lemon cream meringues

I don’t trust anyone who doesn’t like lemon curd. You, in turn, might choose not to trust anyone who makes bold, sweeping, and questionably necessary proclamations, but if I were to pick a completely superfluous soapbox to stand on, it’s currently this. Everyone loves lemon curd. The only thing better than lemon curd is lemon curd against a pillowy meringue and a plume of softly whipped cream. These three flavors together are the basis of so many desserts, including a chaotic one I call a Lemon Meringue Pie Smash in my second cookbook. It was while working on this recipe that I got my go-to lemon curd down to a simple formula that never fails, and also came to appreciate the culinary harmony of a dessert that doesn’t leave us with leftover stray egg whites or yolks.

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These meringues — which are, in fact, baby pavlovas, in that they should be crisp outside and plush inside vs. crisp all the way through — are the way I combine these flavors for guests. I started making these for Passover a few years ago and despite the fact that it was a room full of chocoholics, everyone, at least briefly, forgot chocolate existed. I haven’t stopped since. I’m not usually big on these kinds of assembled desserts; I do not have the space or patience for plating, but these actually work wonderfully for planning ahead, which is the only way to stay sane when you’re feeding a lot of people at once. You’re better off, schedule-wise, making the meringues as they need a long baking and cooling time. You might as well make the lemon curd while you’re at it, since it keeps fantastically and tastes best cooled. And if you use the Nancy Silverton trick of adding sour cream or crème fraîche to your whipped cream, it not only makes it more delicious and complex, it stabilizes the whipped cream so you can dollop it from the fridge when you’re ready, even a day or two later. I’ve served these both already assembled, as shown, and also more a-la-carte, with a big tower of meringues and spoons for serving your own curd and cream to taste. There’s never anything left.

lemon cream meringues-09

Pavlovas, previously:
chocolate pavlovamixed berry pavlova



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13 years ago: Cream Cheese Pound Cake with Strawberry Sauce and Bialys
14 years ago: Caramel Walnut Banana Upside Down Cake and Swiss Easter Rice Tart
15 years ago: Mixed Berry Pavlova


lemon cream meringues-11

Lemon Cream Meringues

  • Servings: 12 to 14
  • Source: Smitten Kitchen
  • Print
If you’re not into the whipped cream part of this, I promise that these are really excellent with fresh berries on top of the curd, too. I usually use blackberries and blueberries.
  • 4 large egg whites
  • Two pinches of salt
  • 1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch, potato starch or arrowroot powder
  • Curd
  • 2 medium/large lemons
  • 3/4 cup (150 grams) granulated sugar
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 3 tablespoons (45 grams) unsalted butter
  • Assembly
  • 1 cup (225 grams) heavy or whipping cream
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons (30 grams) sour cream or crème fraîche
  • 2 tablespoons (25 grams) granulated sugar, or more to taste
  • Fresh berries and/or powdered sugar, if you wish

Make the meringues: Heat oven to 250°F. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a small bowl, combine the salt, sugar, and cornstarch. In the large bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, or with a hand mixer, beat the egg whites on medium/low speed until they begin to thicken — they’ll look satiny and you’ll see some trails form from the beaters. Increase the speed to medium, and sprinkle the sugar-cornstarch mixture a small amount at a time with the machine running, letting it fully disappear into the egg whites for 10 to 20 seconds before adding more. Beat for another minute or two once added, then add vinegar and vanilla. Continue to whip the mixture until the egg whites are glossy, and stiff peaks form when the whisk is lifted. I do this on a lower speed than others because I find it makes a more thick, stable meringue.

Scoop meringue batter in generous 1/4-cup dollops evenly space over the two prepared trays. You should have 12. Use the back of a soup spoon to create a swooshed indentation in the center of each, perfect for puddling lemon curd. Transfer pans to the oven and bake for 35 to 45 minutes, rotating the pans once halfway for even cooking. If they seem to be browning, reduce the heat to 225 for the remaining baking time. I find that home ovens can be very inconsistent at lower temperatures so here’s what we’re looking for when they’re done: The meringues should feel firm and dry, but if pressed in the center (gently!), there should be a suggestion of softness inside. They should be easy to lift off the parchment. Turn the oven off and let them cool the rest of the way (or at least 1 hour) inside.

Make the curd: Place the sugar in a heatproof bowl that will fit over a saucepan (double-boiler style), but don’t put it on the stove yet. Finely grate the zest of both lemons into the sugar. Use your fingertips to rub them together to release the most amount of flavor from the peel. Then, add the juice of both lemons and egg yolks and whisk to combine. Set the bowl over an inch of boiling water; the bowl should not touch the water. Cook, stirring, until the mixture begins to gel or thicken until it coats the spoon or whisk (between 170 and 180°); it shouldn’t simmer. Remove from the heat, add butter and stir until it melts, and strain the curd through a fine-mesh sieve. Cover, and let it cool; it will thicken as it does.

Make the whipped cream: Beat cream at medium speed until it begins to thicken, gradually sprinkle in sugar, whipping until loose peaks form. Add vanilla and sour cream and beat until soft-to-medium peaks form.

