Lemon Curd Meringue Nests

serves 12 
3 large egg whites
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
3/4 cup superfine sugar (if you don't have superfine sugar you can make your own by processing granulated sugar for about 60 seconds in a food processor)
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
12 tablespoons (1/2 recipe) The BEST Ever! Lemon Curd (recipe below)
12 candied lemon slices, for garnish

Preheat oven to 200°. Prepare a baking sheet by cutting a piece of parchment paper to fit. Turn parchment paper over and draw or trace 12 2" circles (I used a 2" circle cookie cutter and a sharpie). Turn paper back over (so marker is facing down) and set aside.

Place egg whites In the bowl of your stand mixer. Allow them to come to room temperature (about 30 minutes). Using the whisk attachment, whip egg whites on low speed until foamy. Add cream of tartar and whip the egg whites on medium speed until they reach soft peaks.

With the mixer on low speed, very slowly add sugar. Increase speed to medium-high and continue to beat until stiff peaks form. Add vanilla extract and mix.

Transfer meringue to a piping bag fitted with a large tip (or a gallon zipper bag a small piece cut off the corner). I used a 1M tip to obtain the very nicely structured nests. You could also use an 1A for a smoother look. To form your nest, form the bottom by starting in the center of each circle and moving in a circular pattern, fill each circle with meringue.

Using clean hands and water, lightly dip fore finger into water and gently press down the points where the piping ends. Following the edge of each bottom you have created, pipe the walls by piping 2 circles on top of each other (no need to stop once the first is complete, just continue piping and end when you have 2). You will end up with little points sticking up again, repeat the previous process and press down on each point with a damp finger to flatten it out.

Place in oven and bake for 1 hour. Turn off oven and turn tray around. Allow tray to stay in oven for 1 hour, with the oven off. Meringues are done when you thump the bottom and it sounds hollow. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.

Spoon lemon curd into a clean piping bag (or plastic zipper bag with a tiny piece cut off the corner). Fill meringue nests with lemon curd. Allow to rest for 20 minutes and the lemon curd will seep into the meringue crevices. Refill nests again and garnish with candied lemon slice. Serve and enjoy!

The BEST Ever! Lemon Curd
4 lemons
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
5 large eggs
3/4 cup lemon juice (4 lemons)
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Remove the zest of 3 lemons, in strips,  using a vegetable peeler (do not remove the white pithy part, it is bitter).  Put the zest and the sugar in a food processor, process until the zest has become fine and you have a smooth lemon sugar.

In a medium mixing bowl beat the butter and the lemon mixture for 2-3 minutes.  Add eggs, one at a time mixing well after each addition.  Add the lemon juice and salt, mix until well combined.

Pour mixture into a medium saucepan and cook over low heat until thickened, stirring constantly.  Cook until lemon curd reaches about 180 degrees.  Remove the curd from heat and strain though a sieve set over a bowl.  Discard strained zest and allow to cool.

Recipe printed from http://TheSlowRoastedItalian.com/
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