Friday, November 21, 2014

Sweet + Salty Pie with Black Himalayan Salt + Maple-Bourbon Whoop

Sweet + Salty Pie with Black Himalayan Salt + Maple-Bourbon Whoop
To me, pie is the ultimate food group of the Thanksgiving meal. I can safely say that every year I way over-do it with how many pies I make. The number of them grow to the point that we have more pies than side dishes. Typically there is a bourbon-chocolate chip-pecan pie, buttermilk pie, salted caramel apple pie, crack pie, and either a sweet potato or pumpkin pie. In other words, we have a veritable array  of a pie pupu platter. So, my goal this year was to get started on making up a new dessert to add into the mix. We all know that I am mildly obsessed with the combination of sweet + salty... I top my cookies and coffee with salt and it is practically a scientific fact that salt makes all desserts better. You bet your sweet ass it does. And this pie, well, it hits that note perfectly. The base of this pie is primarily made up of brown sugar, brown butter, eggs, cream, and bourbon. Isn't that music to y'all's ears? After I whip up the custard-like base, I pour it into my go-to vanilla bean crust and bake it until it just has the slightest jiggle in the center. What is so glorious about this pie is the different textures that come about... you have the flaky crust, the smooth center, and the perfect crackly crust on top. It reminds me of a damn-good brownie where it is gooey underneath and slightly crisp above that. After you let the pie set and chill, it's time to brush the top of it with something sticky... you can use light or dark corn syrup, a little bit of brown butter, honey, or maple syrup. Just a little dab will do ya because you only need it as a way for the black himalayan salt to stick to it while you slice + eat it. Now any fancy/flaky/rock salt will work. The first time I made this recipe, I opted to use flaky smoked fleur de sel and it tasted great, but it blended in with the color of the pie and I wanted a contrast of color because we all eat with our eyes first. When I made it a second time, I decided that the black himalayan salt would be the perfect garnish (and it was). Now you might think that having such big pieces of salt would make the pie overly savory, but it doesn't... it only balances it more! Finally when we got around to eating the finished product, I topped it with my Maple-Bourbon Whoop, which is just a fancy whipped cream that is spiked with maple syrup + bourbon. From the different textures to its flavor profile, this pie is an overall winner, and it would make the perfect addition to your Thanksgiving table!! Enjoy :)
rolling out my vanilla bean pastry crust
and pouring in the luscious custard base 
look at that crackly crust :)
For the Homemade Crust:
1 ¼C AP Flour (plus extra for rolling)
½t Salt
1 ½t Sugar
1 Stick of Unsalted Butter, Very Cold
3-4T Ice Water

For the Sweet + Salty Pie:
1lb Dark Brown Sugar
4 Large Eggs
¼C Heavy Cream
½t Vanilla Extract
1t Bourbon
¼t Kosher Salt
4T Brown Butter (melted and cooled some)
Light or Dark Corn Syrup, Honey, Brown Butter, or Maple Syrup (for brushing)
Black Himalayan Salt (or any fancy salt), For Sprinkling (the topping)

For the Bourbon-Maple Whoop:
1C Heavy Cream
¼C Grade B Maple Syrup
2-3T Bourbon

1. For the Homemade Crust: 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 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. Shape the dough into a disc. Do not over knead the dough. You should still be able to see little bits of butter in the dough. Cut the dough into 4 small balls and sprinkle the discs with a little flour on all sides and wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least an hour. Remove the discs from the refrigerator and let it sit at room temperature for 5-10 minutes. Sprinkle some flour on top of the disc. Roll out with a rolling pin on a lightly floured surface to a 12inch circle (1/8inch thick). Place rolled out disc on to a deep dish spring form pan, lining up the fold with the center of the pan, trimming the excess and crimping the edges. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze for 30 minutes.
2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
3. For the Pie Filling: In the bowl of a standing mixer, fitted with a whisk attachment, blend together the dark brown sugar, eggs, heavy cream, vanilla, bourbon, and kosher salt until completely blended and smooth. With the machine running, slowly stream in the melted brown butter until it is all completely incorporated.
4. Baking the Pie: Pour the custard into the prepared pie shell and bake for convection for 30-45 minutes (depending on your oven), or until the pie is puffed and golden brown, if shaken, it will jiggle a little bit but will not be liquid at all.
5. For the Maple-Bourbon Whoop: In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the cream and maple syrup together on medium-high speed until soft peaks form. Whisk in the whiskey 1T at a time. With the mixer on high speed, continue whipping until medium-stiff peaks form. Refrigerate until ready to use.
6. Allow the pie to cool completely before cutting. Once it has cooled, brush the top with one of the sticky substances (corn syrup, honey, butter, or maple syrup) and sprinkle the top with the black Himalayan salt. Serve a slice of pie with some maple-bourbon whipped cream.

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