My family and I have relatively recently moved back to Sydney, Australia from Indiana, USA. There were many reasons why we were looking forward to moving back. And one giant reason why we were not looking forward to moving back - 3 flights with 3 young children, including a 3-month-old baby! We went alright though, as it turned out that the baby was actually the easiest to travel with. He spent most of his time in a Peanut Shell sling, either nursing or asleep. The real trouble was with our 4-year-old and 2-year-old, who were so full of energy, yet were so incredibly tired. Why do kids do that - the more tired they are, the more wild they become? After running around the seats at the gate in San Francisco's airport during our 5-hour layover, they finally fell asleep in those seats - my daughter's face was buried under her arms, and my son fell asleep bent over the seat, with his feet still standing on the floor. It was a nightmare, the whole entire trip, but it still went better than what I thought it would have.
We just had to keep looking on the bright side - our plane finally touching down in Sydney.
We've been back for about 7 months now and it feels like we never even spent those 3 long years in the US. Even though we did spend all that time there, we didn't make many friends and we didn't know our neighbors very well; we didn't even get out much (but there's so much more to do here than where we were in Indiana). Here, we are lucky to have some great neighbors - one of them even grows their own fruit and vegetables, organically, and are kind enough to share their bounty with us, such as butternut pumpkins, persimmons, plums, lemons and limes. I've made pumpkin bread, persimmon bread, a lime tart, lemon melting moments and lemon butter with some of these fruits. It's great to bake with fresh food that I know is free from chemicals.
A few weeks ago, our neighbor gave us a bag full of lemons. I had to run through a list of what I could make with lemons! For this post I'm going to feature lemon meringue cupcakes. I used the zest and juice of a couple of the lemons to make these cupcakes. If you're going to use and eat the zest of a citrus fruit, I highly recommend that you buy organic as the skin of citrus fruit absorbs a lot of those nasty chemicals that are sprayed onto them.
The recipe for these lemon meringue cupcakes comes from Martha Stewart, of course. I don't own her Cupcakes book, but this is one of the many recipes in that book that are already on her website.
The cupcakes are really nice, and my husband even exclaimed, in the middle of a mouthful of his cupcake, that they were really good. I didn't expect him to like a lemon meringue cupcake, but he certainly did!
The cake is soft and moist, and very lemony due to the addition of the lemon zest and juice. The meringue frosting, although I made a mess with the sugar syrup, turned out really well and was super marshmallowy. The lemon curd, well, I cheated and bought a jar of lemon curd from the store!
I don't own a kitchen blow-torch, so I stuck these cupcakes under the broiler for a few minutes. It didn't brown like Martha's did, of course, but at least by doing that, it gave the meringue a slightly crunchy skin.
Martha's lemon meringue cupcakes are light, airy and fresh, and would be a perfect summery dessert. Of course, it's winter here in Australia, so I can only imagine what it would be like to eat these in summer!
To our neighbors, if you're reading this, you know who you are, and thank you for sharing with us!