A sweet and flourless finale to any meal, these ethereal meringues are elevated to great heights with dollops of lemon cream and adorned with luscious fresh strawberries. These delicate tarts make a delightful dessert for Passover or for any meal.
To achieve a drier, crunchier meringue, allow the meringues to set in the oven overnight – bake them as directed, then, without opening the oven, turn it off and let them set in the residual heat of the oven for at least 6 hours.
- 8 large strawberries, quartered
- 4 large egg whites
- 1 1/2 cups sugar, divided
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- 4 large egg yolks, lightly beaten
- 3/4 stick unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons
- Pinch of salt
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 FOR THE MERINGUES: Preheat oven to 180°F. Place a medium saucepan with two inches of water on the stove and heat until simmering.
- 2 Place the egg whites and 1 cup of sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer and, while whisking constantly, heat egg mixture in the bowl over the pan of simmering water until the sugar dissolves and the eggs feel warm. Take bowl off water at this point.
- 3 Whip warm egg mixture on high until very stiff and glossy, about 5 minutes. Sift cornstarch over and fold in carefully. Fold in vinegar and vanilla.
- 4 On parchment-lined baking sheet, spoon meringue into four even piles and spread them into rough circles, about 5 inches in diameter with a slight dip in the center (does not need to be exact).
- 5 Bake in preheated oven for 1 1/2 hours, then while keeping the oven door closed, turn off oven and let dry out for 2 hours.
- 6 FOR LEMON CREAM: Start by making the lemon curd. Combine lemon juice, 1/2 cup sugar, lemon zest, egg yolks, and pinch of salt in a medium saucepan, stirring with a wooden spoon over medium heat. Stirring constantly, cook until it thickens and coats the back of a spoon. If using an aluminum pan, do not use a wire whisk or the curd will turn gray in color. Take off heat and beat in butter, a few pieces at a time. Refrigerate covered until cold. Can be made one day ahead.
- 7 Whip heavy cream until thick. In a large separate bowl, whisk chilled lemon curd until smooth. Fold whipped cream into curd and spoon into the tops of meringues.
- 8 On each meringue, arrange strawberry pieces on top of lemon cream. Serve immediately.