A tasty Valentine’s Day meal doesn’t have to be high in calories — and that includes dessert. These sweet and tart meringue hearts are a light yet undeniably cute way to end a meal. And at only 150 calories per cookie, it’s OK to indulge! (And if chocolate it more your thing, consider this Gluten-Free Molten Lava Cake.)
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour and 50 minutes
For the meringue:
1 large egg white at room temperature
Pinch of salt
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
For the lemon curd:
1/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
1 large egg
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice (about 2 medium lemons)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 tablespoons nonfat plain Greek yogurt
- Preheat oven to 200° F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Trace 2 heart shapes onto the parchment paper using a 4-inch heart-shaped cookie cutter or this printable heart template. Turn parchment paper over on the baking sheet and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk egg whites and salt with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until soft peaks form. Add sugar one tablespoon at a time, beating until stiff peaks form, about 2 to 4 minutes. Add the vanilla and beat until just combined.
- Spoon the meringue mixture into a pastry bag fitted with a plain round 1/2-inch tip, or a gallon-size Ziploc bag with a corner cut off. Cover one of the hearts with an even layer of meringue. Continue piping meringue around the outer edge of the heart, making a 1-inch-high wall. Repeat with the remaining heart.
- Bake for 20 minutes; reduce the heat to 175 degrees and bake until meringue is dry and crisp but still white, about 1 hour and 15-30 minutes more.
- To make the lemon curd, combine the sugar, lemon rind and egg in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring with a whisk. Cook until sugar dissolves and mixture is light in color, about 3 minutes. Stir in the lemon juice and butter and cook for 5 minutes, stirring constantly with a whisk. Cool, cover and chill the mixture while the meringues cook. Note: You will have lemon curd left over (47 calories per tablespoon). It can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Try it with fresh berries or spread some on whole-grain toast for breakfast.
- When meringues are done, transfer the baking sheet to a wire rack and let them cool completely.
- Before serving, mix 2 tablespoons of lemon curd with yogurt. Fill each meringue heart with this mixture, garnish with berries and dust with powdered sugar.
Originally posted February 9, 2014.