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The Food Processor

How to Whip the Cream for Pies

April 21, 1988|JANE SALZFASS FREIMAN | Freiman is a New York-based food writer

If you are one of those people who prefers frosting to cake, hot fudge to ice cream, or the filling of an Oreo cookie to the cookie itself, then chances are you also like whipped cream.

Long ago, I determined that soft, soothing, comforting and creamy desserts such as mousses, custards and puddings were far better with gobs of slightly sweetened whipped cream on top, which may explain why I like cream pies.

Real cream pies feature a crisp pastry crust, a pudding-like flavored base made from milk and egg yolks (usually thickened with cornstarch) and a snowy topping of cream that has been whipped to firm peaks.

Banana is the best known of the cream pie flavors; but the recipe here, made with a coffee-flavored custard and spiked with Irish whiskey and Kahlua, is deliciously different.

A Wonderful Job

The food processor does a wonderful job of whipping cream to firm peaks in less than 3 minutes. With this food processor method, the powdered sugar is added to the container with half the cream and the mixture is processed 30 seconds. Then, the remaining cream is poured into the machine and processing continues until the cream holds its shape.

This technique eliminates the messy, gradual addition of powdered sugar after the cream is whipped to soft peaks and processor-whipped cream is extra dense because the machine produces about 40% less volume than a conventional beater or whisk.

It is necessary to chill the container and metal blade in the freezer for about 10 minutes to ensure that the cream whips easily. However, the cream can be whipped several hours in advance, covered with plastic wrap and kept refrigerated. Because processor-whipped cream is so dense, it holds up surprisingly well.

IRISH COFFEE CREAM PIE

2 cups milk

1/2 cup granulated sugar

Dash salt

1 tablespoon instant coffee powder

2 tablespoons cornstarch

3 egg yolks

2 tablespoons Irish whiskey

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 tablespoon coffee liqueur

Pie Crust

2 cups whipping cream

1/3 cup powdered sugar

Place 1 1/2 cups milk, granulated sugar, salt and coffee powder in medium saucepan. Stir well to dissolve sugar and coffee powder and heat to boiling.

Insert metal blade in clean processor container. Pulse cornstarch with remaining milk, add egg yolks and process 10 seconds. With motor running, pour hot milk mixture into machine within 10 seconds.

Return liquid to saucepan and whisk over medium-low heat until mixture is thick and pudding-like, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to low, stir in whiskey, vanilla and coffee liqueur and cook 5 minutes longer. Cool to room temperature, then place in Pie Crust and refrigerate until firm.

Place food processor container and metal blade in freezer 10 minutes, then replace on processor base. Add 1 cup whipping cream and powdered sugar. Process 30 seconds, then with motor running, pour remaining cream into food chute. Process until whipped to firm peaks, about 2 minutes longer. Pipe or spread whipped cream on top of pie. Refrigerate 30 minutes before slicing. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Pie Crust

1 3/4 cups unbleached flour

2 tablespoons sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

2/3 cup shortening

1/3 to 1/2 cup cold milk

Insert metal blade in dry processor. Add flour, sugar, salt and shortening. Process until shortening disappears. Add 1/3 cup milk and pulse until dough begins to clump. Press dough into disc, wrap and refrigerate 1 hour.

Place dough between 2 overlapping sheets wax paper and roll dough to 13-inch circle. Transfer to 9-inch pie plate. (If dough crumbles, add 1 to 2 tablespoons milk, reroll and replace in plate).

Trim dough to 1/2-inch beyond plate rim. Turn edges under and flute crust rim. Flatten bottom and sides of dough gently against pie plate. With skewer or fork, pierce crust bottom and rim at even intervals. Freeze 15 minutes.

Adjust oven rack to middle position. Bake crust at 350 degrees 30 to 35 minutes or until golden brown. Cool.

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