I've lived in Colorado for almost 14 years and I still pause each time I see the Colorado Rockies covered in snow on a bright sunny day. It's nothing short of spectacular!
This brings me to the second reason for this particular post. Two cases of Meyer lemons arrived on my doorstep today. They were sent by one of my California clients who claimed she had more then she could use. I jokingly said to send them my way (they are my absolute favorite ingredient in the world).....and she did! Love you, Mrs. D.!!
So... What to do? What to do?
I remember a place in Fredericksburg, Texas called, The Rather Sweet Bakery, where the owner/pastry chef ( Rebecca Rather) was famous for a dessert called, "Texas Big Hairs, lemon-lime meringue tarts". The name still makes me laugh.
I decided to borrow her idea to a point, but I wanted to take it in a different direction. So, I came up with a cupcake filled with Meyer Lemon Curd, topped with high peaks of lemon zest studded cooked Meringue, and the tips are nicely toasted for a dramatic effect.
In truth, other bloggers have done similar cupcakes, but they are so pedestrian and skimpy, they do not represent the spectacular peaks of our "Rocky Mountain High" (or TRUE Texas Big Hairs.!!). Sometimes you have to show off, and these my friends, will do it every time!
Rocky Mountain High Meyer Lemon Meringue Cupcakes
Use your favorite vanilla cupcake recipe, or use a mix.
Pipe a few tablespoons of lemon curd, homemade or store bought, into each cupcake. No need to cut a hole first, just push your pastry tip straight in, and squeeze.
2 cup sugar
8 egg whites
pinch, cream of tartar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
Whisk eggs, sugar and cream of tarter in a heat proof bowl that fits easily over a pan of boiling water (make sure the bowl is not bigger then the pan, as the eggs will cook along side of the pan). Continue whisking the egg mixture until all the sugar is dissolved and the mixture heats to 160 degree F. Remove bowl from the heat. Using a hand mixer, beat egg whites until light, fluffy and cool. About 8 minutes. Once cool, add vanilla. Use at once.
To toast tops: I have a large blow torch I bought at a home improvement store for less then $30. Honestly, the ones they sell at most gourmet stores are a waste of money, are too tiny and do not have the fire power mine has. Also, to replace the butane it is only $3, and I can find the refill at every hardware store in any part of small town America. So, go out to the garage..that blowtorch you have hidden away is a very highly rated KITCHEN tool. It's time you gave it some use!!
Yes, this was really, really amazing!
Here's to Hope, Sunny days, and big fluffy lemon meringue cupcakes!
Chef Deb T.