Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Bourbon Icebox Pie and the DC Square Dance

Bourbon Icebox Pie

I've made a lot of pies with bourbon before. Banana cream pies with peanut crusts and salty bourbon caramel, drunken pumpkin bourbon pies, peach-bourbon ginger hand pies...but I have never made, nor even heard of (but do tell if you have) a pie that is just straight. up. bourbon. Or at least I didn't until this Saturday. Brent and I were drinking coffee in the morning, leafing through the 1972 New York Times Heritage Cookbook, looking for a pie to bring to the DC Square Dance that evening, when we came upon a recipe for Kentucky bourbon pie. For a boy who does not have too much of a sweet tooth, this one really caught his attention. After every other recipe I mentioned..."But what about plum crumble (which I did end up also making--stay tuned)? Jeff Davis? Chess?" His only reply was "Meh. I dunno...that bourbon pie sounds pretty good...and perfect for a square dance."

Swayed by his inclination and old-timey argument (which is nothing new 'round here), along with the simplicity of the recipe, bourbon pie it was. I mean let's face it BOURBON + PIE. Ain't no grave gonna hold that down. The whole thang is essentially bourbon + whipped cream + egg yolks in a pie crust, though a gingersnap or Oreo crust would also be fantastic. The bourbon is uncooked (as is everything else, so make sure you get good, fresh, organic eggs) making it wayyyy boozy. Perfect for a raucous Saturday night square dance, indeed.

Bourbon Icebox Pie

Bourbon Icebox Pie
Adapted from the New York Times Heritage Cookbook by Jean Hewitt

Nothing-in-the-House pie crust, halved (a gingersnap or Oreo crust would also be quite tasty)
5 egg yolks
3/4 c. sugar
1 envelope unflavored gelatin
1/4 c. water
1/3 c. bourbon
1 tsp. orange zest
2 c. heavy cream, whipped
1/2 oz. unsweetened or dark chocolate, shaved

1. Prepare half of the Nothing-in-the-House pie crust as per the directions. Chill dough at least 1 hour before rolling out and fitting into a greased and floured 9-inch pie pan. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

2. Using a fork, prick chilled crust all over the bottom. Line crust with parchment paper and pie weights or dried beans and bake for 25 minutes. After 25 minutes, remove weights, reduce temperature to 350 degrees F and bake until crust is golden brown, about 20 minutes more. Let crust cool completely.
3. To prepare the filling, beat the egg yolks and gradually add the sugar until the mixture is light yellow in color.
4. Pour the 1/4 c. water into a small heat-safe bowl or top of a double boiler and sprinkle the gelatin on top. In a medium saucepan or bottom of a double boiler, bring additional water to a boil, placing the bowl of gelatin-water on top until the gelatin dissolves. Add the gelatin mixture to the egg yolk mixture. Using a whisk, mix well and add the bourbon.

5. Fold the whipped cream into the bourbon mixture and pour into the pie shell. Sprinkle chocolate shavings on top and refrigerate for at least 4 hours. Serve chilled.

Capitol City Possum Chasers at the DC Square Dance
The (blurry) Capitol City Possum Chasers: Brent Feito (bourbon pie purponent), Aaron Lewis, Paul Brown, Kevin Enoch, & John Schwab

While the bourbon pie was a purrrty good thing to bring to a square dance, it would have probably been best a tad colder--the church was hot with all those warm bodies rippin' & snortin' about! But even in a slightly melty state, the treat was well received by dancers and musicians alike, and it gave our gang a kick in the pants, fueling fiddle tunes and flatfoot steps, then Raven jukebox singalongs and 4am joke telling on a schmancy house party patio.

Washington, DC Square Dance

If any reader has any information or stories about bourbon pie, its relatives or derivatives, please get in touch!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I have this cookbook. I used to make this Kentucky Bourbon Pie every Thanksgiving, until I married and the Thanksgiving turned Italian and all desserts were Cannoli's and Grain Pie in Bensonhurst. I love this cookbook and love this pie!

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