Meringue with lemon whipped cream and berries
Every now and then I get the urge to make meringue. Sometime it’s successful, other times not so much. Maybe it’s the weather (meringue does not like humidity), the oven temperature (it likes low heat) or how i beat in the sugar (wait until soft peaks, then add sugar 1 spoonful at a time).
Yesterday I had egg whites in the fridge let over from a dessert I made on the weekend, so I thought I’d make meringues just for fun. Meringue is a versatile item and if you know how to make it you can make up a number of fun desserts. It’s even better if you are good at piping things beautifully out of a pastry bag, then you can really create some impressive concoctions. I am not that good with the pastry bag but since you fill the meringue with cream and top it with fruits, it’s rather forgiving.
I whipped up a batch with 6 egg whites in the stand Kitchenaid mixer, piped it into mini pavlovas and placed in a 200F over for 1.5 hours. Thankfully they stayed white. I never liked the off-white colour on a meringue, unless it is intended to have colour. (This reminds me of an Oscar Wilde quote: a gentleman is never unintentionally rude). After an hour and a half I left them in the oven with the door held slightly open (secured with a wooden spoon) and let them finish drying in the warm oven overnight. And guess what? they remained white and were easily removed from the parchment paper on which I baked them. The stars were aligned.
So today I made a couple of desserts with them: mini lemon cream pavlovas with fresh berries and an Eaton mess. And I have more pavlova shells for another round, it was a large yield recipe but it’s nice to have more than you need so you can choose the perfect ones for the pavlovas and still have a few to crumble into an Eaton Mess (recipe to be posted soon).
To make the lemon whipped cream I used a jar of lemon curd that I had in the pantry and folded some of it into the whipped cream. It was delish.
Let me know if you try it and how it went.
6 egg whites, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 1/2 cups icing sugar
2 teaspoons cornstarch
Heat the oven to 200F.
Prepare 2 baking sheets by lining them with parchment. I place the parchment over a silpat liner.
If you’d like, draw 4″ circles on the parchment to guide you as you pipe the meringue onto the sheet.
Place the eggs in the bowl of a stand mixer and begin beating until the eggs are foamy.
Add the cream of tartar and continue to beat until soft peaks form.
Add the cornstarch to the sugar and mix.
Begin adding the sugar, a spoonful at a time, and beat until stiff peaks are formed and the meringue is shiny. Don’t over beat the meringue as it will dry out.
Scoop the meringue into a large piping bag fitted with a round or star tip and pipe the meringue onto the baking sheet.
Begin at the center of the circle and work towards the outside. Then pipe a second layer around the edge to create a basket-like with the edges higher than the center.
Place both sheets in the oven and bake for 1.5 hours.
After an hour and a half turn the oven off and open the door to cool it slightly. Then close the door leaving it slightly ajar. I use a wooden spoon to hold it slightly open. Lave it in the oven several hours or overnight.
Lemon whipped cream:
1 cup whipping cream
2 teaspoons sugar
1/3 cup lemon curd (or to taste)
Whip the cream and sugar to a whipped cream consistency.
Place the lemon curd in another bowl and begin adding a little whipped cream to it to lighten it up. Add more cream until it is all incorporated.
Fill each pavlova with lemon whipped cream.
Top with a few fresh berries.
Dust with powdered sugar.