Monday, January 19, 2009

The Ultimate Bergamot Pie

Okay... I've decided to stop being secretive. I'm going to share the recipe. Mind you, it's 500 calories a slice (and everyone eats at least 2), but it's worth it. I can't believe I'm finally sharing this recipe.

I first made this pie because I had a dream that I was sitting at my old prep table, eating a slice of this pie. I woke up from the dream, determined to write down what I could remember of the pie. Since I needed to really think on it to break down the flavours in my head, I took a long bath and scribbled on the tile walls in crayons. It took me somewhere between 30-50 pies (possibly more) before it tasted exactly like it was in my dream (let's call it a 15 pound weight gain before it was perfect).

For some reason, people seem to have trouble getting this pie right without actually participating in the making first, but I think you guys can do it. If in some parts of this recipe, I sound a little nutty, don't be alarmed. I have a deep, deep attachment to this pie and I'm a little weird about it. I hope you enjoy!

Crust:

30 grams grated macadamia nuts (get the salted, roasted ones, preferably Mauna Loa brand) (I grate them in a microplane rotary grater, like the cheese one at Olive Garden. Also, I just fill the hopper of the grater one time, but it generally works out to be about 30 grams)
1 cup-ish vanilla wafer flour (I grind these up in the food processor until the cookies are flour. I use an old Salton food processor to do this, and I usually just fill it up once, but it's roughly a cup)
63 grams European-style butter (my preference is Jana's from New Zealand), melted

Preheat oven to 350F (325F if you're using a glass pie pan). Dump the grated nuts and vanilla wafer flour in the pie pan, and mix it until it looks homogeneous and it feels peaceful. Make a well in the center, then pour in the butter. Mix it together with your (clean!) hands until it's almost like a paste, and press it into the pan and up the sides. Bake 10 minutes.

Filling:

1 can sweetened condensed milk (okay, the best one for this is the Hill Country Fair in the pink can, and don't ask me why this is because I don't know. It just tastes right. But if you don't have that brand available to you, don't sweat it because you won't know the difference anyway. I'm just giving the brand so people who can get the HCF stuff will do so)
3 egg yolks
1/2 cup bergamot juice (this should NOT be fresh. It should be frozen and thawed or it doesn't come out exactly right)

Whisk the yolks until they are lemon coloured and happy looking (yes, I know this sounds weird). Add in the milk and whisk until it doesn't look like the eggs are sad to be with the milk anymore (yes, I also know that sounds even crazier). Whisk in the juice until it's completely integrated and the filling looks smooth and a little glossy, almost, then pour into the pie crust. Bake 10 minutes. Cool to room temperature on the counter, then refrigerate.

Serves 8, theoretically, but really serves 4.



Photo courtesy of SJ.

8 comments:

  1. I have had this pie. It was, as pie goes, a revelation. It has a wonderful creamy texture, an amazing and refreshing citrus flavor, and was unlike anything I have ever had in a pie. I was hosting A and P while their house was flooded and A made this for us (she toted her bergamot juice all the way from houston). I absolutely loved this very unique pie and by and large I am not a pie guy. Make it. Eat it. Repeat. Bless you A!

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  2. Did i mention that this pie is evil? It is the succubus of pies. Wonderful and different. The slayer of key lime. The Lord of the Pies. Worth every bite and I liken it to crack in pie form.

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  3. Dave is a tough act to follow. I don't even know what else to say about this pie, other than "succubus of pies indeed." But for some reason I felt compelled to comment on the post.

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  4. Dave and SJ,

    You guys rock. Succubus!

    I had to tote the juice. Of everything in the freezer, that was the one thing I was unwilling to sacrifice. I'd've made enough pies to use up all the juice if I'd had to, just to see it not go to waste.

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  5. That pie looks really good!

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  6. Thanks, Kevin! This pie is always a big hit with people, but I think it could easily work with a different type of sour orange if bergamots aren't available to you.

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