For Christmas dinner I made my very first Lemon Meringue Pie. (you will notice that I did not blog about it, not my best work!) I made the pie because it is my Uncle's favorite dessert and we were lucky enough to have him and my Aunt visit for the holidays. The pie was pretty good but needs a little tweeking to make it perfect and therefore qualified to be on my blog!
Today, while I was deciding what kind of cupcakes to make for a friend's birthday celebration, I still had lemon meringue on the brain and I remembered that Martha Stewart made some very yummy looking lemon meringue cupcakes. These cupcakes are light and airy, not too dense at all and there is a dollop of lemon curd on top which is tart and lemony! If you want to make these cupcakes even more special, you could pipe the lemon curd into the cupcake for a surprise filling. I will do that next time, for sure. The frosting is seven minute frosting and after reading through Martha's recipe, I decided to use my own (there are at least two children in town who will vouch that mine is the best frosting around). It reminds me more of a homemade marshmallow than a traditional meringue, especially once it is torched and toasty!
For my first try, I was pretty happy with the outcome. The only thing I would do differently would be to use the lemon curd as a filling. Hope you enjoy!! ;-)
Lemon Meringue Cupcakes
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs, room temperature
Finely grated zest of 3 lemons (about 3 tablespoons), plus 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.
With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, cream butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is until incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Beat in zest and vanilla. Add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with two additions of buttermilk and lemon juice, and beating until just combined after each.
Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three-quarters full. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until golden brown and a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, about 20 minutes.
When the cupcakes have cooled, spread 1 tablespoon of lemon curd (recipe below) on top or pipe into center of cupcake. Then pipe the seven minute frosting (recipe below) on top and brown the frosting using your hand held kitchen torch or place under broiler briefly to brown tops. Serve immediately!
8 large egg yolks
Finely grated zest of 2 lemons
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 3 lemons)
1 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 sticks (10 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cold, cut into pieces
Combine yolks, lemon zest, lemon juice, and sugar in a heavy-bottom saucepan; whisk to combine. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon (be sure to scrape the sides of the pan), until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of the spoon, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove saucepan from heat. Add salt and butter, one piece at a time, stirring until smooth. Strain through a fine sieve into a medium bowl. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing it directly onto the surface of the curd to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate until chilled and set, at least 1 hour or up to 1 day.
Seven Minute Frosting
1 ½ cups sugar
¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup water
2 egg whites
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
Place all ingredients, except vanilla, in top of a double boiler. Place pan over boiling water, being sure that boiling water does not touch the bottom of the top pan. Beat constantly on high speed with electric mixer for 7 minutes. Remove from heat and beat in vanilla.