Assemble: Place one meringue on a plate and spoon a tablespoon of lemon curd on top. Dollop with whipped cream. Finish with powdered sugar, if you wish, or berries.

Do ahead/planning: I usually make the meringues the day before or the morning of the evening I’ll need them. I usually make the lemon curd while I’m at it; it keeps for up to 1 week in the fridge. I find that I can make the whipped cream (the sour cream or creme fraiche act as a stabilizer) and store it in a covered container or jar and the next day it’s still 95% to 99% which is good enough for me and more than good enough for dolloping.

Inspiration notes: While these are SK recipes, I enjoyed visual inspiration both A Cozy Kitchen’s stunning Meringues with Citrus Curd and Fruit as well as Susan Spungen’s Mini Pavlovas with Lemon Curd and Crushed Pistachios and bet you will too.

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183 comments on lemon cream meringues

  1. k

    I love the visual, white-and-yellow connection to cultures the world over that associate eggs with spring, renewal, and survival.

  2. Madeleine Gordon

    Would it work okay to make these 3 days in advance? Or would that be too long? We always travel for Easter and it would be easier to make at home and bring with!

    1. deb

      As separate elements, I know for sure the meringues and curd will be fine. For the cream, I have had stabilized cream last 5-6 days in the fridge, but it doesn’t happen 100% of the time.

    2. Erica

      I’ve learnt the hard way that meringues will go soggy if you live in a humid climate. For an event a few years ago I made mini pavlovas a few days in advance, but it was very hot and humid. They lost their crispness and were a bit sticky.

  3. Suzanne

    This recipe sounds divine and perfect for spring (if it ever comes). Do you zest both lemons and use all the zest? And do you juice both lemons and use it all? I’ve read through four times and I’m not seeing exactly how to use the lemons, other than the mention of zest with the sugar. Just want to make sure I do it right. Thanks!

    1. deb

      Big apologies! It was not clear. I’ve updated the recipe to make clear how/when the zest and juice go in. The recipe was originally in my second cookbook where I called for “the zest and juice of 2 lemons” but I wanted to break out what that meant in this recipe. Now I have. :)

  4. Eeka

    How long do you think these would hold once assembled? I know they would be *best* served immediately after assembly – but I’d love to serve these at an open house, where they’d be on the table 1 – 1 1/2 hours. Would they look too sad? Disintegrate?
    (Allowing guests to assemble their own on demand would not be an option.)

    1. deb

      They just get softer, and not in a bad way, necessarily. Eton Mess is a great crumbled meringue, lemon, and cream dessert that plays off of this. It has a lot more to do with how the meringues were at first. If they’re a bit more dry, the sitting time could be lovely for them.

  5. Cara

    Is there anything you could use in place of white vinegar? Lemon juice maybe or another type of vinegar? Asking because I need to make these immediately and don’t have any on hand.

    1. deb

      I didn’t test it with, but I suspect lemon juice would work too, maybe go to 1.5 teaspoons. It’s also not 100% mandatory, but adding a spoonful of an acidic ingredient helps improve the meringue’s texture and stability.

  6. Judi

    These look wonderful! I, somehow, missed the Nancy Silverton tip re: sour cream! Thanks for that! I’ve done a similar, large pavlova and added slivered almonds ( Thanks, Nigella! ) They make a wonderful addition as well!

    1. Suzanne

      I have no dairy-free motives, but I actually prefer lemon curd made without any butter at all – it’s brighter and fresher tasting to me, while the texture is still smooth and creamy. Not sure how this particular recipe would taste if you just omit the butter, but you can find good no-butter recipes for citrus curds online.

    2. Erin C

      If you have access to a Trader Joe’s, the vegan butter there is by far the best I’ve ever tasted and works wonderfully in every baking/cooking recipes I’ve tried, including lemon curd.

    3. Paula J

      There is an ATK recipe for an olive oil lemon tart that uses olive oil instead of butter in both the crust and the curd. It is spectacular. It calls for 1/4 c. olive oil for 3 large eggs and 3 large yolks with 1/2 c juice. They do have 2 T flour mixed in with the sugar–not sure if that would make a difference. I haven’t tried it with this recipe, but would definitely give it a go.

  7. Barbara Heil

    I made Limoncello for Christmas and have a boatload of frozen lemon juice saved from that project, since only the zests are used for that. What are the approximate measurements to use instead of “2 or 3 large lemons?”

  8. Alexa

    Would you happen to know how many ml of lemonjuice you use for the curd? I always struggle with the question how much is enough since the lemons here vary in size and juicyness…

  9. T

    Any chance greek yogurt can swap in for the sour cream / creme fraiche as a stabilizer? It’s always in my fridge, so would prefer not to buy another option if not necessary.

  10. Mary

    Is there any reason you couldn’t make 18 or 20 smaller meringues? Something more bite size? I’m guessing it would work and the cooking time would be a little less.

  11. Angie A.

    I gasped at the photo. I’m 100% here for these and can’t wait to make them. Pavlovas are my favorite go-to dessert that always impresses, and I always wish there were more leftovers. And I’m with you on the lemon curd.

