Looking outside, I can see that fall is definitiely upon us. Looking at the title of this post, it's not a very seasonal recipe but when everything is getting a bit chilly it's nice to have something a bit zingy. It's not that rich and quite airy from the meringue and quite tart as well. In Summer I like to turn it into an amazing icecream cake by freezing it then taking it out to soften for 15 min. There are quite a few steps but each one is fairly easy to do and each step (along with the cake itslef) can be kept in the fridge for a fair few days before combining (or eating!). There is intentionaly no sugar in the curd because the meringue is very sweet but if your lemons are really tart and you need some extra sugar just add it to the cream before whipping and combining.
For the shortbread base:
1/4 cup or 50g butter
1/3 cup & 1 tbsp or 50g flour
1/4 cup or 25g corn starch/flour
2 tbsp or 25g sugar
zest of 1 lemon
For the mousse:
2 egg whites
2 tbsp or 20g caster sugar
1/2 cup or 100g caster sugar
1/8 cup & 2 tsp or 40 ml water
1 gelatine leaf
juice and zest of 2 lemons
1/4 cup or 50g butter
1 3/4 cups or 400ml heavy cream
For the candied lemons:
1. Rub all the ingredients for the shortbread base together until it starts forming clumps of dough then knead lightly to form a dough. Press into a 9" cake tin and bake for 15 minutes or until pale golden brown at 200C/390F.
2. Whisk the eggs then add to a saucepan along with the juice and zest. Cook until thickened and custard-like then stir in the buter until melted. Leave to cool.
3. Whisk the whites until stiff then add the 20g/4 tbsp sugar slowly until dissolved. Soften the gelatine in a bowl of water and set aside. Put the rest of the sugar in a saucepan along with the water and boil until the syrup reaches the soft ball stage on a sugar thermometer. Slowly pour the syrup into the whites, whisking constantly until combined, now add the gelatine leaf discarding the water and continue whisking until cool.
4. Now fold the lemon curd into the meringue and fold that again into the cream that has been whipped into soft peaks. Pour into the base and leave to set in the fridge for 3 hours before serving.
5. Slice the lemonand put in a saucepan with equal amounts of sugar and water to cover the slices. Simmer until the slices are tender and the liquid syrupy. Leave to cool and pour over the mousse.