If I never eat another piece of pumpkin pie in my lifetime, I will not die with any pie related regrets. Sure, I might miss the Thanksgiving nostalgia of pumpkin pie, but I have never helped myself to a second piece and even wished I had eaten another homemade roll instead. Some (or most) of you may think I’m crazy, but maybe there are a few of you who can relate. Naturally, every Thanksgiving I find myself on a quest for a fitting dessert substitute. Don’t misunderstand me, I like many other types of pie – I’m not a complete monster – and over the years I have dabbled in pecan pies, chocolate pies, and a few tarts here and there. Finally, I think I have found “my” Thanksgiving pie; it’s reminiscent of a custard and boasts of the equally quintessential fall flavors, maple and nutmeg. The pie alone is transcendent, but when paired with the salted bourbon whipped cream you might find yourself thinking you could live without pumpkin pie too. P.S. Did I mention the pie can be made a day in advance?
MAPLE AND NUTMEG PIE WITH SALTED BOURBON WHIPPED CREAM
adapted from Epicurious
makes one standard, 9″ pie
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (146g) all purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
8 tablespoons (113g) unsalted butter, chilled and diced
1/4 cup ice water
3/4 cup maple syrup
2 1/4 cups heavy cream
4 egg yolks
1 whole egg
1/4 heaping teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 heaping teaspoon orange zest
salted bourbon whipped cream:
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 scant teaspoon sea salt
1-2 tablespoons bourbon*
2 tablespoons sugar
Note: You will need one 9” standard pie dish for this recipe. A slightly larger one, 9 ½” or 10” will also work. You may also use a store bought/pre-made crust and skip straight to the par-baking.
Make your pie crust: Whisk together the flour, sugar, and salt. Using a pastry blender, cut in the butter until the largest pieces are about the size of a pea. Sprinkle the cold water over the top. Using a rubber spatula, gather the dough together into a ball. Cover the dough in saran wrap or place in an airtight container and refrigerate for at least one hour, or overnight.
When ready to bake the crust, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Line your pie dish: You want to do the following steps quickly to prevent the butter in the dough from melting before it goes in the oven. Prepare a clean, lightly floured surface and have a standard pie dish, parchment paper, and pie weights ready. Roll the chilled dough out until it’s large enough to fit in your pie dish and extend about a ½ inch beyond the top rim/edge (the crust will shrink during baking). Line the pie dish with the dough, pinch the edges into a pattern, trim any excess dough with a knife, and stab the dough with a fork all over the bottom. Line the pie crust with parchment paper and fill with pie weights**.
Par-bake: Par-bake the crust for 15 minutes with the pie weights. Remove weights and bake an additional 5-10 min or until the crust is light golden brown and the bottom is not wet/soggy. Once par-baked, remove the crust from the oven and reduce oven heat to 300 degrees F.
Make your filling: In a small pot, bring the maple syrup to a gentle simmer over medium heat, stirring frequently, until it loses roughly 1/4 of it’s volume. This should take roughly 10 minutes at a simmer. Remove from heat and whisk in the cream. Heat the mixture back up to a gentle simmer, stirring frequently, then set aside to cool slightly (for at least 5 minutes) before using in the next step.
Whisk together the egg yolks and whole egg in a medium bowl, then slowly add the maple and cream mixture, whisking constantly. Strain with a fine sieve (at least once) into a bowl or pitcher with a pouring spout. Stir in the salt, nutmeg, vanilla, and orange zest and pour into the pie crust.
Bake: Bake the pie for approximately 1 hour at 300 degrees F, until the pie has set, with only a little wobble when moved. If your oven bakes unevenly, rotate the pie approximately halfway through baking. Allow the pie to cool completely to room temperature before slicing or serving, and if making a day in advance, store in the refrigerator overnight.
To serve: When ready to serve, whip all the whipped cream ingredients together until stiff peaks form. Store pie and whipped cream leftovers in the refrigerator. The pie can also be made a day in advance.
*1 tablespoon bourbon yields a subtle bourbon flavor, 2 tablespoons a stronger bourbon flavor
**pie weights OR something heavy and oven proof like dried beans or rice