Ever since New Years Eve, where I served this for dessert, I have been dreaming about meringue. In fact, every time I come by a bakery the meringues catch my eyes. Not the croissants, not the cream buns, not the danishes. No, the simple crispy meringue. Just waiting to be eaten as is, or crumbled on top of desserts. It’s a great excuse to eat sugar in its almost pure form. And a bit more grown-up than eating sticky pink candy floss (although yay for summer fun fairs).
Cravings shall not go unfed in my household. So, to make up for the grey, cloudy and cold rainy weather that is Denmark in February, I decided to make the sun come to me. In the form of tropical flavours. I paired the sweet crisp and chewy vanilla meringue with a tart mango and lime curd. For even more beachy dreamy feels, I sprinkled coconut and lime zest on top.
Meringue is actually really easy to make and not very intimidating, if you follow the directions. But please don’t be like me and use a hand blender with a whisk that is going to break in the middle of everything, splashing egg whites on the floor, your clothes, the walls, your eyes. Also it really hurts your hand when the metal wires snap. But then I learned that, and also that making meringue in the food processor is not worth it. At all. Please just use a good electric hand mixer.
VANILLA MERINGUE WITH MANGO & LIME CURD
Makes 6 servings
FOR THE MANGO & LIME CURD:
120 g (1/2 cup + 2 tbsp) sugar
Juice of 2 limes
3 egg yolks (see notes)
50 g (3,5 tbsp) cold butter, cubed
FOR THE VANILLA MERINGUE:
(very slightly adapted from here)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp distilled white vinegar
170 g (3/4 cup) granulated sugar
½ tbsp cornstarch
4 egg whites
Juice of half a lemon
- FOR THE MANGO & LIME CURD: Peel and cut the mango into cubes. Puree in a blender. Strain the puree through a fine meshed sieve.
- In a small saucepan combine sugar, lime juice and egg yolks. Heat it up on the stove at low-medium heat, while whisking gently. Don’t let it come to a boil. When it starts to thicken a little, add in the mango puree and butter cubes.
- Continue whisking until everything is combined and the butter has melted. The curd should start to thicken. Keep on heat, while still whisking, until it comes to a boil. Let it boil for 20 seconds. Remove from heat. It should have a consistency of slightly thinner crème pâtissière. While it cools it will thicken even more.
- Let cool completely.
- FOR THE VANILLA MERINGUE: Heat the oven to 125°C (255 Fahrenheit).
- In a small bowl mix together the vanilla and vinegar.
- In another bowl combine the sugar and cornstarch.
- Combine the egg whites and lemon juice in a large mixing bowl. With an electric hand mixer, whisk until the mixture holds soft peaks.
- Slowly, while whisking, add in the sugar/cornstarch mix, 1 tablespoon at a time, increasing the speed to maximum at the end.
- Whisk until the mixture is glossy and makes stiff peaks.
- Add in the vanilla and vinegar and whisk until combined, a few seconds.
- On a baking tray lined with parchment paper, divide the meringue and form into 6 circles with a spoon, working quickly so as to not disturb the mixture.
- Bake in the oven for approx. 60 minutes. They are done when they are a little cracked, slightly brown and hollow when tapped.
- Cool completely.
- TO SERVE: With the back of a spoon, carefully make an indentation in the meringue, spoon over the mango & lime curd, sprinkle with coconut and lime zest. Voila!
Notes: • Both the meringue and mango & lime curd can be made in advance – up to several days. Store the curd in the refrigerator and the meringues in an airtight container. • The recipe for the mango & lime curd will make more than you need for this recipe, but is delicious on toast, on ice cream and just eaten with a spoon. • Use whole eggs; you will need three yolks for the mango & lime curd, save the egg whites for the meringues.