For the cupcakes
1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
¾ cup sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1½ cups all-purpose flour
1½ teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
½ cup buttermilk
For the lemon curd
3 large egg yolks
1½ tablespoons lemon zest
½ cup lemon juice
½ cup sugar
6 tablespoons butter
For the meringue
3 large egg whites
½ cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350°F 180C. Line a cupcake tray with 7 extra-large cupcake molds. *
In a large bowl using a whisk, mix the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add in eggs and vanilla extract, mixing until combined.
In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Alternate mixing in the flour and the buttermilk until everything comes together. Do not overmix.
Using a ¼ cup scoop, scoop two scoops of batter into each cupcake mold. Tap the cupcake tray against a solid surface to even out the cupcake batter’s surface. Place in oven and bake for 27 minutes, until the tops of the cupcakes are golden around the edges and a knife comes out clean when inserted into the center of the cupcake. ** Allow to cool to room temperature before assembling.
While the cupcakes are baking, make the lemon curd. Create a double boiler and, in the top bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, lemon zest, lemon juice, and sugar. Whisk constantly over medium high heat for 6-7 minutes, until the curd becomes thick and coats the back of a spoon. Immediately remove from heat and whisk in butter until beautiful and glossy!
Strain the curd through a fine mesh sieve to remove any lumps, then place in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and set in fridge until you’re ready to assemble your cupcakes.
Using a small sharp knife, cut a 1-inch diameter conical hole into the top of the cupcakes. Scoop as much cupcake out as you’d like, depending on how much curd you want (I created a pretty wide and deep hole). Cut the top off the cone and save it as a lid for the cupcake. Scoop 1-2 tablespoons of lemon curd into the center of the cupcake, then top with the cupcake lid. Repeat with all cupcakes.
Now make the meringue! In a standing mixer, whip the egg whites until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Slowly add in the sugar and vanilla extract, and continue to whip until the meringue holds stiff peaks.
Scoop the meringue on top of the filled cupcakes, using a large spoon to create pretty folds in the meringue. Remove the top rack from your oven and place meringues under the broiler on high for 2-4 minutes, turning halfway for even baking. I didn’t move away from the oven, as the meringues can burn in 2 seconds! Just watch them like a hawk. Allow the tops to cool to room temperature before serving.
*I used HUGE cupcake molds. If you only have regular sized ones, you will end up with more than 7 cupcakes. Probably around 12.
**If using regular sized cupcake molds, this number will be shorter. Check them after 18 minutes.
Carrina le Roux