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BackstoryThese are my personal favourite and are perfect for a novice cake decorator. A light, zesty cupcake is filled with a tart lemon curd and topped with the requisite meringue. I like to pipe spikes and swirls on top of the cupcakes, but a simple dollop would look just as lovely. Cupcakes can be stored at room temperature for 4 hours or chilled for 1 day.
- LEMON CURD:
- 1/3 cup (75 ml) fresh lemon juice
- 3 whole large eggs
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1/2 cup (125 ml) sugar
- 1/2 cup (125 ml) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- 1 tsp (5 ml) lemon zest
- 2 cups (500 ml) pastry flour
- 2 1/2 tsp (12 ml) baking powder
- 3/4 tsp (4 ml) salt
- 1/3 cup (75 ml) unsalted butter at room temperature
- 1 cup (250 ml) sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 tsp (5 ml) vanilla extract
- 1 cup (250 ml) 2% milk
- 1 tbsp (15 ml) lemon zest
- 3 large egg whites
- 1/2 tsp (2 ml) cream of tartar
- 1/2 cup (125 ml) sugar
- For Lemon Curd, whisk lemon juice, eggs, egg yolk and sugar in a metal bowl until smooth. Add butter and place bowl over a pot of gently simmering water. Whisk gently until curd thickens and leaves a ribbon when whisk is lifted, about 8 minutes. Remove from heat and strain. Stir in lemon zest and chill completely before filling.
- For Cupcakes, preheat oven to 375°F (190°C).
- Line 2 muffin tins with paper cups. Sift pastry flour, baking powder and salt, and set aside.
- In another bowl, cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla. Combine milk and lemon zest. Add dry ingredients to butter mixture alternately with milk mixture in 3 additions. Fill paper cups just over halfway and bake 18 to 20 minutes, until cake springs back when touched and only just begins to colour. Allow to cool completely.
- For Meringue, whip egg whites and cream of tartar until foamy. Add sugar and continue whipping until egg whites hold an upright peak when beaters are lifted.
- To assemble, preheat oven to 400°F (200°C).
- Remove cupcakes from muffin tin and place on a baking sheet. Carve out a hole in each cupcake with a paring knife (discard or snack on scraps). Spoon or pipe 2 tbsp (25 mL) of lemon curd into each cupcake. Spoon dollops or pipe spikes or swirls of meringue over curd. Bake for 4 to 6 minutes, until tops of meringues brown.
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