Thursday, January 7, 2016

Pie of Pies (or, ליבוביץ צדק)

First of all, I'd like to apologize to any and all non-Israelis who may not understand the pun above, even after reading this post. I'd also like to apologize to any and all Israelis for the pun. I'm sorry, I just couldn't help myself. 

Let's talk about pie. Let's talk about the pie of pies, David Lebovitz's Pecan Pie with Bourbon and Ginger. Actually, no. Let's not talk about it. Let's just stop and think about it for a second. Just imagine it. Bourbon. Ginger. Pecan. Pie. I haven't even gotten to the maple syrup, or the three types of ginger and I bet you're already salivating. I know I was when Lebovitz's recipe showed up on my Twitter feed just before Thanksgiving. I had my hands full what with the turkey, cranberry sauce, sweet potato rolls and chestnut soup to make, so I thought, I'm just going to file this one away for next year and delegate the pecan pie to someone else. Fortunately, that someone else ended up being my roommate. Fortunately, I not so surreptitiously emailed her this recipe. Wink. Wink. Nudge. Nudge. 

Let me just say that it is a miracle that that pie made it to Thanksgiving dinner. About 20 minutes after she put in the oven, the house filled with the most amazing smell imaginable. There are no words to describe it. If happiness had a smell it would be the smell of this pecan pie. It took everything we had not to just dig into that pie right as it came out of the oven. As it was, we spent most of the evening  hovering over the cooling pie, just so we could catch a whiff. 

The Thanksgiving pie was so good, that a month later as my birthday rolled around, I thought, I don't want birthday cake, I want Bourbon Ginger Pecan Birthday Pie. (And somewhere in a fictional universe, Dean Winchester was suddenly happy and didn't know why). So once again, my lovely roommate buckled down to make pie. I had a very happy birthday indeed. 

Let this be a lesson, friends. If a David Lebovitz recipe catches your eye, do not hesitate. Do not save it for a rainy day. Make it. It may just forever change your birthdays or Thanksgivings or life.

David Lebovitz's Pecan Pie with Bourbon and Ginger

Normally, I would say that one should never, ever change a David Lebovitz recipe, because if there is one food writer in the world who knows exactly what he is doing and whose recipes are meticulously tested down to the last detail, it is David Lebovitz. However, for both the occasions where the pie was served we needed it to be both gluten and dairy free, so we made some changes.  If you do not need the pie to be gluten and/or dairy free, please check out the original recipe. Make pie crust! Use butter! (Always use butter).

Adapted from David Lebovitz

For the crust:

1 1/2 cups of gluten-free cookie crumbs
6 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
a pinch of salt

For the filling: 

1 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup maple syrup
3 large eggs, at room temperature
4 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
3 tablespoons bourbon
2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups pecans, lightly toasted and coarsely chopped
1/4 cup candied ginger, finely chopped

1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. In a bowl, combine the cookie crumbs and salt. Pour in the melted coconut oil . The crumbs should just hold together when squeezed. Pat the crumb mixture into a 9 inch pie pan and set aside.

2. In a large bowl, mix together the brown sugar, maple syrup, eggs, coconut oil, bourbon, fresh ginger, ground ginger, vanilla and salt. Stir in the pecans and candied ginger.

3. Pour the filling into the prepared pie crust and bake for about 40 minutes, until it is just set. (As Lebovitz says, the middle of the pie should still jiggle a little. This may take a bit more than 40 minutes). Cool to room temperature and serve. Expect exactly zero leftovers.