Lemon Meringue Morsels

Lemon Meringue Morsels are a delightful and sophisticated treat that combines the tangy zest of lemon with the sweet, airy texture of meringue. These morsels begin with a crisp, buttery base, often a shortbread or a light pastry crust, providing a perfect contrast to the soft layers above. The base is typically thin and firm, ensuring it holds up to the moist layers it supports.

Upon this base rests the star of the show – the lemon curd. This curd is a luscious, creamy mixture made from freshly squeezed lemon juice, zest, sugar, eggs, and butter. The balance of sweetness and acidity is crucial here; the curd should be tangy yet not overly sour, with a bright, citrusy aroma that invigorates the senses. The texture is smooth and velvety, melting in the mouth with each bite.

Crowning the lemon curd is the meringue, a fluffy, cloud-like topping made from whipped egg whites and sugar. The meringue is whipped to stiff peaks, ensuring it holds its shape when piped or spooned onto the lemon curd. Once in place, it’s often lightly toasted to a golden brown, either in the oven or with a kitchen torch, adding a subtle caramelized flavor and a visually appealing contrast to the bright yellow of the lemon layer.

The final product is a harmonious blend of textures and flavors. The crust offers a satisfying crunch, followed by the smooth, rich lemon curd that provides a burst of citrus flavor. The meringue, light and airy, melts in the mouth, its sweetness balancing the tartness of the lemon. These morsels are often petite, making them ideal for serving at tea parties, as an elegant dessert at dinner parties, or as a sweet treat to enjoy with a cup of coffee.

The beauty of Lemon Meringue Morsels lies not only in their taste but also in their presentation. When plated, they offer a feast for the eyes – the layers distinctly visible, the meringue artistically swirled or peaked, and the light browning of the meringue offering a hint of what awaits the palate. They are often garnished with a light dusting of powdered sugar, a few strands of lemon zest, or even a small mint leaf for an added touch of elegance. Each bite is a delightful journey through contrasting textures and a balance of sweet and tart flavors, making Lemon Meringue Morsels a truly exquisite treat.

Ingredients:

1 package (14 oz) pre-made pie crust, room temperature

1 cup lemon curd (homemade or store-bought)

3 large egg whites, room temperature

1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Zest of 1 lemon (optional, for garnish)

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C) and lightly grease a mini muffin tin.

Roll out the pie crust and cut out 24 circles using a cookie cutter or glass rim. Press them into the muffin cups and prick the bottoms to prevent puffing.

Bake for 12-15 minutes until golden brown. Let cool slightly before filling.

Spoon or pipe about 1 tablespoon of lemon curd into each crust.

Beat egg whites and cream of tartar to soft peaks. Gradually add sugar until stiff peaks form, then fold in vanilla.

Top the curd-filled crusts with meringue, covering the curd completely.

Broil for about 2 minutes until meringue is toasted. Watch carefully to avoid burning.

Garnish with lemon zest and let cool before serving.

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