LEMON MERINGUE BITES

LEMON MERINGUE BITES - I am a new convert for the little pre-made phyllo cups made by Athens (found in the frozen foods section). I have found many sweet and savory uses for the little time savers.

These sweet little beauties went together in (literally) minutes, thanks to the phyllo cups.

This filling recipe will fill two packages of phyllo cups and since they are so small, they chill quickly and will be ready to serve in short order. Two packages sounds like a lot of lemon pies, but it really isn't (the filling recipe was originally for an 8" pie). Hubby ate four of these after a big meal, so keep that in mind.

2 packages of phyllo cups

LEMON FILLING
1 cup white sugar
¼ cup corn starch
1 cup water
2 egg yolks, slightly beaten
2 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
½ teaspoon fresh lemon zest
2 drops yellow food color (optional)

MERINGUE TOPPING
2 egg whites
¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
¼ cup white sugar
½ 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. 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 becomes golden and shiny (watch carefully). Cool on the counter until they are room temperature THEN put them in the fridge to chill.

NOTE: 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.
Thank you all for your well wishes, regarding our cat Tabitha. She is walking around today and even has found her kitty voice again!! Thanks to lots of "ear licks" from our dog Chloe, Tabitha is well on her way to a full recovery.