Lemon Meringue Cupcakes
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs
3 Finely grated zest of lemons (about 3 tablespoons)
1 juice of lemon
1 teaspoon lemon extract (I like them extra lemony- use vanilla if you don't)
1 cup yogurt
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
1/2 cup sugar
3 large eggs
6 tablespoons butter
6 egg whites, room temperature
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 cups powdered sugar (this is important b/c powdered sugar contains cornstarch, helping stiff peaks form more easily)
Cream butter and sugar together until sugar "appears" dissolved, but is gritty to the touch.
Add eggs, 1 at a time and mix well.
Add lemon zest, juice and extract and mix well.
Combine flour, baking powder and salt, stir well.
Add flour mixture to butter/sugar/egg mixture, alternating with yogurt.
Do not over mix.
Transfer to greased muffin pan and bake for 20-25 min (until they spring back to the touch or toothpick comes out clean.
Cool 10 min before filling with lemon curd or topping with meringue.
In a medium saucepan, whisk together lemon juice, zest, sugar and eggs.
Stir in butter and cook over low heat, whisking quickly and continuously until the butter has melted.
Increase heat to medium low and whisk until the lemon curd is thick enough to hold a ripple mark when the whisk is lifted from the curd and the first bubbles appear on the surface (about 6-7 minutes).
Transfer to a bowl then cover the curd using plastic wrap spread directly over the curd.
Chill for a minimum of 2 hours before using.
In a stainless steel bowl, add lemon juice and egg whites.
Beat for about 5 minutes (until soft peaks form).
Add powdered sugar and beat until stiff peaks form (about 5 more minutes) and meringue holds its shape.
Putting it all together:
Using a piping bag and round tip, fill a piping bag with lemon curd.
Place the tip into the center of the cupcake and fill slowly until the tip emerges from the top.
Repeat with each cupcake (you can also cut holes in the cupcakes and fill with a spoon if you aren't comfortable with piping bags).
Once all cupcakes are filled, use a piping bag to pipe swirls of meringue onto each cupcake or use a spoon and smooth the meringue over the top of each cupcake. If smoothing the meringue, use the back of a spoon to press against the top of the meringue and quickly pull away. Repeat several times to give each one texture.
Sprinkle with colorful nonpareils, if desired, and bake for 5 min in a 350 degree oven (or until lightly browned).
Enjoy and share with your friends!! It's worth the effort, I promise!