Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Tequila Butermilk Pie

So, I bought me some buttermilk in anticipation of making something (I forgot what) for thanksgiving. It would be a shame to waste $2 worth of buttermilk, so I went out and bought a $150 food processor, $30 worth of Butter, Flour, sugar, salt, and eggs to make a pie. Let's make 2 so that we can use a lot of the buttermilk. Too bad, they don't sell them at the store near me in pint-size tankards, only quart size. Oh well, here we go:

I have adapted the cooks illustrated recipe for Vodka Pie Crust (Click here for the Cook's Illustrated vodka pie crust). We are using a white tequila instead of vodka in the crust. Please let me know if you make this and how you could improve it. I think I have a little too much liquid in the crust and the filling, so I might have to adjust a little (especially if you use agave nectar instead of the sugar). Tequila is made of agave, so the flavor of the nectar and the tequila should work well together.

The buttermilk custard is a not-too-sweet filling and is adapted from something I found on the NPR website (Natalie Y. Moore's mother's recipe, as it states in the article; click here for the the NPR website's recipe).

For the crust you will need:

2 1/2 c. flour
2 tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. Cayenne pepper
1 1/4 c. cold butter (alteration - see notes)
1/4 c. hard clear liquor (at least 80 proof; 40% alc by vol)
1/4 c. COLD water

Use 12 tbsp butter and 1/2 c shortening instead if you think it will make it flakier. My grandmother says Bear Grease (Lard made from Bear fat) makes the most flaky tender crust, but you know, there aren't any bears around, and it's too much of a hassle to get some.

Pour everything into a mixer except the liquor and water. Mix it until the chunks are the size of peas. Keep it cold! Gradually add the liquor, mixing slowly. Gradually work in about 3/4 the water, try not to use your hands too much (it will warm the dough and make the butter melt, resulting in a soggy crust). Work the dough a little. Now, someone else (The Amateur Gourmet) will explain what's next:

  • [Here's what I've learned: flour the board, flour the rolling pin, flour the dough (slightly) and use a rolling pin WITHOUT handles. This forces you to put the pressure in the middle instead of the sides--precisely what you want to do to get the dough to spread. First things first: whack the dough with the pin. This'll immediately start the flattening and you will tell right away if this dough is going to roll along with you or give you trouble. If it crumbles upon whacking, you need more water. If it flattens and just cracks a little, you can roll. Immediately place the pin in the center of the dough and with great gusto push out. Swivel the dough around and push out again from the center out in a different direction. Keep going in all different directions and do it fast so that the butter doesn't get hot and gummy. If you go fast and push aggressively, you will roll out your pie dough like a master]

Perfect! Thanks, Adam I could not have said that any better!

Preheat oven to 350.

Tequila Buttermilk Custard:

4 eggs
1 c. sugar
2 tbsp. flour
1/2 c. softened butter (not too hot, we don't want to curdle the eggs)
1 1/2 c. buttermilk
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper and/or 1/2 tsp. nutmeg (both optional)

Mix it all in a bucket with the eggs on top. Just a few seconds in the blender should do it.

Throw it in the oven at 350 for about an hour, poke in middle with toothpick if it comes out clean then it is done.

I made two pies with this recipe (not deep dish), your results may vary if you are using shallow or deep dish.

If you are using rum, you can put 1 tsp nutmeg in the custard and make an eggnog flavored pie - eliminate the cayenne, unless you want to really weird this recipe up.

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