  12. Yes! Planning on making a batch of these beauties as a prize for surviving the pre-Easter business craziness. (landscaper + micro-farmer) How did you know my girls have been working overtime as well, and there are several dozen extra eggs waiting on the counter?! Thank you :D

  13. Pamela Chodosh

    Looks beautiful and scrumptious. How many Meyer lemons would replace the lemons in the recipe? Lucky enough to have hand-picked juicy ones. Thank-you.

      1. Joyce

        I made yesterday using juice of 2 Meyer lemons. The curd didn’t thicken enough so my guess is it was too much lemon juice. I think a measurement is better with varying sizes / juiciness of lemon varieties.

        1. Jen

          I really want to try your curd recipe but don’t want to risk it; I find it hard to get the right consistency without measurements for lemon zest and juice! I have some giant lemons that I thinkbwill provide btoo much juice and curd is so hard to adjust after cooking. Just a suggestion for another day ☺️

  14. Cate

    My curd isn’t thickening! It’s been in the fridge a couple of hours, tastes fantastic though. Tips to thicken? Patience? Heat with cornstarch? Gelatin? Help!

    1. deb

      It takes a while. It always takes longer than I think it will. But it will thicken. It will always, always thicken in the 170 degree-range. It doens’t thicken a *lot* on the stove. It will coat a spoon and not seem sloshy, but it won’t truly thicken until it’s fully chilled.

      1. Mary

        I was thinking about offering two types of curd with these. Do you think I can just sub in Blood orange juice for the lemon juice and create blood orange curd? How much juice do you estimate I should use?

    2. Sam

      My experience is that curd takes FOREVER to thicken on the stove. Recipes (not Deb’s!) say 5-10 minutes, but mine always takes more like an hour at least. If I’m doing something wrong, I’d love to know how to do it faster! But it does always set eventually.

      1. Catherine in Portland

        I’ve made this recipe twice, and the curd feels like a combination chemistry and alchemy test, with the temperature creeping ever so slowly up to the right range. I added a bit more flame below to boost it and it’s still 30-40 minutes. But, gotta say, it’s worth it! The tartness! My meringues with this were the star of our Passover Seder dessert table!

  15. Mary

    I made the curd and was very disappointed. It did not thicken at all. I ended up putting about 2 tablespoons into get the curd thick enough.

  16. Caroline Morris

    I make more lemon curd now I know that it’s a no-stir recipe in a pressure cooker. It’s lock it, leave it and stir in any butter at the end. It was a revelation.

    I could just eat one of these right now, possible two.

  17. taash

    This is awesome — like little lemon meringue pies! I’ve been playing with a similar concept, garnished with a graham cracker crumble (like a deconstructed graham cracker crust) but obvi not kosher for Passover.

    I am not generally a fan of sour cream garnish on desserts, so adding it to whipped cream is a solid “no” for me. That being said, I have never in my life had whipped cream break down or weep: I use confectioner’s sugar to sweeten it, not granulated. The cornstarch in the confectioner’s sugar does a wonderful job of stabilizing the whipped cream, & saves an additional step.

    I make lemon cheesecake for Passover every year, with a hazelnut- or almond-flour crust to which I add some chopped candied ginger, and topped with lemon curd. FWIW, the best recipe I have ever used for lemon curd, my go-to every year, is Paula Peck’s: it has never failed me. Family members who dislike cheesecake and won’t eat it anywhere else devour this.

  18. Tara Dal Maso

    Hello Deb,
    I was wondering what is the max time these can be left out prior to consuming without the meringues getting soft? Thank you so much I would love to make these for an event!

  19. JP

    I’ve had trouble making meringues in the past. I followed directions exactly, but when removing the meringues from the parchment, they came apart in horizontal halves! No marshmallowy insides. Dry and crunchy and very unsubstantial. Many recipes say to leave in oven until completely cooled. Have you ever experienced that? So disappointing!

    1. deb

      That might be by the design of the recipe. The super-low and very slow bake is to achieve a fully crisp meringue, the kind you might buy packaged. Pavlovas are intended to have a more mixed texture; they bake slightly warmer, slightly faster. And to go all the way up in speed and temp, you can make my mom’s chocolate chip meringues, which are super crispy and stretchy. :)

  20. Debby N

    Deb, I have been making and freezing lemon curd for several years, and have learned to freeze the egg whites too. This is the perfect opportunity to use both with a combination of wonderful flavors and textures, and as usual I thank you.

    1. Debby N

      Made em for my Passover dessert. Great recipe! While prepping the meringues, I discovered I was out of white vinegar (used for cleaning), so I used a combo of rice vinegar and apple cider vinegar. I think the acidity of the combo worked fine. This is definitely a keeper!

