Chai Cream Pie
What’s the prevailing accent where you live? I’m so fascinated by the idiosyncrasies of our language. There are people from my southwestern Virginia hometown with really strong Southern accents, but I’ve pretty much shed my true redneck twang (though some may beg to differ). Of course, my pronunciation of some words still lets people know exactly where I was raised and I can definitely turn on the drawl when needed.
I was recently in Connecticut for my little brother’s wedding and while there, I stopped at a coffee shop and ordered a chai. The girl behind the counter looked at me really quizzically for a minute, then finally asked, “What did you want?” So I guess that’s some solid proof that I still say a few words with that special Southern twist.
This pie is definitely for fans of the chai latte. The custardy filling is a basic pastry cream flavored with cinnamon, and frankly, I’m not sure I could name something more wholly satisfying. The unique topping is just whipped cream with some chai tea latte concentrate beaten into it; the taste of chai is unmistakable and a fitting partner for the flavor of the aromatic and creamy filling. I’m really excited about how this pie turned out and I reckon ya’ll orta give ‘er a try right quick.
- 1-1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 6 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- 3 tablespoons chilled solid vegetable shortening, cut into small pieces
- 4 tablespoons (or more) ice water
- 1-1/2 cups milk
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar, divided use
- 4 large egg yolks
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1-1/4 cups whipping cream, chilled
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup chai tea latte concentrate, very well chilled
To make the crust, blend flour, sugar, and salt in processor. Add butter and shortening; cut in until mixture resembles coarse meal. Drizzle 4 tablespoons ice water over mixture. Process just until moist clumps form, adding more ice water by teaspoonfuls if dough is dry. Gather dough into ball; flatten into disk. Wrap in plastic. Chill 1 hour.
Roll out dough between 2 sheets of plastic wrap to 14-inch round. Transfer dough to 9-inch-diameter glass pie dish. Fold overhang under. Crimp edges decoratively. Pierce bottom of crust all over with fork. Freeze crust 15 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375°F. Line crust with aluminum foil. Fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake 20 minutes. Remove weights and foil. Bake until golden and set, about 10 minutes. Cool. (Crust can be made 1 day ahead. Wrap tightly with plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature.)
For the filling, bring milk, cream, and 1/4 cup sugar to simmer in a medium saucepan over medium heat. In a bowl, whisk remaining 1/4 cup sugar and yolks until light in color, about one minute. Whisk in flour, cornstarch, cinnamon, and salt. Gradually add hot milk mixture to egg mixture, whisking constantly. Return to same saucepan; cook until pastry cream thickens and boils, stirring constantly. Boil one minute, then remove from heat. Dot the top of the cream with butter and set aside for 15 minutes. Mix in vanilla extract. Transfer filling to crust, smooth the top, then refrigerate at least one hour.
To make the topping, using an electric mixer, beat cream, sugar, and chai concentrate in a medium bowl until peaks form. Spread or pipe whipped cream all over the top of that magical filling.