I discovered the fabulous blog Food In Jars two weeks ago, and decided that this year, I want to start canning pickles and jams and jellies and all sorts of yummy things. After happening on some good looking Meyer Lemons at the co-op, I started with her recipe for Lemon Curd, and was beyond excited when I finished and heard the seals on the jars pop! I opened the first jar this morning and had some on my yogurt. Ah, yum.
In case you didn’t click through to the recipe, lemon curd takes six egg yolks. Which left me with six egg whites in need of a purpose. Enter Joy the Baker. Meringues! How could I have not thought of it? When I started making homemade ice cream last summer meringues were one of my favorite things to make with the leftover whites, but I never thought to add lemon zest.
I’m SO glad I found Joy.
For the meringues, you need:
2 egg whites
pinch of salt
2/3 c sugar
zest of one lemon
1 teaspooon vanilla
Place the racks in the center and upper third of your oven and preheat to 200°. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
Start with the eggwhites in the bowl of your stand mixer, using the whisk attachment. Beat at medium speed until the whites get foamy. Add your pinch of salt and turn the speed to medium high. Gradually add the sugar and let the whites whip until you get firm peaks – with my stand mixer, it takes six to seven minutes. If you’re using a hand mixer, it will probably take closer to ten minutes. Then fold in your lemon zest and vanilla. Using a piping bag or a small spoon, make your cookies using about 1tsp of the white mixture per cookie. Cookies won’t spread or puff while baking, so you can place them close together, but try not to let them touch. I used a piping bag with a star tip, but I have less than stellar piping skills and the pattern didn’t really last. I got around 50 cookies out of my batch.
Bake cookies for two hours at 200°. Yes, two hours. The low and slow baking allows the meringues to cook all the way through and get dry and crumbly (desired in this case) without burning. Allow to cool on the pans. They should peel right off the parchment. Keep in dry, airtight storage, if you can keep from gobbling them all up in one sitting. Not that I did that, or anything close to that.
Joy suggests sandwiching two of these together and filling it with lemon curd. I tried lemon curd as well as raspberry jam, and while delicious, it was more work than I wanted and it would complicate storing them. But I certainly recommend giving it a try as you’re working through the batch. You know, one or two at a time. Not the whole thing at once.