Goood morning! I’m more than a little sleepy on this dreary, rainy Monday morning. I’m pretty sure there should be a rule that Mondays have to be sunny. Just sayin’!

Rhubarb Meringue Cupcakes

But then again, maybe that’s what cupcakes are for: to make gray days just a little bit brighter.

I served these beauties on Saturday night at a little birthday celebration I had. They are based off of lemon meringue cupcakes that the paid-staff’s menu at L’Ecole, and they were a huge hit amongst my friends!

bday photo

Rhubarb Meringue Cupcakes

Yield: 24 cupcakes

A delicious seasonal cupcake that will wow your guests.

Ingredients

    For the cupcakes:
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon table salt
  • 2 sticks of butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 large eggs
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • For the rhubarb curd:
  • 14 ounces rhubarb
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • a pinch of salt
  • For the Italian meringue:
  • 2 cups superfine sugar
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 10 egg whites
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar

Instructions

    For the cupcakes:
  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line standard muffin/cupcake tin with paper or foil liners.
  2. Stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in bowl of standing mixer. Add butter, sour cream, egg and egg yolks, and vanilla; beat at medium speed until smooth and satiny.
  3. Divide batter evenly among cups of prepared tin. Bake until cupcake tops are pale gold and toothpick or skewer inserted into center comes out clean, about 22 minutes. Remove the cupcakes from tin and transfer to wire rack; cool cupcakes to room temperature.
  4. Use a melon baller or an apple corer to remove the center of the cupcake, about 3/4 of the way down (do not pierce all the way through the cupcake).
  5. For the rhubarb curd:
  6. Wash and chop rhubarb into 1/2 inch chunks (no need to peel). Stir the rhubarb and 1/4 cup of sugar together and let sit for about 10 minutes.
  7. Place in a medium sized pot with 1/4 cup of water and cook over low heat until rhubarb softens and begins to break down. Transfer to a blender and blend to a smooth puree.
  8. In a double boiler, whisk the egg yolks, remaining sugar and salt. Whisk until well combined and warm. The mixture should thicken into a custard-like consistency. Add about 1 cup of the stewed rhubarb and stir until well combined. Check for taste and add more of the pureed rhubarb until you get the desired flavor and color (should be light pink and slightly tart).
  9. Put rhubarb curd into a pastry bag and pipe into the center of cooled cupcakes to fill (If you are not using the curd immediately, let it cool to room temperature and then store refrigerated for up to a week).
  10. For the Italian meringue:
  11. In a small pot over low heat, combine sugar and water. Swirl the pot over the burner to dissolve the sugar completely. Increase the heat and boil to soft-ball stage (235 to 240 degrees). Use a candy thermometer for accuracy (If you don't have one, keep a cup of ice water next to you and drip a small drop of the sugar mixture into the water. When syrup has reached soft-ball stage, it will form a tacky like ball between your fingers. Be careful because simple syrup will be VERY hot before it hits the ice water). Periodically run a wet pastry brush down the inside wall of the pot to help prevent sugar crystals from forming around the sides, and burning.
  12. In the bowl of an electric mixer, whip the eggs whites on low speed until foamy (you don't need a mixer, but it makes things MUCH easier). Add the cream of tartar, increase the speed to medium, and beat until soft peaks form.
  13. With the mixer running, pour the hot sugar syrup in a thin stream over fluffed egg whites. Beat until the egg whites are stiff and glossy.
  14. Put meringue into a pastry bag and pipe on top of cooled cupcakes.

Notes

Cupcakes adapted from Brown Eyed Baker. Rhubarb curd adapted from Lara Ferroni.

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