Bourbon Cream Pie

bourbon_cream.jpg Crust from The King Arthur Flour Baker's Companion: The All-Purpose Baking Cookbook. Pie adapted from BakeWise: The Hows and Whys of Successful Baking with Over 200 Magnificent Recipes by Shirley Corriher.


The Crusts
  • 2 package of Nabisco Chocolate Wafer Cookies, crushed or food-processed
  • 2oz Confectioner's Sugar
  • 6oz Butter, melted
  • Hefty pinch of Salt
The Filling
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 6 large egg yolks (from pasteurized eggs, preferably)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon of water (don't combine the waters)
  • 3 Tbls Knob Creek bourbon
  • 1.5 packages of unflavored gelatin. If you have a hard time guessing, lean towards having more


The Crusts Preheat oven to 375°F, and let sit for another 20 minutes. Mix the ingredients. Press the mixture into a 2-9" pie-plates, divided evenly. Press down on the crumb using a round glass or measuring cup sprayed with non-stick spray. Try to get an even edge around the pie. Cut the top of the pie level with a butter knife. Bake for 15 minutes. Cool on a baking rack. The Filling Whip the cream to soft peaks. Set aside. Add the sugar to the egg yolks. Using a mixer with a beater attachment (unless you are mighty and prefer just using a hand whisk), whip the yolks and sugar until they increase significantly in volume and turn several shades paler. Pour the gelatin into the 1/2 cup of water. Let sit for two minutes. Microwave for 20 seconds until just barely dissolved. Combine the gelatin, rum, and egg yolk mixture. Mix thoroughly. Add 1/3 of the whipped cream to the egg yolk mixture and mix thoroughly. Fold the yolk mixture into the rest of the whipped cream. Divide among the two pie crusts and refrigerate until set (probably an hour or two). Feel free to drink any of the left over filling mixture.

Double-Strawberry Open-Faced Pie


Adapted from The Pie and Pastry Bible by Rose Levy Beranbaum.


The Crust

  • 200g Cold unsalted Butter, cut into 1/4" cubes

  • 320g All-Purpose Flour

  • 3/4 tsp Salt

  • 126g Heavy Cream

  • 1 Egg White, lightly beaten

The Base Layer

  • 85g Lindt White Chocolate (all but one column of a 3.5oz bar)

  • 4oz Cream Cheese

  • 2 Tbl sour cream

The Cooked Layer

  • 1 cup fresh strawberries (after rinsing, drying, hulling, and halving)

  • 2 Tbl Cornstarch

  • 118g Water

  • 67g Sugar

  • 1 Tsp Fresh Lemon Juice

  • 1 pinch Salt

The Fresh Layer

  • Enough whole strawberries, to cover a 9" circle when stood point up, hulled, dried, and rinsed.

  • 72g Currant Jelly (1/4 cup)

  • 1 Tbl St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur


The Crust

Put 1/3 of the butter into the freezer in a medium-sized mixing bowl.

Whisk the flour and salt together. Mix in 2/3 of the butter with a pastry cutter until it looks like course meal. Once the butter is mixed with the flour, minimize exposure of the dough to your warm, warm hands, or you will melt the butter.

Place the butter/salt/flour mixture into a gallon-sized zip-top bag. Add in the last 1/3 of the butter and put the bowl back into the freezer. Get rid of all the air you can and seal the bag. Take your trustiest rolling pin and roll the contents of the bag until the butter turns into flatten flakes. Place the bag into the freezer for 10 minutes or thereabouts. The goal is to reverse any melting from the butter and make it reasonably solid again.

Take out the bag and the bowl, and transfer all of the dough to the bowl. You will need to scrape the sides of the bag, as the butter will have stuck to it during the rolling. Sprinkle the heavy cream into the mixture and mix. I use a silicone spatula to mix, as it won't melt the butter and it'll resist some of the sticking.

Put the mixture back into the bag and seal, removing most of the air as before. Knead the dough inside the bag with your fingertips until it sticks together. When you pull it, it should stretch a bit.

Divide the dough into two 6" discs and refrigerate for anywhere from 1 to 24 hours. 8 hours is ideal. Although you'll only need one of these discs for this pie, as it was a competition, I baked two in case something went horribly, horribly wrong.

Preheat the oven to 450° and let sit at that temperature for another 20-30 minutes.

