If you really love cupcakes and like to browse sites (maybe, like mine?) for cupcake recipes you might have seen these before. I've made them, along with tons of other bloggers. They're originally from Martha Stewart's Cupcakes which is a great book for all sorts of cupcake ideas, if you ever get short on inspiration. The first time I made them they came out so pretty and so delicious. There was literally NOTHING lacking. I don't know why it took me so long to get around to making them again. They're perfect for spring/summer cookouts because of their bright flavor and the fact that the frosting contains no butter and so won't get gooey or melt in the sun's heat. Even though I've already posted them I felt like they deserved an updated post/picture. I know I'm not going to want to wait too much longer to make these again, diet or no diet!
Lemon Meringue Pie Cupcakes
Yield: 24 cupcakes
For the lemon buttermilk cupcakes:
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups cake flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1 cup (2 sticks) salted butter, at room temp
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs
zest of 3 lemons
juice of 1 lemon (about 2 tbsp)
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk
For the lemon curd:
8 egg yolks (save the whites for the frosting)
1 cup sugar
zest of 3 lemons (about 3 tbsp)
1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp lemon juice
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp unsalted butter, softened and cut into pieces
For the 7-minute meringue frosting:
1 1/2 cups plus 2 tbsp sugar
2/3 cup water
2 tbsp light corn syrup
6 large egg whites
First, make the lemon buttermilk cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line 24 standard muffin tins with paper liners. Whisk together the flour and 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 incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in the zest and vanilla. Add the flour mixture in three batches, alternating with two additions of buttermilk and lemon juice, and beating until just combined after each.
Divide the batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three-quarters full. Bake until a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool completely before removing cupcakes.
Meanwhile, make the lemon curd: Whisk together the egg yolks, sugar, lemon zest, and lemon juice in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Continue stirring the mixture until it comes to a boil and thickens (at least 160 degrees on a candy thermometer). A good way to test is to see if it coats the back of a wooden spoon, if it does then it's ready.
Remove from the heat and stir in the butter, one piece at a time, until all of it is melted in. Strain the mixture, press plastic wrap over the top to cover, and refrigerate until well chilled.
To make the 7-minute meringue frosting: Combine 1 1/2 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.
To assemble: Top each cooled cupcake with a tablespoon of chilled lemon curd. Place the meringue frosting in a large piping bag and use to top cupcakes. Use a kitchen torch to brown tops, if desired. Serve immediately.
slightly adapted from Martha Stewart's Cupcakes.