January 10, 2011

2. Amaretto Cream Pie

For many years, more than I can count, I have thought about recreating a recipe for Amaretto Cream Pie that I first tasted at the Mt. Vernon Restaurant in Chattanooga, Tennessee.  They've been in business for 50 years and I don't know if they have served Amaretto Cream Pie for all 50, but do know that they have never, ever, ever shared their recipe.  The local newspaper has asked and restaurant patrons have asked.  I'm guessing it's been 15 years since I even had a slice of that pie, and I haven't forget it yet. 


I thought the pie extravaganza of 2011 would be a good time to try again to recreate this delicious dessert.  This was my second attempt to create their signature pie, and while it's good and rich, I don't think I've nailed it yet.  Next time I'm in Chattanooga I'm going to bribe my waitress. 

But don't get me wrong, this pie is tasty!  Will I try again?  Maybe someday.  But for now I have 50 more pies to make this year and no two will be the same.  If you like the taste of almonds and Amaretto you'll like this pie!

Amaretto Cream Pie

First we'll make a baked pastry shell.


You need all-purpose flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/3 cup shortening and 7 or 8 tablespoons of water mixed with 1 teaspoon white vinegar.

Mix 1 1/4 cups flour and 1/2 teaspoon salt together.  Measure 1/3 cup shortening

Cut in shortening till pieces are the size of small peas.

Add 7 or 8 tablespoons ice water (mixed with vinegar) all at once.
Gently stir mixture with a fork until it starts to hold together.
Once you see the mixture starting to form into dough, work it with your hands forming a ball.  If you still have flour at the bottom of the bowl, add one more tablespoon of ice water until all flour is moist.  Form a ball and flatten the dough into a ball on a floured surface. 

But first you need to ....
just kidding.  Don't you hate that!  Seriously, you're doing great.  

Using a rolling pin roll the dough into a circle large enough to fit your pie plate.

Trim the excess leaving enough dough to fold under.

Crimp the edges to create a fluted, rope-shaped, or scalloped edge.

I'm not sure what you call this - other than the double pinch method :)

For a baked pastry shell, you need to bake it without the filling. 
Use a fork to prick the bottom and sides of the crust. 

Bake in a hot 450 degree oven for 10 - 12 minutes.  Cool while you prepare the filling.

Amaretto Pie Filling:

For the filling you will need sugar, salt, cornstarch, flour, milk, egg yolks, butter, almond extract and Amaretto liqueur.  For the whipped cream topping mix whipping cream, powdered sugar and almond extract.

You probably know where I'm going with this. 
It is essential that you make sure the Amaretto is suitable.  It is also best to set the mood for baking. 
This should be a relaxed, enjoyable form of self-expression.  Yup, be sure to use a small glass ... and I don't think I need anymore - I'm such a cheap date! 

Mix in a saucepan:  3/4 cup sugar, 1/2 tsp salt, 3 tablespoons cornstarch, 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour.
  
Separate egg yolks.  I'm using my handy dandy Tupperware egg separator from long ago. 
Reserve the egg whites for Meringue or breakfast!

You'll need three egg yolks.

Beat the eggs lightly and set aside.  You'll need them in a minute!

Gradually stir in  2 3/4 cups of milk into the sugar mixture. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until mixture thickens and boils.  Boil 1 minutes.  Remove from heat.

Slowly whisk in half the hot mixture into the egg yolks. 

Stir until well blended.

Make sure there's no lumps.

Whisk the egg yolk mixture into the hot mixture in the saucepan.
Put the saucepan back on medium heat and boil for 1 more minute stirring constantly.

Remove from heat.  Add 1 tablespoon butter, 1 teaspoon almond extract and 1/4 cup Amaretto.
Blend well.

Pour into cooled, baked pastry shell.

Allow to cool, cover with Saran Wrap allow it to seal to the pie mixture and then refrigerate until set.

Next we'll add whipped cream topping!

Whipped cream topping:

You will use powdered sugar, almond extract and heavy whipping cream. 

Put 1 cup of whipping cream in a bowl and beat on high until soft peaks form.

Add 2 tablespoons powdered sugar and 1/4 teaspoon almond extract. 
Fold gently with a spatula - do not beat with the mixer.

