These are the cupcake version of a lemon meringue pie. I love the scent and taste of lemons, always so fresh and summery and just the thing to cheer up these dull winter days. The meringue is almost like marshmallow and fairly easy to whip up.
Lemon Meringue Cupcakes
For the cupcakes
- 100g unsalted butter, softened
- 200g caster sugar
- 2 lemons, grated zest only
- 2 eggs
- 125ml buttermilk
- 225g self-raising flour, sifted
- ¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 4-5 tbsp of lemon curd, shop bought or homemade (see basics)
For the Meringue
- 3 egg whites
- 180g caster sugar
- ¼ tsp cream of tartar
- ½ tsp vanilla essence
- Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan. Line a 12-hole muffin tin with paper cupcake liners.
- Place the butter, sugar and lemon rind into the bowl of your stand mixer and beat until pale and fluffy.
- Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
- Alternating between them add the buttermilk, flour and bicarb, stirring until just combined.
- Divide the mixture evenly between the cupcake cases, filling them about two thirds full.
- Bake the cakes for about 20 minutes, until well risen and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
- Leave the cakes to cool in the tin for 5 minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack to cool completely.
- While the cakes are cooling make the meringue. Place the egg whites along with the sugar and cream of tartar into a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, making sure that the bowl does not touch the water.
- Beat the mixture with an electric hand whisk for 10 minutes. The mixture should be thick and hot and should be at a soft peak stage.
- Remove the bowl from the heat and whisk in the vanilla essence.
- Continue beating the mixture for another 2 – 3 minutes until very thick and can hold its shape. Set aside to cool.
- Once cooled, spoon the mixture into a piping bag fitted with a large star nozzle.
- Spread some of the lemon curd onto each cupcake and pipe on the meringue.
- Using a cook’s blowtorch, caramelize the tops until a golden brown being careful not to burn them.
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