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Try our Amaretto Cream Pie with a luscious, custardy amaretto filling poured into a baked almond cookie crust.
Way back in 2011 I posted a pie recipe each week for the entire year. I developed an Amaretto Cream Pie recipe for the ‘year of the pie’ extravaganza and shared it as No. 2 in the lineup. My original recipe was a good attempt to recreate a very special pie we used to enjoy at the Mt. Vernon Restaurant in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Even though I’ve always been a baker, with pies as my signature specialty, I never missed a chance to buy a whole restaurant-made Amaretto Cream Pie from the Mt. Vernon for special occasions, like my own birthday!
Since then, I’ve tweaked and tested different versions of this pie trying to come up with the winning combination that made the (now closed) Mt. Vernon Amaretto Cream Pie famous.
Unfortunately, the Mt. Vernon restaurant closed after 63 wonderful years leaving a void for those of us who loved their pies, chicken livers and other homestyle favorites. If you’re like me and wish they’d shared their super-secret recipe with the world after they closed, then you’ve come to the right place. I don’t have the actual recipe (does anybody?) but I think you’ll find this Amaretto Cream Pie a delicious copycat. I’ve made many, many versions of this pie with rich custard fillings and various amounts of amaretto, and even tried a baked version similar to my Key Lime pie. All in all, this is the best Amaretto Cream Pie Recipe to date and worthy of being shared once again!
The distinctive sweet amaretto flavor is subtle, but not hidden, and not at all boozy.
Amaretto liqueur is a sweet Italian creation made from almonds, and sometimes peach or apricot stones. You can enjoy amaretto as part of a mixed drink, in coffee, with cream over ice, or simply poured into a glass. I like to serve it chilled, straight up, with an almond flavored dessert like this Amaretto Cream Pie. Try a little amaretto drizzled over vanilla ice cream; what a treat! If you like to experiment, you can even make your own amaretto at home using THIS easy recipe. Personally I’m partial to the Disaronno brand of amaretto liqueur. Their website has plenty of cocktail recipes too, check it out!
If you prefer a non-alcoholic dessert, try using amaretto extract.
Amaretto Extract is going to be hard to find in your neighborhood grocery store. Don’t waste your time trying to hunt it down when we have Amazon to the rescue! If you want to use extract instead of amaretto liqueur, check out the links at the bottom of this post to purchase from Amazon.
Our Amaretto Cream Pie recipe starts with a crust made with store-bought cookies, sliced almonds and melted butter.
The first Amaretto Cream Pie I posted had a standard pastry crust. To be a good copycat of the famous mystery pie, I knew I’d have to come up with a cookie crust that could rival the one made by the Mt. Vernon Restaurant. After testing several store-bought cookie brands, we finally settled on this recipe made with Nabisco’s Lorna Doone Shortbread Cookies, sliced almonds and melted butter. The crust ingredients are pulsed in a food processor then pressed into a pie plate. The simple mixture is refrigerated until set, then baked for 10 minutes.
After many, many experiments and taste testings, I think this Amaretto Cream Pie is an absolute winner! It may not be an exact match, but for those of us that still remember and crave that iconic creamy treat, this will do nicely.
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Amaretto Cream Pie
For the shortbread-almond crust:
- 5 ounces shortbread cookies (20 - Lorna Doone cookies)
- 1 cup sliced almonds
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
For the amaretto filling:
- 3 large egg yolks
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 2 3/4 cups whole milk
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup amaretto liqueur
For the topping:
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 3 tablespoons powdered sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla or almond extract
- 1/2 cup sliced almonds for garnish
To prepare the crust:
- Heat oven to 350F. In the bowl of a food processor, pulse the cookies until crumbly. Add the almond and pulse 4-5 times in quick bursts. Add the melted butter and pulse just until combined.
- Firmly press the crumb mixture into bottom and up the sides of 9-inch pie plate. Refrigerate until firm, about 20 to 30 minutes. Bake until lightly browned and set, about 10 minutes. Cool while preparing the filling.
To prepare the filling:
- In a small mixing bowl, whisk the egg yolks until blended. Set aside.
- In a medium saucepan combine the sugar, salt, cornstarch and flour. Whisk in the milk.
- Cook the milk mixture over medium heat, stirring constantly until it thickens and starts to boil. (This may take about 15 minutes) Boil for one minute, stirring constantly then remove from the heat (leave the stove-top turned on).
- While whisking constantly, slowly drizzle half the hot mixture into the beaten egg yolks. Add the blended egg mixture back into the saucepan with the remaining hot custard. Return to the heat and boil 2 minutes more, stirring constantly to prevent scorching. Reduce the heat if needed.
- Remove from the heat and blend in the butter, vanilla extract and Amaretto. Pour the filling into the prepared crust. Cool to room temperature then refrigerate for at least 8 hours, or overnight.
To prepare the topping:
- In a large cold mixing bowl using an electric mixer, beat the cream on medium speed until soft peaks form. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla and beat on high until firm peaks form. Dollop the whipped cream on top of the pie filling. Garnish with sliced almonds.
Here are a few more of our favorite pie recipes you might enjoy:
Double Chocolate Cream Pie – with a sweet, rich silky filling and an easy to make cookie crumb crust, this pie is completely moan-worthy! Click HERE to get the recipe.
Hoosier Sugar Cream Pie – Dating back to the 1800’s – this simple pie is still popular and delicious! Click HERE to get the recipe.
Originally posted January 2011, updated August 2019