This is my biscuit variation on the lemon meringue pie. I developed it as an edible gift hoping for something a little bit memorable to give away at Christmas. I made some for my Dad for Christmas. I was terribly nervous about it all, but they turned out great. Making marshmallow is so much fun. With safety precautions around the sugar syrup, I think kids would have fun helping make them too. Licking the beaters is incredible after this recipe, and you can turn any leftover mixture into traditional marshmallows. I used my leftovers to make a lovely rocky road. The marshmallow makes a lovely ‘pool’ for the lemon butter to fill, giving the biscuit sandwiches height as well as fluffy sweetness.
If you are giving these as gifts, consider selecting your jar or tin, and using it as a cookie cutter. If you do this, you will need to choose a receptacle that has an opening as wide as the jar. If you’ll be posting your biscuits, you don’t want the rim to be much smaller than the rest of the jar, because the biscuits will move around too much in postage.
|1||egg white (reserve the yolk for the lemon butter)|
|1||cup (heaped)||caster sugar|
First, make the biscuits. Cream the butter and sugar till light and fluffy. Add the vanilla, then the egg white. Fold in the flour until you have a soft dough. Shape the dough into portions, flatten them into discs and refrigerate for about 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 180oC.
Working in portions, roll the dough to be quite thin, about 2 millimetres. Cut the dough with your chosen cookie cutter. Optional step: for every second biscuit you cut, use a tiny cookie cutter to make a cut out in the centre of the biscuit. Arrange the biscuits on a lined baking tray and bake for 10-15 minutes, until they are just beginning to colour. Leave the biscuits on the tray for a few minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.
To make the lemon butter: finely grate the zest of the lemons and set it aside. Beat together the sugar, egg yolks and eggs in a small, heat proof bowl. Add the juice of the lemons and mix to combine. Place the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and stir until thickened. It will become quite thick. Take the bowl off the heat and whisk in the butter and lemon zest. Sit aside for use later.
To make the marshmallow: mix the gelatine with 50 millilitres of water in the bowl of your stand mixer. Set aside to soften. Place 85 millilitres of water in a saucepan with a generous cup of caster sugar, bring the mixture to the boil until it reaches 116oC then take it off the heat. Turn on the stand mixer, and slowly pour the sugar syrup into the gelatine mixture (being careful not to pour it onto the beaters, you don’t want it to splash about). When you’ve added all the sugar syrup, turn the mixer onto high and beat until the bowl is cool enough to touch.
Scoop the marshmallow mixture to a disposable piping bag, or a ziplock bag. Cut a small portion off the end of the bag and pipe a wall of marshmallow around the edge of the whole biscuits.
Gently reheat it in the bowl over simmering water, stirring with a whisk, till it softens again. Fill the marshmallow cavity with lemon butter. Place the biscuit with a cut out on top, pressing gently to secure, without letting the filling ooze out. Set the biscuits aside for the marshmallow to set and store in an airtight container.