My young friend, Darby, has a fondness of pretzels, tart candy and blackberries. What better way to satisfy all of these tastes than in the form of a pie and what became the inspiration behind Darby’s Upside Down Blackberry Key Lime Small Pies.
This pie begins by combining pretzels with cinnamon graham crackers to create a salty sweet base. Using unsalted butter in the crust is critical given the saltiness of the pretzels. Key limes are the limes of choice for the filling. Much smaller than Persian limes, their distinct flavor lends itself to the tartness of the pie. If key limes are unavailable, key lime juice is a great alternative. Blackberries provide a sweet counter to the limes and using frozen blackberries keeps the berries from juicing during baking. The final Flavor Tier is a blackberry flavored whipped cream and a bit of lime zest. While these can be served upright, serving them upside down presents a bit of mystery to guests and surprise when sliced into as the blackberries ooze out with the filling.
1 c crushed pretzels
1 c crushed cinnamon graham crackers
¼ c sugar
9 T unsweetened butter, melted
1 can sweetened condensed milk
2/3 c key lime juice
4 large egg yolks
½ T lime zest
1 cup blackberries, frozen
¾ c heavy whipping cream
1 T powdered sugar
½ T blackberry juice
1 ½ t lime zest
Heat oven to 350°.
Use a food processor to crush the pretzels and graham crackers. Please in a small bowl. Add the sugar to the bowl and mix. Pour melted butter over the crumb mix and stir until completely mixed.
Spray 6 custard cups with cooking oil. Place 1/3 cup of the crumb mix into each custard cup. Press mix against sides and bottom of the custard cups, packing firmly. Place cups on a baking sheet. Place in oven and bake for 8 minutes. Remove from oven.
In a medium bowl, mix the sweetened condensed milk with the lime juice, whisking until completely blended. Add the egg yolks and lime zest; whisk to completely blend.
Place 3 blackberries in the bottom of each custard cup.
Cover blackberries with ¼ cup of the filling mix. If there is extra filling, evenly divide between cups.
Place baking sheet with custard cups back into the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and immediately run a sharp knife around sides of the cups. Filling will firm up as it cools. Let cool to room temperature. Refrigerate and chill at least 3 hours.
Pour whipping cream into a medium bowl. Beat at high speed until soft peaks form, about 2-3 minutes. Add powdered sugar and blackberry juice. Beat at high speed until firm peaks form, about another 2-3 minutes.
Place a serving plate on each of the custard cup. Flip the plates and custard cups to invert the pies onto the plates. Top each pie with 2 tablespoons of the whipped cream. Top the whipped cream with 2 blackberries. Evenly divide the lime zest between the plates.