Summer has begun! It’s a bit surreal, it feels like just yesterday I was packing my bags to go to college. Now, my room is filled with tons of unpacked suitcases, and I’m starting to understand that unpacking is MUCH worse than packing. I’m definitely not a fan.
It is really hard to believe that I’m completely done with one year of college. Time really does fly as you get older.
As for this summer, I go to Mexico in a week with two of my best friends and my family, and then I’m starting an internship at UBS Financial! Should be a good summer, but I have to say, it’s too weird not being able to walk 5 feet and be with my best friends.
However, I’ll have baking to keep me busy, and busy I will be. I know I’ve been a bit of a slacker with the posting this year, but this summer will make up for it! I already have some recipes lined up, and I’m crossing my fingers you will all enjoy them.
To start the summer off right, I give you a delicious lemon meringue cupcake. A friend of my dad’s brought over a bag of over 20 lemons from her lemon grove, and I knew I needed to do the gorgeous fruits justice!
Lemon meringue was easy to settle on, but I wasn’t in a pie crust mood, so I went with cupcakes. Thankfully, good ole Martha has a kick-butt recipe that was easy to follow and turned out wonderfully delicious. My entire family enjoyed these cupcakes, from the moist crumb of the cake, to the tart, velvety curd, to the light, airy torched meringue. And my 3-year-old twin cousins definitely got a kick out of the blow torch!
If you have some lemons hanging around, I highly encourage this recipe! It’s a perfect Memorial Day recipe, so whip these up next weekend and show everyone your baking prowess. Hope you enjoy!!
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2 cups sugar
- 4 large eggs, room temperature
- Finely grated zest of 3 lemons (about 3 tablespoons), plus 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 8 large egg yolks
- Finely grated zest of 2 lemons
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 3 lemons)
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/4 sticks (10 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cold, cut into pieces
- 1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2/3 cup water
- 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
- 6 large egg whites, room temperatur
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.
- With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, cream butter, sugar, and lemon zest until pale and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is until incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Beat in vanilla. Stir together buttermilk and lemon juice. Add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with two additions of buttermilk and lemon juice, and beating until just combined after each.
- Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three-quarters full. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until golden brown and a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, about 22-25 minutes. Let cool for about 3-5 minutes in the pan and then move the cupcakes to wire racks to cool completely. Cupcakes can be stored overnight at room temperature, or frozen up to 2 months, in airtight containers.
- Combine yolks, lemon zest, lemon juice, and sugar in a heavy-bottom saucepan; whisk to combine. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon (be sure to scrape the sides of the pan), until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of the spoon, 8 to 10 minutes (mine ended up taking about 12 minutes), or until it registers 160 degrees on an instant-read thermometer.
- Remove saucepan from heat. Add salt and butter, one piece at a time, stirring until smooth. Strain through a fine sieve into a medium bowl. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing it directly onto the surface of the curd to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate until chilled and set, at least 1 hour or up to 1 day.
- Combine 1 1/2 cups sugar with the water and corn syrup in a small saucepan; clip a candy thermometer to side of pan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until sugar dissolves. Continue boiling, without stirring, until syrup reaches 230 degrees.
- Meanwhile, in the bowl of a standing electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk egg whites on medium-high speed until soft peaks form. With mixer running, add remaining 2 tablespoons sugar, beating to combine.
- As soon as sugar syrup reaches 230 degrees, remove from heat. With mixer on medium-low speed, pour syrup down side of bowl in a slow, steady stream. Raise speed to medium-high; whisk until mixture is completely cool (test by touching the bottom of the bowl) and stiff (but not dry) peaks form, about 7 minutes. Use immediately.
- To finish, make a hole in the center of the cupcake with either a cupcake corer or a knife (here is a tutorial). Spoon lemon curd into the center of each cupcake. Either fill a piping bag with frosting and pipe frosting onto each cupcake, swirling tip slightly and releasing as you pull up to form a peak, or just spoon some frosting onto the top of each cupcake, using a spoon to create peaks all over the cupcake (I did the latter). Using a small kitchen torch, hold the torch 3 to 4 inches from surface of frosting, and wave it back and forth until frosting is lightly browned all over. Serve immediately.