Mini Lemon Meringue Whoopie Pies with Lemon Curd Filling
Inspired by lemon meringue pie, I added brown sugar to these meringues to approximate the pie’s toasty flavor. A half recipe of Lemon Curd will leave you with three egg whites, just the right amount for a batch of these meringues.
After assembling them, I recommend letting the cookies sit for several hours at room temperature or—better yet—overnight after assembling them; the texture approximates something between the pie that inspires them and the spongy, cakelike texture of a traditional whoopie pie. And it only gets better, if you can make them last.
Makes about 2 dozen whoopie pies
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You Will Need
Makes about 11/3 cups curd
Prepare a water bath for the curd: Fill a medium pan with a few inches of water and bring the water to a simmer. Keep the water simmering over low heat while you cook the curd.
In a nonreactive bowl that is small enough to fit inside the pan with the water, whisk together the sugar, zest, and egg yolks. (Do this quickly: if you wait, the mixture will coagulate.) Place the bowl over the pan and whisk continuously until the sugar dissolves. Add the lemon juice and, still whisking, cook for about 5 minutes, until the mixture begins to thicken very slightly. Add the butter and salt, then switch to a spatula and stir constantly until the mixture is thick and opaque, with a consistency between yogurt and sour cream, about 10 more minutes. The curd will register approximately 170 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer.
Strain the curd through a fine-mesh sieve into a clean bowl and cover with plastic wrap, placing it directly on the surface to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
Put the granulated and brown sugars in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse in short bursts until they are well incorporated and finely ground. Set aside.
Put the egg whites in the clean, dry bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, or a clean, dry bowl that can be used with an electric handheld mixer. (If there’s even a speck of egg yolk, oil, or water in the bowl or the whites, they won’t stiffen.) Begin mixing on medium-low speed. When the whites are frothy, add the cream of tartar and salt and continue beating for about 2 minutes, or until the whites are thick and foamy. Increase the speed to medium-high and add the sugar mixture slowly, about 1 tablespoon at a time. When all the sugar is incorporated, increase the speed to high, whipping until stiff, shiny peaks form, about 10 minutes. Add the vanilla and beat until just blended, about 5 seconds.
Spoon the meringue into a pastry bag fitted with a plain ½-inch tip or a ziplock bag with one corner snipped off. Hold the bag perpendicular to the baking sheets and pipe small flat disks, about 1¼ inches in diameter and ¼ inch high. Bake until the meringues are dry and crisp, about 1½ hours. Turn off the oven and leave them there to cool completely.
To assemble the cookies, arrange half of the meringues flat side up on a baking sheet. Put the chilled curd in a clean pastry bag fitted with a plain ½-inch tip or another ziplock bag with one corner snipped off. Pipe about 2 teaspoons onto each meringue. Gently press the remaining meringues flat side down onto the curd. As they sit, the meringues will become softer and chewier.