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Martha Stewart’s Meyer Lemon Cupcakes

July 15, 2009
Meyer Lemons
Photo from Google Images

Meyer lemons are a specialty item available in winter and early spring. Regular lemons may be substituted. The recipe makes 42 cupcakes. Perfect for a bake sale, large party or event.

Cupcake Ingredients

  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 2 tablespoons finely grated Meyer lemon zest, plus 2 tablespoons fresh Meyer lemon juice (from 1 to 2 Meyer lemons)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
  • 1 3/4 cups (3 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3 cups granulated sugar
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 7 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting
  • Lemon Curd (made with Meyer lemons; ingredients and directions below)
  • Lemon Curd (made with Meyer lemons; ingredients and directions below)

(Makes 42)

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Whisk together flour, zest, baking powder, and salt.

2. With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, cream butter and granulated sugar until pale and fluffy. Beat in cream cheese. Reduce speed to low. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Beat in lemon juice and vanilla. Add flour mixture in three batches, beating until just combined after each.

3. Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three-quarters full. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, about 28 minutes. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool completely before removing cupcakes. Cupcakes can be stored overnight at room temperature, or frozen up to 2 months, in airtight containers.

4. To finish, dust cupcakes with confectioners’ sugar. Fill a pastry bag fitted with a coupler and a medium round tip (#8) with curd. Insert tip into top of each cupcake, and squeeze some curd below top to fill the inside, then lift the tip and squeeze more curd in a pool on top. Filled cupcakes can be kept at room temperature up to 1 hour (or refrigerated a few hours more) before serving.

Lemon Curd
A high proportion of lemon juice gives curd its intense flavor. As an acid, the juice also prevents the yolks from curdling when heated (unlike when making pastry cream, which requires the extra step of tempering). You can substitute an equal amount of juice from other citrus, such as lime, grapefruit, or blood orange.

Lemon Curd Ingredients

  • 2 whole eggs plus 8 egg yolks
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup fresh lemon juice (about 6 lemons)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces, room temperature

(Makes about 2 cups)

Directions

1. Combine whole eggs and yolks, sugar, and lemon juice in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Cook, whisking constantly, until mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Remove from heat. Add butter, a few pieces at a time, whisking until smooth after each addition. Strain through a fine sieve into another bowl, and cover with parchment paper or plastic wrap, pressing it directly on surface to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate until chilled and firm, at least 2 hours (or up to 2 days).

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