Saturday, 8 March 2014

Lemon curd & basil meringues {Recipe}

When life gives you lemons....make lemon curd, not lemonade. Curd is by far the more valuable commodity, I often get suckered into paying $15 for a teensy tiny jar in a deli because I really really love it.
lemon curd jar recipe homemade

A recent visit to my favourite animal rescue to drop off some donated food and towels yielded a huge bag of lemons. Having recently read Cider With Rosie's post on seville orange curd I was inspired. I have made lemon curd before but I remember it being a huge hassle whereas Rosie's recipe looked pretty approachable.

But what to do with the leftover egg whites?

Again, blogs to the rescue. Thoroughly English did a post recently using the Meringue Girls recipe that reminded me how much I like meringue (PS. even if you have no intention of making these click on the like to Thoroughly English's meringues because that is some super-hot food styling). Plus I remembered a conversation with a dear buddy about an amazing basil and raspberry macaron she ate in Paris.

You will need:
For the curd (directly from Cider With Rosie)
200ml citrus juice
125g unsalted butter cut into cubes
400g sugar
2 eggs plus 2 egg yolks beaten
2-3 jars for storing (see below)

For the meringue
2 egg whites (leftover from the curd)
about 120-160g caster sugar (explained later)
Fresh basil leaves (about 5-6 leaves)

Raspberries (thaw carefully if frozen)
Ice cream

Set up a bain marie- about an inch of water in a small saucepan with a heatproof bowl on top.
Turn the hotplate to a medium heat
Add juice, sugar and butter to the bowl and stir until butter has just melted and mixture is smooth
Turn the heat off and allow to cool a minute or two so that you don't scramble the eggs
Gradually whisk in the eggs and turn the heat back on to low-medium.
Cook your curd, stirring occasionally for about 15 minutes until it thickens to the desired consistency (it will thicken further as it cools).

While you are doing this wash and rinse your jars well in very hot water. Line a baking tray with a tea towel and place the jars upside down before putting them in a hot (200C) oven for 15 minutes. Allow them to cool very slightly (so that you don't burn yourself) before filling them with hot curd. Put the lid on straight away and allow to cool before storing them in the fridge (for up to 2 weeks- if it lasts that long.....)

Weigh your egg whites and place in the bowl of an electric mixer (the Meringue Girls specify non-plastic).
Weigh out twice as much caster sugar (my egg whites weighed 80g so I used 160g caster sugar).
Line a baking tray with baking paper and tip on the sugar. Heat sugar in a 200C oven for about 5 minutes while you whisk the egg whites.
Starting the mixer on low gradually increase the speed and whisk until stiff peaks form.
Remove the sugar from the oven and reduce to 100C
Add the hot sugar to the mixer bowl, 1 large spoonful at a time and continue mixing until thick and glossy.

Make sure your knife is sharp before very finely chopping the basil. You want little flecks on green, not big chucks of bruised leaf. Leave this step til the last minute so the oils are fresh and the basil doesn't turn brown.
Once the meringue is glossy done throw the basil in for about 2 seconds just to mix it through.

Line baking trays with baking paper and pipe or drop spoonfuls of mixture onto the tray.

Cook the meringues for 1 hour if you like them slightly moist in the middle or 1.5 hours if you prefer them dry and crisp all the way through.
Leave them in the oven as it cool for another 3 hours.

Even though my meringues don't look like they contain basil, the flavour is quite intense so be careful not to overdo it.

There was some warm lemon curd that wouldn't fit in the jars so I had to eat it...

My colourful little Paris-inspired creation (they had neapolitan swirl ice cream on special at the supermarket:)

This is how thick the curd gets once it is refrigerated. Perfect for spreading on toast or dolloping on hot cross buns- try it!
Photo-bombed by Ted.


  1. Beautiful rich looking curd and pretty meringues (and that dessert looks amazing). I love lemon stuff, lately I can't get enough of it.

    1. I know! I have become addicted to lemon curd dolloped through greek yoghurt- only half a jar left sadly.


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