When life gives you lemons… make lemon curd and then use that to make lemon meringue pie. Or cupcakes.
It has been a while that I wanted to try making this cupcake, since I saw Eric Lanlard on TV baking these.
It was rather easy. Just a standard cupcake batter. Nothing fancy.
Add a dollop of lemon curd. Then cover with a bit more batter.
Pipe lovely meringue on top. Eric Lanlard’s recipe used Italian meringue. My candy thermometer is broken, so I made Swiss meringue. It is less of a hassle for me too.
The tricky bit is to then brown the meringue nicely. I used a grill, then decided to blowtorch it… oops.
Here’s the recipe.
Lemon meringue cupcakes (from Eric Lanlard’s recipe)
- 100g butter, softened
- 100g caster sugar
- 1 vanilla pod, seeds scraped out using a sharp knife (or you can just use a bit of vanilla extract)
- 2 eggs
- 100g self-raising flour
- Zest of 1 lemon
For the meringue:
- 2 egg whites
- 75g caster sugar
For the lemon curd and how to make it click on the link here.
- Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4 and line a cupcake tray with paper cases.
- For the cupcakes, cream the butter, sugar and vanilla seeds together in a large mixing bowl until pale, fluffy and well combined. Crack in the eggs, one at a time, and beat until both are fully incorporated into the mixture.
- Place a couple of teaspoons of batter in the bottom of each case, add a teaspoonful of lemon curd then cover with a little more mixture.
- Bake the cupcakes in the oven for 15-20 minutes, or until pale golden-brown and spring back when pressed lightly in the centre.
- For the meringue topping, whisk the egg whites and sugar together in a clean bowl over gently heated water until sugar has dissolved and mixture is foamy. Check that the egg mixture is warm to the touch and take the bowl off the heated water. Whisk vigorously until the meringue mixture is thick and glossy and has cooled down.
- Spoon the meringue into a piping bag and pipe some meringue on the top of each cake. Using a blowtorch, lightly brown the top of each cake to toast the meringue. If you have a crappy blowtorch like mine, just use the oven grill.
Well now, lemon curd… I first made my own in the UK for desserts such as lemon meringue pie. If you’ve read my post on Merdeka cake, then you might remember that I made my own lemon curd for the cake topping.
Now, this is not the super thick lemon curd that goes on bread like a butter spread. Because I was going to use it as an ingredient, I wanted a tangy curd that glazes over the top of the cake. Here’s how I made it.
Lemon curd ingredients (makes about 400 ml):
- Juice and fine zest of 2 lemons (that is roughly 125 ml of juice)
- 50 g of granulated sugar (you can adjust this amount according to your taste)
- 4 large egg yolks
- 90 g unsalted butter (cubed)
- a pinch of salt
- Boil some water in a large pan. Have a bowl sit on top of the pan, but not touching the water. You’re making a bain Marie (double boiler) here. You can just make the curd directly in the pan over the stove, but chances of making scrambled eggs and lemon are pretty high.
- In the bowl, mix the egg yolks, lemon juice, salt and sugar. So the mixture should be something like this:
- Now, keep stirring to make sure the mixture is heated evenly and prevent any of the eggs from becoming lumpy. Watch the heat from the stove. You should be cooking with the steam of the hot water only.
- The mixture should start thickening after 5 to 10 minutes. When it is getting to a jelly-like stage, add the butter and take it off the stove. Keep stirring until all the butter has melted.
- Stir and stir to cool the curd. The curd should look all smooth and shiny.
- Now I recommend that you strain your curd to make sure that you got a smooth custard. Just pass it through a sieve while it is still warm. Here’s mine being strained into a sterilised jam jar.
- Done! Once the curd cools completely, it will be a little thicker, like mayonaise.
If you want a thick curd, you can:
- add some egg whites instead of just the yolks. Something like two egg yolks and two whole eggs should work.
- add more butter. 120 g maybe?
- you can also add a bit of corn starch to thicken… but I don’t like this option.
- Whisking the mixture instead of just mixing with a spatula. Whisking will incorporate air into the mixture, making it increase in volume, and also a lighter and thicker curd… it’s almost like making zabaglione. Sort of…
Lemon curd keeps for about two weeks in the fridge (4 to 8 degrees celcius). Storing it in a sterilised jar will help prolong its shelf life.