I'm P.C., and I have studied food and cooking around the world, mostly by eating, but also through serious study. Coursework at Le Cordon Bleu London and intensive courses in Morocco, Thailand and France have broadened my culinary skill and palate. But my kitchen of choice is at home, cooking like most people, experimenting with unique but practical ideas.

I live, mostly in my kitchen, in my hometown of Memphis, Tennessee.

Eggnog Pie

I considered calling this Christmas Panic Pie. It is the perfect recipe to have in your pocket for  the busy holidays.  It is simple, requires a few ingredients you can easily have on hand and can be dressed up elegantly or served simply.  During the holidays, I always have a carton of eggnog in the fridge.  It is one of my favorite holiday flavors and ingredients, and stashing some store bought pie crust rolls in the fridge or freezer means a delicious dessert is minutes away.  Serve it for dessert at an impromptu family dinner, take it to the office party you forgot about, make it in a disposable pan, wrap it in cellophane tied with a ribbon and instant hostess gift.  And if you are tasked with providing dessert for a huge crowd, it is easy to make pie after pie in a flash.

Serve this pie straight up, or pipe a decorative trim of whipped cream around the edges. Sugared cranberries would be a beautiful garnish.  I say this serves eight, but when there are other sweets on offer, slender slices are enough.

Eggnog Pie

Pastry for one 9-inch pie, homemade or store bought ready-to-roll

½ cup (1 stick) butter

3 eggs

3 Tablespoons flour

1 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

½ teaspoon nutmeg, plus more for sprinkling

1 ½ cups refrigerated dairy eggnog

Preheat the oven to 425°.  Fit the pastry into a 9-inch pie plate.

Melt the butter and set aside to cool to room temperature.  When the butter is cool, whisk the eggs in a large bowl until lightly beaten.  Add the flour, sugar, vanilla and nutmeg and whisk until combined.  Pour in the butter and whisk thoroughly.  Add the eggnog in a drizzle while whisking until the filling is smooth and everything is fully incorporated.

Pour the filling into the crust and use a sharp pointed knife to pop any large air bubbles that form.  Shape a piece of aluminum foil to fit over the pie before you transfer it to the oven, but put the pie in the oven uncovered at first. Sprinkle a little nutmeg over the top of the filling.

Bake the pie at 425° for 12 – 15 minutes, then cover the pie with the prepared foil and lower the heat to 325°.  Continue baking until the filling is set, 30 – 35 minutes.

Remove the pie from the oven and cool completely.  I prefer to chill the pie overnight, but it can be eaten at room temperature.

Serves 8

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