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    Vanilla Cream Pie

    Source of Recipe

    From "The Perfect Pie" by America's Test Kitchen

    List of Ingredients

    • 1 recipe single-crust pie dough
    • cup plus 2 tablespoons (4 ⅓ ounces) sugar
    • cup (1 ounce) cornstarch
    • ⅛ teaspoon salt
    • cup evaporated milk
    • 5 large egg yolks
    • 2 cups whole milk
    • vanilla bean
    • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 2 pieces
    • 1 to 2 teaspoons brandy
    • Whipped cream


    1. Roll dough into 12-inch circle on floured counter. Loosely roll dough around rolling pin and gently unroll it onto 9-inch pie plate, letting excess dough hang over edge. Ease dough into plate by gently lifting edge of dough with your hand while pressing into plate bottom with your other hand.

    2. Trim overhang to inch beyond lip of plate. Tuck overhang under itself; folded edge should be flush with edge of plate. Crimp dough evenly around edge of plate. Wrap dough-lined plate loosely in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees.

    3. Line chilled pie shell with double layer of aluminum foil, covering edges to prevent burning, and fill with pie weights. Bake on foil-lined rimmed baking sheet until edges are set and just beginning to turn golden, 25 to 30 minutes, rotating sheet halfway through baking. Remove foil and weights, rotate sheet, and continue to bake crust until golden brown and crisp, 10 to 15 minutes longer. Transfer sheet to wire rack and let cool completely, about 45 minutes.

    4. Whisk sugar, cornstarch, and salt together in medium saucepan. Whisk in evaporated milk, followed by egg yolks, and finally milk, until smooth. Cut vanilla bean in half lengthwise. Using tip of paring knife, scrape out seeds, then combine vanilla bean and seeds with sugar mixture. Bring mixture to simmer and cook, whisking constantly, until mixture is thickened, smooth, and registers 180 degrees, 30 to 90 seconds.

    5. Off heat, whisk in butter and brandy. Let mixture cool, stirring often, for 5 minutes. Remove vanilla bean and pour warm filling into cooled crust, smoothing top with clean spatula into even layer. Spray piece of parchment paper with vegetable oil spray and press directly against surface of filling. Refrigerate until set, at least 4 hours or up to 24 hours. Spread whipped cream attractively over pie. Serve.

      Serves 8

      Classic Single-Crust Pie Dough:

      ◦ 1 cups (6 ounces) all-purpose flour
      ◦ 1 tablespoon sugar
      ◦ teaspoon salt
      ◦ 4 tablespoons vegetable shortening, cut into -inch pieces and chilled
      ◦ 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into -inch pieces and chilled
      ◦ 3 tablespoons ice water, plus extra as needed

      Process flour, sugar, and salt in food processor until combined, about 5 seconds. Scatter shortening over top and process until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal, about 10 seconds. Scatter butter over top and pulse until mixture resembles coarse crumbs, about 10 pulses.

      Transfer mixture to bowl. Sprinkle ice water over mixture. Stir and press dough with spatula until dough sticks together. If dough does not come together, stir in up to 1 tablespoon ice water, 1 teaspoon at a time, until it does.

      Transfer dough to sheet of plastic wrap and form into 4-inch disk. Wrap tightly in plastic and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to two days. Let chilled dough sit on counter to soften slightly, about 10 minutes, before rolling. (Wrapped dough can be frozen for up to 1 month. If frozen, let dough thaw completely on counter before rolling.)

      Makes one 9-inch single crust




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