Out of all lemon flavored desserts, my favorite by far is lemon meringue pie. Just the smell of freshly squeezed lemons takes me back to when I was 5 years old. My dad made wonderful lemon pies with a tower of white, fluffy meringue on top to sell to restaurants. In an attempt to recreate the wonderful layers of flavor in it, I made mini lemon meringue cupcakes, soft cupcakes filled with lemon curd, and topped with toasted meringue. These are great for parties, and can be made one day ahead and refrigerated until ready to serve.
Lemon Meringue Cupcakes
• 1 ¼ cup flour
• ¾ teaspoon baking powder
• ¼ teaspoon salt
• 2/3 cup milk
• 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut in pieces
• 2 large eggs
• 1 large egg yolk
• 1 ¼ cup sugar
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• ¼ teaspoon almond extract
• 4 large egg whites
• ½ teaspoon cream of tartar
• ¼ cup sugar
about ¾ cup lemon curd (home-made or store-bought, for recipe see below)
1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Line mini cupcake mold with paper cupcake liners.
3. Sift flour, baking powder, and salt into a bowl. Set aside.
4. Heat milk and butter in a small saucepan until hot.
5. In another bowl, beat the eggs, yolk, and sugar until thickened. Add vanilla and almond extracts. Incorporate the flour mixture, and then slowly mix in the hot milk. Mix until the batter is smooth, but don’t over beat.
6. Pipe the batter into the paper lined mini cupcake mold.
7. Bake until the tops are firm and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 16 minutes. Baking time will depend on the size of your cupcake molds and how much batter you add to the paper cups.
8. Remove the cupcakes form the pan, and let cool on a wire rack.
9. Pipe the lemon curd filling into the cupcakes with a long piping tip.
10. Prepare the meringue: beat the egg whites and cream of tartar on low speed until the whites are foamy. Beat on medium-high speed until soft peaks start to form. Add sugar 1 tablespoon at a time, until all sugar has been added.
11. Pipe the meringue on top of the cupcakes.
12. With a torch, brown the meringue.
This recipe is adapted from Elinor Klivans recipe for Lemon Meringue Cupcakes
I had some lemon curd leftover from making the mini lemon meringue pie cupcakes, and was wondering what to do with it. I thought that since lemon curd already has egg yolks and sugar in it, it would make for a good ice cream base when mixed with heavy cream and milk. So I went from mini lemon meringue cupcakes to lemon meringue ice cream! Except I was missing two other crucial components. What makes a lemon meringue pie inspired dessert? It needs three things: a fluffy meringue component, lemon flavor, and a crust. I already had the lemon flavor from the curd and just needed two more things to pull it off: mini marshmallows to stand in for the meringue and graham cracker crust crumbles to stand in for the crust.
You could get all five ingredients at any grocery store: heavy cream, whole milk, lemon curd, marshmallows, and a ready to bake graham cracker crust. And if you don’t have an ice cream maker, you could still make this recipe: in place of the heavy cream and milk you can use 2 cups of vanilla ice cream and let it soften a bit, fold in the rest of the ingredients into it, then freeze again.
Lemon Meringue Pie Ice Cream
• 1 cup whole milk
• 1 cup heavy cream
• 1 ¼ cups lemon curd
• 1 cup marshmallows
• ½ cup graham cracker crust crumbles
1. Whisk the milk, heavy cream, and lemon curd until combined. Refrigerate overnight.
2. Pour the mixture into your ice cream maker and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
3. Fold in the marshmallows and graham crumbles before placing the already churned mixture in a container. Freeze 4 hours or overnight before serving.
• 6 egg yolks
• ½ cup lemon juice
• grated zest of 2 lemons
• 1 cup sugar
• pinch of salt
• 10 tablespoons butter, cut in one inch pieces
1. In a saucepan, combine egg yolks, lemon juice, lemon zest, and sugar. Cook over medium heat, constantly stirring with a spatula until mixture thickens and reaches 160 degrees F.
2. Remove from heat and add butter piece by piece, stirring to incorporate the butter into the mixture.
3. Strain through a fine mesh sieve into a container, press plastic wrap right on the curd to prevent the formation of a skin. Refrigerate until chilled. Makes about 2 ½ cups.
Graham Cracker Crust Crumbles
• 1 1/2 cups finely ground graham cracker crumbs
• 1/3 cup white sugar
• 6 tablespoons butter, melted
1. Mix all ingredients together. Press into a buttered baking dish.
2. Bake at 375 degrees F for 8-10 minutes or until browned.
3. Chill until cooled. Crumble.