Sometimes when I go to Whole Foods, I end up buying random ingredients that I haven’t ever used on the theory that it will force me to be creative. That’s how I ended up with a bag of Meyer lemons and a container of blackberries this week.
With the help of some friends on twitter, I decided that both would pair perfectly in a summery cupcake — and with DC’s high of 90 degrees today, the timing couldn’t be more perfect.
Warning: this recipe uses a LOT of eggs and a LOT of butter. Make sure you have plenty before you start, because the usual dozen eggs and 2lbs of butter you keep on hand just won’t cut it.
Vanilla cupcakes with Meyer lemon curd and blackberry Italian buttercream frosting
For the cupcakes:
2 3/4 cups cake flour
1 2/3 cups sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
12 tablespoons butter (salted)
4 large egg whites, plus one whole egg
1/2 cup greek yogurt
1/2 cup milk (1%, 2%, and whole all work fine)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract
For the Meyer lemon curd:
6 egg yolks
1 cup sugar
4 Meyer lemons (though I’d have an extra just in case)
1/2 cup butter, salted, cut into 1 inch pieces
For the frosting:
2 1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
12 egg whites
8-12 oz blackberries
1 1/2 lbs salted butter
1 tsp vanilla
First, make the cupcakes.
1) Preheat the oven to 350, and prepare two cupcake pans with cupcake liners.
2) Combine the cake flour, sugar, and baking powder in a stand mixer. Then, add butter and mix until fully incorporated.
3) Add the egg whites, one at a time, and scrape down the bowl after each addition. Then, add the whole egg, and beat well.
4) In a separate, small bowl, add the greek yogurt, milk, vanilla, and almond extracts. Add this mixture to the batter, and mix until fluffy.
5) Pour batter into the cupcake pans, and bake 18-20 minutes. They’ll be done when a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean.
6) Put cupcakes on a wire rack to cool while you make the frosting and lemon curd.
Next, make the lemon curd.
1) Mix egg yolks and sugar in a medium sized sauce pan. Stir in lemon juice, and heat over medium heat for 15 minutes, making sure curd does not boil.
2) Stir in butter until melted.
3) Strain the curd using a fine mess strainer, then add lemon zest. Set aside to cool.
Then, make the frosting.
1) Put the egg whites in a stand mixer, and whip until stiff.
2) In a medium sauce pan, bring sugar and water to a boil. Do not stir. Boil for seven minutes over medium heat.
3) Pour the sugar mixture slowly into the egg whites, and beat until the bowl is cool to the touch (approximately 15 minutes).
4) Cut butter into small pieces, and add them slowly to the sugar/egg white mixture.
5) Once the butter is all mixed in, add vanilla and blackberries. I used 6 oz, which wasn’t quite enough – taste and add berries until you like the flavor.
6) Beat frosting until light and fluffy.
Lastly, assemble the cupcakes.
1) With a cupcake corer or knife, core the cupcakes (and save the pieces!)
2) Spoon a small amount of lemon curd into the center of each cupcake.
3) Put the small piece of cupcake back on top of the lemon curd, and cover with frosting.
4) If you have remaining blackberries, top each cupcake with a blackberry.
If you have leftover lemon curd, it will be fine in the fridge for a week or so (if it lasts that long!) If you have leftover frosting, I’d recommend freezing it. When you’re ready to use, thaw and whip in a stand mixer until it’s at the desired consistency.