Junior baker wins top prize with surprise pie

The Record


Hot Shot Bakery n Café welcomed three finalists June 22 to the restaurant’s Kids’ Baking Contest.

The theme “I Love Limes and Caramel” highlighted the two popular summer ingredients and encouraged some clever dessert creations.

The second and third place winners were Grace Smith and Taylor Margarone, respectively.

Rachel Steffey of Brunswick, Georgia, won first place for her Caramel Lime Surprise Pie.

“When my mom told me about this contest, I immediately thought Key Lime Pie,” Steffey said. “I decided to add the caramel as the topping — and as a surprise — between the crust and the filling.”

Steffey had never attempted a Key Lime Pie before the contest, so she asked for her aunt’s help in perfecting the recipe.

After three tries, she got it right.

“The first was liquid; the second was burned, and the third was perfect,” she said.

The contest was judged by Hot Shot Bakery owner Sherry Stoppelbein and pastry chef Jalyn Howard.

As the grand prize winner, Steffey will receive a private tour of St. Augustine for four, lunch for four at Hot Shot Bakery and a private baking class.

Rachel Steffey’s Caramel Lime Surprise Pie


For the crust

½ cup crushed graham crackers

1/3 cup granulated sugar

6 tablespoons melted butter

For the filling

5 egg yolks

½ cup lime juice

1 teaspoon lime zest

1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk

For the whipped topping

1 teaspoon confectioners sugar

1 cup cold heavy whipping cream

1 teaspoon vanilla

For the caramel sauce

1 cup granulated sugar

¼ cup water

5 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces

½ cup heavy whipping cream

Pinch of salt


Caramel Sauce: In a heavy bottomed large sauce pan, add water and sugar. Heat on medium. Whisk until mixture boils. Watch mixture until it turns a dark amber. Hint: This will take a little while and then burn super quickly.

Remove mixture from heat and add butter. Whisk until dissolved. Slowly pour in cream, whisk until mixture looks smooth and creamy. Stir in a pinch of salt. Set aside to thicken.

Crust: Mix graham cracker crumbs with the sugar in a bowl. Melt the butter and combine with dry ingredients. Once combined, add mixture to a pie plate and press down. Bake for 8 minutes at 350 degrees. Let cool.

Filling: Add egg yolks, lime juice, lime zest, and condensed milk in a bowl. Mix until combined.

Whipped Topping: In a cold bowl, combine the confectioners sugar with the cold cream and vanilla. Beat on medium until peaks form — like a mountain top. Don’t beat too long, or it won’t be light and fluffy.

Once the crust is cool, add caramel sauce to the bottom of pan. Reserve some caramel sauce for topping. Add filling on top of the sauce mixture. Bake for 12 minutes at 350 degrees.

Once cool, add the whipped topping. Then top with the caramel sauce and about a tablespoon of lime zest for color.