Meringue Cupcakes with Raspberry Curd

Meringue Cupcakes with Raspberry Curd
I don't remember how I came across this recipe, but I do remember thinking that I had to make them after seeing how ridiculously cute they are! The meringues are on the sweet side, of course, but they're an easy to make and fun to serve, not to mention delicious and fun to eat due to the range of textures they present. Be sure to save your yolks for ice cream!

6 egg whites, room temperature
1 tsp white vinegar
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
1 3/4 c (350 g) sugar
Raspberry curd (recipe follows)
Sweetened whipped cream or ice cream and fresh fruit for serving, if desired.

Preheat oven to 225F (110C). Line every other cup of 2 nonstick 12-cup muffin tins with baking cups and coat each with cooking spray. Prepare a large piping bag with a coupler (no tip needed) and set aside.

In a large bowl, beat egg whites, vinegar, vanilla, and salt until frothy. Increase the speed and begin adding sugar slowly, a tablespoon at a time, beating for one minute after each addition so the sugar dissolves. Continue whipping until stiff, glossy peaks form.

Transfer mixture to a pastry bag fitted with a plain coupler (no tip), and pipe into prepared baking cups, about 2 inches above rims, finishing with a peak in the centers. Bake, rotating halfway through, 3 to 3 hours and 20 minutes. (Cupcakes should be completely dry on the outside but still soft in the middle. A toothpick inserted horizontally at base of top should have moist but cooked crumbs attached.) Transfer cupcakes in baking cups to wire racks; let cool completely.

To serve, carefully cut off caps with a serrated knife and fill with whipped cream, ice cream, raspberry curd, fresh fruit or any other filling you desire.

Raspberry Curd
This is an incredibly easy recipe. It makes much more than you will need though, so I would advise you to halve it and save half the container of raspberries for topping the finished cupcakes.

1 container (6 oz or 170 g) raspberries
1 1/4 c (250 g) sugar
4 egg yolks
1 stick (8 Tbls or 115 g) unsalted butter
1/4 c (60 ml) fresh lemon juice
Pinch of salt

Whisk all ingredients in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water until slightly thick, 8 to 10 minutes. Strain; press a sheet of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the curd and refrigerate until cold and thick.
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