Giant Meringues Filled with Lemon Curd

  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 11 hr 5 min
  • Prep: 25 min
  • Inactive: 9 hr
  • Cook: 1 hr 40 min
  • Yield: 12 servings
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Lemon Curd: 

4 large eggs

1 cup sugar

Finely grated zest of 3 lemons

3/4 cup fresh lemon juice

Small pinch citric acid

10 1/2 ounces (2 sticks plus 5 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes


4 egg whites, at room temperature

1 cup extra-fine sugar (you can make your own by grinding granulated sugar in a food processor)

2 teaspoons cornstarch

1 teaspoon white vinegar

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract (or 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste)


  1. For the lemon curd: In a heatproof bowl set over boiling water, whisk the eggs, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice and citric acid together. Continue cooking, whisking constantly, until the mixture reaches 180 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer. Remove from the heat and strain through a sieve. Transfer the mixture to a blender and let cool to 140 degrees F. With the blender running, add the butter, piece by piece. Blend at high speed for 5 minutes. Chill 8 hours or overnight. 
  2. For the meringues: Heat the oven to 250 degrees F (225 degrees F if you have a convection oven). Line two sheet pans with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.  
  3. In a stand mixer fitted with the whip attachment, beat the egg whites on low to medium-low speed until they form soft peaks, 2 to 3 minutes. Increase the speed to medium and beat in the sugar 1 teaspoon at a time. Beat until the mixture is glossy and thick; it will resemble marshmallow cream. 
  4. Remove the bowl from the mixer and scrape any meringue off the whisk. Sift the cornstarch over the meringue, add the vinegar and vanilla, and gently fold until everything is incorporated. 
  5. Dip a very large spoon into warm water. Let excess water drip off, then scoop into the meringue. Drop the meringue onto one of the prepared pans; the shape of the spoon is oval, so when you place the meringue on the sheet pan, it should resemble a jumbo egg. Continue scooping, rinsing the spoon in warm water after every scoop for neat, smooth meringues. 
  6. Bake the meringues until they are very light and dry and easily lift off the pan, at least 90 minutes. If they start to color slightly, lower the oven by at least 25 degrees F. Don't rush the meringues; when in doubt, leave them in longer. Turn off the oven (don't open the door). Let the meringues cool slowly in the oven for 30 to 40 minutes. Remove the pans from the cool oven. The meringues are ready to be filled when totally cooled. 
  7. Fit a piping bag with a doughnut-filling tip or a plain number 5, 6 or 7 tip. Fill the bag with lemon curd. Flip each egg over and, with a melon baller, make a hole just large enough for the tip of the piping bag to fit. Squeeze the filling into an egg just until you can see that it's starting to come out. Flip the egg onto a serving platter. Continue until all the eggs are filled. 
  8. Top off the eggs with fresh berries, berry sorbet or fresh passion fruit seeds.

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