It’s time to cut loose on the pie dance floor.
You’ve dutifully baked your way through the seasons and Thanksgiving, paying your respects to apple, pumpkin, pecan – all manner of traditional pies. You’ve earned something a little outlandish and over-the-top, wouldn’t you say?
Maybe something a little naughty and nice all in one crust?
How about Eggnog Cream Pie?
Never heard of it? Let me help. Imagine your basic vanilla cream pie, the kind roadside diners everywhere are famous for. Add half milk and half heavy cream to the filling, for unabashed eggnogish creaminess. Incorporate half a dozen egg yolks for a velvety texture.
Fold a portion of the aforementioned filling into clouds of whipped cream; pile a mountain of it over the filling; booze the whole thing up with bourbon. Dust lavishly with nutmeg. You’re done.
Yes, it tastes like eggnog. And no, I never said it earned the American Heart Association’s stamp of approval, but no matter – everyone else will approve.
You could make a strong case for doing this holiday pie in a prebaked crumb crust made from vanilla wafers, gingersnaps, or graham crackers. I wouldn’t discourage you.
But I opted for the prebaked pastry crust because I wanted to make a decorative border, suggestive of the season. If you like the look, here’s how I did it.
Choose a pie pan that has a flat rim at least 1/2-inch wide. Make a beefy rolled or pinched edge on your pie shell, then flatten it out to a thickness of about 1/3-inch, by hand or with the help of a large pan bottom. Chill the pie shell in the freezer for about 7 minutes, or in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
Using the edge of a round teaspoon, make deep impressions in the rim all the way around, using about half of the spoon’s circle to make the impression. Chill again while you preheat the oven.
Just before prebaking the shell, use a small brush to paint the half circles with 1 egg yolk beaten with 1/2 teaspoon milk. After the filling and topping go on, I added those drops of red decorating gel for a festive touch.
That’s all there is to it.
A word of caution if you do make this with a pastry crust: make sure it is fully prebaked. All of your bona fides will fly out the window if your crust feels flabby in the mouth, with no trace of the requisite crunch. Once you remove the foil and beans during the prebaking it will need another 15 to 20 minutes at 350°, until the surface of the shell is nice and dry and you notice a little browning on the bottom crust.
I’m not a hard liquor fan, and one of the many things I like about this pie is that you can taste the bourbon, but – unlike a lot of actual eggnog – there’s not enough to knock your socks off.
Enjoy, and happy holidays to you.
Need Last Minute Gifts for Your Favorite Pie Maker?
We’ve got some great ones: a variety of pie boxes, heirloom quality Pie Academy rolling pins, Ken’s cookbooks – he’ll be happy to autograph them for you – and more. Have a look around the store and place your order by Saturday if you want to be sure it will arrive before Christmas. And as always, thanks for your support.
PIE CRUST NOTE: As I mentioned above, use any favorite crumb crust for this pie, prebaking the crust as directed. If you would like to use a pastry crust, I recommend the Good Basic Pie Dough, Food Processor Pie Dough, or the Three-Grain Butter Crust.