Lemon Meringue Cupcakes
Fun fact... Lemon Meringue Pie was the bake I chose to take to my audition for Junior Bake-Off back in 2011!
So... to celebrate the start of the new GBBO series, I decided to make a cupcake version of one of my favourite desserts! Made with home made lemon curd and an Italian Meringue, these are a real delight!
For the muffins:
- 160g unsalted butter, softened
- 160g golden caster sugar
- 160g self-raising flour
- 3 medium eggs
- Zest of 1-2 lemons
For the lemon curd filling:
- 4 unwaxed lemons, zest and juice
- 200g caster sugar
- 100g unsalted butter
- 3 medium eggs, plus 1 extra yolk
For the Italian meringue:
- 80g egg whites, room temperature
- 140g granulated sugar
- 65ml water
- 12 hole cupcake tin
- 12 cupcake cases
- Sugar thermometer
For the cupcakes:
- Line the 12-hole cupcake tin with the cases and preheat the oven to 180C/160C Fan/Gas Mark 4.
- Cream the butter and sugar together using an electric or manual whisk until light and fluffy.
- Add in the flour, eggs and lemon zest and beat again until smooth.
- Using two teaspoons, separate the mixture evenly between the 12 cupcake cases; filling each one at least half way.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the middle of one comes out clean.
Making the lemon curd:
- Put the lemon zest, juice, sugar and butter into a heat proof bowl. Place this bowl over the top of a pan of simmering water; ensuring the bottom of the bowl DOES NOT touch the water. Stir this mixture every few minutes until the butter has completely melted.
- Lightly beat the eggs and extra yolk together in a separate bowl and then slowly pour into the lemon mixture; stirring as you do. Leave to cook for approximately 10 minutes; mixing every now and then until the mixture is a lot thicker and creamier in texture but also coats the back of a spoon.
- Remove the curd from the heat and leave in the fridge to cool completely whilst you prepare the Italian meringue...
- Pour the sugar and water into a heavy based saucepan and begin to heat. Once the mixture begins to boil, pop in the sugar thermometer. You want the mixture to reach 120C. Whilst the mixture is heating up, place the egg whites into a perfectly clean bowl.
- Beat the egg whites with an electric or manual whisk until soft peaks are achieved, ensuring to keep an eye on the syrup's temperature.
- When the sugar syrup has reached the desired temperature, continue to whisk the egg whites whilst you slowly pour the sugar syrup into them in a thin drizzle. Once all of the syrup is in, continue to whisk for about 5-8 minutes until completely smooth. Transfer the finished meringue to a piping bag.
- Taking a serrated knife, core out the middle of your cupcakes and then fill with your lemon curd (you can eat the middle bit).
- Pipe some meringue onto the top of each cupcake and then place under a grill for approximately 5 minutes until the top of the meringue is slightly browned.
- Make a cuppa, kick your legs up and enjoy this little moment of joy!
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