These cupcakes are a great way to ease into the many dishes of pumpkin in the last few months of the year. While they look difficult and complex to make, they are actually very easy and the final product is worth the little extra work it takes to make these cupcakes.
(Cupcake recipe adapted from http://annies-eats.com/2008/09/26/apple-pie-cupcakes/. Pumpkin pie custard recipe adapted from http://www.joyofbaking.com/pumpkinpie.html.)
Step 1: Ingredients
Cupcakes (yields 12):
• 1 ½ cups cake flour
• ½ tbsp. baking powder
• A pinch of salt (or if you want to get technical, ¼ tsp.)
• ½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
• 1 cup sugar
• 2 eggs
• ¾ tsp. vanilla extract
• ½ cup milk
Pumpkin Pie Custard:
• 3 eggs
• 1 15 ounce can of pumpkin
• ½ cup heavy whipping cream
• ½ cup brown sugar (the recipe calls for light, I used dark)
• 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
• ½ tsp. ground ginger
• ½ tsp. ground cloves
• ½ tsp. salt
• Cupcake liners
• Muffin pan
• Vanilla icing
Step 2: Making the Cupcakes
Preheat oven to 350°F. Place cupcake liners in muffin pan.
In a medium bowl, mix together the cake flour, baking powder, and salt and then set aside. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until fluffy. Mix in the two eggs, the vanilla extract, and the milk. When the mixture is well combined, slowly start adding in the dry ingredients (I really mean slowly, cake flour is just a bomb waiting to go off in your kitchen). Stir until just combined.
Divide the batter as evenly as you can among the cupcake liners, filling them about ¾ of the way full. Bake for about 18-22 minutes or until they are golden and a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the middle. Set cupcakes aside to let cool.
Step 3: Making the Pumpkin Pie Custard
You can begin making the pumpkin pie custard while the cupcakes are baking. Just be prepared to turn your over up to 375°F when you take your cupcakes out.
In a large bowl, light whisk together the three eggs. Add the remaining ingredients and stir until mixture is well combined.
Pour the mixture into a lightly greased pie dish and bake for 45-55 minutes or until the custard has set. Let cool.
Step 4: Combining!
While the custard is cooling, you can begin using the cone method to remove the top of the cupcakes. Just cut the top of the cupcake off at an angle, making sure to leave a rim all the way around the top of the cupcake. When you pull the now cut-off top off you will be left with a chunk of cupcake shaped like a cone.
When the custard is cooled, lightly place an average sized cupcake top cone on top of the custard and cut a cone shape out. Think about where you are cutting as you have to cut out twelve circles for the cupcakes. Place the cone of custard into the hole of the cupcake; you may have to lightly squish it into place.
Step 5: Enjoying!
When finished combining the custard with all the cupcakes, just drop a spoonful of vanilla icing on top and enjoy the tasty cupcakes!
Cupcakes and all leftover pumpkin pie custard should be refrigerated.