Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Lemon Meringue Cups

My husband loves lemon meringue pie. I do, too, but for the past few years my pie crusts have been dismal. I have no idea what changed since I use the same recipe as I always have. But now, I try to avoid making them. Instead I came up with the idea of making the filling and  meringue in a ramekin, without the crust.

I made these for Valentine's Day dinner last night and I'll be using this idea again. On top of the lemon filling I spooned a bit of strawberry sauce to add some red colour. 

I used four 4-oz ramekins. The recipe filled them well. I found it quite a lot to eat, and next time, I'd use six 4-oz ramekins and not fill them entirely.

Lemon Meringue Cups

Lemon Filling:
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 cup water
2 egg yolks, slightly beaten
2 Tablespoons butter 
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
4 Tablespoons strawberry preserves

Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Mix sugar and cornstarch in medium saucepan. Whisk in the water. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and boils. Gradually stir in 1/2 to 1/3 of the mixture into the beaten egg yolks, whisking all the while. Return mixture to saucepan, whisk all together and boil and stir one minute. Remove from heat, stir in the lemon juice and butter. Pour into four (or six) 4 oz oven proof ramekins or custard cups. Gently spoon the strawberry preserves on top of the lemon. 

Heap meringue (recipe follows) onto filling, taking care to spread meringue right to the edges of the cup. This will prevent it from shrinking or weeping as it cools. 

Bake about 10 minutes or until a delicate brown. I found there was quite a lot of meringue and baked them for 15 minutes, watching carefully the last few minutes to ensure they didn't burn.

2 egg whites
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla

Beat egg whites and cream of tartar until foamy. Beat in sugar, 1 Tablespoon at a time; continue beating until stiff and glossy. Beat in vanilla. 

Monday, February 13, 2012

Meringue-Topped Cookies (Morkakor)

Happy Valentine's Day!

Heart-shaped cookies are a tradition in my family for Valentine's Day. Instead of my mom's usual sugar cookie recipe, this year I used a recipe from my husband's family - Morkakor. His grandfather was Swedish and these were his favourite cookies.

A buttery, crisp, almond-flavoured foundation is spread with meringue that bakes up crisp and can turn chewy if the humidity is high. They are delicious either way. The original recipe calls for the meringue to be sprinkled with chopped almonds. I used sprinkles in honour of Valentine's Day, to provide a little colour.

Morkakor (makes about 4 dozen cookies)

1 cup butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
2 egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
2 cups flour

Cream butter, add the sugar gradually and beat until fluffy. Beat in the egg yolks, one at a time, and then the almond extract. Add the flour. Form dough into a ball, chill if too soft to handle. Roll to 1/8" thickness between two sheets of parchment paper, lightly floured. Cut with a floured cutter. Place on baking sheets. Spread each cookie with meringue (recipe follows) and sprinkle with nuts or candy sprinkles. Bake at 350 degrees F for 10 minutes. The cookies should be firm and the meringue a light brown. Cool on wire racks. Store tightly covered.


2 egg whites
12 Tablespoons sugar
4 Tablespoons chopped almonds, or candy sprinkles

Beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Gradually add the sugar, and beat until the meringue is stiff but not dry. Spread on cookie bases.