These Lemon meringue cups will put all of your other summer desserts to shame.
For the lemon curd
3 large eggs, plus one yolk
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1″ chunks at room temperature
zest of 1 whole lemon
1. Place the eggs, the yolk, sugar and lemon juice in a medium size heat-resistant (stainless steel or glass) bowl and whisk the ingredients together.
2. Next, place the bowl over a low simmering pot of water. Using your whisk, you will constantly stir the mixture until it begins to thicken to the consistency of pudding. This took me about 11 minutes. If you have a candy thermometer that will be helpful as you want the mixture to reach 160 degrees F.
3. Once the mixture is thickened, remove it from the heat. Pour the mixture from the one bowl, through a fine mesh sieve to remove lumps, into another bowl. Add the room temperature butter and stir until all the butter has melted. Then add the lemon zest and stir until incorporated.
4. Cover the surface of the curd with plastic wrap so a skin does not form on the curd, and place it in the refrigerator to cool for 2 hours or over night.
Makes 2 cups lemon curd For the crust
3 graham crackers
1/4 cup sliced almonds (optional)
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 – 1 1/2 tablespoons, unsalted butter, melted
Place the graham crackers, almonds and sugar in the bowl of a food processor, and process until you have crumbs. Alternately, you can crush these ingredients inside a plastic bag using a rolling pin. Transfer to a small bowl and add the melted butter, stirring to moisten the cracker mixture. Meringue Frosting
4 egg whites
1 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1. You will need an electric mixer to make this frosting, and make sure the metal bowl is free of any grease since you are adding egg whites. Place the egg whites, the sugar and the cream of tartar in the metal bowl.
2. Place the metal bowl on top of a simmering pot of water, but make sure the bowl is not touching the water, the steam from the water will heat the bowl.
3. Gently whisk the mixture until it is hot to the touch, or when a candy thermometer reads 140 degrees. (60 degrees celsius).
4. Next, using the whisk attachment on your mixer, you will add the vanilla and beat the mixture on medium-high speed for about 5-8 minutes until the frosting holds medium peaks when lifted from the bowl.
5. If you have a kitchen torch, you can lightly toast the surface of the meringue by moving the flame continuously in small circles over the surface until the frosting is lightly browned.
To Assemble: Spoon the crumbs into the bottom of the shot glass (I used a funnel to keep the sides of the glass clean). Using a large round tip and a piping bag, pipe the lemon curd on top of the crumbs. Using a large star tip and a piping bag, pipe a layer of meringue on top of the curd. Repeat two more layers. If you have a kitchen torch, you can toast the meringue. Add a small wedge of lemon for garnish.