Lolly's Lemon Cupcakes with Italian Meringue

Birthday Cards

I have a box under my bed, like many girls do, filled with mementos and cards that I have received from people who love me. They’re glad they know me, they are proud of me and they miss me. Some of the cards have sweet sentiments, scribbled signatures, inside jokes, and some of them have my name spelled wrong, one of them plays music.

The cards that say “Love Grandma” are all extra sweet, I can tell she must have read thousands of them looking for the exact words she was feeling at the time. Finding the right one is a special talent of hers.  I love to slide that box out from underneath the bed and read through those cards, the gestures are not overlooked or forgotten, but cherished.

Happy Birthday Grandma! This is my card to you!

Lolly’s Lemon Cupcakes
makes 2 dozen cupcakes

Lemon Filling
1 ½ Cup Sugar
½ Cup Cornstarch
1 ½ Cup Water (+ 1/3 Cup to mix with Cornstarch)
1 TS Salt
4 Egg Yolks
½ Cup Lemon Juice
3 TB Butter
2 TS Lemon Zest

Lemon Filling Instructions
Whisk the water, salt and sugar in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Mix the Cornstarch and 1/3 cup of water until it forms a paste, gradually mix into the syrup in the sauce pan, stir until clear. Turn the heat down to medium/low. Stir the egg yolks and lemon juice until combined, then slowly stir into the syrup, then bring to a boil again. Once boiled, remove from heat and stir in the zest and butter. Set aside to cool.

Lemon Italian Meringue Ingredients
1 Cup Superfine Sugar
5 Egg Whites
1 TS Cream Tartar
3 TS Lemon Juice
1/3 Cup Water

Lemon Italian Meringue Instructions
Combine the sugar, lemon juice and water over high heat, bring to a boil to create a simple syrup. Whisk the egg whites in your stand mixer on a low speed until fluffy, add the cream of tartar and increase the speed until peaks form. Return to low speed and then pour the syrup (should be warm) slowly into the fluffed whites. Beat until stiff and glossy.

Cupcake Ingredients
3 Cups Flour
1 Cup Butter
2 Cups Sugar
4 Eggs
1 Cup Milk
2 TB Lemon Juice
1 ½ TS Baking Powder
1 TS Salt
2 TS Vanilla Extract

Cupcake Instructions
Cream the butter and sugar in your stand mixer until smooth. Add in the eggs one at a time, making sure to combine well after each addition. Combine all the remaining ingredients in a bowl, and all the remaining dry ingredients in another. Alternate adding each mixture to the ingredients in the mixer until fully combined. Divide the batter into a papered cupcake pan. Bake at 350° until an inserted toothpick comes out clean, that should take about 15 minutes. Once you take the pans out of the oven then leave the cakes in the pan for two or three minutes, before removing to cool completely.

Assembling the Cupcakes: Once the cakes are cooled, slice along the wrapper separating the top from the bottom. Spread about 2 TBs of the Lemon Filling on the bottom and then return the top. Cover with the Italian meringue and then if you wish you can garnish with candied lemon peel curls.

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