( SERVES 12 )
- For the lemon curd: Wash lemons then finely grate the rind. Squeeze the juice into a small saucepan. Add the beaten eggs, sugar and butter.
- Constantly stir with a wire whisk over very gentle heat until the sugar dissolves and the mixture thickens. Store in a covered container in the fridge.
- For the meringue topping: Preheat oven to 120 deg C. Line a baking tray with nonstick baking paper.
- In a large metal, porcelain or glass (ie not plastic) bowl beat egg whites until soft peaks form. A teaspoon at a time, add the caster sugar. The mixture should be getting glossy, thick and shiny with each addition - this process should take about 10 minutes.
- Beat in the essence. Spoon out little mounds of mixture on to the prepared tray and bake for an hour until the meringues are crisp, pale and dry and they easily lift off the tray. Cool on a wire rack.
- To serve, spoon chilled lemon curd into small sherry or liqueur glasses and place a meringue on top. If you have to squash the meringue to fit it into the glass, this is fine. Serve with little coffee spoons.