Saturday, June 11, 2011

Chai Cream Pie

Chai Cream Pie
  • 1/2 (14.1-ounce) package refrigerated pie dough
  • Cooking spray
  • 2 cups 2% reduced-fat milk
  • 8 cardamom pods, crushed
  • 8 whole cloves
  • 1 (3-inch) cinnamon stick, broken
  • 1 (1/2-inch) piece peeled fresh ginger, crushed
  • 1 black tea bag
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen fat-free whipped topping, thawed or make it fresh!
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
I started by fitting the pie shell to the dish. I then pricked the bottom with a fork, but since it was the first time I've done this in a while, I didn't prick hard enough, so when I baked it according to the instructions on the package, it bubbled up in the center.

While the pie shell was baking, I put the milk, ground cinnamon (because I didn't have any sticks), the cloves, cardamom pods and ginger in a pot. I then gently added heat until bubbles began to form around the outside. A note about cardamom  pods: I found that the back of the a wooden spoon works the best for cracking the pods. I gave the spoon a bit of a smack and the pods crack nicely.

Once the bubbles formed, I took the pot off the heat, added the tea bag and covered the pot for 15 minutes.

About this time, the pie crust was done. It tasted amazing, both with the pie and the quiche that I made a few days later, but both times the sides of the crust collapsed into the pie dish. It worked out ok, but it certainly didn't look pretty, as you can see. Update: I figured out why it collapsed! With fresh dough, you want to pinch the dough around the outside of the pan. It helps keep the dough supported. Also, using your fork, make lots of pricks to the bottom and the sides of the crust. Any bubbling will pull the crust down!

While the liquid was seeping, I whisked together the eggs, cornstarch, salt and sugar.

Once the tea was done seeping, I strained the liquid through a strainer and a cheese cloth. The instructions said strain it through a sieve, but I didn't have one, so I sort of made my own. Then I re-heated the milk mixture until it was forming bubbles again.

Next, I slowly added the milk mixture to the egg and sugar mix and whisked it together.

Once the milk and egg mixes are whisked together, I put the mix back into the pan and heat up again while whisking. The filling rapidly quickened. Once it was all thick and smooth, I removed the pot and stirred in the butter. Then I put the pot in a bowl of ice water and let it cool completely.

Once the filling is cool, I poured it into the crust and covered the entire pan. I then cooled the pie for 3 hours.

When the pie was properly chilled, I whipped some cream until it was thick and then added some sugar, salt and cinnamon and mixed again.

Finally, I served a slice of pie with the cream and it was amazing. This pie is awesome and definitely one I will make again. It would be perfect for the holidays or even just a special event!

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