If you're new to the blog then maybe you don't know how much we love feeding people, but if you've followed along in any kind of way you've definitely heard us babble about how important cooking for the ones we love is to us. Katie and I hosted our dream dinner party last spring together and we've each spent at least a few minutes of every single day since daydreaming about how perfect and special it was. So, when the opportunity came around to collaborate with our friends at Freckle & Fair and plan the menu for a cozy fall dinner party we were all over it.
I can imagine each of the recipes we've featured being shared and passed around a sturdy wooden table, clad with beautiful dishes and fall foliage as a fire crackles in the background and string lights twinkle above. Each guest piles apple cider salad and roasted gorgonzola mascarpone chicken onto their plates. French 75 cocktails (pictured above) are sipped through conversation about our favorite things the fall season offers and this rich and velvety brûléed maple & bourbon pumpkin pie serves as a superb end to the meal — it is perfect indeed.
Make this dream dinner party menu come to life! Be sure to click the links above. Be sure to let us know how you enjoy the menu :)
For the chocolate pie dough
Pulse cocoa powder, granulated sugar, salt, and 1¼ cups plus 1 Tbsp. flour in a food processor to combine. Add butter and shortening and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal with a few pea-size pieces of butter remaining. Transfer to a large bowl.
Whisk egg yolk, vinegar, and ¼ cup ice water in a small bowl. Drizzle half of egg mixture over flour mixture and, using a fork, mix gently just until combined. Add remaining egg mixture and mix until dough just comes together (you will have some unincorporated pieces).
Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface, flatten slightly, and cut into quarters. Stack pieces on top of one another, placing unincorporated dry pieces of dough between layers, and press down to combine. Repeat process twice more (all pieces of dough should be incorporated at this point). Form dough into a 1”-thick disk. Wrap in plastic; chill at least 1 hour.
**Dough can be made 2 days ahead. Keep chilled, or freeze up to 3 months.**
For the filing and assembly
This recipe originally made a regular pie in a 9'' round, but I switched the recipe a bit to work for mini pies so that they could be baked in traditional brûlée pans and look more like creme brûlée.
Roll out disk of dough on a lightly floured surface into a 4 3.5-4” rounds. Transfer to your brûlée dishes. Lift up edge and allow dough to slump down into the dish. Remove any overhang. Chill in freezer 15 minutes.
**warning that this part gets a little complicated but the point of these steps is to keep the pie dough from getting air pockets when it bakes.** Place a rack in middle of oven and preheat oven to 350°. Line pies with parchment paper or heavy-duty foil, leaving a 1½” overhang. Fill with pie weights or dried beans — I filled the pie with dried beans and put them on parchment paper on top of the crust and this worked pretty well. Bake until crust is dry around the edge, about 15 minutes. Remove paper and weights and bake until surface of crust looks dry, about 5 minutes. Brush bottom and sides of crust with 1 beaten egg. Return to oven and bake until dry and set, about 3 minutes longer. (Brushing crust with egg and baking will prevent a soggy crust.)
Whisk pumpkin purée, sour cream, bourbon, cinnamon, salt, ginger, nutmeg, allspice, and remaining 3 eggs in a large bowl; set aside.
Pour maple syrup in a small saucepan; scrape in seeds from vanilla bean (reserve pod for another use) or add vanilla extract and bring syrup to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-high and simmer, stirring occasionally, until mixture is thickened and small puffs of steam start to release, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and add cream in 3 additions, stirring with a wooden spoon after each addition until smooth. Gradually whisk hot maple cream into pumpkin mixture.
Place dishes on a rimmed baking sheet and pour in filling. Bake pies, rotating halfway through, until set around edge but center barely jiggles, 30-35 minutes. Transfer dishes to a wire rack and let pies cool.
Just before serving, sprinkle pie with turbinado sugar and, using a kitchen torch, brûlée until sugar is melted and dark brown.
**Pie can be baked 1 day ahead, but don't brûlée until you serve**