Sometimes something kind of remarkable results from failure. Such was the case for my lilac meringues with fresh lemon curd. Heavenly, cloud-like lilac infused glory with luscious lemony curd. Who would think now that my first lilac recipe trial was a literal and figurative flop? We are talking blooper-reel style fail…
It has been an unseasonably cool spring here in the Willamette Valley, and all the plants seem to be bit sleepy. Just now the lilacs are starting to bloom and scent the air with their delightful aroma. I had been waiting, not so patiently, for the first cluster to burst open so that I could make a lilac infused flan with lilac syrup. Good intentions here, folks. Here’s the thing – I am kinda cocky about custards. Like, I rarely have one that doesn’t work. Hazards of being an egg and raw milk farmer – you learn quickly how to creatively deal with spring surpluses. But, it didn’t work this time… Perhaps it was the fact that I was attempting to make a LARGE amount of custard to feed 15, perhaps it was my choices in Bundt pan (baaaaad idea), perhaps it was my not-so-consistent oven, perhaps I should have chilled it longer. Regardless, upon turning my flan out onto the serving platter, it literally flopped. In no way did the resulting custard resemble the shape of the pan – or anything really. Just an oozing mass of undeniably good tasting, but ugly as a salt dissolved slug, custard.
There were almost tears.
Well, I gave myself a day or two to recover from the lilac custard miss and decided it was time to try something different. Lilac meringues seemed like a perfect way to capture the essence of the spring blossoms, and lemon curd because, well, lemon curd. And, oh my goodness people, this lilac recipe was NOT a flop. In fact, the lilac meringues with lemon curd were gobbled up in record time. There are already several insists that I make another batch. One of my daughters even made sure the recipe was “going on the blog” after her first bite. They were sooooooo good.
It should go without saying – harvest lilac blossoms from spray free areas and the fresher your eggs the better your results. These are perfect for a brunch, dessert, a baby shower, Mother’s Day, Mayday/Beltane – or even Easter. They do resemble a sunny-side- up eggs, after all. Whatever the occasion, I encourage you to make more than own batch. You’ll want more.
Lilac Meringues with Lemon Curd Recipe
Lilac Meringues with Lemon Curd
Lilac meringues with lemon curd are a delightful springtime treat perfumed with the aroma of the lovely purple blossoms. Perfect for celebrating spring!
- 3 egg whites room temperature
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup lilac blossoms
- 6 egg yolks
- 3/4 cup lemon juice fresh
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons lemon zest
- 1/2 cup butter
In a food processor, pulse lilac blossoms (free of green stem) and sugar until the mixture is pale purple. Set aside.
In an immaculately clean bowl, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Start adding lilac sugar mixture one tablespoon at a time, whipping again until stiff peaks are formed after each addition.
Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Drop meringues by the spoonful into 12 roughly equal mounds. Using the back of a spoon, create a depression or "well". Bake in a preheated oven at 250 degrees (F) for approximately one hour or until the meringues are firm and lift away from parchment with ease. Cool completely.
To make Lemon Curd: Place egg yolks, lemon juice, lemon zest, sugar, and butter in a small saucepan. Over medium heat, and stirring constantly, cook until mixture thickens. A whisk moving through the mixture should leave a slight "trace". (This usually takes me a cautious 15-20 of vigilant attention).
Once the lemon mixture is adequately thickened, remove from heat and pass through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl to remove zest and any "cooked" egg. Place a layer of parchment or plastic wrap directly on the warm curd and refrigerate until the curd is cold.
Spoon chilled curd into cooled meringues and serve. (Note: depending on the depth of depression in the meringues, you may a small amount of extra curd -- this is not a problem for most 😉 )