Crunchy, airy meringue shells make these dessert tarts unique. Fill with a mix of brightly colored preserves or citrus curd for a beautiful presentation.
INGREDIENTS | SERVES 12
- 4 egg whites, room temperature
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla or almond extract
- ½ cup lemon curd
- ½ cup raspberry preserves
- ½ cup apricot preserves
- >½ cup cherry preserves
Beat egg whites with a mixer at medium speed until foamy. Add salt and cream of tartar. Add sugar, a spoonful at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla or almond extract.
When all ingredients have been incorporated, turn mixer to high speed and beat egg whites until glossy. Mixture should form stiff peaks when beaters are pulled from the bowl.
Line a baking sheet with nonstick foil. Spoon meringue onto the foil, making 24 mounds. With the back of a spoon, make an indentation in the center of each mound.
Bake meringues at 250ºF for 1 hour or until opaque and firm. Turn off oven, but do not open oven door. Leave meringues in oven for 2–3 hours after baking.
Carefully remove meringues to a serving platter. Just before serving, spoon lemon curd and preserves into the indentations, making 6 of each flavor.
If you're handy with cake-decorating bags and tips, you can always pipe meringue circles onto the foil, being careful to fill the bottom and build up the sides. Bake as directed in the recipe for beautiful, professional-looking shells.