black bottom butterscotch cream pie

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Servs: 1

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  • add   6 ounces fine-quality bittersweet chocolate (not unsweetened)
  • add   1 cup heavy cream
  • add   3 tablespoons ice water
  • add   freshly grated nutmeg to taste
  • add   3/4 cup heavy cream
  • add   1/4 cup heavy cream
  • add   1 tablespoon bourbon
  • add   2 tablespoons sugar
  • add   1 envelope (about 1 tablespoon) unflavored gelatin
  • add   3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter, cut into bits
  • add   1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • add   <B>For the shell</B>
  • add   3 large egg yolks
  • add   2 tablespoons water
  • add   <B>For the filling</B>
  • add   1/2 teaspoon salt
  • add   3/4 teaspoon salt
  • add   1 cup pecans
  • add   1/4 cup sugar
  • add   raw rice for weighting the shell
  • add   2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • add   1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • add   <B>For decoration</B>
  • add   8 to 10 pecan halves
  • add   1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • add   1 cup milk

Instructions

  1. Make the shell:
  2. In a food processor grind coarse the pecans with the sugar and transfer the mixture to a bowl. In the food processor blend together the flour, the butter, and the salt until the mixture resembles meal and add the flour mixture to the pecan mixture. Add the ice water, toss the mixture until the water is incorporated, and press it onto the bottom and up the side of a 9-inch (1-quart) pie plate, crimping the edge decoratively. Chill the shell for 1 hour, prick it all over with a fork, and line it with foil. Fill the foil with the rice, bake the shell in the lower third of a preheated 425°F. oven for 10 minutes, and remove the foil and rice carefully. Reduce the heat to 375°F., bake the shell for 12 to 15 minutes more, or until it is golden brown, and let it cool on a rack.
  3. In a small metal bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water melt the chocolate with the cream, stirring until the mixture is smooth, spread the mixture in the bottom and halfway up the side of the shell, and let it cool. Chill the shell.
  4. Make the filling while the shell is chilling:
  5. In a large metal bowl combine the bourbon and the water, sprinkle the gelatin over the liquid, and let it soften. In a saucepan heat the brown sugar, the milk, and the salt over moderate heat, stirring, until the mixture is hot and the sugar is dissolved and whisk in the butter. (The mixture will appear slightly curdled.) In a bowl whisk together the egg yolks, add the hot milk mixture in a stream, whisking, and pour the mixture into the pan. Cook the custard over moderately low heat, whisking constantly, until it is thickened and registers 160°F. on a candy thermometer and add it to the gelatin mixture. Stir in the vanilla and the nutmeg and stir the mixture until it is cold and the consistency of raw egg whites, and remove the bowl from the ice water. In another bowl with an electric mixer beat the cream until it holds stiff peaks, fold it into the custard mixture gently but thoroughly, and pour the filling into the chilled shell. Chill the pie for 6 hours or overnight.
  6. Decorate the pie:
  7. In a very small skillet or saucepan cook the sugar over moderate heat, undisturbed, until it begins to melt, cook, stirring with a fork, until it is melted completely and turns a golden caramel, and reduce the heat to low. Working quickly, add the pecans, turning them to coat them thoroughly with the caramel, and with the fork transfer them, 1 at a time, to a piece of foil to cool. In a chilled bowl with chilled beaters beat the cream until it holds stiff peaks, drop it by heaping tablespoons around the edge of the pie, and arrange a caramelized pecan in the center of each dollop.

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