Key lime pie is kind of sacred in our house. We happen to be related to this famous author that used to drink a LOT and liked to jump around between women. (Sorry...I don't really know how else to describe him.) He also used to spend winters in Key West drinking and writing. We have been down there a few times and have taken pictures in front of 'Uncle Ernie's' house and tried to steal some of the remaining 6-toed cats at his house. (Since we're related and all I'm pretty sure they should just hand 'em over but apparently the island disagrees.)
Anyways, Key West of course is famous for key lime pie. So key lime pie is kind of like the symbolic family dessert. (If I had been in charge of the Hemingway coat of arms it would, of course, have Key Lime pie in the middle. Derr.)
Anyways, wanna know a secret?
I actually kind of hate key lime pie.
Key limes are bitter and WAY too tart and kinda gross. (Don't tell anyone though because not liking the family dessert would obviously kicked out of the family.)
One thing I do like- these Key Lime pie cupcakes. There's just enough tart filling to be yummy and powerful but it's surrounded by a sweet cake and a delicious graham cracker crust and topped with whipped cream. Everyone wins here. These are REALLY delicious.
PS- Totally off topic, but Key West has this great place called the Key Lime Pie Factory. They sell pieces of frozen key lime pie, dipped in chocolate, and served on a stick like a popsicle. *swoon*. Put it on your bucket list.
Note: I recommend making the lime curd in advance and just keeping it in the fridge until you're ready to fill cupcakes. The flavor and texture develop as it cools, plus it's one less thing to do day-of.
Key Lime Pie Cupcakes
Recipe by Dip It In Chocolate
For Lime Curd:
Recipe adapted from Allrecipes
-1 cup sugar
-1/4 cup butter
-3/4 cup fresh key lime juice (if you want a less tart curd, use regular limes)
-1 tsp flour
-2 eggs, beaten (in a medium bowl)
Place the sugar, butter, lime juice, and flour in the top of a double boiler. Stir over medium-high heat until butter melts. Mix 2 tablespoons hot lime mixture slowly into the beaten eggs and whisk vigorously to blend.
Reduce heat to medium until water simmers under double boiler.
Slowly whisk egg mixture into the lime mixture. Whisk vigorously to keep egg whites from cooking. Cook over the double boiler until lime mixture thickens and coats the back of a wooden spoon, 15 to 25 minutes.
Cool slightly and spoon into covered container. Refrigerate several hours before using.
For Cupcake Crusts:
-2 sleeves graham crackers (18 crackers)
-1/2 cup butter (1 stick), melted
-2 Tbsp sugar
Pulse graham crackers in a food processor until you have fine crumbs. Pour into a bowl and mix with butter and sugar until well combined. Put a Tbsp of crust mixture into the bottom of each cupcake liner (already in cupcake tin) and press down well. I use the bottom of a squeeze bottle and it makes this SUPER quick.
Bake 3- 4 min. You will have extra.
-French vanilla cake mix and ingredients to make it (I like Betty Crocker)
-1 tsp lime zest (optional)
Prepare cake mix according to package directions, substituting whole milk for the water and adding the lime zest. (I also use whole eggs instead of whites if called for.)
Pour batter into cupcake liners, on top of crusts, and bake according to package directions. Allow cupcakes to cool completely on a wire rack.
To assemble cupcakes, cut a conical hole out of each cupcake, or use a handy dandy cupcake punch.
Fill with lime curd.
Top with Stabilized whip cream (double the recipe for 24 cupcakes!) and a lime wedge. Add a sprinkle of extra graham crust if desired.