Roll out the pie dough into a 13" circle and place into the pie pan. Shape the top as you like. Freeze for at least 20 minutes.

Dock the sides and bottom of the dough. Crumple a piece of parchment paper, unroll it, and place over the pie, fitting it down close to the dough. Put in your dried beans, rice, or pie weights. Bake for 20 minutes. Carefully remove the weighted parchment paper, cover the top edge of the crust with aluminum foil, and bake for another 5-10 minutes, until the inside of the crust has a light golden tinge and feels more like crust than dough. Let cool for 3 minutes, then brush on the egg white to the sides and bottom. Let cool completely.

The Bottom Layer

Put the white chocolate into a microwave safe dish and microwave on high for 20 seconds at a time. At the end of each, stir. Repeat until there's more melted bits than solid bits, then keep stirring until all of the solid bits turn into melted bits. Let cool to room temperature.

In a small mixing bowl, mix the cream cheese with an electric mixer until it's somewhat fluffy and whipped. Add in the cooled white chocolate and mix. Add in the sour cream and mix until combined. Cover the bottom of the pie with this mixture.

The Cooked Layer

Lightly crush the strawberries with a fork in a small saucepan. Add the sugar, water, salt, lemon juice, and cornstarch. Bring to a boil. Simmer for 1 minute. Pour into a bowl and let cool to room temperature. Stir occasionally during the cooling process. Once cooled, pour over the bottom later of the pie.

The Fresh Layer

Your strawberries should have the tops cut off so that they could stand up on the a flat surface. Place these point side up on top of the pie.

In the small saucepan which has been washed and dried, melt the currant jelly until it is melted. It will bubble. Strain into a glass, which will involve a lot of pressing with a spatula. Stir in the St. Germain. Brush this mixture onto the fresh strawberries.

The Pie

Cool in a refrigerator for an hour or two or overnight. Slice and eat, or slice and serve to judges. If the latter, try to save yourself a slice.

Recipe book gaps

It was time to do something about all the apples that we had, so yesterday we decided to make a pie. A lemon custard pie. No, it was an apple pie, of course. I had a pie crust left over from when I was trying out the Whole Foods frozen pie crusts. They are, incidentally, not as good as the Pillsbury roll-out pie crusts, which, as we know, are good enough that it makes it hard for me to work up the effort to learn to make pie crust properly. Tried it once or twice, haven't quite gotten the knack. The biscuit method is not my best. However, I only had one shell, and I didn't feel like either making a crust or buying one, as that would have gone against the whole "let's use up this pie crust in a quick pie baking scenario" idea. Fortunately, my friend Stephanie, the last couple times I've made the apple pie, has suggested using a crumble topping instead of a pie crust. I figured this would be a good time to take her advice. So I turn to the index in Bittman's How to Cook Everything and look up Crumble. Nothin'. I check the pie index, and can see no crumble toppings. I check the tart index, and can find nothing there. I desperately try to remember what I was trying to think of that wasn't a tart, because I knew that wasn't right, and eventually failed completely to come up with the word 'Cobbler'. Today I remember, but the oven was pre-heated, and I really didn't feel like wasting a bunch of time trying to figure out what I was trying to think of. [amtap book:isbn=0471789186] So I leaf through Cookwise, but that would require far too much thinking to figure out what I wanted, and was not for the quick "give me the recipe now, in small unmarked bills," situation that I was in. I grabbed Professional Baking and turned to the pie section. I was in luck! There was a picture of an apple pie with a crumble topping. Hooray! Only there was no recipe for a crumble topping. All of the toppings they had that seemed similar were for going under the pie, and I, again, didn't feel like experimenting. [amtap book:isbn=0688102298] [amtap book:isbn=0471464279] So my wife, eager for pie, suggests going for one of our spiral-bound books of Southern cookery. I do so, and there is exactly what I need, except I had to ditch the oatmeal as I had none. The general idea is to combine a bunch of solid fat (I used shortening (trans-fat free, mind you)), flour, and brown sugar with a bit of baking soda until it crumbles, and you're set. Done and done. The pie is tasty, it has a crumble topping, and I know of some gaps in many of my cookbooks. A good learning experience, with pie to boot. I suppose next I'll need to check through and see if I can find the crumble topping by looking up 'Cobbler'. But first: pie.