Scoop it on top of the chilled pie filling.

Spread to the edges to seal.

Make some pretty swirls.


Sprinkle with toasted almonds if desired.

Refrigerate until you're ready to serve.

Feel free to share!

Oops - the whipped cream was getting away.

No worries - just good.

For the printable recipe click HERE.
Amaretto Cream Pie
(Adapted from Vanilla Cream Pie recipe by Betty Crocker)

Baked Pastry for Single-crust Pie
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup shortening
7 or 8 tablespoons ice water
1 teaspoon white vinegar mixed in the ice water

In a mixing bowl stir together flour and salt.  Cut in shortening until pieces are the size of small peas.  Sprinkle ice water (and vinegar) over mixture.  Stir with a fork until almost completely mixed.  Gather dough with your hands and form a ball.  On a lightly floured surface, press dough with hands to form a circle.  Roll dough from center to edge forming a circle large enough to fit your pie plate.  Prick bottom and sides with a fork and bake in a 450 degree oven for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown.  Cool on a wire rack. 

Amaretto Filling:
3/4 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon gold medal flour
2 3/4 cups milk
3 egg yolks
1 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 cup Amaretto

Mix in saucepan, sugar, salt, cornstarch and flour.  Stir milk in gradually.  Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until mixture thickens and boils.  Boil 1 minute.  Remove from heat.  Slowly stir half the mixture into 3 egg yolks, slightly beaten.  Then blend the egg mixture back into the saucepan with the remaining hot mixture.  Boil 1 minute more, stirring constantly.  Blend in butter, almond extract and Amaretto.  Pour into baked pastry shell.  Chill thoroughly.  Top with Meringue or Whipped Cream.

Whipped cream topping:
1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon almond extract

Beat whipping cream on high with mixer until soft peaks form.  Fold in powdered sugar and almond extract.  Sprinkle with toasted pecans.

~~~~~~~~~~~


Back to school tonight.  Guess I won't be baking any more for a few days.  Not because of school but because my oven stopped working!  We've talked about getting a new stove / oven so I guess that's happening this week.  Until I get a new one delivered, I may be cooking on the stove top and crock pot.  I realized the oven was cooking very slow since Christmas.  Everything had to be baked longer than noted on the recipes.  Sunday night I was roasting a chicken with fresh rosemary, lemon and garlic.  It had to be finished in the crock pot.  I'll blog that later this week.  Have a great Monday and hope you have survived the latest round of wintry weather!

Thanks so much for stopping by!  Tricia




7 comments:

  1. A breakfast Amaretto cream pie sounds really good about now. I suppose the glass of amaretto does, too, but social etiquitte says I should probably wait until five tonight ... right?

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  2. This is my first visit to your blog and I love it. Your photos are amazing and that pie looks to die for.

    We have had several recipes that have had the best of intentions but never turn out just right. We are trying to re-do some of those recipes this month but we will see how they really turn out.

    Looking forward to checking out the rest of your pie adventures!

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  3. Oh gosh! Mt. Vernon's Amaretto pie! So yummy! Great blog...love the multi-tasking Amaretto.
    Shelia

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  4. The owner told me that the crust was a shortbread crust that was hand patted into place...Whole Foods had asked him to mass-produce it but he couldn't figure out how to do that and still make the crust the same.

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  5. I found this on a quest for Amaretto Cream pie from the Mt. Vernon restaurant. 20 years ago friends of the family became obsessed with figuring out the recipe. They spent the entire summer making pies, tasting them and then going back to the Mt Vernon to compare until they reached as close to perfection as possible. Then they refused to share the recipe with anyone!
    There is a recipe that was submitted to the Chattanooga newspaper (the Times-Free Press) from someone on Signal Mountain. It may be a closer recipe since it has 2 5-star ratings.

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  6. So glad to have found this recipe. I am from Lookout Mtn.(near chattanooga) and have never found this recipe anywhere. Thank you so much.

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  7. I currently live in Chattanooga and will be relocating soon. I hate that I won't be able to grab a slice of this pie from Mount Vernon's whenever I get a taste for it so I figured I should learn to make it myself. Thanks for the recipe!

    ReplyDelete

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