Is it obvious that I'm on a lemon kick? Granted, I'm into ANYTHING lemon, I mean, I even had lemon meringue pie on my dessert bar menu at my wedding! Give me a tart, acidic lemon kick in anything sweet or savory and I'm a happy camper! So, this latest post is no exception.
If you missed my post on my other blog, meatyourvegetables, check out my lemon poppy seed coconut Hamantaschen, featuring homemade coconut lemon curd! So while I may be on a current lemon kick, lemon is my absolute favorite and you can make it work all year round! This recipe came about when I was using 6 egg yolks to make that lemon curd I mentioned, so what to do with leftover egg whites? Sure, you could make an egg white omelet, but that's boring, so why not make these beautiful meringues! They are easy and look like a showstopper dessert! The only caveat - they take a LONG time (note, they bake for 1 hour, but you need to keep the oven door closed for at least an hour after they're done baking, otherwise they'll fall flat and won't get crispy). Trust me, it's worth the wait. So set a timer, and let's get started!
First thing's first. Crack a slew of eggs - 6 to be exact. This recipe makes about 12 meringues but you can vary the size depending on how much batter you pipe out of the baggie. You can also use store-bought egg whites, but what's the fun in that? :)
Take your egg whites and using a handheld electric beater (or stand mixer), beat on high for about 30 seconds - then add in 1/4 tsp. of cream of tartar (you can find this at any grocery store, in the baking aisle). While the beater is on (and you may need a third hand or someone else to help you with this), gradually add in the sugar - 1 cup, but add it slowly, like 1 tbsp. at a time. I like to use Swerve and since I went Keto, this option is fantastic because it looks, smells, tastes and bakes like sugar, but won't spike your blood sugar. WOOT! Add in the lemon juice and zest and you're basically done. Or, if you're like me, you'd add in some organic lemon extract because it can't every be TOO tart, am I right? Once everything is mixed together, about 10 minutes or so, you should have a glossy white meringue batter with stiff peaks. The way I know it's ready is when you take a spoonful and place it upside down. If it falls, it's too thin, but if it stays in place, you're ready to bake.
At this point, you want to pre-heat your oven to 250F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Some people here get fancy with tracing the shapes of their meringues but I did it the lazy way and well, uh, I just skipped that step. So, I dumped the bowl of meringue batter into a zip-top bag, cut a small slit on the bottom and just piped these "soft-serve" shapes on to my baking sheet. Think of it like the poop emoji shape, HA! You could also do flat circles and when they're baked and cooled, add some whipped cream in between to make a fancy meringue stuffed cookie. Maybe next time for me.
Bake at 250F, being careful NOT to open the oven door. Don't think about it, or even go near it. Set a reminder on your phone, or tape up the oven and write "don't touch"! And remember, they need at LEAST an hour to cool in the oven. So I like to make these in the evening (after dinner) and let them cool in the oven overnight. When they're done, you have beautiful golden brown, crispy, sweet tart lemon meringues! Dress up the plate with some fresh berries, mint, even some whipped cream and you will truly impress your guests with this dessert!
PS - here's a great tip! These make a great addition to your Passover recipes! Try them out and let me know how you liked them!