Sunday, April 24, 2011

Sasha's Kitchen: Key Lime Pie Cupcakes

These may be one of my favorite batches of cupcakes yet. They taste *exactly* like a little bit of key lime pie, which from my point of view, is just a little bit of heaven packed into a cupcake. I've kind of gone onto this kick of making a lot of pies lately. Click here for my apple pie, and a strawberry rhubarb pie will be posted soon. But what if I could convert each of these delicious pies into bite sized cupcakes that had the essence of each pie? Stay tuned for more of these recipes, because I really think they work out well.  As weird as it sounds, there's nothing better than crust on a cupcake because it breaks up the cupcake so you don't have too much of the same thing, which is the whole point of eating cupcake (rather than cake) in the first place. I decorated some of the cupcakes by making two peas in a peapod out of fondant, but that really is not part of the key lime theme, as I was just having some fun. I can't wait to try out the Boston Cream Pie cupcakes after Passover ends to continue with the pie-as-cupcake trend.

Sasha's Key Lime Pie Cupcakes (makes about 15)
Graham Cracker Crust
3/4 cups pulverized graham crackers
2 T granulated sugar
3 T melted butter

Key Lime Cupcakes
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 T baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup of butter at room temperature (about 2/3 of a stick)
3/4 cups granulated sugar
2 eggs
2/3 cup buttermilk
1/2 T lime zest
2 T T key lime juice (you can buy Key Lime Juice at Whole Foods)

Key Lime Pie Pastry Filling
5 oz mascarpone cheese or regular cream cheese
3 oz key lime juice
3 oz sweetened condensed milk

Key Lime Frosting
1 1/2 sticks of butter at room temperature
1 small box of confectioner's sugar (about 3-4 cups)
3 T key lime juice
drop of green or yellow gel-based food coloring

Decorations (optional)
Green fondant
white fondant
black food marker

First, combine the ingredients for the crust and press about 1 Tablespoon of the graham cracker mixture into each mold in a cupcake tray filled with cupcake liners. Bake at 300 for about 12 minutes until slightly firm.  Next, prepare the key lime cupcake mixture. Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl. Beat the butter and sugar on medium high speed in a stand mixer for about three minutes. Then beat in the eggs. Add the lime zest and mix throughout. Then alternate adding the buttermilk and dry ingredients, and finally add the key lime juice at then end. Divide among the cupcakes, filling each about 3/4 of the way to the top. Bake at 350 for about 25-30 minutes (this time depends on how hot your oven runs) until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool completely.

While the cupcakes are baking, make the key lime pastry cream, by blending the key lime juice, condensed milk and cream cheese or mascarpone. Chill for about 45 minutes before using. Then, once the cupcakes are cool, use a fine tip attached to a pastry bag to "inject" the key lime pastry cream into the center of each cupcake.

Next, beat together the ingredients for the frosting and dye the frosting with a gel base food coloring - generally either green or yellow. Use a frosting bag to apply the frosting to each cupcake.

Key lime pie coming up - and yes, they taste just like a little bite of the best key lime pie ever!


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