Trying to learn how to cook while staying in shape and not gaining weight is a challenge unto itself. It’s even harder when you learn how to make something that tastes really good and doubly so when what you learn how to make is not good for you and really addictive. Meringues would be this something.
I made them on Friday with the extra egg whites left over from the ice cream I made for my mom’s birthday party, but left the remaining meringue at my parents’ house for them to savor. I needed more egg whites but didn’t want to make more ice cream. After doing some research online, I came across a recipe for lemon curd that would be a perfect companion to the meringues.
I separated the egg yolks from the whites and went to work on the lemon curd using a double boiler created with a pot and glass bowl.
I whisked together the ingredients in a matter of minutes and set the lemon curd in the refrigerator to cool. Now the fun part lay ahead.
I used the meringue method and recipe that I had used before to ensure repeat success. The egg whites were strained into the stand mixer bowl (wiped with lemon juice for acid that would make foaming easier) to remove impurities and weighed.
I added a bit of cream of tartar to the bowl as a bit of insurance.
I next weighed out 2 parts sugar as required.
I turned on the mixer at high speed to start beating the egg whites.
The egg whites started to stiffen up after about 10 minutes at high speed.
The egg whites were beat until they achieved soft peaks.
The sugar was added slowly so that it could be incorporated into the egg whites and develop stiff peaks.
The intense white and thickness was quite a transformation to observe as a result of the network of air, protein and sugar that developed.
Using a spatula a pastry bag filled with meringue which I used to pipe out decent sized meringues onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet.
The meringues were baked at 220 degrees F for 90 minutes. They need a bit more time so I left them in the oven for another 10 minutes after which they were taken out and allowed to cool.
These were just as good as the ones I made the first time around, but actually a bit overdone as a result of either my hotter oven or the lack of a glass on my oven door which would allow me to check on things. I need to get an oven with one of those.
Sadly the lemon curd was not to my liking and unlike the one my cousin Andrea used for my mom’s birthday cake. I could still taste a bit of the yolk and it was not as sweet and lemony as I was hoping for. I’ll have to use her recipe the next time around.