  21. Karen Brown

    I adore lemon curd, and as I have a prolifically fruiting Meyer lemon tree, I seem to make curd every week or two. Which is my long-windedly way of suggesting a few tricks that take curd ( any kind, grapefruit being my number one) to the next level.
    I have given up on the double-boiler method, as it requires the patience of a Saint to heat the curd to setting point. I stir constantly over medium-low heat till the mixture is looking slightly thickened, there are wisps of steam, and if you really want to be sure it’s reached setting point, an instant-read thermometer is showing 175 F. I always strain the curd, allow to cool to around 50-60F, then use a stick blender to incorporate the butter. The stick seems to emulsifie the butter that results in a curd that much silkier than just whisking the butter in.
    All that said, anyway you get a curd together and introduce it to a meringue is a fabulous idea.
    Deb, I’m forever going to use the whipped cream/ creme fraiche topping after trying it with your banana cream pie. Finally I understand why people like whipped cream, and it doesn’t go all goopy and weepy . Cheers from the edge of the map, karen

  22. Jeannie

    When the meringues sit for an hour is it in the oven? If yes then the next question is with the door open or closed? I adore lemon curd!!!

  23. Margaret

    Kicking myself because I just used 4 egg yolks and was too lazy to save the whites!! Now I’m going to have to make this recipe and waste 4 yolks!

    1. CJ

      the internet suggests that coconut oil works, and that would avoid having to find corn-free margarine. I’m going to try it and will report back.

  24. Anna Bean

    My meringue turned out perfect. The sauce thickened nicely after sitting like the recipe said. But omg. This was soooooooo sweet. I tried the meringue and curd separately/together and they were both diabetes inducing.I could only take a couple bites. They had good flavor but ill reduce the sugar next time. Thanks for the cool recipe!

    1. Lisa

      Yes, I so agree! It was gorgeous and I love the concept. But this is sweeter than I could really eat… if you discover a good alternative ratio of egg whites to sugar, please share! (I don’t know if the sugar plays a structural role?)

      1. Susan

        So elegant and delicious! The lemon curd was excellent and didn’t take too long to thicken. I used half the amount of sugar in the whipped cream. My only quibble is that it was kind of messy to eat. Perhaps my meringues were a bit too dry/tough? Otherwise, I loved it! I want to have this lemon curd in my fridge on a regular basis!

    2. Heather

      Can you please not say that something sweet is “diabetes inducing”? This comment can be offensive to people who have this autoimmune disease that is NOT caused by eating too much sugar. Appreciate your feedback on your experience with the recipe. (my daughter was diagnosed at age three)

  25. CJ

    Fantastic, just the inspiration I’ve been waiting for. I know you said you make the just a day ahead; but have you tried doing it a few days before and keeping in moistureproof container? I would dearly love to get these done a few days before seder, since you say the curd can keep for a week.

    1. deb

      Absolutely. We have a little left of everything from last week, in fact. Meringues are a bit more stale, but would not be untasty under the curd and cream. The cream is still whipped, but a little stiffer from the fridge. Still tastes like delicious whipped cream.

  26. Louise Charlotte W.

    Wow! I made this!
    First time ever making lemon curd from scratch and without cornstarch or flour to help it thicken.
    Everything came together so easily with the detailed descriptions.
    The lemon curd was delightfully tart and balanced the sweetness of the meringues perfectly. I saw that someone else thought the dessert too sweet – but I (and everyone else I served it to) did not find the dessert too sweet. Served with plain whipped cream and berries for my mum’s birthday. Everyone loved it :-)
    Thank you so much for a wonderful recipe! Another Smitten Kitchen winner

  27. fan

    LOVING your ethereally smooth hummus (via a can of chickpeas), I must ask your opinion on aguafaba for this lemon cream meringues recipe — how would you substitute?

  28. Miriam

    These look fabulous. I normally keep my pavlova a curd-free zone (pavlova is sweet enough!), but I think the trick of adding sour cream to the whipped cream would balance these beauties out. Bet it would be fantastic with passionfruit curd, too!

  29. Deborah

    Deb, Brilliant! Pavlovas! Lemon curd! Whipped cream! These look absolutely delicious! Love the spring/egg/new beginning concept, and cannot wait to make them. Also cannot wait to feel and taste all that deliciousness in my happy mouth. Another hit from the fabulous Ms. Perelman!

  30. Kristin

    With the bake time, at the top of the recipe it says two hours plus cooling, but the instructions look like 35-45 min plus cooling for an hour? Am I reading it wrong? Do I turn the temp down at the 45 min mark and bake for an additional 1.15hr?

    This looks amazing!

  31. Lyn Price

    My Great Aunt used to make these. I loved them so much and ate so many, it was always a stomach ache but worth every bite.

  32. Em

    For chocolate lovers, do you think a dark chocolate pudding would be too wet & make the meringue soggy? I think chocolate mousse might be too “airy”?

    1. Hilly Jacklin

      My mom made something like this, her chocolate mousse recipe was a dark chocolate pudding made with eggs, she separated the eggs, whipped the whites and after the pudding was cooked the whipped whites were folded into the hot pudding, that cooked the whites, this was allowed to cool before assembly. She would make 2 big disks and 8 small dollops for the top. After it was assembled it had a big pile of whipped cream in the middle followed with a light dusting of cocoa. And now I need to go make one and take a trip down memory lane!

    2. deb

      Ha, you must be reading my mind. I’m thinking about making a chocolate version for Friday. To do so, I’ll use the formula I use for this Chocolate Pavlova, but make minis. Then debating whether I want to make a chocolate whipped cream and raspberry sauce or curd or just regular whipped cream and berries. Re, pudding, this budino is very rich and uses egg yolks, but agree it might be a bit heavy here.

