Lemon Meringue Pie Cupcakes A Sweet and Tangy Twist on a Classic Dessert
Lemon meringue pie cupcakes are a delightful fusion of two beloved desserts, combining the tangy citrus flavor of lemon meringue pie with the individual, handheld convenience of cupcakes. These mini treats feature a zesty lemon cupcake base, a silky lemon curd filling, and a cloud-like meringue topping. They capture the essence of a classic lemon meringue pie in a perfectly portioned cupcake form, making them a delightful addition to any dessert table or special occasion.
As you embark on making these lemon meringue pie cupcakes, imagine the zesty aroma of lemon zest and the satisfaction of biting into a cupcake that oozes with lemony goodness. Visualize the delicate peaks of the meringue topping, golden brown from the oven’s heat. Picture the smiles on the faces of those savoring these sweet and tangy treats, appreciating the delightful contrast of flavors and textures. Let’s dive into the world of lemony desserts and craft these irresistible lemon meringue pie cupcakes together.
A Collection of Ingredients for Lemon Meringue Pie Cupcakes
For the Lemon Cupcakes:
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the Lemon Curd Filling:
- 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large egg yolks
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
For the Meringue Topping:
- 3 large egg whites
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
Create Irresistible Lemon Meringue Pie Cupcakes
1. Preparing the Lemon Cupcakes:
- Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C) and line a cupcake tin with paper liners.
2. Mixing the Dry Ingredients:
- In a bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, baking powder, and salt. Set this dry mixture aside.
3. Creaming the Butter and Sugar:
- In a separate large bowl, cream together the softened unsalted butter and granulated sugar until light and fluffy, which should take about 2-3 minutes.
4. Incorporating Eggs and Lemon Zest:
- Add the eggs, one at a time, to the butter-sugar mixture, ensuring each egg is fully incorporated before adding the next. Mix in the lemon zest.
5. Adding Lemon Juice and Vanilla:
- Stir in the fresh lemon juice and vanilla extract until well combined.
6. Alternating Wet and Dry Ingredients:
- Gradually add the dry mixture to the wet mixture, alternating with the whole milk. Begin and end with the dry mixture. Mix until just combined.
7. Filling the Cupcake Liners:
- Divide the lemon cupcake batter equally among the prepared cupcake liners, filling each about two-thirds full.
8. Baking to Perfection:
- Bake the cupcakes in the preheated oven for approximately 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Remove them from the oven and let them cool in the pan for a few minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.
9. Preparing the Lemon Curd Filling:
- While the cupcakes are cooling, prepare the lemon curd filling. In a saucepan, whisk together the fresh lemon juice, granulated sugar, and egg yolks. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens (this should take about 5-7 minutes). Remove from heat, stir in the unsalted butter, and let it cool.
10. Filling the Cupcakes: – Once the cupcakes and lemon curd are both completely cool, use a small knife or cupcake corer to create a hole in the center of each cupcake. Fill each hole with lemon curd.
11. Making the Meringue Topping: – In a clean, dry bowl, whip the egg whites with an electric mixer until they become frothy. Add the cream of tartar and continue whipping. Gradually add the granulated sugar while whipping. Beat until stiff peaks form.
12. Piping the Meringue: – Transfer the meringue to a piping bag fitted with a large star tip or your preferred decorating tip. Pipe a swirl of meringue onto each cupcake, covering the lemon curd filling.
13. Browning the Meringue: – Use a kitchen torch to lightly brown the meringue topping, creating beautiful golden peaks. Alternatively, you can place the cupcakes under the broiler for a brief moment, but be vigilant to prevent burning.
14. Serving and Enjoyment: – Serve your lemon meringue pie cupcakes and savor the harmonious blend of zesty lemon, creamy curd, and fluffy meringue.
Tips and Variations:
Elevate Your Lemon Meringue Pie Cupcakes Experience
- To achieve the perfect meringue topping, make sure your mixing bowl and beaters are clean and free of any grease or residue.
- Mini Versions: You can make mini lemon meringue pie cupcakes by using a mini cupcake tin and reducing the baking time.
Pairing Suggestion: Enjoy your lemon meringue pie cupcakes with a cup of hot tea or coffee for a delightful dessert experience.
Storage and Enjoyment: Store any leftover lemon meringue pie cupcakes in an airtight container in the refrigerator. They’re best enjoyed within a day or two to maintain the texture and flavors.
Cook’s Note: Lemon meringue pie cupcakes are a celebration of the classic pie’s flavors, combining the brightness of lemon, the richness of curd, and the lightness of meringue in a convenient cupcake form. As you savor each bite, take pride in the way you’ve reimagined a beloved dessert. These cupcakes aren’t just about taste; they’re a celebration of creativity in the kitchen. Share them with friends and family, embrace the citrusy flavors and fluffy meringue, and enjoy the experience of baking and enjoying a delightful homemade treat.