What do you see? Meringue cookies with lemon curd and a few poppy seeds sprinkled on top OR fried eggs with a bit of pepper? If you're a 6 year old boy you would see something "gross" and you'd run away as fast as you could. If you're a 2 year old girl you might say, "Dat's yucky" and then ask to watch Sponge Bob. My grandkids are just right of extremely picky!
Egg whites are beaten until stiff and glossy with lemon zest for a bright, refreshing flavor...and then they're baked in a very slow oven for 1 1/2 hours before the heat is turned off and they're left in the oven for a few more hours until they are dry and crisp.
Once they are completely cooled, they're ready to fill with purchased lemon curd and then you can let your bunnies sprinkle on the poppy seeds...these are perfect for an Easter Brunch - they're light, crisp and lemon-y...delicious!
This recipe makes about 24, depending on how big you make your meringues. I tried to keep them about the size of a fried egg - that was my guideline. I only used one jar of lemon curd, but bought a second jar because I'll be making more of these soon!
Lemon Meringue Nests - Adapted From Martha Stewart Living Magazine, April 2014
6 large egg whites, room temperature
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup superfine sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoons grated lemon zest
1 jar (11.3 oz.) Lemon Curd
poppy seeds, for sprinkling
Zip-lock style plastic bag
Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Cover two baking sheets with parchment paper, set aside. Beat egg whites, lemon juice, and vanilla on medium-low until soft peaks form, about 4 minutes. Reduce speed to low and gradually add sugar. Increase speed to high and beat until stiff, glossy peaks form, about 3 minutes. Sprinkle cornstarch over bowl and fold into whites with lemon zest.
Spoon meringue mixture into a Zip-lock style plastic bag, snip off a little less than 1/2-inch from the corner. Gently squeeze out a circle of meringue, about 3 to 4-inches in diameter. Smooth with the back of a spoon and gently make a small indentation in the center. Repeat with remaining meringue. Bake for 1 hour at 200 degrees, then turn off oven and leave meringues in oven for 3 to 4 hours or until they are dried and are firm enough to pull of baking sheet easily. Let cool completely before filling with lemon curd and sprinkling with poppy seeds.