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Saturday, April 9, 2011

LEMON MERINGUE FLOWERS


I got to the last page of the April 2011 issue of Martha Stewart Living magazine and I saw the cutest little meringue cookies.  I really love meringue cookies so I decided to dog ear the recipe and see if it worked into my baking for April.  If you saw my recent post on Candied Lemon Peel, you'll realize there was a method to my madness when I decided to make them.  These cute little daisies had a little chunk of candied lemon peel for the center!  The magazine staff apparently got theirs from kingarthurflour.com but I remembered the citrus show and knew I would be making my own.

It's been relatively dry down here...so this seems like a good day to tackle meringues!  Meringues are so easy once you get the hang of them...I used to be scared of them...don't know why.  I sure do love eating meringue!  I don't care if it is to top a pie, an angel kiss, a pavlova, a forgotten cookie, or in angel food cake.  Meringue is good stuff!

This recipe has much less sugar than I'm used to using for meringue...we'll see how it goes!  So, let's get started!

LEMON MERINGUE FLOWERS
From Martha Stewart Living, April 2011

Ingredients:

3 large egg whites, room temperature
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
Pinch of Salt
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
40 squares, about 1/2 inch each, of candied lemon peel

Method:

Preheat oven to 200 degrees.
Whisk egg whites, lemon juice, and a pinch of salt until foamy. (I used a stand mixer)
Slowly whisk in sugar.
Whisk at higher speed until stiff peaks just begin to form.

Fold in lemon zest.
Transfer mixture to a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2 inch plain round tip (I couldn't find a Wilton 1A locally so I used a #12 and I think it worked out okay...maybe smaller cookies, but they tasted great!).
 
Pipe forty 5-petaled 1 1/2 inch flowers onto parchment lined baking sheets. 
For each petal, pipe a small mound of meringue, and drag it into center to form a teardrop shape. 

Repeat 4 times working in a circle.  (Don't worry if the petal points look a little messy at first - the candied peel at the center will cover any flaws.)
(I had extra so I made little mounds around the outside of the baking sheet)

Place a candied lemon peel square in center of each flower

Bake until meringues are crisp and lift off parchment easily, 2 to 2 1/2 hours.
Let cool.

Meringues may be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days.  Storing appropriately down here is particularly key!  I took really crisp meringues out of the oven and just allowing them to cool started them on a sticky path...popped back into the still warm oven and let them cool in the oven.  I moved them rapidly to a covered container with each layer separated by wax paper.  I hope they make it.  I started writing this post 2 days ago... when it was dry from a cool front... now it is back to being absurdly humid and my meringues are paying for it!

They had a cute little gift packet idea in the magazine...  so you could do that if desired.  I found the instructions and a link to the card template at this link.

I love lemon and I love meringue...I've never had them together until now (well, except for lemon meringue pie...I mean lemon IN the meringue)...yummmmm!



Bon Appetit, Y'all!!!

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1 comment:

  1. Just a note - they kept beautifully in the sealed container...although, I have managed to eat all but 6 of them in two days. My best estimate shows these are about 10-12 calories each...so I refuse to feel guilty. They are mighty delicious and just melt in your mouth to finish with a tiny chewy piece (the center). Loved them!

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