I learned of this recipe from my Mom, she has made it many times and I have always wanted to try making it. If you like lemon you will love this recipe and you can make it ahead of time, it can be frozen for up to a week. It’s a great summer dessert, served with fresh berries, I love it.
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/3 cup unsalted butter
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1 cup fresh lemon juice
6 whole eggs
1 1/2 cups whipping cream
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
6 egg whites
1 teaspoon vanilla
1. Trace four- 8 inch circles on parchment paper. Place on baking sheets.
2. Meringues: Combine 3/4 cup of the sugar and 2 tablespoons cornstarch, set aside. For whipping the egg whites, use a very clean bowl and whisk or whip, there can be no trace of grease or oil(if there is any trace of oil, the egg whites will not form stiff peaks). Beat all 6 egg whites until soft peaks form. Do not add the sugar until the soft peaks form. Now gradually add the other 3/4 cup of sugar(not the sugar with the cornstarch added) until stiff peaks form. Add vanilla and then fold in the cornstarch/sugar mixture you initially set aside. See How to Make Perfect Meringue for some great tips.
3. Now divide and spoon meringue evenly onto the circles, smoothing the tops. Bake at 300 degrees F for about 1 hour and golden brown, or until dry. Turn off oven and let the meringues cool in oven while the oven is cooling down. Meringues can be stored in a cool, dry place for up to 3 days, so make them ahead if you like.
4. Filling: In a saucepan over medium high heat, heat sugar, butter, lemon rind and lemon juice, stirring until sugar dissolves. In a bowl, add the 6 whole eggs and beat them until slightly foamy. Very slowly pour the hot lemon mixture into the eggs, while whisking constantly and briskly. Do not, all at once, pour the hot lemon mixture into the eggs or the eggs will scramble. Now return the entire mixture to the saucepan and cook stirring, just until boiling, simmer for a few minutes until the mixture has thickened and is glossy. Pour the mixture into a clean bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let cool on the counter until room temperature and then chill in the refrigerator. This lemon curd mixture can be made up to a 1 day ahead. Whip the 1 1/2 cups of cream and fold gently into the cooled lemon curd, do not vigorously mix in the whipped cream or the entire mixture will thin out.
5. Assembly: Crumble least attractive meringue for garnish, set aside. Fit one 8 inch meringue into 9 inch spring form pan. Pour one third of the lemon mixture over top. Repeat layers twice more. Sprinkle crumbled meringue over top. Freeze for at least 8 hours or overnight. Torte can be frozen for up to a week really well wrapped. Take out of the freezer, remove the spring form pan, slice and serve. I served this with whipped cream and fresh berries. This torte serves around 12 people.