Turn a holiday drink into a luscious pie
October 10, 2008
Since cream pie fillings get poured into already-baked crusts, you can save yourself some time and buy a prepared crust for this recipe. If you don’t care for the taste of eggnog, substitute 1 cup of whole milk and increase the spices to 2 teaspoons of cinnamon and 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg. Stir 2 tablespoons of rum, brandy or whiskey into the cream along with the vanilla.
Preparation time, start to finish: 1 hour (30 minutes active), plus cooling. Makes 8 servings.
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting, divided
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into cubes, chilled, divided
1 tablespoon cold water
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1 cup whole milk
1 cup eggnog
1/2 cup sugar
6 egg yolks
1 teaspoon cinnamon, plus additional for garnish
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, plus additional for garnish
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons rum, brandy or whiskey (optional)
In a large bowl, stir together 1 cup of the flour and the salt. Add the chilled cubed butter. Use your hands or a pastry cutter to cut the butter into the flour until the butter pieces are slightly smaller than a pea and the mixture resembles cornmeal. Add the water and gently stir the mixture together with your hands or a fork just until the mixture is moist but not sticky. If the mixture is too dry, add cold water 1 tablespoon at a time until it reaches the desired consistency.
Alternatively, in a food processor combine 1 cup of the flour and the salt. Pulse to mix. Add the chilled cubed butter and pulse until the butter pieces are slightly smaller than a pea and the mixture resembles cornmeal. Add the water and pulse until the mixture is moist but not sticky. If the mixture is too dry, add cold water 1 tablespoon at a time until it reaches the desired consistency.
Lay a sheet of plastic wrap on the counter and turn the dough onto it. Push the dough together to form a ball and wrap well in the plastic. Refrigerate until chilled, at least 30 minutes and up to 2 days.
Heat the oven to 400 F.
Lightly dust the counter with flour. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and roll it out to about 1/8-inch thickness. Transfer the dough to an 9-inch pie plate and press it gently into the plate.
Trim the overhanging dough to about 1 inch all around the edge. Fold the overhang under itself so that it rests on the lip of the pie plate and decorate the edges as desired.
Use a fork to prick the bottom of the pie crust several times. Line the crust with a piece of foil large enough to hang over the edges. Fill the shell with enough baking weights or dried beans to cover the bottom and go halfway up the sides.
Bake the crust until pale golden brown, about 15 minutes, then remove the foil and baking weights and continue baking until deep golden brown, about 10 minutes more. Transfer the pie shell to a cooling rack and cool to room temperature.
To make the filling: In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the milk, eggnog and 1/4 cup of the sugar. Bring to a gentle simmer.
Meanwhile, in a medium bowl whisk together the egg yolks, remaining 1Ú4 cup of flour, cinnamon, nutmeg and remaining 1/4 cup of sugar. When the milk and eggnog mixture is at a simmer, remove the pan from the heat.
While whisking, slowly pour about 1 cup of the warm milk mixture into the egg mixture. Then pour the egg mixture into the pan with the remaining milk and eggnog.
Return the pan to a medium heat. Stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, cook the mixture until it thickens to the consistency of a heavy pudding, about 3 to 4 minutes.
Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract. Pour the mixture into the cooled pie shell and place a sheet of plastic wrap over the top, gently pressing so it touches the surface of the cream. Refrigerate until set, at least 2 hours and up to 2 days.
Before serving the pie, whip the cream and liquor (if using) together until the cream holds stiff peaks. Remove the plastic wrap from the surface of the pie and evenly spread the whipped cream over the surface. If desired, lightly dust the top of the pie with cinnamon and nutmeg. Refrigerate until ready to serve.