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; the lemon filling, however, 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 his escape in 1795, he taught England his secrets.
I discovered this privileged information in Esther B. Aresty’s The Delectable Past (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1964). This recipe is even easier for us today than it was for Ude’s followers, for we have the electric mixer to beat the egg whites!
Organic cane sugar works well for this receipt. Nevertheless you may 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, doesn’t work either, as it is not fine enough to be incorporated in the beaten egg whites. So stick with cane sugar, using 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, for 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, which 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: 1 dozen gluten-free meringues. Total prep time: 1 3/4 hr/ active prep time: 1 hr/ baking time: 1 hr.
3 large egg whites (save 2 yolks for filling)
2 pinches salt
1 cup of sugar (Organic cane sugar is best; available in a 2 pound package at Trader Joe’s, or in a cheaper 10 pound bag 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 and beat the whites until quite stiff, using an electric mixer.
- Add sugar very slowly-a scant teaspoon at a time-keeping the beaters going constantly. As whites get really thick, after about 3/4 cup of sugar is added, increase additions to 2 tablespoons at a time. When all the sugar is incorporated, continue to beat for several minutes. Mix in optional extract.
- Cover a cookie sheet with parchment paper; spoon egg whites on the paper in small mounds, about 2 1/2 inches long, in the shape of an egg.
- Bake for about 60-70 minutes, or until golden brown and rather sturdy.
- While warm, gently cut an indentation in the meringue with a small sharp knife. Scooping delicately with your finger, make a hollow in each.
- Set aside and 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.)
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup sugar (Organic cane sugar is best.)
1/4 tsp salt
2 cup cold water
2 large egg yolks
2 tbsp of butter
- Clean and zest lemons; juice and set aside.
- Mix cornstarch, sugar, and salt in a medium sauce pan.
- Add water; mix well with a wire whisk.
- Beat in egg yolks thoroughly.
- Bring to a boil over medium heat, whisking constantly; continue boiling for 1 minute more, or until thickened.
- Add butter, lemon zest, and juice; blend well with whisk.
- Remove from heat. Cool in refrigerator, covering 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!