Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Lemon meringue cupcakes

Listening to this song while making these cupcakes.

For the cupcake:

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 large eggs plus 3 large egg yolks
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 cup low-fat buttermilk

For the lemon curd:

1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
8 tablespoons butter, cubed
1 1/2 cup superfine sugar
4 eggs + 4 egg yolks
2 tablespoons grated lemon zest

For the meringue:

2 large egg white
1/2 cup of sugar
1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line two cupcake pans with liners. In a medium bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and lemon zest.

In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter and 1 1/2 cups sugar until light and fluffy. With mixer on low, beat in eggs and yolks, one at a time. Beat in lemon juice. Alternately beat in flour mixture and buttermilk beginning and ending with flour mixture; mix just until combined.

Divide batter evenly among pans, filling each 3/4 full. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 22-25 minutes. Let cool in pans 10 minutes, and then cool cupcakes completely on a wire rack.

While the cupcakes are cooking, make the lemon curd. In a heatproof bowl, whisk together all ingredients except butter. Place it over a small pot of simmering water, whisking constantly. When the mixture thickens to coat the back of a spoon, so that when you run your finger through it the finger stripe doesn’t disappear, take if off of the pot. Add the butter and whisk until it melts. Allow to cool slightly, then transfer to a clean glass jar, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate.

For the meringue, put the sugar, cream of tartar, and egg whites into the bowl of an electric mixer. Set the bowl over a pot of simmering water (the bowl should not be touching the water) and allow the sugar to melt into the eggs. Once warmed, add the vanilla and beat the mixture until stiff peaks form, about 3 – 5 minutes, set aside.
Turn your oven on broil at 400 degrees. Cut a cone out of your cupcake with a small, sharp knife. Fill the opening with a spoonful of lemon curd. Either cut the very top off of the cone and cover the opening, or just leave it open- either will work. Once your cupcakes are filled, cover them with a generous heap of meringue. Use the back of a spoon to create stiff peaks in your meringue, and place the cupcakes on a baking sheet. Place them in the oven and watch very carefully until the tops are just golden brown, 2-4 minutes, depending on the strength of your broiler. Don’t look away for a second! (If you have a torch, congrats on your courage, and feel free to use that instead of the oven method. It’s probably much, much easier.) Let the meringue tops cool before serving.

Recipe from Flour Child

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