Lemon Meringue Cream Puffs
The perfect balance between tart and sweet, these puffs are such a lovely spring pastry. They would make a great addition to any tea party (virtual, of course) or--how impressed would Mom be if these showed up on her porch for Mother's Day! The lemon curd filling is the same recipe that Carolee used in the Cadbury Cookie Recipe last week that was given to her by her Mom so you're already familiar with that one.
The most difficult task on this one will be piping the pastry to the right size but Carolee has done such a great job explaining and I--well, I believe in you! You got this!
Lemon Meringue Cream Puffs
2 large eggs plus 1 large egg white
6 tablespoons water
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 10 pieces
2 tablespoons whole milk
1 1/ 2 teaspoons granulated white sugar
1/ 4 teaspoon salt
1/ 2 cup (2 1/ 2 ounces) all-purpose flour
1/ 2 cup Lemon Curd Cream (homemade or store-bought)
1 cup Whipping Cream
Egg white meringue
3 pastry piping bags, assorted tips (3/ 8”-1/ 2” round, large star, leaf )
Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 425 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Fit pastry bad with 1/ 2-inch round tip. Beat eggs and white together in 2-cup liquid measuring cup. Set aside.
Bring water, butter, milk, sugar and salt to boil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Remove saucepan from heat and stir in flour until combined and mixture clears sides of pan. Return saucepan to low heat and cook, stirring constantly and using smearing motion until mixture looks like shiny, wet sand and tiny beads of fat appear on bottom of saucepan, about 3 minutes (mixture should register 175 to 180 degrees).
Immediately transfer hot mixture to food processor (or a mixmaster with paddle attachment) and process (mix on medium speed) for 10 seconds to cool slightly. With processor running, gradually add beaten eggs in steady stream and process until incorporated, about 30 seconds. Scrape down sides of bowl, process until smooth, thick, sticky paste forms about 30 seconds.
Fill pastry bag with warm mixture and pipe onto 5-inch logs (do this slowly and with strong controlled pressure so that the “finger” is 1”- 1 1/4” wide. Otherwise your piped dough will be too skinny and you’ll end up with fingers instead of logs), space about 2 inches apart, in two rows on a prepared sheet (you should have about 18 logs and you may need 2 sheets to keep spacing even). Bake for 15 minutes; then, without opening oven door, reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees and continue to bake until golden brown and fairly firm (cheese puffs should not be soft and squishy), 8 to 10 minutes longer.
*Note: Instead of fingers, these can be piped into the rounds instead. Follow instructions from the savoury gougeres puff recipe.
Remove sheet from oven and cut 3/4-inch slit into side of each cheese puffs with paring knife to release steam. Return puffs to oven, turn off oven, and prop oven door open with handle of wooden spoon. Let puffs dry until centers are just moist (but not wet) and surfaces are crisp, about 45 minutes.
1 cup sugar
1/ 4 cup butter
3 - 4 eggs
2 lemons - grated rind & juice
Beat all ingredients together and cook in double.
Store in jar in fridge.
The above is my mom’s recipe as written out for me in a little cook book she made for me when I left home. I guess you could say her recipes are open to interpretation and she obviously feels this combination of ingredients is good for your health! Okay….
Sugar means white sugar
Butter means, unsalted
3 - 4 eggs, well...this recipe will work with either 3 whole eggs, 4 whole eggs. The last time I made it I needed to use up some egg yolks so I used 4 egg yolks and 1 whole egg. It still works without adjusting any of the other quantities.
Zest lemons first with a fine greater & then juice them.
Except: “Cook in double” means cook in a double boiler pot assembly. Which no one has anymore… Put a large bowl (either glass or metal) over a small pot with just about an 1” of water in the bottom. Make sure the bottom of the bowl is not touching the water. Put all the ingredients in the bowl and whisk to combine. On low heat, bring the mixture to a gently boil, whisking constantly until the mixture is thickened. Should take about 10-15 minutes. Transfer to a jar , allow to cool and keep refrigerated until needed.
Egg White Meringue
2 egg whites
½ cup white sugar
1/ 4 teaspoon cream of tartar
Pinch of salt
1/ 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
In an electric mixer with whip attachment, beat whites until stiff. Add salt, cream of tartar and vanilla. While mixing on high speed begin adding sugar a teaspoon at a time until whites are glossy and marshmallow like. When you pinch the mixture and rub between your fingers you shouldn’t feel the granules of sugar. If you do, keep mixing until you can’t feel them. This should take about 10 minutes.
Set aside until ready to pipe.
When puffs have cooled slice an opening in one end of the puff.
Whip the cream until stiff, fold in the lemon curd. Fill a pastry piping bag fitted with a long, round tip and insert the piping tip into the hole at the one end of the puff. Squeeze the bag and fill until you feel resistance from the filling. Repeat with remaining puffs.
With your tip of choice (star, round or leaf), fill another piping bag with the egg white meringue. Pipe meringue onto top of puff in a pattern of your choice. You can always practice on a wax or parchment paper to achieve desired design/pattern. With a kitchen torch, brown the meringue...without burning. If you don’t have a torch, you can also use the broil feature on your oven or toaster oven but watch carefully! Remove quickly. Serve!
***For a simpler presentation, skip the meringue step and sprinkle the cream filled puffs with icing sugar.