Unfortunately, my husband is not a fan of lemon or lime desserts. I’m pretty sure it’s the only thing he has ever said he doesn’t like so I am giving him a pass. But when I asked people at work what kind of cupcakes they wanted me to bring in, I was ecstatic. They requested lemon merengue. And let’s just say, he ate one of these cupcakes and did not complain. I was inspired by a Martha Stewart recipe that uses seven minute frosting as the merengue. This frosting is a delicious throwback inspired by my grandmother’s recipe.
Make your lemon curd first. It is the most intensive part of this recipe but it is fabulous. Lemon curd also makes extravagant thumbprint cookies during the holdiays (recipe coming soon). The recipe for lemon curd here makes more than what you need. Which is great because it is so delicious! I recommend spreading this on scones, waffles, pancakes or toast. It should keep in the fridge for one week. These cupcakes will need to be refrigerated until you are ready to serve them. Serve these with Gruet Blanc de Noirs from New Mexico. This is a well balanced, tart sparkling wine with yeasty notes that pair fabulously with any cake based dessert. Gruet is the American atelier of a French champagne house, Gruet et Fils.
Lemon Meringue Cupcakes
Makes 12 cupcakes
2 cups lemon curd (recipe below)
3/4 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup cake flour
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter (1 stick) at room temp
2 large eggs
Zest of 1 1/2 lemons
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup buttermilk
Seven minute frosting
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare your muffin pan with liners. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.
Beat the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer, on medium high, until pale and fluffy. Add each egg, beating until well incorporated. Scrape down the bowel, beat in the zest and vanilla. Add flour mixture in three additions, alternate eighth the buttermilk and lemon juice. Beat until just combined. Do not over mix.
Fill each muffin cup approximately 3/4 full (I used the 4 tbsp scoop). Bake for 25 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through. Cool the cupcakes in the pan in a wire rack. Can be stored in airtight container overnight.
When ready to serve, spread 1 tbsp lemon curd on each cupcake. Frost with seven minute icing. I used Wilton #4B.
8 egg yolks
Zest of 2 lemons
Juice of 3 lemons
1 cup sugar
1/8 tsp salt
10 tbsp unsalted butter, cold, cut into pieces
Whisk together the yolks, zest, juice, and sugar in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring almost constantly, for 10 minutes until the mixture is 160 degrees.
Turn off the heat and stir in the salt and butter.
Strain through a fine mesh sieve. Press a piece of plastic wrap directly on to the surface. Refrigerate for two hours, preferably overnight.
Seven minute frosting
3/4 cups sugar
1/3 cup water
1 tbsp light corn syrup
3 egg whites
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Bring one inch of water in a medium sauce pan to a boil.
Place sugar, water, corn syrup, and egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer. Set the bowel over the saucepan of boiling water and cook until a thermometer reads 160 degrees, about 5 minutes.
Transfer to the stand mixer and beat for 7 minutes, on high speed, until stiff peaks form. Beat in the vanilla.
Adapted from Martha Stewart.