  33. Ally

    This looks beautiful and delicious, I love passion fruit and think it would be a great swap for the lemon curd. Two part question: do you have a passion fruit curd recipe (or anything of the like) and where do you get your passion fruit as they are hard to find?!

    1. deb

      I think it would be excellent with passionfruit. I do not have a go-to curd recipe, mostly because whenever I get passionfruit from here or here, we just eat them fresh. That said, unless you’re somewhere where passionfruit grows wild, I see no reason to cook with fresh. I’ve bought frozen passionfruit puree at international groceries stores (like Kalustyans) that are excellent and do much of the prep work for you.

  34. Kora

    Per usual, another great recipe. I made this tonight for my father-in-law. He said it was like a dessert from the Ritz Carlton! Thank you!

  35. Holly McDade

    I cannot tell you how many curd recipes I’ve tried over the years because I haven’t kept track. This is the first one to give me both flavor and THE RIGHT CONSISTENCY. I am so excited. Leave it to Deb!

  36. Sara

    Looks so amazing. And your tip about berries is such a great one – I could see doing a combo of berries, lemon curd, and whipped cream, and then people can build their own as they like. Some people in my family don’t like lemon curd (sad for them, more deliciousness for me!) so this would be a great family dessert!

  37. Erica

    Thanks Deb, I love this idea! I avoid recipes which result in leftover egg white or egg yolk, so this is perfect! Can’t wait to try it :)
    If you love lemon curd then you must make Heston Blumenthal’s lemon tart- it is divine!

  38. coriolisdave

    As a curdlover, just popping in to highly recommend substituting some lime juice, and/or passionfruit pulp, for some of your lemon juice.

    (lime+) Passionfruit curd is diviiiiiine

  39. Erin

    These look delicious! Could this lemon curd be used in place of the lime curd in your lime tart recipe? That tart was such a hit that I’m hoping to reprise it with a new citrus flavor.

  40. Stephanie

    First time meringue newbie! Would you consider approximate time for each step – notably the whisking egg whites & whisking the meringue parts? Never having done this (and deciding at the last minute they’re a MUST have for Easter!) I had zero reference as to what to expect for each and just stared at my mixer for what felt like a ridiculous amount of time! THANK YOU for this gem!

    1. deb

      I find that it can really range by the kind of machine so it’s hard to estimate. It won’t take 20 minutes, but I’d give it 20 minutes because the best meringue texture comes from moderate speeds.

  41. Mary

    Would this lemon curd recipe work with blood oranges? If so, how much juice would one use? Not sure how the equation would work, two lemons =x number of blood oranges. Thought it might be fun to offer two curds for Easter

  42. Jane

    Is it okay to double this recipe? I see you say it’s okay to halve. Or is that not a great idea to try to whip that many egg whites? thanks!

  43. Lori Kind

    Hi Deb, How much lemone juice would I need from the lemons? I already have lemon juice and zest frozen so I wanted to utilize what I already have. Thanks

  44. IFL

    I’d love to make these the day before, but how do you store them? Don’t they lose their crunch and get mushy if stored on a countertop?

  45. Amelia

    I followed your recipe and keep getting soupy meringue…can you give better instruction on the meringue? I know it means the sugar is being added to early but your not very clear on this at all…

  46. Louise Sande Kaplan

    Great dessert, however I found this curd a trifle sweet for my tastes. I used a different curd recipe and it was fabulous!

  47. Jenny

    I am making this for Easter tomorrow and just sampled one. From my understanding, pavlova meringue is supposed to be crispy and dry on the outside and soft on the inside. I thought I followed all the directions! I baked at 250° for 40 mins and then turned off the oven and left them in there for an hour but they are tacky/soft and very chewy. Should I bake at a lower temp for longer to get the crispy and dry outer layer that I am looking for? Thanks!

  48. B

    I followed the recipe for the meringue and got a good meringue with stiff peaks. However, after baking them they had completely collapsed and had blister like bubbles all over them. I’ve made meringue plenty of times and I’ve never seen anything like this before. Any ideas as to the issue?

  49. Linda Z.

    Brilliant combination of desserts, even with my miscalculations: didn’t whip the meringue enough, overcooked the curd. Serving it all up tomorrow with fruit salad – at least I can’t overwash the fruit!!! Next time I make lemon curd (and there will be a next time), I cook it to about 165 degrees. Should have judged by the texture, not what the thermometer read. Thanks Deb. Love your YouTube channel, and I’ve used your recipes to wow so many dinner parties. Thanks.

  50. Geekgirl

    I made these for a gathering today (Saturday) and everyone loved them! I increased the quantity 50%, so used 6 eggs instead of 4 and scaled everything else up proportionally. I made the meringues on Thursday evening and made them smaller to be more bite-sized. They still needed 35 minutes but I did reduce the oven temp to 200 after 20 minutes because they began to brown a bit on the bottoms. I left the oven door ajar after they finished baking for about 2 hours and they were perfect!

    I made the lemon curd on Friday night and checked the temp but even though I stored it in the refrigerator overnight it was still not set this morning so I re-heated it to 175 and kept it there for a couple of minutes to ensure it was cooked enough. That did the trick. Thank you for another wonderful recipe!

