Thursday, January 14, 2010


I recently re-discovered pre-made mini-phyllo cups (made by Athens and found in the frozen foods section). They are great for sweet (and savory) recipes and perfect for potlucks.

This dessert went together in (literally) minutes

This makes enough lemon filling for 30 bite-size desserts. That sounds like a LOT of little lemon pies, but keep in mind that the whole recipe originally filled an 8" they ARE tiny.

2 packages of phyllo cups

1 cup white sugar
1/4 cup corn starch
1 cup water
2 egg yolks, slightly beaten
2 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon zest
2 drops yellow food color (optional)

2 egg whites
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/4 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

For filling, mix sugar, cornstarch and water in a heavy bottomed sauce pan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and comes to a boil; boil and stir for one minute. 

Stir half of this mixture into the beaten egg yolks (whisking like crazy to keep the mixture moving). After well mixed, pour the whole thing back into the original pan and boil (and stir) for one more minute. 

Remove from heat and stir in the lemon juice, lemon zest and butter.For best results, strain this mixture (but you don't have to).

Spoon hot lemon mixture into phyllo cups.

For the meringue topping, beat (with electric mixer) the egg whites and cream of tartar until foamy then sprinkle in the sugar, a little at a time, while you are beating; add the vanilla and continue to beat until stiff peaks form when you lift the beaters out of the bowl.

Top the hot lemon filling with a spoonful of meringue. Bake in a 400F oven for about 10 minutes or until the meringue is golden and shiny (watch carefully). 

Cool on the counter until they are room temperature THEN put them in the fridge to chill.

Be careful when you separate the eggs; even just a speck of yolk in the egg whites will stop them from whipping correctly. Also, make sure you do NOT whip the egg whites in anything plastic. Any traces of grease or oil in the bowl or on the beaters will stop your egg whites from whipping properly.