This month The Cake Slice Bakers were challenged to make meringue cups with lime curd and fresh berries. I did a bit of tweaking on mine, as I was out of limes, but I had plenty of lemons. Then after I had made them I realized that my children had eaten all the fresh berries earlier that day and living where we live there is no such thing as a quick trip to the store. I went without the berries and it was still delicious though not as pretty as so many others were. This is something I will make again this summer, it's super easy to double, it's light and cold so a perfect summer dessert.
Individual Meringue Cups with Lime Cream and Fresh Berries
Here is the recipe: (Makes 6 Individual Meringues)
4 Large egg whites at room temp.
Pinch of salt
1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
1 cup (7 oz) superfine sugar
4 large egg yolks
1/2 cup granulated sugar
6 tbsp. freshly squeezed lime juice
4 tbsp. unsalted butter (cut into tablespoons)
1 tsp. finely grated lime zest
3/4 cup heavy cream
2 cups mixed fresh berries
Confectioner's sugar for dusting.
Make the Meringues:
1. Preheat oven at 225F. Trace six 3 1/2" circles onto a sheet of parchment paper. Turn parchment paper upside down and place it on the baking sheet.
2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, using whisk attachment, beat the egg whites at med. speed until foamy Add salt and cream of tartar and beat at med.-high speed until soft peaks begin to form. Gradually add the sugar, about 1 tbsp. at a time, then increase speed to high and beat the whites until stiff peaks form.
3. Scrape meringue into a large pastry bag fitted with a medium plain tip. Starting in the center of each circle, pipe a spiral of meringue in toward the edge, filling the circle completely. Pipe a ring of meringue around the edge of each circle. Pipe another ring of meringue on top of the first to form cups. (I used a star tip)
4. Bake meringues for 2 hours or until they are very lightly colored and dry to the touch. Let them cool completely (I was running late, so I turned off the oven at 1 hour and 40 minutes, cracked the door with a wooden spoon and left them. They were fine)
1. Set a fine mesh over a medium bowl and set aside. In a medium heavy saucepan (making sure it's perfectly clean, stainless steel and has no traces of grease in it) whisk together the egg yolks and sugar until blended. Stir in the lime juice and butter and cook over medium heat, whisking constantly until the mixture turns opaque and thickens enough to leave a path on the back of a wooden spoon when you draw your finger across it. Remove the pan from the heat and immediately strain the custard through the sieve pressing it through with a rubber spatula. Stir in the lime zest. Set the mixture aside while you whip the cream or if you are not ready to serve the meringues, refrigerate the mixture, covered until ready to use.
2. Shortly before serving, in the bowl of an electric mixer, using the whisk attachment, beat the heavy cream at high speed until medium-firm peaks form. Place the bowl of whipped cream in refrigerator.
3. If the lime mixture has not been refrigerated, set the bowl containing the lime mixture in a large bowl filled about one third of the way with ice water (be careful that the water doesn't splash into lime mixture). Stir mixture frequently until is slightly cooler than room temp. (about 10 minutes)
4. Fold a large spoonful of the whipped cream into the lime base to lighten it. Gently fold in the remaining cream.
5. Spoon the lime cream into the meringue cups, dividing it evenly. Top each meringue with mixed berries, then dust lightly with confectioners' sugar and serve.
STORE the unfilled meringue shells in an airtight container in a cool dry place for up to 5 days, once filled they should be served immediately.