Meringues are a lovely light and elegant way to finish any meal and they are so easy to make. I call them vanilla clouds for the obvious reason that that’s exactly what they resemble – beautiful white clouds that are crisp on the outside and deliciously soft and chewy in the middle. This is my classic recipe for meringues which I always use – I just vary the toppings. For this lovely light Spring version the meringues are topped with soft and perfectly whipped cream rippled with lemon curd and a little limoncello – delicious!
4 egg whites
225g/ 8oz caster (superfine) sugar
2 tsp cornflour
1 tsp white vinegar
few drops of vanilla extract
250ml double or whipping cream
½ – 1 tsp sugar
4 tbsp lemon curd
1 tbsp limoncello
Preheat the oven to 225F/ 110C. Line 2 baking trays with parchment paper and set aside.
In a very clean mixing bowl whisk the egg whites until stiff (you should be able to hold them over your head and they won’t fall out!). Slowly add in the sugar and continue to whisk until they are very stiff and glossy. Sift in the cornflour then add the vinegar and vanilla and carefully fold in.
Using a large metal spoon carefully put spoonfuls of the meringue onto the baking sheets making sure to leave room in between each one. Using the back of the spoon, swirl the meringues slightly so they resemble beautiful, bright white clouds.
Bake in the oven for about 1 hour 15 minutes until they are crisp on the outside and lift easily from the parchment paper. Turn the oven off then leave the meringues to cool completely before removing.
Just before serving whip the cream with the sugar until soft peaks form. In a small bowl mix together the lemon curd and limoncello until well mixed and the lemon curd has thinned a little. Add ¾ of the lemon curd mixture to the cream and gently fold through.
When ready to serve put the meringues onto a large serving plate then spoon the cream mixture over the top. Drizzle over the last of the lemon curd and using the end of a spoon gently cut through the cream to create a ripple effect. Serve at once for a deliciously light and zesty dessert.
*If you like, scatter over some fresh raspberries for an extra special touch.