I would apologize for two recipes in a row involving alcoholic beverages, but that would require some sort of guilt.
With all of my the-holidays-are-a'coming pistons firing on full, I've been in the mood to make a pumpkin pie. I needed no further encouragement after discovering an inexplicable 8 cans of pumpkin in my parents' pantry. While I was shopping for other ingredients, I was trying to think of a twist to take it away from just any old pumpkin pie. That's when Guinness popped into my head. Why not? To me, the flavor of Guinness is just a more malty, earthier dark chocolate flavor. That sounded like a perfect companion to a little cinnamon, ginger and pumpkin.
The results were, in my humble opinion, heavenly. The flavor of the Guinness blended perfectly with the buttery pumpkin and spices. The frothy bubbles in the beer gave the filling a light, almost souffle-like texture.
I also took this chance to practice my homemade crust. In my laziness I usually opt for the store bought, precut circles, but in my sad culinary daydreams I can whip up a flawless pie crust without even consulting a recipe. I thought it was a good opportunity to take another step towards that goal. I used Martha Stewart's pate brisee recipe, having witnessed her recite it with military precision on numerous televised occasions.
The crust did turn out pretty well, taste wise, but it didn't look very good. It looked, well, homemade. It brought to mind all the times I used to tell our craft store patrons, with such encouragement, when they dejectedly held up a quilt scarred with the holes from multiple seam rip-outs or a hat with dropped stitches, "But that's the handmade charm. Now people will know you made it." Now when I'm on this side of things, that simply will not do. The next time I unleash my pie crust, I will have to whip it into aesthetic shape.
This pie is best served with whipped cream. If you're super ambitious, you could get some whipping cream, add a little Guinness and sugar to it and make your own Guinness whipped cream for serving. I didn't get around to doing this, but...just a thought.
As a sidenote: the recipe I used, which is based off Paula Deen's recipe, made way more filling than could fit in one crust. Since I didn't want to throw it away, I put it in a casserole dish and baked it off to make a sort of crustless pumpkin pie. Had I known, though, I would have prepped the other half of the pate brisee recipe and made 2 pies.
Guinness Pumpkin Pie
1 recipe pate brisee (recipe follows)
8oz (1 package) cream cheese, softened
2 cans pumpkin (15 oz each)
1 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
2 egg yolks
1/2 c half & half
1/2 stick unsalted butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ginger
1 c (8 oz) Guinness
1. Make and prep pie crusts with pate brisee recipe [follows].
2. With a hand mixer, beat cream cheese in a large bowl until fluffy. Add pumpkin and beat to combine. Add sugar & salt. Beat to combine.
3. Lightly beat egg with 2 yolks in a bowl. Add the egg with the half & half, butter, vanilla & spices. Beat until combined. Add Guinness. Beat until combined.
4. Divide filling between two pie crusts and bake for 1 hour at 350 degrees F, or until center is lightly set.
5. Turn off the oven and crack the door, using a wooden spoon if necessary to keep it open. Let the pies cool in the oven for about half an hour (this helps prevent them from cracking). Remove them and cool to room temperature. Cut into slices and serve with whipped cream.
Martha Stewart's Pate Brisee
2.5 c AP flour
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
2 sticks cold butter, cut into small pieces
1/4 cup ice water
1. Whisk flour, sugar and salt together.
2. Add cold butter. Using a pastry cutter, potato masher or two sharp knives, cut butter into flour mixture until it resembles course meal.
3. Add ice water until dough just comes together in a ball. Add more ice water by the tbsp if needed. Divide dough in two balls in plastic wrap, pat into discs, and refrigerate for several hours.
4. Roll discs out into circles on a cold floured surface to 1/4 or less thick. Pat into two pie plates and trim edges. Line shells with foil and fill with pie weights or beans. Bake at 375 degrees F for 15 minutes. Remove weights and bake an additional 15 minutes or until they start to turn golden.
5. Remove from oven and cool slightly.