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Recipe

Lemon Schaum Tortes


Ingredients

For meringue:
4 egg whites
1/8 tsp fresh lemon juice
1 1/3 c sugar

For lemon custard filling:
4 egg yolks
1/2 c sugar
1/4 c fresh lemon juice
2 tbsp lemon zest

For whipped cream:
1 cup whipping cream

Directions

You want to make 8 individual meringue shells. Yes, you can buy them at the store, but it's not the same, trust me. If you're blessed by an outstanding bakery where you can get them, do that and add the rest of this recipe. But then you'll lose the pride of saying, "I made meringue shells myself!" If you've never made meringue before, this recipe may freak you out, but you can do it! This recipe is not complicated. All it takes is the ability to focus and follow these directions closely. So minimize the distractions, keep your confidence up, and try it out!

NOTE: It's true that meringue is easier to make on a sunny day. Rainy weather can ruin your meringue for some reason.


* * * * *

Preheat oven to 275 degrees F.

Beat egg whites until frothy and add lemon juice. I use a copper liner bowl inside my mixer bowl to double the volume of the finished/beaten whites. Beat until the whites reach soft peaks (i.e. you pull out a spoon or spatula from them and they stand up slightly on their own). Now gradually beat in the sugar. Continue beating until the mixture is stiff and glossy and the sugar is well blended. It's beautiful at this point, isn't it? You're doing great!

OK...you're ready to make those shells now. Just drop 8 dollops of meringue in select spots on flattened heavy brown paper (I cut my paper grocery shopping bags and place the paper, upside down, one layer only, on top of my baking sheet). You shape each dollop into a shell with the back of a spoon. You can get creative and make other shapes for other occasions, once you get the hang of this basic method. There should be room for 8 circles on your paper. You can plan ahead and draw 8 circles before you place your dollops if you want to.

Bake for 60 min. Turn off oven and leave inside until the shells cool off.

* * * * *

Now for the incredible lemon custard filling!


Beat yolks until thick and lemon colored. Beat in sugar gradually. Blend in lemon juice and zest. The zest will increase the zing of this dessert and make your guests pucker up for sure!

Cook this mixture over hot water until thickened. I use a double boiler with a little water in the bottom pan and the mixture in the top pan. Stir until it thickens. This takes between 5 and 8 minutes. Then let the mixture cool.

* * * * *

Last piece and you're done with the masterpiece!

Whip whipping cream until stiff, but don't let it turn to butter or you'll have to get another box and start over.

* * * * *

Assembly...

Place the cooled meringue shells on a dessert tray or in a serving dish. Spread half the whipped cream on the cooled shells. Cover the cream with Lemon Custard filling. Top with the remaining whipped cream. Chill this in the fridge for about 12 hours or overnight. I cover it after it's set for an hour or so. If you have some nicely covered dish, that would be perfect.

Tada! You did it! I knew you could! You have 8 servings to please palates. Now, if -- just if -- by some outside chance something didn't work about this dessert, let me know and we'll figure it out together. If nothing else, we can blame the weather. You go to the head of the class for even trying. As my Great Aunt Aves would say, "Bless its heart!"

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