This is the third and final post on my simple 19th century French dinner. These tart, gluten-free Meringues a la Ude are a summer delight! They are easy to prepare, though it takes about one hour of light labor. A child can follow these care-free steps of preparation.
These lemon meringues are effortless, because it’s another recipe from Louis Eustache Ude’s The French Cook, 1813. However, the lemon filling is mine. Ude also created the easy, delightful chicken a l’oignon of this series. (See 2016/07/04.)
This man’s incredible mind conceived elegant foods with the simplest preparations. His extraordinary talent placed him in the illustrious palace of King Louis XVI, before the fall of the monarchy. After 1795, he taught England his secrets.
I discovered this privileged information in The Delectable Past, Esther B. Aresty, 1964, Simon and Schuster, New York, N.Y. It is easier yet for us today: We have the electric mixer to beat the egg whites!
Organic cane sugar works well for this receipt. However, you may splurge and use regular refined cane sugar (C & H is a good brand.)
I tried to make the meringues with coconut sugar, which was a huge disaster. Sucanat (evaporated cane juice) won’t work either. It is not fine enough to be incorporated in the beaten egg whites. So stick with cane sugar-either organic or regular.
This post includes a photo of my period costume for my 19th century French meals, which I wear when doing public events. It is very beautiful, though it is quite bulky on me now. I weighed 226 pounds when my costume designer fashioned it.
My Lord has healed my body and mind! The result is a very voluminous dress on my small frame. This is joy unspeakable-health and more health!
Meringues a la Ude with Lemon Filling Adapted from a recipe in Esther B. Aresty’s The Delectable Past (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1964). Yields about a dozen gluten-free meringues.
3 large egg whites (save 2 yolks for filling)
2 pinches salt
1 cup of sugar (organic cane sugar is best; available in 2 lb pkg at Trader Joe’s, or cheaper in 10 lb pkg at Costco)
1/2 tsp lemon or orange extract (optional)
Preheat oven to 225 degrees.
- Separate egg whites in a large bowl. (Save 2 yolks.) Add salt. Beat the egg whites until very stiff.
- Add ¾ cup of sugar very slowly-a scant teaspoon at a time. Keep the beaters going constantly. When all the sugar is added, continue to beat for several minutes. Beat in extract.
- Add the remaining ¼ cup of sugar, softly folding it into the stiff egg whites.
- Cover a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Spoon egg whites on the paper in small mounds, about 2 ½ inches long, in the shape of an egg.
- Bake for 1 hour and 10 minutes.
- While warm, gently cut an indentation in the meringue with a small sharp knife. Scooping delicately with your finger, make a hollow in each meringue.
- Cool completely.
- Fill each meringue with lemon filling just before serving.
Lemon Filling (about 3 cups, enough for a dozen meringues)
3 medium organic lemons (regular lemons will have taste of pesticides)
¼ cup cornstarch
¼ cup sugar (organic cane sugar is best)
¼ tsp salt
2 cup cold water
2 large egg yolks, slightly beaten
2 tbsp of butter
- Clean and zest lemons. Set aside. Juice lemons. Set aside.
- Mix cornstarch, sugar, and salt in a medium sauce pan.
- Add water. Mix completely with a wire whisk.
- Beat in egg yolks thoroughly.
- Bring to a boil over medium heat, whisking constantly. Boil 1 minute more, or until thickened.
- Add butter, lemon zest, and juice. Blend well with whisk.
- Remove from heat. Cool in refrigerator. Cover the top of filling with a piece of plastic wrap once cool.
- Spoon filling into meringues just before serving.
- Serve open face. The tart, yellow lemon filling shouts summer’s blessings!