Key Lime Pie Cupcakes

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First off, I can not take credit for this amazing invention, the grand prize has to go to this lovely lady.

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These are intensely amazing. You start out with a blank canvas, a vanilla cupcake, then you scoop out the core and add lime curd. The frosting is a mascarpone lime whipped cream. You top it off with candied lime zest.

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Okay, I know that this sounds like a crazy amount of work and technique, but for those of you still listening, trust me, you can do this. The ingredients are pretty common and for the most part, inexpensive, and the work that you put into this will not take all day and will not require a lot of difficult technique. So don’t be scared!

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Enough about cupcakes though, I want to tell you about my new invention, and while you may already know about this wonderful thing, I discovered the picnic. If you pack your dinner away in containers and bring it to the nearest park it tastes about 20 times better than it does in your house and 15 times better than it does in your backyard. I have deciding to do this with every single meal I can manage. That’s where I ate lunch for my friends birthday the other day and it’s where I’ve eaten dinner about half of this week nights.

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And don’t worry, it doesn’t have to seem portable to be portable, we had steak and roasted veg the other night, we had homemade knishes with tomato sauce, fava beans and kale another night. Anything can go into a container! I promise.

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Alright, more cupcakes then. Have a recipe…

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Start with the lime curd because it will need time to set.
Note: zest all the limes before juicing because you will need it for the candied zest.
1/2 cup lime juice
zest of 2 limes
1/4 cup sugar
pinch of salt
2 eggs
3 egg yolks
2 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces and chilled

In a medium saucepan heat the lime juice, lime zest, sugar and salt until sugar dissolves.
Whisk together the eggs and the yolks in a large bowl. Slowly whisk in the lime juice mixture to temper. Pour this new mixture back into the saucepan. Heat until thickened, about 179 degrees or 3-5 minutes.
Put the thickened curd through a strainer. Stir in the butter.
Chill for at least 1 1/2 hours.

For the vanilla cupcake:
1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoon unsalted butter, room temp
1/2 cup sour cream
1 large egg
2 egg yolks
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a 12-cup muffin tin with cupcake liners

Whisk together flour sugar, baking powder, and salt in an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the butter, sour cream, egg, yolks and vanilla. Mix together. fill the cupcake tins about 3/4 of the way full.

Bake for 20-24 minutes.

For the candied lime zest:
2 cups sugar, split
1/2 cup water
zest of 6 lime

Heat 1 cup sugar and water in a small saucepan until sugar dissolves to make a simple syrup
Turn off heat and stir in the zest.
Pour the remaining cup of sugar onto a large plate.
Using a slotted spoon, remove the zest from the simple syrup and put onto the plate of sugar.
Stir around to coat the zest in sugar. Spread the zest out and allow to dry completely.

For the mascarpone whipped cream:
1 cup mascarpone cheese
4 cups or heavy whipping cream
2/3 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup lime curd

Combine the mascarpone and cream in a bowl. Whisk until soft peaks.
Add powdered sugar and whisk until stiff peaks form. But don’t over whisk.
Fold in the lime curd.

Assembly:
Using a paring knife remove the center of each cupcake.
Get a plastic sandwich bag, fill part way with the lime curd. Cut the tip of the bag.
Fill each cupcake with a lime curd center.
Frost the cupcakes with the mascarpone whipped cream.
Sprinkle the candied lime zest on top.

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