I remember, so clearly her Lemon Meringue Pie and next to chocolate, my mother loved lemon desserts. I think she made the best lemon meringue pie I've ever had and I know a favorite of my Dad's, although he said everything she made was his favorite :D
I also remember learning how to make pie crust and what blind baking was from her recipe, not to mention how to properly add a hot substance to egg yolks so they don't "scramble." Then, there was making the meringue from the egg whites, adding the sugar gradually so it dissolved into the white mountains and didn't "weep." This pie created the foundation for my love of baking.
This recipe popped into my head a few weeks ago to honor her birthday, but moreover, bring back memories of baking with her. This has all the lemony richness of her pie rolled into a cupcake, including a gooey marshmellowy meringue that I toasted with a small kitchen torch. I know she would approved and so would Dad.
La La Lemon Meringue Cupcakes
1/2 cup granualted sugar
1 1/2 T cornstarch
3/4 cup water
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1 egg yolk
1 T unsalted butter
1 tsp. lemon zest
In a saucepan, combine sugar and cornstarch and whisk to combine. Add the water, lemon juice and egg yolk and whisk again. Place over medium heat and while whisking constantly, cook until mixture is thick and a clear lemony color. Remove from heat and add the butter and zest. Stir until the butter has melted.
Pour into a glass bowl and chill several hours. Alternatively, you can purchase a pre-made Lemon Curd, but this recipe is actually from my mother's lemon cheesecake recipe and makes these cupcakes even more special.
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs + 2 egg yolks (you'll use the whites in the frosting)
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 T lemon zest
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 cup buttermilk
3/4 cup lemon bits
Preheat oven 350F-degrees and line cupcake pan with paper cups.
In the KitchenAid, with the whisk attachment, beat the butter until fluffy. Gradually add the sugar and continue to beat until the mixture is light and fluffy. Add the eggs and egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Zest two lemons.
then, cut the lemons in half and squeeze the juice.
Stir in the lemon bits (if using).
Remove from the oven and let cool 10 minutes. Bake the remainder of the batter.
Fluffy Seven-Minute Frosting:
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/3 cup cold water
2 egg whites (leftover from the cake batter)
2 tsp. Light Karo Syrup
pinch of salt
2 tsp. Vanilla extract
Create a double boiler using the bowl from the KitchenAid to all the ingredients except the vanilla extract. Fill a large saucepan (one that will support the bowl) with about 2 inches of water and set on a medium high heat. Use a hand mixer to beat the ingredients until frothy. Place the bowl over the boiling water, making sure the water is low enough not to touch the KitchenAid bowl.
I used an apple corer to remove the center of the cupcake and filled it with the lemon filling.