Lime Blackberry Meringue Cupcake
I really hope that no matter how tech-savvy we get, we still produce magazines. I feel like a little kid at Christmas every time I get a new issue of Bon Appetit and I’ll spend hours drooling over every glossy page. Last month was no different and I’m sure I was not the only one who wanted to frame the picture of the Lime Blackberry Italian Meringue Pie from the front cover. That pie has been calling to me for a month now but time has been against me. So (a very small selfish part of me) actually hoped the hurricane would come through my area so that I’d have a day off and an excuse to make this stunning dessert.
After the success of my last pie in cupcake form I figured I’d try it again because it has been proven that cupcakes are more fun to eat than pie unless it’s pumpkin but that’s a another story. This cupcake base is a favorite that comes from a delicious lemon-limoncello cupcake from the Brown Eyed Baker. The cake is dense but moist and packs a good buttery citrus flavor. To intensify it a bit I added the lime curd pie filling in the middle and finished it off with the lovely blackberries and meringue. I was in a rather impatient mood though and didn’t quite beat my egg whites to the stiff peaks they are supposed to be hence the “draped” look in pictures…not exactly as pretty as Bon Appetit but tasty!
My son has figured out that butter in a bowl and beaters next to it equals cupcakes in the near future. At which point he commences with his happy dance prance. A ritual where he throws his hands in the air loudly proclaiming “cuhcakes! cuhcakes! cuhcakes!” and prances in circles around the kitchen. That’s pretty much the reaction I had too upon tasting them :) Sweet, tangy, and moist. A perfect end of summer treat.
Lime Blackberry Meringue Cupcakes
Recipes adapted from Bon Appetit and The Brown Eyed Baker
Yields about 16 cupcakes
1/3 cup fresh lime juice
1 large egg, at room temperature
1 large egg yolk, at room temperature
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 stick unsalted butter, softened
2 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
2 tablespoons limoncello
1/2 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
1/4 cup lime juice, preferably fresh squeezed
1 teaspoon lime zest
3 large egg whites, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup blackberries
1. For the Lime Curd: Whisk the lime juice, egg, egg yolk and sugar together in a heatproof bowl. Set bowl over a medium saucepan of simmering water (just enough so that the bowl does not touch the water). Whisk until the mixture has thickened and an instant read thermometer registers 175 degrees, this can take up to 15 minutes or so. Remove the bowl from the heat and whisk in the butter a tablespoon at a time. Strain the curd through a strainer set over a medium bowl. Press plastic wrap directly on the surface of the curd and chill until cold, about 2 hours.
2. For the Cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F). Line 2 cupcake pans with liners and set aside.
In a small bowl stir together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
3. In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and cream cheese together on medium speed of an electric mixer. Beat in sugar gradually. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time, scraping down the bowl in between each addition. Beat in limoncello. Add the flour mixture in 2 parts, alternating with the buttermilk. Beat in the lime juice and zest.
4. Using a cupcake scoop or 1/4 measuring cup, fill each cupcake liner about 2/3 full. I get about 15-18 cupcakes so remove any liners you don’t use. Bake in preheated oven for 16-20 minutes or until top springs back when touched and a cake tester inserted in the middle comes out clean. Let the cupcakes cool in the pan for 10 minutes before removing to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
5. For the meringue frosting: Place egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat whites in mixer until soft peaks form. Set aside. Stir sugar, corn syrup, and 1/4 cup water in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat until sugar dissolves. Attach a candy thermometer to the side of the pan. Increase heat to medium-high and boil without stirring, occasionally swirling pan and brushing down the sides of pan with a wet pastry brush, until thermometer registers 238 degrees, 6-8 minutes. Remove pan from heat. Turn the mixer back on and beat in salt. Slowly pour the hot sugar syrup down the side of the bowl into whites and beat until meringue is firm and glossy. Continue beating until cool, about 4 minutes.
6. To assemble: Remove the middles of the cooled cupcakes with a 1-inch round cookie cutter or pastry tip. You want to go most of the way down the cupcake but not cut through the bottom about 2/3 of the way. A slim spoon or grapefruit knife will help you get the center out although I used a pastry tip, twisted it gently and pulled and the cake came right out. Put the lime curd into a piping bag with a wide tip or a freezer bag with the corner cut off and fill the holes in each cupcake to the top. Place a few blackberries on the top and generously dollop the meringue on top. Use a kitchen torch to brown the top of the meringue.