A Yellow & Red Affair
What's cute, colourful, sugary and truly American? The cupcake, of course! When those sweet threats crossed the Atlantic and set foot on Europe, a 'fairy cake' had arrived. I'm not very fond of artificial colorants, and that's my only issue with cupcakes. My take on this American classic features a subtle red touch on shining yellow peaks. It's all almond, pear, saffron and lemon in plain white - wished I had reddish! - patty cases.
Saffron and Pear Cupcakes with Lemon Curd
Makes 16 mini (or 8 regular) cupcakes
1 small ripe but firm pear
100grs salted butter
100grs superfine caster sugar
2 medium eggs
½ tsp vanilla extract
100 grs ground almonds (or almond meal)
40 grs all-purpose flour, sifted
½ tsp saffron threads (or more, to taste)
1 tsp lemon zest
Preheat the oven to 180ºC (360ºF). Cream the butter and sugar until light. Add the eggs gradually. Mix in vanilla extract and lemon zest. Fold in ground almonds and flour, mixing just to combine (do not over mix). Line 16 tins with paper patty cases. Spoon in the mixture. Peal the pear and cut into wedges. Place 2 or 3 pieces in every cupcake. Bake 15-18 minutes or until golden. Remove from the oven.
Adapted from Alice Waters, The Art of Simple Food
½ cup lemon juice
zest of one lemon
3 egg yolks
2 tablespoons milk
1/3 cup sugar
¼ teaspoon salt (omit if using salted butter)
6 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces
Beat all the ingredients until just combined, except the juice, zest and butter. Stir in the lemon juice and zest, and add the butter.
Cook the mixture in a small nonreactive heavy pan, stirring constantly, over medium heat until it is thick enough to coat a spoon. (Do not boil or the eggs will curdle.) When thick, pour into a bowl or glass jars to cool. Cover and refrigerate. Makes about 2 cups.
Assemble the cupcakes: spoon a little lemon curd on top of each one, and sprinkle with some extra saffron threads.
I'm sending these Saffron and Pear Cupcakes with Lemon Curd to Fanny over at lovely Foodbeam, to join this round of Sugar High Friday. SHF is a food event created by Jennifer, aka the Domestic Goddess. Can't wait to see all the entries!