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Strawberry Shortcake Cupcakes
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 1/4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup milk, at room temperature
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 2 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Pinch of salt
- 2 tablespoons milk or heavy cream
- Strawberry jam
- Preheat the oven to 350°. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper or foil liners.
- In a medium bowl, whisk the flour with the cornstarch, baking powder and salt.
- In a large bowl, using a handheld electric mixer, beat the sugar with the eggs and vanilla extract at medium-high speed until smooth and thickened slightly, about 3 minutes. Add the butter and oil and beat until incorporated, scraping the bottom and side of the bowl. Add the dry ingredients and milk in 3 alternating batches, beating well between additions. Carefully pour the batter into the lined muffin tins, filling them about two-thirds full.
- Bake the cupcakes in the center of the oven for 20 to 23 minutes, until springy and a toothpick or cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Let the cupcakes cool slightly in the muffin tin, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.
- In a medium bowl, using a handheld electric mixer, beat the softened butter at medium speed until smooth. Add the confectioners' sugar, vanilla extract and salt and beat the mixture at low speed just until combined. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat until smooth. Add the milk or heavy cream and beat until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
- Mix the frosting with strawberry jam to taste. Spread the frosting on the cooled cupcakes and serve.
Lemon Curd Tart with Olive Oil
Adapted from Rosa Jackson, Les Petits Farcis, Nice, France
- 2 tablespoons almonds with skins, toasted and cooled
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup confectioners sugar
- Pinch of fine sea salt
- 1/2 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 1 large egg yolk
- 3 1/2 tablespoons fruity olive oil (preferably French)
- 3 large lemons
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 2 whole large eggs plus 2 large yolks
- 1/2 stick unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 2 tablespoons fruity olive oil (preferably French)
- a 9-inch round tart pan with removable side; a small offset spatula
Make tart shell:
- Preheat oven to 425°F with rack in middle.
- Pulse almonds with flour, sugar, and sea salt to a fine powder in a food processor. Add butter and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal with some small (roughly pea-size) butter lumps.
- Add yolk and oil and pulse until just incorporated and a very soft dough has formed.
- Spread dough evenly over bottom and up side of pan with offset spatula. Chill until firm, about 30 minutes.
- Bake shell until golden brown all over, about 13 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool completely, about 30 minutes.
- Grate enough zest from lemons to measure 1 tablespoon, then squeeze 3/4 cup juice from lemons.
- Whisk together lemon zest and juice, sugar, cornstarch, whole eggs, and yolks in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat, whisking constantly. Boil, whisking, 2 minutes.
- Remove from heat and whisk in butter and oil until smooth.
- Pour lemon curd into cooled shell and chill until set, at least 2 hours.
- Tart shell can be made 1 day ahead and kept, loosely covered, at room temperature.
- Assembled tart can be chilled up to 4 hours.