Experimental Blue Meringues and Luscious Lemon Curd

Ok, so they’re not brilliantly blue, more of a slaty grey but cut them open and they reveal a deep purply-blue courtesy of a couple of spoonfuls of that old favourite of mine, ground freeze-dried blueberries. If you bought some to make the Blueberry Swirl Cupcakes a while back, and have it sitting in your cupboard, here is a great way to use some more of it. You could use any freeze-dried fruit powder to colour and flavour your meringues to whatever whim you may have.

I was utterly inspired to make these meringues after lusting over some on SweetCraving blog, They just looked so fabulous, I just had to do some experimenting. We found ourselves house sitting in Lancashire this week, on a farm. We don’t need to look after the cows or sheep, just a small flock of ornamental Old English Game hens to feed and let in/out. Our reward, of course, are wonderfully fresh eggs which need collecting every day. The eggs are petite and white, so pretty. A self-replenishing supply of eggs, perfect for a meringue experiment!

I wanted to colour and flavour the meringues with the freeze-dried blueberry powder but my concern, and the reason why it was an experimental bake, was that I wasn’t sure it would work. I have tried, and failed on a number of counts, to make blueberry macarons with the powder. I just couldn’t get them to work, my thinking was that the powder was acidic {?} and caused the meringue to stay too soft and chewy. When I took these out of the oven, well Aga, I seemed to get the same result, most of the meringues came away from their bases as I lifted them off the tray {one tray performed better than the other however}. They were still quite wet inside. I wrapped the meringues in a clean tea towel and placed them onto the warm lid of the simmering plate on the Aga and left them overnight. When I came down and checked them in the morning they were perfectly dried out inside, hoorah, success! Had I used a modern oven, at a lower temperature for longer, I may have had better results on taking them out of the oven. The original recipe is from BBC Goodfood, you can follow that here.

Meringues, being just sugar and egg white, left me with a number of egg yolks. Lemon curd was the obvious solution, not just to use the yolks but also to fill the meringues. And how fabulous does that glorious yellow curd look against the grey-blue meringues?

For the Meringues.

oven 140 C / gas 1 / Aga simmering oven lowest shelf

two baking sheets / Aga cold plain shelf  lined with parchment

makes 8 to 10 {two meringues sandwiched together}

  • 4 free-range egg whites
  • 200 g golden caster sugar
  • 1 and 1/2 tbsp ground freeze-dried blueberry powder

To sandwich,

  • Lemon Curd {see below}
  • double or whipping cream

Place the egg whites into a large, clean, grease-free bowl and whisk them up with an electric mixer until you have soft peaks, add the sugar a dessertspoonful at a time, whisking in thoroughly between each spoon.  Once all the sugar has been added continue whisking until it is stiff and glossy. Sprinkle in the blueberry powder and give it a final whisk, and watch your glossy egg transform into a gorgeous purple.

Use a couple of tablespoons to shape the meringue onto your baking sheets, ‘quenelle’ style. You should get around 18- 20, depending how big you make them. Pop them into your oven and bake for 1 and 1/2 hours, you should be able to lift them off the tray once they are cooked. Leave them in the oven {now switched off}, with the door ajar for half hour or so to dry out,maybe even overnight. If you have the luxury of an Aga, do what I did and wrap in a tea towel and leave to dry out on the lid of the simmering plate.

For the Luscious Lemon Curd.

{based on Mary Berry’s recipe in The Aga Book}

  • 100 g unsalted butter
  • 200 g golden caster sugar
  • 3 unwaxed lemons, finely zested and the juice squeezed out
  • 3 free-range egg yolks and 1 free-range egg, or 3 free-range eggs, beaten

Place the butter and sugar into a bowl resting over a small pan of gently simmering water. Allow the butter to melt, stirring occasionally. Once the butter and sugar has melted together add the lemon zest and juice along with the eggs. Give it all a really good stir to combine then let it gently cook for 25-30 minutes. Give it a stir every now and again, it should begin to thicken.

Once the curd is thick, I like to sieve it into a jug to get it really smooth but it’s not absolutely necessary. Pour it into a hot jar, you should have enough to fill an average jam jar with a bit left over for your meringues. I don’t worry too much about sterilizing the jar as it never lasts long enough for mould to be remotely a problem! Keep it in the fridge however.

Whip up some double or whipping cream to sandwich your meringues along with a spoonful of curd, perfect. Eat as soon as possible else the cream and curd softens the meringue.

9 Responses

  1. LornaLove says:

    oooo I gotta try these. LOVE the colour combo…blueish, greyish with the pop of yellow!

  2. These look heavenly. I love the color…

  3. zahody says:

    Great colours!

  4. cocoashutter says:

    I really like the slate grey colour. It makes it look completely unique!

  5. sweetcraving says:

    I am so glad these worked out! They look amazing and I’m really happy I inspired you as well! And can I just say, that Lemon Curd is brilliantly yellow.