Strawberry-Lemon Meringue Nests
- 3 large lemons
- 1 tablespoon(s) cornstarch
- 6 tablespoon(s) (3/4 stick) butter
- 1 1/4 cup(s) sugar
- 4 large eggs, separated
- 1/4 teaspoon(s) cream of tartar
- 1/2 cup(s) heavy cream, substitute whipping cream
- 1 pint(s) strawberries, each hulled and cut into quarters
- 1 tablespoon(s) strawberry preserves
- mint leaves, for garnish
- From lemons, grate 1 tablespoon peel and squeeze 1/2 cup juice.
- In 2-quart saucepan, with wire whisk, mix cornstarch, lemon peel, and lemon juice until smooth. Add butter and 3/4 cup sugar; heat to boiling over medium heat. Boil 1 minute, stirring constantly.
- In small bowl, beat egg yolks slightly. Into yolks, beat small amount of hot lemon mixture; pour egg mixture back into lemon mixture in saucepan, beating rapidly to prevent lumping. Reduce heat to low; cook, stirring constantly, until mixture is thick, about 5 minutes. Pour lemon curd into medium bowl; cover surface with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 3 hours or until well chilled. (Lemon curd can be refrigerated up to 3 days.)
- Meanwhile, prepare meringue nests: Preheat oven to 225 degrees F. Line large cookie sheet with foil or cooking parchment. In small bowl, with mixer at high speed, beat egg whites and cream of tartar until soft peaks form. Sprinkle in 1/2 cup sugar, 2 tablespoons at a time, beating well after each addition until sugar dissolves and whites stand in stiff, glossy peaks.
- Spoon meringue into 6 mounds on cookie sheet. With back of spoon, form a well in center of each mound to create a nest.
- Bake nests 2 1/2 hours. Turn off oven and let nests remain in oven 1 hour to dry out. Cool nests on cookie sheet on wire rack. If not using right away, store in airtight containers.
- Just before serving, in small bowl, with mixer at medium speed, beat heavy or whipping cream until stiff peaks form. Gently fold whipped cream into lemon curd.
- In medium bowl, toss strawberries with preserves. Spoon lemon-curd mixture into meringue nests. Top with strawberry mixture. Garnish with mint.
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