Thursday, December 29, 2011

Hendrix Pie

While I was cooking the filling for this pie, the batter was turning a purple color.  The thought that came to mind was the old song of Jimmy Hendrix called "Purple haze"  Even though he was before my time of delving into listening to lots of music, I do remember the tunes from this legendary singer and guitar player.  Some things, no matter how young you are, stick in your head.  So I decided to let that memory pop out, at least to name this creation.

This pie is made up of fresh pomegranate juice (I have the t-shirt stains to prove it), cream cheese and sweetened condensed milk. On top is a layer of sweetened sour cream. The base is made of ground almonds and graham cracker crumbs.  It is not shown in the picture, but the final serving on this does have a pomegranate syrup drizzled over it.

My husband was trying to get me to come inside with the fruit, but I did not feel like scrubbing that wretched stain of the fruit from ceiling to floor.  Best to let that fruit stain the outdoors rather than my kitchen cabinets.  The juice actually did get into my eye, but its attempt to stain that failed.

Anyhow after tasting the pie, I would say that the pomegranate flavor in the filling is subtle. However, the syrup and seeds does give it the extra zing of pomegranate bliss.  My favorite part was the bite with the fresh seeds on top. The sweet-sour topping as well as the almond crust did add some extra notes of tasty flavor.

Hendrix Pie
by flourtrader

4 tbs melted butter
3 tbs sugar
3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
1 cup ground almonds

1/2 cup plus 2 tbs fresh pomegranate juice (I used 1 large pomegranate)
1/2 flour
1/8 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1 8oz package cream cheese (room temp)
3 egg yolks
1 can sweetened condensed milk
2/3 cup cold water

Ingredients/Sour Cream Layer
8 oz sour cream
2 tbs sugar
pomegranate seeds for decorating edge (optional)

1/4 cup fresh pomegranate juice
3 tbs sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Butter the inside of a 9 inch pie pan.

For the crust, mix together graham crumbs, sugar and ground almonds.  Stir in melted butter until all ingredients are no longer dry.  Pour in prepared pie pan and press crumbs evenly in bottom and on sides.  Bake in oven for 7 to 10 minutes or until slightly golden on edges.  Remove and let cool.

To make filling, beat cream cheese in a medium sized bowl for 1 minute.  Add the sweetened condensed milk and beat until thoroughly blended into the cream cheese.  Mixture should be smooth.  Set aside.

Prepare a double boiler with water and place bottom pan over heat and let come to a simmer.  While this is heating up, take the top pan (not placed over heat yet) and fill with the egg yolks.  Whisk until mixture is smooth and then add the water, whisking for another minute.  Add the salt and flour, teaspoon of sugar and continue to whisk together.  Then add the pomegranate juice and stir until all is blended.  At this time, I noticed that there were some lumps of flour in the batter.  I poured the batter into a bowl, cleaned the pot and then placed a sieve over the top pot of the double boiler and strained the mixture from the bowl into the pot.  The flour lumps that remained in the bottom of the sieve were pushed through using a spoon.

Place the top pan of batter over the bottom pan of simmering water.  Whisk the mixture constantly and cook for about 2 minutes.  Mixture should be like a thick pudding.  Once you reach that consistency, remove the pan and turn the heat down to medium.  Pour the cream cheese mixture into the batter and whisk for one minute to blend.  Then place the bowl back over the pan of water.  Cook and whisk the mixture again for about 5 minutes or until batter is very thick and smooth.

Remove pan and pour batter into graham cracker crust.  Smooth the top and then place it in the refrigerator for 3-4 hours or until set.

During this time you can make the sour cream topping.  Beat together the sour cream and the sugar until well blended.  Once the filling has set, pour the sour cream topping over the pie and smooth out using an offset spatula.  Place pie in refrigerator for another hour, then decorate the edges with pomegranate seeds.  Place pie in fridge for another three hours before serving.

One hour prior to slicing, you can make the syrup.  Place both juice and syrup in a small sauce pan and heat until sugar is dissolved.  Pour into heat proof bowl and place in fridge to cool.

To serve, cut with a sharp knife and place on plate.  Then drizzle with cooled syrup.
                   **LAST YEAR: Limoncello Cream Cheese Tarts**