Saturday, November 3, 2012

Tuscaloosa Tollhouse Whiskey Pie with Vanilla Bean Pâte Brisée & Homemade Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

Tuscaloosa Tollhouse Whiskey Pie
It's gameday yet again, folks. The best day of the week. I normally focus on dips, wings, fried food, burgers, dogs, etc. But, you always gotta have a dessert, and this is a go-to classic in T-Town. When you're walking through the Quad, almost every table or tent has one of these pies. It's a mix between a pecan pie and a chocolate chip cookie, but even better, it has whiskey in it. Oh take me home to Sweet Home Alabama, y'all because booze should belong in anything + everything. This pie I made is adapted from the guys at Baked Bakery in NYC (one of the guys actually went to the University of Alabama). Well, one tablespoon of whiskey just wasn't gonna do it for me, so I bumped it up to a fourth cup, ha. And lemme tell you, it tastes oh-so-good. I also substituted roasted, chopped pecans for walnuts... simply for the fact that I like them better. And for good measure, I practically doubled the chocolate chips in the recipe because everything is better with more chocolate, duh. You gotta bake this baby a pretty good while, so you just need to keep checking it until a toothpick of knife comes out clean. But, I will say this, do NOT over bake it. I like mine a little gooey, so I like to make sure it's slightly underdone, so as it sets it will remain luscious and soft. This pie is good at room temperature, chilled, or even better if it has been nuked in the microwave until the chocolate re-melts and it gets all gooey again. I also decided to make my own homemade vanilla bean ice cream and it just brought it over the top. I really fell in love with my recipe for this ice cream. I plan on using it in many of my recipes in the future. It is just like an uber vanilla ice cream (I think if I ever have an ice cream line, that would have to be it's name because of its overwhelmingly amazing vanilla flavor). So y'all, go make this for your next tailgate, or heck, it wouldn't be too shabby for Thanksgiving either. Now, let's hope that my Bama Boys can pull out a big win against LSU tonight. ROLL TIDE ROLL!! Enjoy :)

For the Vanilla Bean Pâte Brisée (makes 3 pie crusts):
3 ¾C AP Flour (plus extra for rolling)
3 Sticks of butter, Cut into ½inch Cubes & Chilled
1 ½t Salt
1T+1 ½t Sugar
12-18T Ice Water, Very Cold
3 Vanilla Beans, Sliced & Scraped for Beans

For the Tuscaloosa Tollhouse Whiskey Pie:
¾C AP Flour
1T Cornstarch
½C Sugar
½C Brown Sugar
2 Eggs, Room Temperature
1 ½ Sticks Unsalted Butter, Cut into Pieces & Softened
1t Vanilla
¼C Jack Daniels Whiskey
1C Pecans, Roasted & Finely Chopped
2C Chocolate Chunks (I prefer Bittersweet or Semisweet)
¼t Vanilla Bean Fleur de Sel

For the Homemade Vanilla Bean Ice Cream:
1 Stick Unsalted Butter, Melted & Cooled Slightly
2 ½C Heavy Cream
½C Whole Milk
6 Egg Yolks
1C Sugar
½t Salt
1t Vanilla
2T Vanilla Bean Infused Rum (or any kind of infused booze that is clear)
1-2 Whole Vanilla Beans, Split & Scraped for Seeds 

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and spray a pie dish with Pam and set it aside.
2. To Make the Vanilla Bean Pâte Brisée: Start by cutting the sticks of butter into ½inch cubes and placing in the freezer bag, along with the flour, salt, and sugar. Place the bag of flour into the freezer and chill for at least 1-2 hours. In a food processor, pour the frozen flour bag in, as well as the scraped vanilla beans, and pulse 6-8 times until the mixture resembles a course meal, with pea size pieces of butter. Add water 1T at a time, pulsing until the mixture just begins to clump together. If you pinch of some of the crumbly dough and it holds together then it’s ready. Remove the dough from the machine and place on a clean surface. Carefully split the dough into three even pieces and shape into discs. Do not over knead the dough. You should still be able to see little bits of butter in the dough. Sprinkle the discs with a little flour on all sides and wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate one of the dough discs for at least 2-3 hours (freeze the other two dough discs for another pie in the future).
3. Preparing the Pie Crust: Remove the disc from the refrigerator and let it sit at room temperature for 5-10 minutes. Sprinkle some flour on top of the disk. Roll out with a rolling pin on a lightly floured surface to a 12inch circle (roughly ¼ inch thick). Place the rolled out disc into the prepared pie dish, lining up the fold with the center of the pan, trimming the excess and crimping the edges. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze for 2-3 hours.
4. For the Homemade Vanilla Bean Ice Cream: In a saucepan, bring the cream, milk, vanilla bean pods, and vanilla bean seeds to a simmer. In a bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, sugar, and salt until fluffy. Slowly whisk in the melted butter. Once combined, gradually and slowly into the simmering milk. Pour this mixture back into the saucepan and cook over low heat, until thickened (it should coat the back of a spoon). Strain the custard into a bowl that is placed into an ice bath. Stir in the vanilla bean infused rum and vanilla. Cool the custard base until completely chilled. Once the mixture is chilled, freeze in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. As soon as the mixture is done churning, transfer to a bowl or airtight container. Store in the freezer until firm.
5. For the Tollhouse Whiskey Pie Filling: In a medium bowl, whisk the flour and sugars together. Set aside. In a bowl of an electric mixer, fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the eggs until foamy on high, about 3 minutes. Replace the whisk attachment with the paddle attachment, and with the mixer on low, a little at a time add the flour mixture. Turn the mixer on high and beat for 2 minutes or until everything is mixed together well. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the butter. Beat on high until everything is combined. Scrape once more, being sure to get to the bottom, and add in all the whiskey. Beat on high again for 1 minute until all the ingredients are incorporated. Remove the bowl from the mixer and fold in the chopped pecans and the chocolate chunks (but save some for sprinkling over the top).
6. Pour the filling into the frozen pie shell and spread evenly. It will be pretty thick, so be gentle. Top the pie with a sprinkling of some more chocolate chunks.
7. Bake for 30 minutes, then cover the edges of the crust loosely with aluminum foil and continue to back for 30-45 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. If there are clumps of batter sticking to the knife, it is not done yet. So, return it to the oven and continue cooking (while occasionally checking) until a knife comes out clean (but, I still like to have my pie a little gooey, so I don’t like to overcook it). My pie took about an hour to an hour and a half. Transfer the baked pie to a wire rack to cool before serving.
8. Once cooled, serve a slice of the pie with a big scoop of homemade vanilla bean ice cream. It is also even better when you reheat the pie in the microwave and the chocolate melts again.


  1. thanks! do you have tips on how to freeze and defrost/reheat this a week later?

    1. You know, I really don't know how this would hold up in the freezer and if the texture might be off after defrosting. We've made it several times and even a couple days before we need them. I store them in the refrigerator for 2-3 days and pull it out and either let it come to room temperature or slice it up and microwave it for just a little bit of time to re-melt and make the pie extra gooey again. I prefer to make this the day of because the gooeyness just can't be beat, but actually my mountain man likes it cold, straight out of the refrigerator. He thinks it tastes like a mixture between cookie dough + ice cream. I hope this helps, sorry I couldn't shed too much light on whether this would be good frozen, but please let me know if you end up freezing it. I would love to know if that would work. I hope the recipe works out for you :)