It only takes a few minutes to whip up a big, frothy meringue with an electric mixer. Meringue is simply egg whites beaten with cream of tartar, sugar and vanilla. This kind of meringue is baked, as a shell, to hold a luscious lemon and whipped cream mixture.
Baked meringue shells of this type can be filled with any mixture of seasonal berries, whipped cream, yogurt, ice cream or custard or combinations of these. This deliciously tart lemon filling is made with the egg yolks left from the egg whites used in the meringue, fresh lemon juice and cornstarch for thickening.
Humidity affects baked meringues and that’s what happened when I got ready to serve this dessert. I could tell there was no way I could slice this pie; so I simply spooned the dessert into separate, small, dessert bowls. I topped each with a few sliced fresh strawberries and everyone loved it. Frankly, I don’t know if these delicate, crackly shells made of meringue in pie plates are meant to be sliced or spooned. Spooning was acceptable in this case.
With our humidity; another safe bet is to bake small, individual meringue “nests” on parchment paper ahead of time and set them aside to dry. Fill with the chilled lemon custard and whipped cream right before serving. That way the homemade meringue stays a little crisper. If you do that, be sure to have the lemon filling and the whipped cream thoroughly chilled before serving.