Lemon and Meringue Dessert
As fond as I am of innovation and progress in the kitchen, there are times when I’m just as pleased to rearrange a classic from the repertoire. A while back T and I went all in to dish up a three-course menu for my cousin and her husband. Since I remembered that she’s a fan of lemon curd and T is too, I thought I’d remix some old staples, inspired by a marvelous lemon-and-meringue-blob of a dessert we once had at Restaurant Marv & Ben. Well that and a dash of laziness. It was prepared in advance and only took about two showy minutes to plate (everyone loves the promising flame of a crème brûlée torch).
All three elements in the dessert have been featured in one form or the other on this blog: Lemon curd, lemon mousse and raw meringue. I don’t mean to take any credit away from my recipe sources but I have chosen to re-write the recipes I’ve combined and changed for the purpose here so as to keep it simple for you guys. But in all fairness: Thank you to Epicurious for the lemon mousse recipe that was the basis for the ice cream and to Tante T for the lemon curd recipe that I used for the curd as well as to flavour the mousse/ice cream. Finally: I used a recipe by head chocolatier Jesper Rahbek from A XOCO, whose recipe for flødebolle-filling was used for the raw meringue in this dessert. Since it was the first time I made the recipes for this particular dessert, the proportions of mousse/meringue are a bit off, leaving you with extra curd and meringue. As for the curd, it is also lovely drizzled into chocolate cake batter before baking, in a mille feuille, or mixed with whipped cream it turns into instant lemon mousse ready for filling layer-cakes or swiss rolls. As for the meringue, well, you know what to do. Moving on to the actual recipes…
Lemon and Meringue Dessert
Start with the lemon curd the night before or at least a couple of hours ahead of making the mousse/ice cream in order for the curd to cool down and set properly.
Lemon curd (= 600 ml)
- 250 grams sugar
- 125 grams butter
- 2 whole lemons (juice and zest)
- 4 pasteurised eggs (yolks and whites). Stirred together in a pouring cup.
In a small saucepan, add sugar and butter, and allow the butter to melt. Then add lemon juice and zest and stir until the sugar begins to dissolve. Turn down the heat and gradually add the eggs (stirred together beforehand) while whisking constantly until it starts to thicken. Then pour the curd into 2-3 disinfected jars, tighten the lids and put them in the fridge right away (i.e. You don’t have to wait for them to cool before you do).
Lemon ice cream (adapted from Lemon Mousse Cake at Epicurious)
- 300 ml. lemon curd
- 3 egg whites
- ¼ dl. sugar
- 1,8 dl. whipping cream
In a metal or glass bowl, beat the egg whites until lightly fluffy and add the sugar gradually while continuing to beat until the mixture turns glossy. Set the bowl aside. In a second bowl, whip the cream until it is ¾ done (fluffy but still ever-so-slightly “runny”. Otherwise it may become over-whipped and grainy when mixed with the egg whites). Fold in the lemon curd and finally, fold in the egg whites/meringue. Distribute the lemon mousse in a silicone mould. I used a Moulflex mould with nine rectangular holes to make the shape on the photo. I’m afraid I don’t remember how many I ended up with but I will make a note next time. A rough estimate is that this recipe will yield at least six rectangles of ice cream in that mould.
Meringue (recipe by Jesper Rahbek from A XOCO)
- 125 grams egg whites (= approx. four big whites)
- 30 grams sugar
- 2 grams salt
- 200 grams cane sugar
- 40 grams glucose/corn syrup
- 50 grams honey
- Seeds from 1/2 vanilla pod
- Splash of water
Add the four last ingredients to a medium saucepan along with a tiny splash of water and start heating with a candy thermometer in. While the syrup is heating up (keep an eye on it – the max. is 118 degrees Celcius), take a heat proof bowl (I prefer metal) and add egg whites, 30 grams sugar and salt. Beat with an electrical mixer until stiff. When the syrup has reached the 118 degrees, take it off the heat and pour it into the egg whites in a thin line close to the inner edge of the bowl so it doesn’t land directly on the whisks (you don’t want the mess, trust me). Keep beating until the meringue has turned glossy, thick and it has cooled down considerably. Transfer to a piping bag with a smooth-rimmed nozzle. Keep in the fridge until needed – can be made one or two days before, though I recommend the day before.
- Ice cream
- 1/2-1 dl. lemon curd
Place one rectangle of ice cream on each plate. Decorate with the meringue as you like and give it a good browning with a brûlée torch. When you’re done, finish it off with little drops of lemon curd – you can use a piping bag or just a teaspoon and a steady hand. Serve immediately.