catching up with pie #12; butterscotch baked alaska pie

for all of you who think i may have given up on my 52 week pie challenge-think again.  yes i will admit that this is a couple days late but cut me some slack-i do not have a working oven at the moment and it is making this more of a problem solving challenge than a baking challenge.  that said, let’s move on and get to this week’s pie…

since i am awaiting the parts to make mr. kenmore whole again (they have shipped and i am waiting eagerly for them to arrive) i have had to change direction a bit.  this week i chose an ice cream pie with a cookie crumb crust so that i wouldn’t have to use an oven.  for reasons unknown, i was fixated on butterscotch ice cream.  can’t explain it; never had it before and no, i’m not pregnant.  to get started, i made a batch of butterscotch ice cream base and while i attempted to freeze it-wiltons hand crank/frozen gel filled bowl leaves much to be desired, i made the crust.  the result was a very soft ice cream that ultimately ended up being a little harder than i would have liked.  some day, i will get a real ice cream freezer and that will no longer be an issue.

as i worked on freezing/cranking the ice cream, i made a chocolate cookie crumb crust with pecans from  some homemade biscotti that were not dipped in chocolate.  when i filled the crust with the ice cream and set it in the freezer to firm up, i decided to work on the garnish and that is where i completely drew a blank.  how could i make this pie interesting and what would go with butterscotch???  a chocolate sauce would over power it and whipped cream is kind of boring.  fruit, maybe but…then i did the unthinkable-i asked my husband what he would like with it.  his response was a rapid fire marshmallow cream and so, baked alaska it is!  to keep it interesting, i made a caramel sauce with some rum in it to drizzle over it and called it a dessert.

butterscotch baked alaska pie with rum caramel sauce
serves 8-10
butterscotch ice cream
adapted from sunset magazine
1 3/4 cup half and half
1 3/4 cup heavy cream
1″ piece of vanilla bean pod
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup dark brown sugar 
6 egg yolks (reserve the whites for the topping)
1 tablespoon dark rum
place the half and half, heavy cream, vanilla pod and salt in a sauce pot and heat over medium low heat. in a skillet over medium low heat, melt the butter and then add the dark brown sugar.  stir to melt the sugar and bring the mixture up to a slow boil and continue to boil for 3-4 minutes.   carefully whisk in about half a cup of the hot cream and stir to dissolve the sugar.   pour the melted sugar into the remaining hot cream and stir to combine.  in a heat proof bowl, whisk the eggs.  carefully whisk some of the hot cream into the egg yolks to temper them.  reduce the heat to low and whisk the hot egg yolks into the cream and cook while stirring until it thickens.  this will not take too long, about 2-3 minutes.  be sure to stir constantly and to check the thickness, dip a spoon in the mixture and then drag your fingertip across the back of the spoon.  if the stripe holds it’s shape, it is done.  do not boil the mixture or it will curdle.  pour the base through a strainer and chill completely.  proceed according to the ice cream freezers instructions.  
cookie crumb crust
1 (9″) pie shell
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and hot
1 cup cookie crumbs
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon chopped pecans
combine the ingredients and press into a  (9″) pie plate.  when the ice cream is ready, pour it into the pie shell and smooth it out.  cover with plastic wrap and freeze for at least 6 hours or overnight. 
meringue topping
6 egg whites
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 cup sugar
in a mixing bowl, whip the whites with the cream of tartar until foamy.  gradually add the sugar and continue to whip until stiff peaks form.  spread the mixture over the top of the pie.  to make spikes, tap the meringue with the back of a spoon and pull it away quickly.  to brown the meringue, use a torch or the broiler and keep a close eye on it so it doesn’t burn.   cut the pie and garnish each slice with the caramel sauce if desired.
caramel sauce
about 1 cup
1/3 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons corn syrup
2 tablespoons dark rum
place the cream and butter in a heat proof dish and microwave to heat them and melt the butter.  place the    sugar, water and corn syrup in a sauce pot with a lid and over medium heat, allow it to heat while covered.  after 2-3 minutes, remove the lid and swirl the pan to melt the sugar.  cover again and allow the steam to wash down the sides.  after a minute or two, uncover the pot and watch as it slowly begins to turn a light amber.  carefully add the warm cream, stirring to prevent it from boiling over and over low heat, cook until all of the sugar is dissolved.  remove from the heat and add the rum.  serve while still warm but not hot from the stove!
and as always, make one and send me a photo to post here.  go ahead, i dare you, double dog dare you to make this pie!!!  e-mail photos to

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