Meyer Lemon Meringue Trifle is a beautifully layered dessert perfect for any occasion. Meyer lemons with their hints of mandarin orange are undoubtedly some of the most delicious lemons around. If you cannot locate them, you can still make this superb dessert with standard lemons.
1 cup (about 7-8 large egg whites) no yolk traces!
Select 2 cookie sheets and line with parchment paper. Draw 4 circles on paper 1/4-inch smaller than dimension of your trifle bowl. Flip parchment paper upside down so there will be no contact of food with ink. Set aside.
In a mixing bowl, whip egg whites and 1 cup sugar until very stiff. Depending on mixer used, this may take 10 or more minutes.
Remove whipped egg whites from machine and delicately fold in another cup of granulated sugar, salt and vanilla. Do not overmix as it would make meringue runny.
Drop meringue evenly into the 4 circles. Spread evenly flat and round with an offset spatula or a spoon.
Place in oven. During baking, open oven at least 8 times for about 5 seconds at a time. This will ensure that trapped steam can escape and meringue is crisp and dry when finished baking. Total baking time will be near 2 hours and 30 minutes.
The meringue is ready when it is crisp and sounds hollow when tapped on bottom. Once cooled, place in a tight food storage bag.
Meanwhile prepare lemon curd. In a non-reactive saucepan bring lemon juice and half of sugar to a boil.
In a separate bowl, whisk eggs for 2 minutes and quickly whisk in remaining sugar. Pour half of boiling lemon syrup into eggs and beat well.
Pour egg mixture into remaining lemon syrup and whisk back to a boil. Boil for 1 minute while constantly whisking and mixture has the consistency of thick bubbling honey. Remove from heat and cover with plastic food wrap.
Mix gelatin with water and set aside for 5 minutes.
Add gelatin and stir into above. Once incorporated add SOFT butter in small nuggets and stir with a spatula. If the butter was too cold and refuses to dissolve in the curd, place for a few seconds in microwave. Let cool in refrigerator.
Fit a baked meringue layer into trifle bow, if needed gently trim using a serrated knife. If meringue breaks, do not panic as no one will ever know.
Pour about 1/3 of lemon curd onto meringue layer. Fit another meringue into bowl and cover with another 1/3 of lemon curd. Place another meringue layer into bowl and finish with remaining curd. Top with remaining meringue layer. Place in refrigerator for several hours until curd is set.
Whip cream and 2 tablespoons of sugar to firm peaks and fill in piping bag fitted with a large star tip.
Pipe rosettes onto curd and decorate with lemon slices.