfold the cuff and twist the top to close.
Using one hand on the top to push the meringue through, and the other hand at the base of the nozzle as a guide, pipe the meringue into 2” circles, starting at the outside and coning at the top like a Hershey’s kiss. (My piping leaves a lot to be desired, but it’s never stopped me. Just think of your meringue cups as works of modern art!)
You can stop the process here and the result is a simple meringue kiss. Continue with the recipe for a fancier presentation!
Use the teaspoon to press down the meringue in the center, making a crater that will hold the lemon mixture after baking.
Place the cups into the pre-heated oven and bake for 20 minutes. Be sure to set the timer.
When done, let cool in the oven.
Whipping Cream. Lemon Curd.
While the meringues are baking, whip the cream to the softly whipped stage. Add the lemon curd and whip until blended.
2nd Piping Bag with wide Nozzle. Wide-Mouth Jug.
Turn the top down on the second piping bag, forming a cuff, and place in wide-mouth jug.
Lemon Whipped Cream.
When the cups have cooled, add the whipped cream/lemon curd mixture to the piping bag and pipe the lemon mixture into the center of each cloud.
Decorate with a seasonal berry and shower the kiss with confectioners’ sugar.
Remove the clouds from the parchment using the thin metal spatula.
Refrigerate until ready to serve.