You know, it seems to me that anything that tastes as divine as lemon curd should have been given a prettier name. But, it is what it is. A rose by any other name, I guess. There is just something almost magical about combining such simple ingredients and having a delectable treat result. Eggs, sugar, lemon juice, and butter. That’s it.
Monday, Princess Thundercloud and I made Meringue Daisies and filled them with Lemon Curd. Why? Because it was Earth Day, her Gotcha Day (the day we actually picked her up from the receiving home, when she was four days old), AND we had temps over 60 degrees and SUNSHINE together for the first time since October, I think.
Anyway, these are one of the most cheerful cookies I make, and possibly my favorite. They’re a bit time-consuming, taking about an hour of prep, then another hour to bake, but perfect for a special occasion (such as seeing the sun and not sideways snow). The hooligans could not stop sneaking them off the platter…that’s why I had to use this skinny little tray that only holds five for the photo! And they’re not even the prettiest ones; they’re just the ones I snatched away from my children.
Lemon Curd and Meringue Daisies
- 4 egg whites (save the yolks for the lemon curd)
- 1 cup sugar
- 4 egg yolks
- ½ cup sugar
- 5 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut in very small pieces
1. To make meringues: Whisk together the whites and sugar in a glass bowl over simmering water (like a double boiler, but just a pan and bowl). Continue whisking them until the sugar dissolves and they are hot to the touch. Remove bowl from over water and, using an electric mixer, beat until stiff, glossy peaks form. It will take 3-5 minutes.
3. Spoon the meringue into a gallon-size Ziploc. To do this, I place the bag inside a large tumbler (a souvenir popcorn cup from Disneyworld, but you won’t find that at Sur la Table) and turn the top wrong-side out over the edges. Then I use a rubber spatula to spoon the meringue in. Snip about ¼” off one corner of the bag, and squeeze all the air out, twisting to push all the meringue towards that corner.
7. Meanwhile, make the lemon curd: Combine egg yolks, sugar, lemon juice, and zest in a small saucepan. Cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until mixture bubbles and is thick enough to coat the back of the spoon. Remove from heat and stir in butter. Let cool. If you’d like, strain it through a very fine strainer to remove any small lumps.
8. When it’s cool and thickened, fill a small Ziploc bag (as above), snip off ¼” from a corner, and pipe a small amount into the center of each meringue. Chill for a few minutes to set the lemon curd.