Miniature Key Lime Meringue Pies

Story from April 2017:


I bribed Mark. I bribed him with most of a loaf of Trader Joe’s baguette, minus what I had eaten while I had been making the pie crust while Mark and Ben were at Drivers Ed. I had to go out and come back to their house later before finishing the mini-pies with the 15 minutes of whisking-help I wanted from Mark, so I left the baguette in a plastic bag on the kitchen table, labelled with a piece of masking tape that said “MARK: EAT ME! Trader Joe’s baguette -Alison” in purple sharpie. Did Mark notice?

No, of course not. Ben noticed the baguette with its note, he obviously read the note I left for him on the kitchen table, emptied the entirety of what was by then a clean dishwasher, and left the baguette and the note for Mark to not-end-up-discovering.

So I get back to their house, and Mark is delighted to hear there’s a baguette with his name on it, yet he’s too busy playing a video game to come up to the kitchen to eat it. Whereas Ben had already gotten all kitchen clean-up out of the way and ended up practicing his guitar while I made breaded chicken, which is nice because Ben actually sounds like something when he’s practicing guitar, whereas Mark’s occasional punctuation of yelling at the video game was amusing but not as melodic… πŸ˜‰

It was ok, though — I probably hadn’t needed the bribe in the first place, because Mark was willing to spend 15 minutes whisking key lime curd over medium-high heat, since that meant he would then be eating key lime pie shortly thereafter. He even volunteered to pour the curd into the cooled crusts, put them in the oven, and then put on the marshmallow toppers 5 minutes into the baking time before returning them to the oven for the final bake of 10 minutes to cook everything the rest of the way through and get the marshmallows nice and toasty. Baking with Mark is the best, what can I say πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

We followed the base recipe for the lemon faux-meringue pie from about 2 weeks previous, but we used key limes and a couple of normal limes for the juice in the curd, and we did little tarts in 18 cups worth of cupcake tins.

To make enough dough to cover the 18 cups worth of cupcake tins, you’ll need to double the original dough recipe. (2 sticks of butter and 2 cups of flour ratio.) Butter the cupcake tins so the dough doesn’t stick to them, and then roll out the dough and form into large circles to go into and up the sides of the cupcake tins. Put in a preheated oven at 350 to bake for 20 minutes, uncovered, then take out of the oven and let cool completely.

For the key lime curd filling:
ZEST AND THEN JUICE — Juice of MANY key limes plus 3 regular limes to equal 1 cup of juice, PLUS zest of the 3 normal limes
Β½ cup water
1Β½ cups white sugar
4 tbsp cornstarch
Pinch of salt
later, β…“ cup milk or more water (we used water)
2 tbsp butter, divided into 3 or 4 pats of butter for easy whisking in at the crucial moment

In the bowl of the blender, combine lemon juice, water, sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Pulse in the blender until the mixture is smooth, then pour it into a medium-large pot. Use a medium pot, NOT a small pot, because the mixture will boil dramatically, and you need enough extra space in the pot to avoid boiling over onto the stove!

Turn the heat to medium and whisk almost-constantly until the mixture comes to a full boil, about 10 to 15 minutes. Boil for one minute undisturbed so it noticeably thickens and turns clear-er. Remove from heat and IMMEDIATELY whisk in VIGOROUSLY the zest, milk/water, and pats of butter.

Allow the curd to thicken and cool in the saucepan for at least 10 minutes before assembly the pie.

We cooled it for only about 2 minutes because it already coated the back of a spoon really nicely, so Mark went ahead and filled the tins using a heatproof ladle.

Bake at 350 degrees for 5 minutes, then open the oven in order to top each cupcake with 1 large good-quality vegan marshmallow. Bake for an additional 10 minutes to fully melt and toast the marshmallow and cook the rest of it all the way through.


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