Michele Stuart, author of Perfect Pies: The Best Sweet and Savory Recipes from America’s Pie-Baking Champion and owner of Michele’s Pies in Connecticut, shared this recipe for a delectable Tiramisù Pie. Michele has won a whopping twenty-six National Pie Championship Awards – mostly first place ribbons. I have a feeling that this one is a winner too.
Keep reading for Stuart’s recipe, and click here to enter YOUR delicious pie (or pies) in the 4th Annual Good Food Pie Contest on Saturday, September 8th at LACMA.
(Excerpted from Perfect Pies by Michele Stuart Copyright © 2011 by Michele Stuart. Excerpted by permission of Ballantine Books, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.)
For as long as I can remember, tiramisù has been my favorite non-pie dessert. This pie has all the rich elegance and sophistication of the beloved Italian treat, plus a flaky pastry piecrust to add yet another element to this layered dessert.
Makes one 9-inch pie, 6 to 8 slices
1 prebaked 9-inch Traditional Pastry Piecrust shell (see below)
3 cups brewed strong coffee or espresso
10 large egg yolks
10 tablespoons sugar
1 pound mascarpone cheese
Kahlúa to taste
2 cups heavy cream
2 cups Whipped Cream
To prepare the filling, pour the brewed coffee into a bowl or baking dish, allowing it to cool completely.
In a large bowl, using an electric mixer with a whisk attachment on high speed, beat together the egg yolks and sugar until they are smooth, frothy, and pale in color. Add the mascarpone and mix for approximately 1 minute. Finally, add the Kahlúa to taste and mix some more, until all the ingredients are blended together smoothly.
In a separate bowl, beat the heavy cream until it’s stiff. Using a spatula, fold the whipped cream into the mascarpone mixture until everything is blended. To assemble the pie, layer the bottom of the pie shell with one-third of the cream mixture. Quickly dip each of the ladyfingers into the coffee (be careful not to oversoak the ladyfingers to the point of saturation). Arrange 12 of the ladyfingers over the cream mixture. Spread another one-third of the cream mixture over the placed ladyfingers. Dip the remaining 12 ladyfingers into the coffee and arrange them over the cream mixture. Spread the remaining one-third of the cream mixture over the final ladyfinger layer, smoothing out the top of the pie.
Refrigerate the pie for at least 6 hours before serving. Using a pastry bag, distribute the whipped cream decoratively across the top of the pie. If you choose, use an offset spatula to create a more finished look. Sprinkle the whipped cream with a dusting of cocoa powder, and perhaps a few coffee beans.
Tiramisù Pie should be served cold. It can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Traditional Pastry Piecrust
Makes enough for one 9- or 10-inch double crust piecrusts
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons Crisco, cold
5 tablespoons ice-cold water
½ cup heavy cream
In a medium bowl, mix together the flour and the salt. Add the Crisco to the flour mixture. Either with a pastry blender (see page xvi) or with your fingertips, mix the ingredients together with an up-and-down chopping motion until the dough forms coarse, pea-size crumbs. Note: I prefer the old-fashioned fingertip option, but take care not to overhandle the dough, because it will become difficult to work with— when dough is overhandled, the Crisco becomes too incorporated. In the perfect pie, the Crisco will have a marbleized look, and you will actually be able to see Crisco swirls within the uncooked dough.
Add the ice-cold water, 1 tablespoon at a time, delicately incorporating each tablespoon into the flour mixture before you add the next. You may have to use 1 more or 1 less tablespoon of water than the amount recommended, depending upon the humidity in your kitchen at the time of baking. You will know you have added just the right amount of water when the dough forms a ball that easily holds together.
Wrap the ball of dough with plastic and place it in the refrigerator to chill for at least 30 minutes. Once the dough has chilled, divide the ball in half. You now have enough dough for either one 9- or 10-inch double crust (1 pie shell and 1 top crust) or two 9- or 10-inch single crusts (pie shell only). If you are making a single-crust pie, you will use only one half of the dough per pie. Wrap the remaining half in plastic and reserve it in the refrigerator for future use; the dough can be reserved in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Alternatively, you can make a second single-crust pie, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap, and freeze it for future use; it will keep for up to 1 month.