Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Lemon Meringue Cupcakes

Lemon Meringue Pie is one of my hubby's favorite two favorite desserts. (It may have been how I won him over in the first place!) I wanted to make a version of the pie that is easier to share, and this recipe definitely fits the bill. Plus, cupcakes have been my "thing" for the past year or two, so I was especially excited to try this recipe out. I got the recipe from Martha Stewart's webpage, but I adapted the recipe slightly so I didn't have to buy too many groceries, or let things go to waste.

I was also excited to try out these cupcakes to try out one of my newest kitchen toys - a torch! And not any little old kitchen torch, I went all out & bought a Benzomatic TS3000 from Home Depot. (It IS labeled as a multi-purpose torch after all.) I read some reviews online, and while the kitchen torches get points for being "cute" and "easy to hold," they just didn't seem to have much power. With my busy schedule as a resident, I didn't want to spend 3-5 minutes torching each individual dessert I make - I needed efficiency!

LEMON MERINGUE CUPCAKES (Adapted from Martha Stewart)
Makes 24 Cupcakes


3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 cup (2 sticks) salted butter, room temperature
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs, room temperature
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup milk

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Whisk together flour & baking powder

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 lemon juice, lemon extract and vanilla. Add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with two additions, 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 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.


8 large egg yolks (save the whites!!)
Finely grated zest of 2 lemons
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 cup sugar
1 stick (1/2 cup) salted 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, and registers 160 degrees on an instant-read thermometer.

Remove saucepan from heat. Add salt and butter, one piece at a time, stirring until smooth. 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.


2 cups plus 2 tablespoons sugar
3/4 cup water
3 tablespoons light corn syrup
8 large egg whites, room temperature (saved from making lemon curd)

Combine 2 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.

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.

As soon as sugar syrup reaches 230 degrees, remove from heat. With mixer on medium-low speed, pour syrup down side of 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 stiff (but not dry) peaks form, about 7 minutes. Use immediately.


Spread 1 tablespoon lemon curd onto middle of each cupcake.

Fill a pastry bag fitted with a large open-star tip (I use Wilton #1M) with frosting. Pipe frosting onto each cupcake, swirling tip slightly and releasing as you pull up to form a peak.

Hold a torch 3 to 4 inches from surface of frosting, and wave it back and forth until frosting is lightly browned all over.

(Isn't it a beauty!?!?)


I made the lemon curd the night before baking the cupcakes, and refrigerated it overnight. Cupcakes are best if served in the first day or two.


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