Saturday, February 19, 2011

Brandy Alexander Pie

After Wall Street closes for the day, you will find a group of well dressed men with loosened ties hanging out at the nearest bar to the financial district.  They will be at the table with smouldering cigars in the ashtray and several brandy snifters full of Cognac.

Cognac, if you don't already know, is very expensive and coveted by the upper class.  Actually back in 2007, a truck was hijacked filled with $168,000 worth of Cognac.  Unfortunately for the hijackers, they are now in cell block D serving several years sentences.

I opted to use brandy in this recipe instead of Cognac.  Due to baking more than drinking, thieves will only find the low grade spirits at my house.  Also, the Wall Street crowd will not be here anytime soon.....

Brandy Alexander Pie
adapted from    

3 eggs (separated by yolks and whites)
1/4 cup chocolate liquor or creme de cacao
1/4 cup brandy or Cognac
1 envelope unflavored gelatin
1/2 cup cold water
2/3 cup sugar (divided by third cups)
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/3 cup melted butter
Chocolate curls or grated chocolate for garnish

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  In a small bowl, mix together melted butter and graham cracker crumbs with a fork.  Place crumb mixture in a 9 inch pie pan and press crumb mixture evenly on bottom and up the sides.  Bake the crumb crust for 10 minutes. Remove pan and place it on a rack to cool.  Turn off oven.

Fill a saucepan with the 1/2 cup of cold water and sprinkle the gelatin over it.  Whisk in the egg yolks, 1/3 cup of sugar and salt until all is combined.  Place pan over low heat (do not boil) and continue to whisk until mixture thickens and the gelatin dissolves. Remove from heat.

Blend both liquors into the gelatin mixture with the whisk. Pour into a medium size bowl and place in refrigerator.  Pie filling will need to be cooled until it becomes pudding consistency. The filling should mound up when pushed with a spoon. This should take anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes, so it will need to be checked for consistency after 15 and every five minutes after.

During the cooling time, prepare the other ingredients. With an electric mixer, beat the egg whites in a bowl until they are stiff.  Add the remaining 1/3 cup sugar and continue to beat until mixture forms firm peaks.  Set aside. In other bowl, still using the electric mixer, whip the cream until light and fluffy.

Lightly fold the egg whites into the chilled pie filling. Then add the whipped cream, still folding until all is blended together. Place pie filling in prepared pie crust, smoothing out evenly into pan. Garnish with chocolate curls or grated chocolate. Chill pie in fridge for at least 4 hours or more prior to serving.