I was struggling to come up with an idea for this month's You Want Pies With That? theme, which was "Summery Drinks." Pyrex Priestess Sarah gave me a plethora of ideas, including a bourbon and ginger pie, at which point I was like, um, YEAH! (In case you don't know: A bourbon and ginger is just what it sounds like: ginger ale with a good dose of bourbon in it. Like a rum and coke, but not.)
So alls I had to do was come up with a way to incorporate the taste of a bourbon and ginger into a pie. I wanted to really try to capture the hot-sweet taste of ginger ale and the boozy finish of the bourbon.
First, the crust. I decided to start out big, making a crust from ginger cookies. I haven't made cookie crust in forever and it was easy to toss together but baking was dodgy. It initially seemed too buttery, but it cooled fine.
it ain't pretty but it'll do.
I decided for the filling to go calorie crazy and make a variation of the French Custard from The Whimsical Bakehouse Cookbook. First I made a ginger pastry cream by steeping chopped ginger in heated milk.
This was pleasantly ginger-flavored but wasn't quite enough to give me the really hot taste, so I added about a teaspoon of ginger directly to the finished cream and let it cool. Now it had the proper STRONG make-your-eyes-water-ginger flavor, which was going to be important to keeping the integrity of the flavor in the next step.
When the pastry cream was cold, I stirred in a tablespoon of bourbon and then made a bourbon whipped cream and folded it all together.
This gave me the right taste--gingery with a finish of bourbon. The crust was a perfect accompaniment and I loved the creaminess of it. SO SO GOOD. Hooray!
*Strangely enough, I am typing this from Kentucky. Go me.*
Bourbon-Ginger Cream pie
1 1/2 c ginger cookie crumbs
3-4 T butter, melted
1/8 c sugar
Mix all of the above together and pat into 9 inch crust. Bake 7-8 minutes at 375 degrees and set aside to cool.
1 cup milk
1T chopped ginger
3 egg yolks
1/3 c sugar
1 pinch salt
2 T cornstarch
2 t chopped ginger
1 1/2 c heavy whipping cream
2 T confectioners' sugar
In saucepan, steep 1 T ginger in milk and heat till boiling. While the milk heats, beat yolks, sugar, and salt on medium till light and fluffy. Add in cornstarch. Slowly beat the hot milk in, then return to saucepan and whisk while returning to a boil over medium-low heat. Boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in remaining ginger, pour into bowl and place plastic wrap on surface. Refrigerate till cold.
When the pastry cream is cool, whip heavy cream, confectioners' sugar, and 1 T bourbon till stiff. Stir remaining bourbon into cold pastry cream and fold pastry cream into whipped cream. Fill and garnish pie. Chill till ready to serve.