Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Thoroughbred Pie

We have been involved in watching our grandchildren since last Friday evening while their parents are away celebrating their 10th wedding anniversary.  So far, we have had either both of them or just the almost two-year old.  The other grandfather gets to take care of them for the next two days, so we are enjoying a break and I got to make what I wanted for dinner.  I chose to make charcoal grilled T-Bone Steaks, Twice Baked Potatoes, coleslaw and Thoroughbred Pie for dessert.  Everything turned out wonderfully and I will definitely be making these dishes again.

Traditionally Thoroughbred Pie is a dessert served at a Kentucky Derby party, but at least I tried it during the month of May.  This has been a busy month and I have not been posting as regularly as I have in the past.  This recipe was delicious without being too sweet.  The pastry was rich and flaky, with a nice layer of chocolate covering the bottom of the crust.  The filling was smooth and creamy, laced with a hint of bourbon and filled with walnuts.  The top of this filling had a nice crackle to it which added another texture to the dessert.  I added a dollop of Bourbon Whipped Cream to each slice as I served it.

Thoroughbred Pie (Serves 8)

1 recipe Foolproof Single-Crust Pie Dough (recipe follows)
3 ounces bittersweet chocolate chips
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
3 tablespoons bourbon
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs plus 1 large yolk, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups walnuts, toasted and chopped

Foolproof Single-Crust Pie Dough (makes enough for 1 9-inch single-crust pie)

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, divided
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch pieces and chilled
1/4 cup vegetable shortening, cut into 2 pieces and chilled
2 tablespoons cold vodka
2 tablespoons cold water

Bourbon Whipped Cream (makes about 2 cups)

1 cup heavy cream, chilled
2 tablespoons bourbon
1 1/2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

To make the dough:

Pulse 3/4 cup flour, sugar, and salt in food processor until combined, about 2 pulses.  Add butter and shortening and process until homogeneous dough just starts to collect in uneven clumps. about 10 seconds (dough will resemble cottage cheese curds with some very small pieces of butter remaining and there should be not uncoated flour).  Scrape down bowl and redistribute dough evenly around processor blade.  Add remaining 1/2 cup flour and pulse until mixture is evenly distributed around bow and mass of dough has been broken up, 4 to 6 quick pulses.  Empty mixture into bowl.

Sprinkle vodka and water over mixture.  With rubber spatula, use folding motion to mix, pressing down on dough until dough is slightly tacky and sticks together.  Flatten dough into 4-inch disk.  Wrap dis in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 45 minutes or up to 2 days.

For the pie:

Remove dough from refrigerator and roll out on generously floured (up to 1/4 cup) counter to 12-inch circle about 1/8-inch thick.  roll dough loosely around rolling pin and unroll into pie plate, leaving at least 1-inch overhand.  east dough into plate by gently lifting edge of dough with one hand while pressing into plate bottom with other hand, Refrigerate until dough is firm, about 15 minutes.

Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees  Trim dough overhang to 1/2 inch beyond lip of pie plate.  Fold overhang under itself; folded edge should be flush with edge of pie plate.  Flute edges using fingers or press with tines of fork to flatten against rim of pie plate.  Refrigerate dough-lined plate until dough is firm, about 15 minutes.

Remove pie pate from refrigerator, line crust with aluminum foil, and fill with pie weights or dried beans.  Bake until surface of dough no longer looks wet, 20 to 25 minutes.  Remove pie from oven and reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees.  Remove foil and weights and sprinkle chocolate over bottom of hot crust.  Let sit for 5 minutes, then spread chocolate into even layer; set aside.

Melt butter in small saucepan over medium-low heat.  Cook, stirring constantly, until butter is nutty brown, 5 to 7 minutes.  Off heat, slowly stir in bourbon; let cool 5 minutes.

Whisk granulated sugar, brown sugar, cornstarch, and salt together in large bowl until combined.  Add eggs and yolk and vanilla, whisking until smooth.  Slowly whisk in warm butter mixture until incorporated.  Stir in walnuts and pour filling into chocolate-line crust.  Bake until filling is puffed and center jiggles slightly when pie is gently shaken, 35 to 40 minutes.  Cool on wire rack for 4 hours.  Slice and serve.  (Pie can be refrigerated, covered, for up to 2 days).

For the whipped cream:

Using stand mixer fitted with whisk, whip ingredients together on medium-low speed until foamy, about 1 minute.  Increase speed to high and whip to soft peaks, 1 to 3 minutes.

Adapted from The Best of America's Test Kitchen 2012

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