Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Eggnog/Butterbeer Pie

From the "Four and Twenty Blackbirds Pie Shop" cookbook. Sister R made this. The rest of the people in the house were maybe a touch skeptical, at least I was. I don't like eggnog and the rum thing was weird. Plus they call it "Egg n Grogg Pie" in the book which I get, but do not find at all appetizing. But wouldn't you know? I think I liked it better than anyone. I thought it was really delicious. Sister R said that she wanted something that tasted like how she imagined butterbeer. Now, just a few months ago, I got official butterbeer in Orlando. I didn't like it. It was very sweet, but I wanted it to taste zingier, saltier, bubblier, caramelier, darker, brighter, sharper?-- it is hard to describe, and some of you might be thinking, it occurs to me, that I am describing alcohol-- but I don't drink alcohol and never have and don't find it tempting. But this pie DID taste like what I want butterbeer to taste like. Zingier, saltier, bubblier, caramelier, darker, brighter, sharper. Rummier, I guess.

Gingersnap Crumb Crust
about 20 2-inch gingersnap cookies, enough to make 1 c crumbs
2 T sugar
1/4 t salt
4 T butter, melted
egg white wash (1 large egg white mixed with 1 t cold water), optional

Grind the gingersnaps to fine crumbs in a food processor. Add sugar, salt, and melted butter and pulse just to incorporate.

Pour crumbs into an ungreased, preferably metal, 9 inch pie plate. Spread evenly over bottom and up sides. Freeze until solid, about 10 minutes. Preheat oven to 350.

Bake 12-14 minutes, until fragrant and darkened slightly. If it slumps or cracks, gently push the crumbs back into place, while hot, with a kitchen towel. While hot, moistureproof the crust by brushing with the egg wash, if desired. Bake for an additional minute to set. Cool completely, and refrigerate 10 minutes prior to filling to set the crumbs better.

3/4 c cream cheese, softened
3/4 c sugar
1/4 t salt
1/2 t vanilla paste
1/2 t nutmeg
1/4 t allspice
1/4 t cinnamon
pinch cloves
3 large eggs
1 c heavy cream
3 T dark rum
1/2 t fresh lemon juice

Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat to 325. Place the prepared crumb shell on a rimmed baking sheet.

With a mixer, blend the cream cheese with the sugar, salt, vanilla paste, and spices until well mixed. Beat in the eggs one at a time, followed by the cream, rum, and lemon juice. Stir until well combined.

Carefully pour into the shell. To avoid disturbing the crumb crust, slow the stream by pouring it over a rubber scraper and letting the filling dribble into the pan. Bake on the middle rack 40-45 minutes, rotating 180 degrees when the edges start to set, about 25 minutes in. The pie is done when the edges are set and the middle is no longer liquid but still quite wobbly. Don't overbake. Cool completely on a rack, 2-3 hours. Serve a little warm, at room temperature, or cool.

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