I have a thing for lemon desserts. Especially those that involve a lemon curd (As evident in this post, and this one as well). There is just something about the tartness mixed in with the sweet that is what makes me love these types of desserts. Or maybe it is the fact that the weather can't seem to make up it's mind and is fooling me into thinking it is Spring.
Whatever it is, I was craving some lemon curd and now that the hubby can take away any treats I make to work, it's free game in my kitchen once again as I don't have to worry about these sweets being around after I taste one. I'm sure my hips thank me for that one as well.
These cupcakes invoke Spring and while we aren't quite there yet, meyer lemons are in season now and when I saw a bag at the grocery store, I pounced! ALL...ABOUT... IT! Besides, I like to think that the meyer lemon couldn't make up it's mind either. Lemon? Orange? How about both?! Just like our weather. Spring? Winter? Spring?
Although these goodies were packed up and the hubby ushered them into work today, I still think about the one that I did have a chance to enjoy. It was good. Almost too good. Plus, who doesn't enjoy cupcakes that have a little surprise in the middle? In this case, it would be the meyer lemon curd. Enjoy!
Meyer Lemon Meringue Cupcakes
Make 2 Dozen
3 cups AP flour
1 tablespoon baknig powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup light brown sugar
4 large eggs, room temperature
Finely grated zest of 3 meyer lemons (about 3 tablespoons) , plus 2 tablespoons fresh meyer lemon juice
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk
Meyer Lemon Curd (Recipe below)
Seven-Minute Frosting (Recipe below)
1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.
2. With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, cream butter, and sugars until pale and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Beat in zest and vanilla. Add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with 2 additions of buttermilk and juice, and beating until just combined after each.
3. Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each 3/4 way full. Bake rotating halfway through, until golden brown and a cake tester inserted in the centers comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool completely before removing cupcakes. Cupcakes can be stored overnight at room temperature, or frozen up to 2 months in airtight containers.
4. To finish, using a Wilton Tip #230 and fill each cupcake with lemon curd until you feel slight pressure. Then take a bit of lemon curd and spread onto the top of the cupcake. Fill a pastry bag fitted with a large open star tip with frosting. Pipe frosting onto each cupcake. Hold a small kitchen torch 3-4 inches from the frosting and wave it back and forth until frosting is lightly browned.
Meyer Lemon Curd
Makes about 2 cups
2 whole eggs plus 8 egg yolks
1 cup sugar
2/3 cup fresh meyer lemon juice (about 6 meyer lemons)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces, at room temperature
1. Combine whole eggs and yolks, sugar and lemon juice in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Cook, whisking constantly, until mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Remove from heat and add the butter a few pieces at a time, whisking until smooth after each addition. Strain through a fine sieve into another bowl, and cover with parchment paper or plastic wrap, pressing it directly on surface to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate until chilled and firm, at least 2 hours (or up to 2 days)
Seven Minute Frosting
Makes about 8 cups
1.5 cups sugar
2 tablespoons confectioner's sugar
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
6 large egg whites, room temperature
1. Combine the 1.5 cups sugar with the water and corn syrup in a small saucepan; clip a candy thermometer to side of pan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally until sugar dissolves. Continue boiling, without stirring, until syrup reaches 230 degrees.
2. Meanwhile, in the bowl of a standing electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk egg whites on medium-high speed until soft peaks form. WIth mixer running, add remaining 2 tablespoons sugar, beating to combine.
3. As soon as sugar syrup reaches 230 degrees, remove from heat. With mixer on medium-low speed, pour syrup down the side of the bowl in a slow, steady stream. Raise speed to medium-high; whisk until mixture is completely cool (test by touching the bottom of the bowl) and still (but not dry) peaks form, about 7 minutes. Have piping bag ready and use immediately as it hardens very quickly.
Source: Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart's Cupcakes