Before my housemate went on a long trip back to Spain we held another afternoon tea for her, her friends and family. My other housemate made some bread, sandwiches, little tartlets and rosti, and I was in charge of sweet treats. Whilst scones 'cream tea style' were un-negotiable, I always struggle on deciding on desserts. In the end I had a brainwave to make miniature versions of some of my favourite 'English' desserts - apple crumble and lemon meringue pie. It was extra perfect as I had just been given a jar of homemade lemon curd by my mother that needed to be eaten quickly.
Before I started blogging I made some lemon meringue cupcakes from Cupcake Heaven - my go to cupcake book. They were really good, but I had so many other options to try I didn't go back to them. This was the perfect opportunity, and they were as good as I remembered! Sweet and tangy all in one bite - yum! The icing is a little faffy but it's worth it for the wow factor....and of course you get to clean the bowl with a spoon!
Lemon Meringue Cupcakes
Makes 12 fairy cake size
115g unsalted butter (or buttery margarine)
100g caster sugar
2 large eggs
115g self-raising flour
zest and juice of 1 lemon
3 tbsp lemon curd
150g caster sugar
2 egg whites
1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4 and line a cupcake tin.
2. Beat the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy.
3. Beat in the eggs one at a time, you might need to add a tsp of flour to stop the mixture curdling.
4. Fold in the flour gently then stir in the lemon zest and juice.
5. Put a spoonful of the mixture into each case, then a tsp of lemon curd. Top each case with the rest of the mixture.
6. Bake for about 17 minutes until pale and golden then allow to cool on a wire rack.
7. Once the cupcakes are cool, put the sugar and egg whites in a bowl over a pan of simmering water and whisk with an electric whisk for 5 minutes until the mixture stands in peaks.
8. Pipe onto the cakes and either eat after 30 minutes for a soft icing or leave to set a little. I left mine until the next day and they were delicious!
9. If you want the slightly browned meringue, put the cakes under a hot grill for 30 seconds at a time until they are as brown as you like. I piped a little extra meringue onto a piece of foil so I could check how long it needed to go in before sacrificing the whole batch!
RECIPE: Adapted a tiny bit from Cupcake Heaven by Susannah Blake