These little lemon cupcakes are filled with a lemon curd to give it that really "lemon meringue pie" sort of taste, along with a Swiss meringue piped on the top and toasted.
I found Meyer lemons at the grocery store and was so excited! Finding little treats like that is a rare occurrence in this town. Click here to learn more about Meyer Lemons... they are just lovely.
If you would like to make these cupcakes, simply find a lemon cake recipe that you like(or use a boxed mix) and bake in cupcake wrappers. When they have cooled down, cut the tops off, fill with a little bit of lemon curd. Make a Swiss Meringue, pipe on top of the cupcakes, and toast underneath your oven broiler until lightly browned (it only takes a 30 seconds or so, so watch them closely!!)
Here are my recipes for a lemon curd and Swiss Meringue:
2 1/3 cups sugar
4 t. cornstarch
1 cup lemon juice
4 large Eggs
4 large Egg Yolks
¾ cup (1 ½ sticks) butter, cut into ½ inch cubes
Mix together sugar and cornstarch in a heavy large saucepan. Slowly add the key lime juice, whisking until all cornstarch is dissolved. Whisk in eggs and yolks. Add butter. Stir over medium heat until curd boils and thickens, about 12 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl. Chill until cold, at least 6 hours or overnight.
*Press plastic wrap onto the surface of the curd to prevent crust from forming and keep chilled.
2 large egg white
1/2 cup of sugar
1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
For the meringue:Put the sugar, cream of tartar, and egg whites into the bowl of an electric mixer. Set the bowl over a pot of simmering water (the bowl should not be touching the water) and allow the sugar to melt into the eggs. Once warmed, add the vanilla and beat the mixture until stiff peaks form, about 3 - 5 minutes, set aside.
A few tips~
* Lemon curd can be made up to a week in advance.
* Try using other citrus juices to make curd with, such as key limes or Meyer lemons.
* You can use a creme brulee torch to toast your meringue, but I think it is a little too time consuming and prefer the broiler method.
* Keep these cupcakes in the fridge, I think they taste even better cold!