Have you heard? Pies are the new ‘it’ dessert. Yes, it’s true, the word on the street is cupcakes are on their way out. Part of me cried to hear the news and another, secret part of me, silently cheered. While I love a cupcake as much as one possibly can without asking it to marry me, I’m ready for something new.
I would love to see old-fashioned pies get a makeover, a modern reinvention of sorts and a resurgence in popularity. Everywhere. Because in some circles pies have always been in vogue.
Take my sister, for instance, who, I’m convinced was born with a natural ability to make good pie. Her pie-making talents are renowned and rightly so. Here’s a girl who painstakingly baked pie after pie in order to perfect her crust recipe. A devotion that started years ago, before anyone so much as whispered the words pie and trend in the same sentence.
I can only hope to bake up a crust as tender and flaky as hers one day. Two people baking the same exact pie recipe do not have the same exact results, as I have learned, making crust is all about technique. And innate talent. Of which I have none. Maybe I should stick with cupcakes…
Cupcakes have a cult-like following and will always be loved, even if pies overtake them in popularity, which honestly is hard for me to imagine.
These yellow cupcakes have a strawberry jam filling and a fudge frosting that reminds me of candy. The tart jam is lovely against the chocolaty sweetness of the frosting and the tender crumb of the cupcake.
Peeling back the liner in anticipation of my first bite gives me a thrill that I’m not sure pie can ever live up to. Be still my heart. Cute little cupcake, will you marry me?
1. Preheat oven to 350degree F. Line a 12 cup muffin pan with paper liners.
2. Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt together in a small bowl to combine.
3. In a large bowl using an electric mixer beat butter until creamy, about 2 minutes. Add sugar gradually, beating until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes, scraping down the bowl once or twice. Beat in vanilla extract. Beat in eggs one at a time, scraping down after each addition. Add flour mixture in 4 additions, alternately with the milk. Begin and end with the flour mixture, and beat briefly until smooth on low-medium speed after each addition.
4. Divide batter evenly among cupcake wells. If using jam drop a rounded teaspoon full into the middle of each one. Bake for about 18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center shows a few moist crumbs. The center should also spring back when lightly pressed.
5. Cool pan on wire rack for 5 minutes, then remove cupcakes and continue cooling on rack. When cooled completely, frost.
Makes 12 cupcakes
1. In a large bowl with hand mixer on electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat butter until creamy, about 2 minutes. Add 1 cup sugar gradually, beating until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes, scraping down the bowl once or twice.
2. Add remaining 3 cups sugar and milk, beat on high speed until smooth and creamy. Add vanilla extract and melted chocolate, beat until combined, then beat an additional 3 to 4 minutes until thick and fluffy. Frost cupcakes immediately.
If the chocolate is too warm, the frosting might be too soft to hold peaks. Just keep beating until it is thick enough to spread. Assess texture. If too soft, add a portion or all of the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar. Frosting is ready to use. Bring to room temperature and reheat after storing.
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