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From Stephanie Orantes, baker at Henry’s Sweet Retreat
Note: To blind-bake a pie crust, line a 9-inch pie pan with a rolled-out crust and decorate the edge as you like. Freeze for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Press a large piece of parchment paper onto the dough and fill it with dried beans or pie weights. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove the parchment and beans and continue baking the shell for 5 minutes, until lightly golden. Remove and cool completely.
1 9-inch, blind-baked pie shell, in its pan (see note) 4 cups whole milk, divided 4½ teaspoons cornstarch ¼ teaspoon salt 3 large eggs, lightly beaten ½ cup sugar, divided 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 3 tablespoons unsalted butter 2 tablespoons molasses ½ teaspoon cinnamon ¼ teaspoon ground ginger 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves ¾ cup heavy cream 2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar ½ cup gingersnap cookies, crushed Whipped cream (½ cup heavy cream and 1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar beaten to soft peaks)
1. In a large bowl, whisk together 2 cups milk and the cornstarch. Whisk in the salt, eggs and ¼ cup sugar. Set aside.
2. In a large saucepan over medium heat, add the remaining milk and sugar and heat until small bubbles form around the edge, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Slowly stir a third of the hot milk into the egg mixture. Then pour the warm egg mixture into the saucepan. Bring to a full boil over medium-high heat, whisking constantly, until thickened. Remove from heat and whisk in the vanilla and butter until the butter is incorporated. Pour the pastry cream into a large bowl. Press plastic wrap onto the top of the cream to keep a skin from forming. Cool completely.
3. Add the molasses, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves to the cooled pastry cream. In a mixing bowl, use a hand mixer to beat the heavy cream and confectioners’ sugar until fluffy. Fold the whipped cream into the pastry cream. Fill the pie shell. Refrigerate the pie for 5 to 6 hours, preferably overnight.
4. Garnish the pie with crushed gingersnap cookies and top each slice with a dollop of whipped cream. n