Lemon Meringue Cupcakes
You may recall that I've said before that I love lemon cakes. I've done a few now, and judging by the popularity of my Luscious Lemon Yoghurt Cake post, so do you, too. Sometime ago, I bought a jar of lemon curd intending to use it as a filling for cupcakes. At the time I was just going to top them with lemon buttercream. I've been so busy recently, though, I never got around to making them.
Then, I had a re-think after buying a magazine I saw in my local supermarket recently. Cupcake Kids is part of the Cupcake Heaven series, and while the recipes are aimed at children, there were lots to interest me, too, including one for lemon meringue cupcakes. I didn't want to use the cupcake recipe, as I wanted to use my own, but I thought I'd try the meringue method they used, as it looked pretty simple.
These cupcakes have a lovely soft, fluffy sponge with the lemon curd giving a sharp centre, beautifully offset by the meringue. I've got to say that I was pretty impressed with myself! The lemon curd I used was from Tesco's Finest range, and it did have a lovely sharp taste to it. Anyway, here's what I did.
Lemon Meringue Cupcakes
Ingredients (made 11 for me)
100g soft unsalted butter
150g self raising flour
150g caster sugar
2 large eggs
2 tbspn milk
1 tbspn grated lemon zest
1 tbspn lemon juice
1/2 tspn lemon extract (I added this as the batter didn't taste too lemony with just the juice - it may just have been the lemon I used, so add to taste. You could just use the lemon extract)
For the filling and topping
3 medium egg whites
125g caster sugar
Preheat the oven to 160 Fan / 180 Conventional / 350 F / Gas 4. Line a 12 hole muffin tray with cases.
In a freestanding mixer, cream the butter and sugar with the paddle attachment until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and mix in. Add the flour and mix until the batter is smooth. Add the milk, lemon zest and juice (and / or extract if using) and mix until incorporated.
Spoon into the muffin cases so that they are no more than two thirds full (I use an ice cream scoop which I know fills the cases just right - but doing it that way I got only 11 cakes out of the mix rather than 12).
Bake for 18 - 20 minutes until risen and golden. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Turn the oven down to 150 Fan / 170 conventional / 300 F / Gas 2.
When completely cool, scoop a small hollow out of the centre of the cupcake (I use a Cuisipro Cupcake Corer). Fill the hollow with lemon curd.
To make the meringue, place the egg whites in a bowl and whisk until they hold soft peaks. Gradually add the caster sugar and continue whisking until you have a smooth glossy meringue, which holds its shape.
I then piped it onto the top of the cupcakes, but you could just use a spoon to dollop it on. Bake in the oven for 10 - 15 minutes until firm to the touch and tinged golden brown. Remove and allow to cool.
I found that the piped meringue sagged slightly after the cupcakes had been allowed to cool, but it also crisped on the outside. It tasted great, though.
I thought they were lovely, and would be perfect for afternoon tea.