Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Lemon Cloud

For my 500th post, I wanted something special. And I’m a little backed up both in the recipes I want to post and those I want to make. There is one, however, that really stood out. I got it from Baking Bites, where it was called a Lemon Meringue Roulade. While that name is more descriptive and perfectly accurate, I felt like I was eating a cloud, a delicious fluffy lemon cloud, so that’s what I’m calling it. It was great served at room temperature, but was just as great cold. You’re going to have to try this one!

The original recipe calls for lemon curd. While I have seen it sold in jars at the grocery store, the vast majority of brands had lactose. The only one that didn’t had a whole bunch of artificial preservatives and food coloring, so I can’t recommend it either. Instead, I made the curd from my lemon tart with olive oil, and I served the extra curd on the side. I liked it so much that I think that’s just how it should be served. I also skipped the powdered sugar, this really doesn’t need it. And of course, mine is a lactose-free version. The recipe might seem long, but you can do each of the three steps separately if you choose.

For the meringue
4 large egg whites, at room temperature
¼ tsp salt
1 cup sugar
1 Tbsp lemon zest

For the lemon curd
3 large lemons
¾ cup granulated sugar
2 tsp cornstarch
2 whole large eggs plus 2 large yolks
½ stick unsalted margarine, cut into ½-inch cubes
2 Tbsp fruity olive oil

For the filling
½ cup lemon curd
4 oz cream cheese substitute (such as Tofutti), at room temperature
1 cup whipping cream substitute (such as Kineret), thawed

For the meringue
Preheat oven to 325 °F. Line a 15×17-inch jelly roll pan with parchment paper and lightly grease, making sure to lightly grease the sides of the pan, too. (The jelly roll pan I used was bigger, but I just didn’t spread the meringue all the way, and not all the smoothly either, and it worked like a charm anyway.)

In a large bowl, prepare the meringue. Beat the egg whites until frothy, then increase mixer speed to high and gradually beat in the salt and sugar, beating until the mixture reaches soft peaks. Stir in lemon zest.

Spread the meringue into prepared pan in a thin, even layer. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until the meringue is light gold.

Turn the meringue out onto a wire rack lined with a clean dish towel. Peel off parchment paper and let cool completely.

For the lemon curd
Grate enough zest from lemons to measure 1 Tbsp, then squeeze ¾ cup juice from lemons.

Whisk together lemon zest and juice, sugar, cornstarch, whole eggs, and yolks in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat, whisking constantly. Boil, whisking, 2 minutes.

Remove from heat and whisk in margarine and oil until smooth. Set aside ½ cup for the filling, and reserve the rest for serving.

For the filling
Cream together the lemon curd and cream cheese substitute with a whisk until mixture is smooth. Beat whipping cream substitute to soft peaks in a small bowl, then fold into the cream cheese and lemon curd mixture.

Spread onto cooled meringue, leaving a ¼-inch border on all sides. Using the dish towel to help you handle the meringue, roll it up, starting with a short side. Don’t worry if the meringue cracks slightly during this process.

Transfer to a serving platter (refrigerate until ready to serve if necessary). Serve with a side of lemon curd.

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