Chances are, if you live in the Bay Area or surrounding area, you either have a Meyer lemon tree heavy with fruit at this time of year, or there is someone in your neighborhood who has one. Make friends with that person, because, really, they should share. Worst case, many markets will carry them. Meyer lemons, for the uninitiated, are quite frankly the gem of the citrus world. A cross between a lemon and a tangerine, these gorgeous specimens are sweetly tangy with a floral fragrance and a delicate flavor. I am a very big fan.
You can make these cupcakes plain without the curd—they are quite yummy on their own—but I don’t recommend it. Take them to the next level of yumminess with silky, fragrant Meyer lemon curd.
If you can’t find Meyer lemons, don’t despair, just use Eureka lemons instead. The result will be a bit more tart and not as fragrant, but still, if you are a total lemonhead like I am, you will still love them dearly.
Recipe: Mini Meyer Lemon Curd Cupcakes
Makes about 38 mini cupcakes
- 6 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 packed tbsp finely grated Meyer lemon zest
- 2 large eggs
- 2/3 cup sour cream
- 2 tbsp Meyer lemon juice
- 1 1/2 cups cake flour, sifted
- 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- Powdered sugar, for garnish
- To make the lemon curd, in a heatproof bowl set over (but not touching) barely simmering water in a saucepan, whisk together the whole eggs, egg yolks, sugar, lemon juice, and a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring constantly, until thickened, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and strain into another bowl. Cover with a piece of plastic wrap pressed directly on top of the curd (to avoid a skin from forming) and refrigerate until chilled. The curd will keep for about 1 week in the refrigerator.
- Preheat the oven to 350F. Line two 24-cup mini muffin pans with cupcake liners or grease them with cooking spray.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, sugar, and lemon zest until smooth, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition, until the egg is fully incorporated. Add the sour cream and lemon juice to the butter mixture, beating until incorporated.
- In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add to the batter and beat just until well combined, but do not overbeat.
- Divide the batter between the muffin cups, filling them nearly full. You should fill about 38 cups. Bake until set and a toothpick comes out clean, about 10 minutes. Set aside on wire racks to cool for 10 minutes, then remove from the pans and let cool completely.
- When the cupcakes are cool, using a paring knife, cut a cup out of the top of each cupcake in the center. Scoop the lemon curd into a pastry bag that is fitted with a plain tip or without a tip (I used a small disposable one without a tip and just snipped the end off of it; you can also use a small Ziploc baggie and snip the end off of that). Pipe the curd into the cup in the cupcake, letting it mound on the top.
- To serve, dust the cupcakes with powdered sugar. Serve at once.