I’m a wee bit pie weary (and right here is where I was going to insert a whole bunch of pie photos, but it’s Christmas Eve and I still have to go to work and bake more pies, plus I really hope I have time to bake a bunch of cookies when I get back home, as well as get a shower and wash my hair, so you’ll just have to use your imaginations), but on the off-chance you’re not, here’s a good one.
The recipe is quick and easy, and you probably already have all the ingredients banging around your kitchen. Also, it’s wondrously decadent — just the thing for a special occasion, like, say, Christmas!
This pie is great for riffing. The way I like it (printed below), the chocolate is spiked with bourbon and just a hint of peppermint — think mint juleps. But when the diner handed me a bunch of leftover candied oranges, I had to try a chocolate orange version: orange liquor and a bit of orange extract, and then each piece topped with whipped cream and a candied orange slice. It was also wonderful.
I delivered a couple pieces to my mom for her birthday.
Another idea is to infuse the cream with coffee and then add a generous pour of Bailey’s. Or do something with raspberries! Or keep it simple, with just chocolate (add a teaspoon of vanilla).
Really, you can’t go wrong.
As for the crust, the original recipe said to use a regular parbaked pie pastry shell, but none of us thought that did much for the pie. A cookie crust, we agreed, was more fitting — we liked the crunch. Oreos made it a tad too sweet, I thought (though other people didn’t seem to mind), so maybe go for an unfilled chocolate wafer cookie or a shortbread crust? Of course, you could simply pour the chocolate into ramekins and nix the crust entirely.
The one thing that is a must, though, is the whipped cream. Don’t skip it.
Chocolate Bourbon Pie
Adapted from The Four & Twenty Blackbirds Pie Book by Emily Elsen and Melissa Elsen.
This recipe makes enough filling for a 9-inch pie. Baked in a tart pan —photographed here — at least a third of the filling is left over.
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 cup milk
12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
½ teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons bourbon
¼ teaspoon peppermint extract
1 chocolate cookie crust (recipe of your choosing), parbaked at 325 degrees for 10 minutes
Heat the cream and milk until it’s almost boiling. Remove from heat and add the chocolate. Let sit for a couple minutes and then whisk until smooth.
In a separate bowl, beat the eggs and then add a bit of the chocolate, a little at a time, whisking steadily. Once the eggs are tempered, add the rest of the chocolate, the salt, and whisk well. If the mixture is at all lumpy, pour it through a sieve. Stir in the peppermint extract and bourbon.
Pour the filling into the chocolate cookie crust and bake at 325 degrees for 25-35 minutes. The edges should be set but the middle should still wobble a bit (without appearing runny). Cool to room temp and then refrigerate.
Immediately before serving, dust with powdered sugar, if desired (keep in mind that it will melt away after an hour or so), and top with whipped cream.