Recipe: Meringue Shell

Lemon curd
Author Beth Dooley's new book, "Minnesota's Bounty: The Farmers Market Cookbook," includes a recipe for lemon curd making use of eggs, which can be purchased at many farmers markets.
MPR Photo/Jennifer Simonson

Makes one 9-inch shell

This light, crisp meringue shell is great filled with lemon curd made with the leftover yolks and topped with plenty of berries and whipped cream.

1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
4 egg whites, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice

Preheat the oven to 225 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

Mix together the salt, sugar, and cornstarch in a small bowl. In a large bowl, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Gradually add the sugar mixture, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla and the lemon juice.

Mound the meringue onto the prepared cookie sheet, and use a rubber spatula to spread it into a 9- or 10-inch circle. Bake until lightly browned and crisp, about 1 hour. Allow to cool before filling.

Lemon Curd

Makes about 1 cup

This makes delicious use of the egg yolks left over from making meringues.

Grated zest of 2 lemons
1/2 cup lemon juice
4 egg yolks
1 cup sugar
Pinch of salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter

In a medium saucepan, beat together the lemon zest, lemon juice, egg yolks, sugar, and salt. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture becomes thick and translucent, about 5 to 7 minutes. It should coat the back of a spoon. Remove from the stove, and strain through a fine-mesh strainer into a separate bowl. Stir in the butter until it's melted.

Use the lemon curd to fill the meringue shell, or store it, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

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