Lemon Meringues

23 Apr

Finally! A B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L spring day here in Michigan! Sunny, 65 degrees, not a cloud to be seen! I’d like to think this is well deserved since I woke up a couple days ago with snow on my windshield. I know the year and a half we lived in Florida weakened my thick Michigan blood a little, but c’mon, using a snow scraper in late April?!

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Since we have finally had spring weather, I find it the perfect time to introduce to you these light, airy, lemon meringues. Meringues are a wonderful guilt-free dessert. They are made by beating egg whites and sugar together and then baking them at a low temperature to prevent any caramelization of the sugar.

This is birthday dessert #2 for the month in honor of my late Grandma Julie. While lemon meringue isn’t the first choice for my birthday dessert, (bring on the triple chocolate cake with chocolate fudge brownie ice cream!)I have very fond memories of my grandma enjoying lemon meringue pie as her birthday dessert. My grandma was the strongest, most humble and unassuming lady I knew. I like to think I take after her in many ways…especially in my love for being in the kitchen. In addition to lemon meringue pie, I have memories of being in the kitchen with her as she meticulously chopped vegetables to make the most beautiful fresh salad and memories of eating the most delicious simple meal that she had spent hours preparing. She didn’t get fancy in the kitchen very often, but everything she made was just really good.

I had so much fun experimenting with these meringues. Once I had all of the ingredients assembled, they came together in minutes.

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It was so fun watching the stand mixer transform the clear egg whites into a huge bowl of fluff.

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With the addition of a little sugar, lemon juice, and some lemon zest, they were ready for the oven.

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I should caution you that they bake for a long time and need to cool in the oven for an even longer time. This makes for a great Saturday afternoon project. 

Lemon Meringues

Makes 30 meringues

Adapted from Baking Illustrated

4 large egg whites at room temperature

1/4 teaspoon lemon juice

1 cup (7 ounces) granulated sugar

Zest of one lemon (about 1/2 tablespoon)

2 teaspoons lemon juice

1. Adjust the oven racks to the upper- and lower-middle positions and heat the oven to 200 degrees. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat

2. Combine lemon zest and sugar in a small bowl and set aside.

3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the egg whites at medium-low speed until they are opaque and frothy, about 30 seconds. Add the lemon juice, increase the speed to medium-high, and, watching carefully, beat the egg whites until they are white, thick, voluminous, and the consistency of shaving cream, about 3 minutes. Slowly sprinkle in half of the sugar and continue to beat until incorporated, about 60 seconds. Add the lemon juice. Reduce the speed to the lwoest possible setting, sprinkle the remaining sugar, and mix just until incorporated.

3. Using 2 spoons, place dollops of meringue, 2 tablespoons each, 1 inch apart on each sheet (you want to fit 15 on each baking sheet so they can bake all at once). Bake for 1 1/2 hours or until the cookies have smooth, dry, and firm exteriors. Turn the oven off and allow the cookies to cool in the oven for several hours. Once cool, store the cookies in an airtight container, where they will keep for a couple of weeks.

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One Response to “Lemon Meringues”

  1. Lori Kendall April 23, 2013 at 12:38 pm #

    So happy to see you here Rachel! And what a wonderful tribute to your Grandma Julie 🙂

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