Lemon is probably my second favorite desert after chocolate. I went through a phase a few years ago where I mixed the lemon with chocolate and almond quite a bit. Everyone's thankful I'm over that. This time I was still deep into my "I need to make something difficult or really, what's the point" mode. I was also trying to make something fun and gluten free for a friend who was just learning that life could be rich even if you have to restrict certain caloric intake. So I decided to try my hand at these Lemon Meringue Cupcakes (swapping for GF 1:1 flour and monk fruit for the sugar). The first time I made them, I struggled with the meringue as written. It was odd - precooked prior to piping and the extra vanilla seemed to weigh it down. I couldn't make it work. I'm not talented enough. Also, I was struggling with my immersion blender. I ended up making a standard French meringue and blow torching them. It worked so much better. I didn't miss the vanilla. The tart from the lemon custard and the sweet of the cupcake was just perfectly balanced by the airy whiff of the sweet meringue. I don't normally drink white (as you'll learn; I'll pair a red with pretty much everything...including nachos),
but I ended up pairing this with our 2017 Viognier. The vio is one that is dry enough that I enjoy it, even when its not summer. It paired nicely with the tartness of the lemon curd, brightening the sweet meringue without overpowering anything in the super busy cupcake. I dropped them off with my friends and only after they tasted let them know - each one only had 210 calories.