I’ve given these éclairs a twist by substituting choux pastry with Italian meringue. This kind of meringue has the same ratio of sugar to egg as Swiss meringue, but the sugar is heated to make a syrup, which is then added to the egg whites to give a more stable and strong texture. This recipe calls for lemon curd, which you can choose to buy or make from scratch.
To make the meringue, put the sugar and the water into a pan over a low heat and allow the sugar to dissolve. Have a pastry brush standing in a cup of hot water nearby and use this to brush down any sugar on the sides of the pan, as this may cause the mixture to crystallize into a lump.
Once the sugar has dissolved, turn up the heat a little and let the mixture bubble away. To check that it is ready, take
When the sugar syrup is almost ready, start whisking the egg whites. Whisk them until they are almost at stiff peaks. I like to do this in my stand mixer, but you can also use a hand-held electric whisk or a balloon whisk.
As soon as the sugar syrup is ready, carefully add it to the egg whites in a steady stream, whisking all the time, making sure that the sugar syrup does not touch the whisk. Keep whisking until the meringue is stiff and shiny with a stiff peak.
Take the piping bag fitted with the star nozzle and half-fill it with meringue. Line two baking sheets with baking parchment and dab a little of the meringue under each corner of the baking parchment. The meringue will act like glue, stopping your parchment from flying around in the oven.
Pipe twelve éclair ‘halves’ onto a baking sheet, each 8cm long. Repeat on the other baking sheet to give you twenty-four halves in total. Place the sheets into the oven to bake for about 1 hour, or until the meringues are firm to the touch, crisp and well dried out, but still white. Switch the baking sheets around halfway through baking to ensure even cooking.
Once the meringues are cooked, remove them from the oven and leave them to cool completely. Once they are cool, carefully take them off the baking parchment and place them on a plate. Whisk the cream in a bowl until soft peaks form and then take the piping bag fitted with the straight nozzle and half-fill it with the whipped cream. Filling halfway ensures that the cream does not squidge out of the top when you are piping. Set the piping bag aside.
Put twelve of the meringue halves flat-side up onto a serving plate, securing them with a little dollop of cream so that they do not fall over. Spoon
Decorate each lemon meringue éclair with a raspberry, gluing it on with a little dab of the remaining whipped cream, and serve.
© Lorraine Pascale, 2017. Images: © Myles New, 2017.