Apple Cider Cream Pie

serves 8

For the Crust

1 1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour

1 Tablespoon granulated sugar

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

6 Tablespoons (3-ounces) cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes

1/4 cup (2-ounces) chilled vegetable shortening, cut into small cubes

2 Tablespoons vodka

2 Tablespoons apple cider

For the Filling

2 cups apple cider

3/4 cup granulated sugar, divided

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup sour cream

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

4 extra large eggs

1 cup heavy cream

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon


Dried apple slices

Cinnamon sugar

For the Crust

In the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour, sugar, and salt with a few 1-second pulses.  Add the butter and shortening and process until the mixture just starts to come together and resembles coarse meal.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl and pulse to combine.  Sprinkle the vodka and cider over the flour mixture and process just until the dough comes together.  Turn the dough out onto a sheet of plastic wrap.  Using the corners of the plastic wrap and the back of your knuckles, press the dough into a 4-inch disk.  Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 45 minutes or up to 2 days.

Adjust oven rack to lower third of the oven and preheat to 425º F.  On a lightly floured work surface, roll the dough to a 12-inch circle.  Ease the dough into a 9-inch pie plate by gently lifting edge of dough and lightly pressing into the bottom of the pie plate, leaving at least a 1-inch overhang.  Fold the overhang under itself; folded edge should be flush with the edge of pie plate.  Flute or decoratively crimp  the edge.  Refrigerate until cold and firm, 30-60 minutes.

Line the crust with a sheet of parchment paper and fill with pie weights or dried beans.  Bake until the crust is barely set, about 15 minutes.  Carefully remove the parchment and weights.  Cover the edge of the crust with a pie shield or strips of foil and bake until set, about 15 minutes more; set aside to cool (do not remove shield or strips).  Lower the oven temperature to 350º F.

In a medium saucepan, boil the cider until it is reduced to 1/2 cup, about 10-15 minutes.  Transfer the cider and let cool slightly.  Whisk in 1/2 cup granulated sugar, 1/4 cup brown sugar, sour cream, and salt. Add the eggs and whisk until smooth and completely combined.  Keeping the shield or foil strips in place, pour the custard into the pie shell.  Bake until the custard is set around the edge, but the center is still slightly jiggly, about 35-40 minutes.  Transfer the pie to a wire rack to cool completely.  (The cooled pie can be refrigerated up to this point in the process for 2 days).

In a medium bowl, beat the cream, remaining 1/4 cup sugar, vanilla extract, and cinnamon using a whisk or a hand held mixer until soft, but firm peaks form.  Mound the cream onto the pie.  Garnish with dried apple slices and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.  Enjoy! 

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