Lemon Meringue Cupcakes

The lightest, lemoniest, tartest, sweetest and most desirable cupcakes I have ever tried. One recipe that is worth every second of preparation time!

Cupcakes
1 cup pure cream

1 cup caster sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/2 cups self raising flour
Finely grated rind of 1 lemon

Lemon curd
1/2 cup lemon juice
100g butter
1/2 cup caster sugar
1 egg
3 egg yolks

Meringue
3 egg whites

1/2 cup caster sugar

Preheat oven to 180’C. Place 12 patty cake liners in a 12 hole 1/2-cup capacity muffin pan. Place cream, sugar and eggs in a large mixing bowl and whisk until smooth. Gradually add flour and zest and continue whisking until mixture is thick and smooth.
Divide mixture between prepared liners and bake for 15-20 minutes or until cakes spring back to touch. Cool in muffin pan.
For lemon curd, heat lemon juice and butter in a small saucepan and simmer until butter has melted. Add sugar, egg and yolks and cook, whisking continuously until mixture becomes thick and glossy. Pour into a shallow oven tray to cool.
For meringue, beat egg whites in an electric mixer until firm peaks form, gradually add sugar, a tablespoon at a time, beating until sugar has dissolved between each addition. Spoon meringue mixture into a piping bag. To serve, preheat grill to medium-high. Cut a small hole in the top of each cupcake and fill with 1-2 teaspoons of lemon curd.  Pipe a swirl of meringue mixture on the top of each cupcake and place under heated grill for 60-90 seconds or until golden. Arrange on a serving plate with spoonfuls of lemon curd if desired. Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Makes 12 cupcakes.

This recipe originally from Junior Masterchef is so simple it is hard to believe that you hadn’t thought of it yourself. Cupcakes with no butter, what a brilliant idea, no waiting around for it to soften! Just pour it all into a mixer in 2 batches and it’s done, bake them, cool them, make the curd, fill, make the meringue, pipe, grill and you are done. The perfect cupcakes every time! This is the fourth time I have baked these and every person I know loves them. Even people who don’t like meringue love them! There is just something about the light lemony cake with the tart curd topped with the squishy meringue that makes this one of the best recipes I have.

The hard points in this recipe. Number one, do not grate your fingers when you are zesting the lemons, it makes squeezing the lemons for the curd almost unbearable! Number two, try your hardest not to scramble the curd, if it happens, which has happened to me twice, remove from the heat and stir gently until thickened then strain through a fine sieve to remove the cooked egg. Number four, do not burn the meringue, it looks nowhere near as pretty and tastes a bit horrible when it burns, so keep your eye on it, or even better if you have a blowtorch, do it with that. Number four, leave plenty of time to make these, it is a lot easier to spoon the curd when it is cool, the meringue will hold its shape a lot better if it gets enough beating, it will sag and droop and look wrinkly if it doesn’t. Don’t let this put you off baking these, it is just a few points to take note of from someone that has had all of these things happen to her!

If I ever had a recipe to encourage you to try it would have to be these. You might be thinking, oh they sound hard, or Junior Masterchef, I don’t know about that, but trust me, and almost all my family and friends, these are sensational. I would even go as far as saying they are scrumptious and delicious.

Love Sonia x

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