Serves: 12 cupcakes
For the pastry cream:
- 1 cup Clover Stornetta Farms whole milk
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- 2 large egg yolks
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (or just vanilla extract)
- 1 tablespoon Clover Stornetta Farms unsalted butter, softened
For the cupcakes:
- 1½ cups all purpose flour
- 1½ teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup (4 ounces) Clover Stornetta Farms unsalted butter
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 2 large Clover Stornetta Farms eggs
- ¾ cup Clover Stornetta Farms whole milk
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
For the whipped cream:
- 1 cup Clover Stornetta Farms heavy whipping cream
- 1½ tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
For the fruit topping:
- 4-6 strawberries, stemmed, halved, and sliced thinly
- ½ navel orange peeled and segmented, or use mandarin oranges
- (2) kiwi, peeled, halved, and sliced thinly
- (4) blackerries, cut into thirds
- 2 tablespoons apricot jam
- 1 tablespoon water
Prepare the pastry cream:
- Fill a large bowl with ice, and enough water to fill the bowl halfway. Place a medium bowl in it with a fine mesh strainer nearby along with a piece of buttered wax paper. Set aside.
- Place the milk in a medium saucepan and heat over medium low heat until just before it begins to boil.
- While the milk heats, place the sugar and egg yolks in a medium bowl and whisk until well incorporated. Add the flour and whisk vigorously until smooth. When the milk is hot enough, add a few tablespoons of it to the egg mixture while whisking constantly to temper the eggs. Add ⅓ of the mixture in a slow steady stream while whisking constantly. Once ⅓ has been added, add the rest all at once while whisking constantly until combined.
- Place the mixture back in the saucepan and cook over medium heat, whisking constantly to prevent lumps, until the mixture begins to boil, about 8-10 minutes. Continue to cook for another minute until very thick. Remove from heat and whisk in the vanilla and softened butter, then place in the strainer over the bowl set over the ice bath and strain to remove any lumps or bits of egg. Cover the pastry cream with the buttered wax paper to prevent a skin from forming and allow to cool at room temperature. Once cooled, remove from the ice bath and place in the refrigerator until ready to use. For best results, make in advance and store in the fridge for 4-6 hours or overnight.
Prepare the cupcakes:
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a standard muffin pan with 12 paper liners.
- In a small bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt until combined. Set aside.
- In the bowl of stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar together on medium speed about 3-5 minutes until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber scraper. Turn the mixer on low speed and add the eggs one at a time until incorporated.
- Mix the vanilla into the milk. With the mixer on low, add the flour and milk alternately, beginning and ending with the flour, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
- Divide the batter evenly between the paper liners so that each is ⅔ full. Bake on the middle rack of the oven 18-20 minutes or until the top of the cupcakes spring back when pressed gently. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then remove from the pan and cool completely.
Prepare the whipped cream:
- Place the cream, sugar, and vanilla in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on medium high speed until stiff peaks form, being careful not to over whip.
Decorate the cupcakes:
- Using a paring knife, cut a 1″ circle in the center of each cupcake, cutting at an angle toward the center to about ½” from the bottom. Remove the cake and cut off the pointed bottom leaving just a thin circle of cake to cover the pastry cream filling. Fill the center with about 1 teaspoon of pastry cream, and cover with the thin circle of cake (you will have pastry cream left over). Once filled, frost each cupcake with about 1 tablespoon of the whipped cream frosting. Pipe the remaining cream around the edge of the cupcake for a border (I used a Wilton 1M tip).
- Top each cupcake decoratively with the sliced fruit.
- Heat the apricot jam and water in a microwave safe bowl for about 20-30 seconds or until thin enough to spread (add more water if necessary). Brush the jam gently over the top of the fruit with a pastry brush to give it a glossy finish (this also helps preserve the fruit). Serve the cupcakes, and enjoy!
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