Lemon Meringue Cupcakes

Lemon Meringue Cupcakes

Lemon Meringue Pie is my dad’s obsession. After making him at least a half-dozen pies, I made some cupcakes instead. I made an italian meringue to prevent weeping after I did a ton of research on why meringues weep (basically, they don’t get cooked because they don’t get hot enough from baking in the oven). Italian meringue tastes more like marshmallow to me, but it held up great for several days.

Lemon Meringue Cupcakes

The cupcakes look a bit like eggs once you cut them in half, so they should be perfect for Easter…or breakfast.

Cupcake Ingredients:
1 ½ c. all-purpose flour
½ t. baking powder
¼ t. baking soda
3/4 c. sugar
¼ c. butter, softened
1 ½ T. lemon zest
¼ c. canola oil
1 large egg
2 large egg yolks
½ t. lemon extract
½ t. vanilla extract
⅓ c. milk
¼ c. fresh lemon juice

Cupcake Directions: 

Preheat oven to 350 F. Line cupcake pan with paper cups. In mixing bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, and baking soda. In bowl of electric stand mixer, whip together sugar, butter and lemon zest on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Blend in oil. Add in egg, egg yolks, lemon extract and vanilla extract and mix. Measure out milk in liquid measuring cup and stir in lemon juice. Add flour mixture in 3 separate batches alternating with 1/2 of the milk mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture and mixing just until combined after each addition. Fill each paper cup 2/3 full. Bake 19 – 21 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into center  comes out clean. Remove from oven and cool in muffin tin for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack. Cool completely.

Curd Ingredients:
6 T. butter
1 c. sugar
1 ½ T. lemon zest
4 large egg yolks
1 large egg
½ c. fresh lemon juice

Curd Directions:
In mixing bowl whip together butter, sugar and lemon zest until slightly pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Blend in egg and yolks one at a time, mixing just until combined after each addition. Stir in lemon juice. Pour mixture into saucepan and heat over medium-low heat. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture reaches 170 degrees on thermometer. Remove from heat and press mixture through a fine mesh strainer into a bowl to remove lemon zest. Chill in freezer for 30 minutes.

Meringue Ingredients:
½ c. sugar
¼ c. water
2 room temperature egg whites
¼ t. cream of tartar

Meringue Directions:
In small saucepan, combine sugar and water. Heat over high heat. Cook until sugar syrup registers 240°F on thermometer. Meanwhile, combine egg whites and cream of tartar in bowl of stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment. Set mixer to medium speed and mix until soft peaks form, about 2 minutes.
With the mixer running, carefully and slowly drizzle in hot sugar syrup. Increase speed to high and whip until desired stiffness is achieved.

To Assemble:

Cut a hole in center of cupcakes. Add lemon curd and pipe frosting over the filling. Use a kitchen torch to brown meringue.

Adapted from: Cooking Classy (cupcakes) and Serious Eats (frosting)

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