  51. Suzanne R Rosen

    How much lemon juice did you get from 2 lemons? Some are juicier than others, this might be why some found it too sweet?

  52. Lisa

    My meringues just wouldn’t cook?! I kept touching and they were moist and stuck to silpat. Finally, after about 65/70 minutes they started to harden. Any ideas what I could have done wrong? The batter seemed perfect – shinny and stiff peaks. I did serve them and I think they were ok!

    1. Melissa

      Me too! The meringues looked perfect, but after 40 minutes were still very sticky, so i left them in – rotating them and they started to brown on the top rack so i reduced it to 200. After 10 more minutes they were still soft and sticky. I kept them in for a total of over 20 minutes then tuned the oven off and let them sit for 2 hrs. Overall they feel and taste great, but are not bright white – more antique-y looking. Thinking I should remove them before I think they are ready?

  53. CiCi

    Followed the recipe exactly (including whipping egg whites on low-medium and adding sugar gradually). Mine turned out amazing. Not only did they look beautiful but they tasted great too. The meringue was perfection. Used Meyer lemons because they grow around here.

    I have made meringues before but it’s been a while (a decade at least). For people who are new to whipping egg whites: you absolutely do not want even a speck of yolk in your egg whites. Something about the fat makes it very difficult to whip into the consistency you want.

  54. Katherine

    We made this for our first night Seder and it was perfect! I made the merengue and the lemon curd the night before, we left the merengue in the (cool) oven overnight to dry out and stay safe from toddler and pets. Everyone really enjoyed them, I think they are a new Passover tradition in our house!

  55. Sarah

    These are to die for! I did have to recook the curd as it didn’t set up initially but no big deal. Meringues set up just like little pavlovas and the whipped cream softened the whole thing perfectly. Stoked to take these to Easter dinner tomorrow. Thank you!

  56. Kathleen

    9:30 on the evening before the holiday meal, painstakingly stirring sugar into egg whites: “This is ridiculous. Why do I always make huge projects for myself?”
    9:35, tasting the meringue: “Oh. Right. This is why.”
    Thanks for an absolute triumph of a recipe!

  57. AnneV

    It is 10am on Easter morning and I’ve just baked the shells and strained the lemon curd. These lovely little things are going to be a huge hit! And they weren’t terribly difficult. Deb, you are (once again) my hero!

  58. Rebecca Hart

    Ok I made the meringues last night and the curd just now and I will echo that it definitely takes longer than you think- mine was 15 min. However! Also take the ‘coats back of spoon’ seriously because I went a little tiny bit longer and now it’s a bit more eggy than I wanted it to be. Also never stop stirring. Very important. Also w the meringues stay close and watch them because you never know I think mine were done much closer to 35. They kept beautifully overnight in containers.

    1. deb

      If the temperature is correct (170 to 180 degrees) and it’s coating a spoon, sounding glurpier/thicker in the pot and less thin/watery, it will thicken when it cools. Promise!

  59. Angie A.

    These were a hit. My one Easter guest and I each had two, and I’ll need to bring the rest to work tomorrow so I don’t eat them all. I made the curd and cream while the meringue baked, and put it all away for the day until it was time to plate them. Delicious and manageable!

  60. RH

    update: the lemon curd thickened a LOT more than I thought and was almost spreadable but that turned out to work really well to fill the meringues without being runny. I didn’t have enough cream for a full cup and I still had quite a bit of whipped cream (and some lemon curd) leftover; my recipe made 11 meringues (measuring with 1/4 c, maybe too enthusiastically :)) They look truly gorgeous and I’m excited to serve them.

  61. Heather H

    Delicious! Perfect balance of sweet and tart. Topped with blueberries and crushed amaretti cookies. My only sadness is that my beautiful dollops of meringue developed odd little lumps after baking. They came out lovely and crisp regardless. No idea why they looked bumpy – I’m wondering if I added the sugar too quickly? Beat too much? Too little?

    Also, I made them the day before and neglected to consider leaving the ziplock open – so my crispy meringues became a bit soft and chewy. Nevertheless, my family enjoyed and ate every bite. These will be happening again soon! Thanks Deb!

  62. Sally

    These were delicious and my family requested that I keep the recipe. I did have a crisis of confidence that the meringues were not working but I persevered with the directions and it worked out. I also only had 1.5 lemons which seemed to work as well.

  63. Gail Bartlett

    I made the Lemon Cream Meringues for Easter dinner and they did not disappoint. I don’t usually do “fancy desserts” but couldn’t resist this combination of textures and flavours. In a word – sumptuous. And your wonderful suggestions for making ahead – perfect!

  64. Very good! A couple notes: my egg yolks were straight from the fridge and I used a bit of a make-shift double boiler. So, it took a very long time for my curd to get to the right consistency and texture and I eventually just placed my bowl with the curd into simmering water. It ended up delicious and not too sweet. For the meringue, be careful not to over cook. Mine turned out a little hard/chewy, maybe I also under beat the white? I also think that I was making the “nests” too big and the “holes” not deep enough. Overall, an excellent recipe and I’ll make again!

