We’re just two weeks away from the biggest bank holiday of the year.
Brits have been envisaging these four fantastic days for 12 whole months. You can practically smell the freedom.
Quite a few of you will be planning Sunday roasts – maybe you’re pondering which dessert to have an argument with your family over? The answer: Golden Goose Lemon Meringue Nests (possibly the most extra recipe name I’ve ever come up with).
These meringues are all about minimal effort and maximum reward. Just French meringue under softly whipped cream swirled with tart lemon curd, topped with sweet filo pastry ribbons and golden mini eggs.
I initially wanted to use shredded coconut for the nest part, but I soon realised it simply wasn’t available in the UK (if anyone finds some then please let me know!). I toyed with a few alternative nest materials until I arrived at this one – filo pastry. Simply slice it, scatter it across a baking sheet, bake it for 3 minutes and dust it with icing sugar. BAMN. Happy Easter!
Golden Goose Lemon Meringue Nests
Makes 8 meringue nests
- 4 free-range egg whites
- 225g caster sugar
- one pack of filo pastry
- 75g icing sugar
- 1 pack of mini eggs
- edible gold glitter spray (I used this one)
- 300ml double cream
- zest of a lemon
- 3 tbsp lemon curd
- Pre-heat the oven to 140ºC (fan). In a large bowl, whisk the egg whites on a high speed for 2-3 minutes until they form peaks and stay upright when you lift the whisk out of the bowl. Now turn the speed down to medium and spoon the sugar into the whites one teaspoon at a time. The whites should turn thick and glossy and be able to stand up in the bowl. If you’re feeling confident, turn the bowl upside down over your head – if you’ve whisked them enough then they should stay in the bowl!
- Line a large baking sheet with baking paper. If you’d like your meringues to be defined, then pop a large star nozzle (like this one) in a piping bag and spoon the meringue in, being careful to not knock all the air out. If you don’t have a piping bag you can always use a knife to spread the meringues into the right shape. Pipe, or spread, 8 discs on to the baking sheet which are each around 7cm in diameter. Then pipe a circle round the edge of the disc to create a side to the meringue nest.
- Bake on the low shelf of the oven for around 1 hour and 15 minutes, until the meringues lift off the baking sheet easily but are still marshmallowy inside. Once baked, pop the meringues on a cooling rack until you’re ready to use them.
- While they are cooling, turn the oven up to 160ºC (fan). Get your filo pastry out the pack but keep it in its tight roll. Then, with a really sharp knife, slice the pastry into very thin slices – no more than 3mm. You’ll probably just need a quarter of the pastry roll, but if you want to make a big centrepiece using the pastry, just cut more slices and bake them in batches.
- Separate the cut pastry slices and scatter all over a baking tray in one even layer. Bake on the top shelf of the oven for around 3 minutes until golden brown, then dust with icing sugar.
- To make the golden eggs, get two small dip bowls and add a couple of teaspoons of water to one. Working one mini egg at a time, roll the egg in the water bowl and make sure it is thoroughly coated. Blot off the excess water, then transfer the egg to the other dry bowl. Spray the egg with the gold spray powder, and roll about in the glitter until it is well covered. Then transfer onto a plate to dry until you are ready to serve.
- Make the filling by pouring the double cream into a medium bowl, but be sure to leave a little bit of cream in the pot. Whip the cream with an electric mixer for about 5 minutes on a medium speed until it is thick and just holds its shape. If you over whip it, just fold in a little of the cream that you put aside.
- Zest the lemon and stir it through the cream. Then add the lemon curd and fold into the cream just a couple of times so it creates a swirl.
- To assemble your dessert, take a meringue nest and dollop the lemon cream into the middle. Place the filo pastry on top to form a nest, then pop three of your golden eggs in the middle. Serve immediately.