Meringues with Vanilla Mascarpone Cream and Lemon Curd

This recipe is from the Delia Online Cookery School with Waitrose

Meringues with Vanilla Mascarpone Cream and Lemon Curd
For the meringue:
 2 large fresh egg whites
 110g golden caster sugar
 icing sugar to dust
For the filling:
 1 x 250 tub mascarpone, chilled
 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract vanilla extract
 1 x 200g natural French fromage frais
 1 rounded dessertspoon golden caster sugar
For the lemon curd:
 zest and juice of 1½ large lemons
 110g golden caster sugar
 3 large eggs
 75g block butter
 Pre-heat the oven to 140°C. Gas mark 1
Equipment:  You will also need a Delia Online Baking Sheet or similar, lined with a liner


See Perfect Egg Whites

For the meringues place the egg whites in a large clean bowl and whisk them until they form stiff peaks (it's very important, though, not to over-whisk the egg whites because, if you do, they will start to collapse).

Now start to whisk in the sugar, about a tablespoon at a time, whisking after each addition until all the sugar is in. Now all you do is spoon 8 heaped dessertspoons of the mixture on to the prepared baking sheet, spacing them evenly. 

Then, using the back of the spoon or a small palette knife, hollow out the centres. Don't worry if they are not all the same shape – random and rocky is how I would describe them.

Next, pop them on the centre shelf of the oven and leave them for 30 minutes. After that, turn the oven off and leave the meringues to dry out in the warmth of the oven until it is completely cold (usually about 4 hours). 

While the meringues are cooking you can make the lemon curd: place the grated lemon zest and sugar in a bowl, whisk the lemon juice together with the eggs, and pour this over the sugar. Next add the butter cut into small pieces, and place the bowl over a pan of barely simmering water (making sure the bowl does not touch the water).

Whisk every now and then until thickened, which should take about 20 minutes. Then leave it on one side to cool.

When your ready to serve the meringues (or up to 20 minutes ahead) whisk the filling ingredients together.

Spoon a small blob of filling onto each plate and top with a meringue (this will help the meringues stay in place). Then divide the lemon curd amongst the meringues and top each one with a generous blob of the filling.

Finish with a dusting of icing sugar.

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