  65. Marilyn

    Made these yesterday and they were perfect! I had never made lemon curd before and was expecting a long slog. Thickened in about 10 minutes. The meringues were a crispy chewy blend. I am wondering whether a thin layer of the curd under mixed stone fruit would work well as a pavlova.

  66. Anne Casson

    I’ve made lemon curd many times hover since you mentioned the temperature I decided to measure it. I used a Pyrex bowl over boiling water. When the curd seemed ready I measured the temperature, to find it was at about 145*F so out of complete curiosity I continued to stir gently and for a very long time and was unable to see it over about 162*F. Finally I ceased my little science experiment and removed it from the heat added butter & a very thick curd was realized. I wonder if anyone achieved 170-180 degrees F? Still lemony and a successful dessert to be repeated in our household, for sure.

    1. Virginia

      I actually cooked mine to a bit over 180F and it still didn’t seem very thick! It thickened up nicely when chilled, though.

    2. Lesley

      I cooked mine to about 168. It was definitely thick enough. In fact, I didn’t strain it because I thought it might be difficult to get it through a strainer. And it was fine without being strained and absolutely delicious!

  67. Kathryn

    I made these this past weekend and I seriously impressed myself! It was my first time making meringues and the directions were simple to follow. Mine turned out with a great texture, inside and out. My curd got a little too thick, but is delicious nonetheless. I even made the whipped cream as written and I loved the addition of sour cream, it made it have just a hint of tang which cut the sugar of the meringue and lemon curd. I served it with raspberries, which were the perfect addition. Definitely going to make this again!

  68. Adrienne

    I am planning to make my meringues in a few days for a luncheon the following day. Unfortunately, the forecast calls for rain on both days! I hope you can suggest a trick to avoid soggy, sticky meringues.

  69. I made these for Easter dinner, and despite having four desserts to choose from, these were by far the most popular. They are light and delicious, and not too sweet. And they are also crazy easy! I loved them!

  70. Liz W

    This was glorious! The meringues were crispy on the outside, marshmallowy on the inside, and the curd was smoothly and lovely. I ended adding a bit more lemon juice to increase the tartness. I served them with some mixed berries and diced kiwi for color. Big hit!

  71. Brittany W

    Loved this! After reading all the comments about the lemon curd not thickening for others, I made sure to let it cook. But it was so thick I couldn’t strain it, so I think I went a little too long on the stove. How thick was it supposed to be when I took it off the heat?

  72. Lesley

    For our family Easter supper this year (first since 2019!) dessert was a make your own pavlova bar. I made these along with your chocolate pavlovas, made into minis. Besides the lemon curd, I made raspberry sauce and served it along with fresh berries and lots of whipped cream – all from your recipes! Thanks for the inspiration, Deb!

    I also want to say how much I appreciate your uncluttered blog that is so easy to navigate and that is not covered with obnoxious ads that make it hard to find the recipe! And the new bold print button is awesome!

  73. Jen

    I made these today for my family and they were a hit! My first time making pavlova, or lemon curd. I trusted the recipe and took the curd off when it was coating the spoon, but looked so thin. I was worried, but it thickened up beautifully. I plated these with raspberries, blackberries, strawberries and blueberries too and it tasted like summer, even if we are close to freezing here today. I will definitely make these again.

  74. pat

    Made these for Easter dinner and OMG!!!! Perfection…in every single bite. For once, I followed the merengue directions to the letter with perfect results. I did use the David Liebovitz lemon curd recipe because I’ve got the nailed, but everything else, the science part of the egg whites, just what I needed to know. The stabilizer for the whipped cream – ditto. I couldn’t believe I was responsible for such a wondrous thing and can hardly wait to make them again. An inspired creation….thank you, thank you, thank you.

  75. Maria

    happy to report, I made these succesfully in an undersupplied kitchen with only a handwhisk to my name!! the egg white whisking by hand is a number but not impossible. also didnt have a double boiler-able bowl so just had to make the custard in a pot straight on the stove – if youre very careful of the heat, it worked just fine for me.

  76. Mieke

    Hi there, had some lemons left over and tried to make this curd. Looked fine until the butter, was added. Now it has seperated and looks not very appetising. Where did that go wrong. Am in Europe, European butter?

  77. Dawn from Chicago

    Made these for xmas dinner/dessert and WOW… what a hit! I’ll be making them for every occasion from here out. Esp love the idea of making variations on the curd based on seasonality and/or menu. Thanks for always nailing it Deb!

  78. Nekhe

    I’ve made these before, and they’re incredibly delicious. But just an important note for anyone making these for Passover: cornstarch is NOT kosher for Passover for most Ashkenazi (central + eastern European) Jews. I think that would be an important note to add to the description. Potato starch can be, though. Appreciate the substitutes!

  79. Anna

    My oven is small so I can only bake 1 tray of meringues at a time. Will the batter be okay to sit for the 2 hours for tray 1 to bake? Fridge or room temperature?
    Thank you!! (I make peaches and cream galettes every summer thanks to you)

    1. deb

      I haven’t let mine sit that long before so I cannot say with certainty that it will work — but I think it will. Room temp. I think they’re more likely than anything else to get a bit of a shell on the outside so when they expand in the oven, it might be more from the bottom, getting a macaron-like “foot.” It won’t ruin anything, though. Taste is the same.

