Tuesday, December 8, 2020

Holiday Dessert Spotlight...Featuring Eggnog Pie with Maple-Spice Whipped Cream #pie #eggnog #holidaybaking #christmas2020

The 2020 holiday season is finally here! Although this year has had its share of ups and downs, I'm doing my best to find joy wherever I can...enjoying some of my favorite holiday sights, sounds...and tastes! I'm all about the peppermint during the holidays...but Michael LOVES eggnog. I created my Eggnog Pie with Maple-Spice Whipped Cream especially for him. To save time, I used a good quality ready-to-bake crust from the grocery store. This seasonal pie 
features a simple eggnog custard flavored with rum -- or rum extract, nutmeg, a bit of cinnamon, and vanilla extract. After cooking on the stove, the flavorful custard is poured into the cooked pie crust. Then, the pie is refrigerated until set. My secret ingredient? A layer of white chocolate ganache in the bottom of the crust, just under the custard! I pair this pie with whipped cream flavored with real maple syrup, nutmeg, and cinnamon. This pie's a keeper, folks...everyone who tastes it goes wild for it! 

Eggnog Pie with Maple-Spice Whipped Cream
a Weekend Gourmet original
Ingredients (makes one 9" pie):
  • 1 refrigerated ready-t0-use pie crust OR your favorite pie dough recipe
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips + 1/4 cup whipping cream
For the eggnog custard:
  • 2 cups refrigerated eggnog
  • 1 cup half and half (or 2% milk)
  • 2 Tbs. rum [NOTE: Can use 1 tsp. rum extract instead)
  • 1 Tbs. vanilla extract
  • 4.6-ounce package cook-and-serve vanilla pudding [NOTE: Do NOT use instant pudding mix in this recipe, because the custard will NOT set up properly!]
  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg + 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
For the whipped cream:
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
Step 1: Remove pie crust from refrigerator 20 minute before baking. Preheat oven to 425℉. Carefully place the softened crust into a 9" pie plate that's lightly sprayed with non-stick spray. Firmly press pie crust into the bottom and up the sides of the pie plate -- fold under any crust that hangs over the pan edges. I then use a fork to decorate the crust edge. Place parchment on top of the crust and weigh down with dry beans. Bake the crust for 15-20 minutes, until light brown. Discard beans and parchment, then bake an additional 5-10 minutes...until golden brown. Cool the baked pie crust completely before filling.
Step 2: Microwave the white chocolate chips and whipping cream for one minute. Stir well and microwave an additional 30 seconds to one minute. Give a final stir and place the ganache in the bottom of the cooled pie crust.
Step 3: Place the eggnog, half-and-half/milk, rum/rum extract, vanilla, and pudding mix in a medium non-stick saucepan. Heat over medium heat, whisking continually, until the mixture thickens into a custard -- approx. 5 minutes. Whisk in the nutmeg and cinnamon, then pour the custard on top of the ganache in the pie crust. Place plastic wrap directly on top of the custard to prevent a "skin" from forming. Refrigerate at least four hours -- or overnight.
Step 4: Just before serving, make the whipped cream. Add the cream, vanilla, and powdered sugar to a large mixing bowl. Whip 2-3 minutes. Add the maple syrup, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Whip an additional 2 minutes, until the cream is fluffy and holds soft peaks.
Step 5: Serve the maple-spice whipped cream on the side so guests can place a dollop on each slice as it's served. You can also spread the whipped cream on top of the pie within an inch of the border so some of the eggnog custard shows. Either way works, so have fun! 
This creamy eggnog pie is definitely Santa approved! The white chocolate ganache layer is a fun surprise, and the creamy custard tastes exactly like a glass of holiday eggnog. The flavored whipped cream takes this pie right over the top. Every component in this pie works in harmony for one delicious bite! 

This pie would be an excellent centerpiece dessert for your at-home
Christmas meal. That said, it would also make a fantastic homemade holiday present for any bakers on your shopping list. Bake this pie in a decorative pie plate...then give them the pie AND the pie plate for their present. Talk about a gift that keeps giving long after the gift bag is gone!! Before wrapping up today, 
I have to take a moment to mention that the plates and serving pieces shown in the photos for this post belonged to my Great Gramma Edith. Using her dishes is a simple way to honor her memory...and keep our family traditions alive.

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