Saturday, February 25, 2012

Week Eight - Bourbon Pecan Pie

This week's post is inspired by one of my very favorite people in the world: my baby brother. Please join me, friends, in wishing the "baby" of the family a happy 26th birthday! Since his birthday fell during this week (Monday, to be exact) I decided I'd choose a flavor that I thought he'd enjoy. And that bottle of Maker's Mark was just speaking to me...

My husband and I went to visit my younger brother this past December, along with my sister. We had a super fun trip, filled with lots of good food, good drinks, and good laughs. One night, while out to dinner, my brother posed a challenge to the rest of us: he asked us to rate our favorite types of desserts; ice cream, cookies, dessert bars (brownies and the like), cakes, and pies. (I think that was it, right brother? Am I missing one?) What a fun challenge, right?! I immediately began a mental taste test of every dessert I could imagine, pitting one favorite up against another in my mind. Was apple pie better than red velvet cake? Would I rather snack on chocolate chip cookies or salted caramel ice cream? My word, this was going to be difficult!

Eventually, we all weighed in. I believe I ranked cookies at the top, followed closely by ice cream. Pies were probably my third choice. And come to think of it, I don't think pies were my brother's first choice, either. But I know he likes pie! And I am certain that he loves bourbon! I am confident that if he were here in my apartment right now, he'd gladly eat the ice cream in my freezer. And so, with him in mind, I give you this week's flavor...

Bourbon Pecan Pie (adapted from Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams at Home)


2 cups whole milk
1 tbs plus 1 tsp cornstarch
1 1/2 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup sugar
2 tbs light corn starch
1/4 cup bourbon
3/4 cup glazed pecans (Melt 2 tbs butter, 2 tbs maple syrup and 2 tbs brown sugar and coat 2 cups pecans. Bake the pecans at 350 for 6 minutes. Enjoy the leftovers, they're delicious!)

1. In a small bowl, combine 2 tbs of milk with the cornstarch and stir until combined. Set aside.

2. In a medium saucepan, combine the rest of the milk, cream, sugar,  and corn syrup. Bring to a boil and allow to boil for a few minutes.

3. Remove the pan from heat and whisk in the cornstarch mixture. Return to heat and boil for another minute or so, stirring all the while.

4. In a large bowl, whisk the peanut butter, cream cheese, and salt until smooth. Slowly pour the hot milk mixture in, whisking to combine.

5. Mix in the bourbon, and take a sip or two yourself to be absolutely sure it's the right stuff. Pour through a fine sieve into a clean bowl and cover with plastic wrap, pressing it down directly on top of the mixture. Refrigerate until completely cooled.

6. Transfer cooled mixture into bowl of ice cream maker and churn. Upon completion, mix in the glazed pecans then transfer to a freezer safe container and freeze.

7. Enjoy!

But wait, there's more! I want to pose my brother's dessert challenge to all of you! Post in the comments with your rankings, from least favorite to most favorite. I'm interested to see what your favorites are...and what I should avoid bringing to your house for a dinner party. Have fun!

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