  80. Elizabeth

    I’ve got these in the oven and they just aren’t drying out — have been in for over an hour now. It’s 85 and humid in DC today, so I’m assuming that’s why! Any suggestions? I just upped the temp to 260 (accepting some browning) and turned on the convection fan — do I just let them keep going, or what??

  81. MW

    These were a spectacular hit at our Seder! I think I’ve started a new tradition and will be required to bring/serve themn every year. I made the curd and meringues on Sunday and the whipped cream Tuesday morning for the Tuesday evening dinner. I added the curd to the meringues just before serving and brought the whipped cream in a serving bowl for whoever wanted it (everyone!!). My son added blueberries on top of his and that was a delicious variation. Also, I will never make whipped cream a different way from yours with the addition of sour cream. Phenomenal recipe all around! Thank you for sharing!!

  82. Kelli

    Just made it for Easter. The merengue was sticky and chewy like a toffee. A knife wouldn’t even cut into it. Followed recipe to a “t.” Even stored it in a room temperature oven since the humidity was 50%. I’ve made pavlovas in the past and the recipe didn’t call for corn starch and listing temperature at 300° – 25-degrees higher. I like this concept but would use a different pavlova recipe in the future. Had dreams of a crispy shell and pillowy center. We all just laughed about it being a Torrone with lemon curd and whipped cream. Recipe needs perfecting in my opinion.

  83. Karin

    Made this as instructed for Easter 2023.

    Had a terrible fit on my makeshift double boiler, but I swapped to a smaller pan for the water, used a thick glass bowl, cranked the heat while whisking frantically, and finally got it up to temperature after much longer than 10 minutes.

    Delicious, raves from the table. I didn’t strain the lemon curd, (at that point it was 11 at night and I had had quite enough,) and the lemon curd ended up thick, bright and punchy. Awesome with raspberries and whipped cream (with less sugar to balance everything else on the plate). Thanks for the recipes and techniques. This will go in rotation!

  84. Debbie Eisser

    I just made the lemon cream meringues for Easter dinner, and the lemon curd did not thicken as much as it should have. I cooked to 180F per the recipe. My 2 lemons were on the large size and very juicy — I am wondering if there was too much lemon juice? Can you specify the exact amount of lemon juice to use so it will be the correct proportion to the other ingredient amounts. Many thanks!

    1. deb

      Did it thicken when totally cool/chilled? It will not thicken much when warm. I use large lemons, which have 4-5T juice in each of them. Anything smaller will work just as well.

  85. Samantha

    I made these for Passover. They were amazing. Everyone loved them. I wish I had doubled the lemon curd – so delicious!!This is now a recipe which will become a regular in my family. Delicious and nice and light after a heavy meal!! Thank you!!!

  86. sallyt

    I LOVED these! I used a tried-and-true lemon curd recipe – I’d recommend adding measurements for the lemon juice as I’ve had such variability in how much juice I get out of them. I’d do a half recipe of the whipped cream. Perfect for Passover!

  87. Gette

    While I am drawn to all of your meringue recipes, this one really spoke to me. Sadly it was a complete failure – meringues did not initially become fluffy and robust (and I got the hare brained idea from a Google search to add salt). Baked and left in oven. They looked OK but were stuck to parchment. As for the lemon curd, did not thicken though agree with all the comments saying the taste was mouth puckeringly delicious. What, oh what, is my problem with meringue. This same sad scenario with your mixed berry Pavlova. Do the eggs need to be fresher, bigger, colder?!

    1. deb

      Salt should not ruin a meringue. If the egg whites didn’t thicken, that’s the culprit. Most people recommend room temperature egg whites but I don’t always bother and don’t have an issue with cold, which warm up as you beat them. Sticking to the paper can be a sign of underbaking. Did the curd reach 170-180 degrees a coat a spoon? Did it thicken when it was completely cold from the fridge?

  88. Sarah

    I made these for passover last weekend and they were PERFECT! Like a few others mentioned, I would make the curd with less sugar next time. When I read the reviews here I worried based on other people’s comments that the meringues might not turn out for me, but I followed Deb’s directions to go very slow with the mixer. I’ve never made such fantastic meringues. Next time I’d make them half sized as someone else here suggested too. Delicious!!

  89. Erin

    I just made these with great success! Some perhaps grey areas that I may be able to offer clarity on

    Whipping Meringues – I have a standard kitchenaid mixer and whipped the egg whites on the 2nd slowest speed, when it says to go faster, I did the middle speed- the first step took forever but worked and I made the curd while the mixer hummed along. I think they would have come out great at slightly faster speeds, too (based on many meringue pies)

    Curd – i was whisking the mixture quite fast – didnt want the eggs to cook too fast! but i soon realized the fast whisking would never allow the egg to cook at all so slowed dramatically et voila – the curd thickened beautifully.

    Everyone who ate them had the same reaction: eyes rolling back in their head with delight. thanks deb for another great (and quite simple) recipe!