Who doesn’t love a delicious pie? With a cookie crust, a custard filling, and a cream topping, this amaretto pie is perfect for holidays or every day!
Once, years ago, I posted a question on Facebook: if you had to choose, what would you say is the “official” cake of Tennessee? This question arose after I was surprised to see that some random cake (apple stack cake?) was the cake representing Tennessee in Warren Brown’s book United Cakes of America. I was honestly expecting red velvet cake, which apparently originated in New York?!?! I definitely think of red velvet as a Southern cake. But this post is not about red velvet cake.
Anyway, someone commented that the official cake of Tennessee was, in fact, pie. Hmmmmm. I liked that idea – pie has a homey feeling to it, like I could churn out a boxed cake without much effort but if I want pie, I have to put a little thought to it. It evokes thoughts of grandmothers and seasonal fruits. I do love a good pie, though pie crust still – after as many as I have made – can cause me to come within a tenth of an inch of a food tantrum. But I digress.
I asked my readers not too long after to tell me their favorite pies. I don’t remember much about the answers – I’m sure that I got a sprinkling of cherry, apple, pecan, pumpkin, buttermilk, and egg custard. One answer stood out in my mind, though: amaretto pie. Apparently, this was a thing that was popular at Mount Vernon Restaurant, a place where, at the time, I had only eaten once – and I did not know about amaretto pie.
It took me a good long while to make an amaretto pie myself. My first amaretto pie was completely cream-based, stabilized with some gelatin. It was delicious, but, once I tried the amaretto pie at Mount Vernon, I realized that it was a pretty far cry from “the real thing”, which was custard-based. So…I adapted a Cook’s Illustrated recipe for coconut cream pie. It was perfect the first time, besides the fact that I needed a few more cookies for the crust (I opted to use Biscoff cookies rather than graham crackers for the crust). Now, I will point out….Mount Vernon uses a real pastry crust. Feel free to do so; just pre-bake the crust. I just love the sweet and slightly spicy crunch of the Biscoff cookies. And forgive me for the sloppy slice – you know that’s how your pies turn out too! Keeping it real.
Pies go hand in hand with Thanksgiving, for sure, but this amaretto pie might turn out to be your family’s favorite for Christmas – and the rest of the year – too.
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Yield: 1 9-inch pie
This recipe is adapted from a coconut cream pie recipe from The Cook's Illustrated Baking Book.
25 minPrep Time:
25 minCook Time:
50 minTotal Time:
- 17 Biscoff cookies
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 1/4 cup (18 ounces) milk (whole milk is best)
- 1/2 cup (4 ounces) amaretto
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 5 large egg yolks
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
- 1 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons amaretto
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- 2-4 tablespoons toasted almonds
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Process the cookies to crumbs using a food processor. Add the butter and sugar and process until well combined. If you do not have a food processor, place the cookies in a storage bag and crush using a rolling pin, then combine with the butter and the sugar in a bowl.
- Press the crumb mixture into a 9-inch pie plate, using a flat-bottomed dry measuring cup to press the mixture flat into the bottom and up the sides of the plate. Bake for 15 minutes then set aside to cool slightly.
- In a medium saucepan, whisk together the milk, amaretto, 1/4 cup sugar, and the salt. Set over medium heat.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, remaining sugar, and cornstarch. When the milk mixture starts to simmer, slowly whisk 1 cup of the milk mixture into the egg yolk mixture, then add to the pan with the remaining milk mixture.
- Cook, stirring frequently, until thickened. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter and the almond extract. Pour into the cookie crust. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing the plastic wrap into the top of the custard, and refrigerate for at least 3 hours.
- When the pie has completely cooled, beat the cream, 1 1/2 tablespoons of sugar, 1 1/2 teaspoons amaretto, and 1/2 teaspoon almond extract using an electric mixer on medium-high heat until soft peaks form. Spread over the top of the pie and sprinkle with desired amount of toasted almonds. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Prep time does not include time to chill the pie. To make parfaits, layer the custard and cookie crumbs into 8 small cups and top with whipped cream and almonds.