|Halloween Recipes – Creme Brulee P-Eye|
Creme Brulee Pie decorated to look like a bloodshot eye.
I love creme brulee and when I was looking for a clever recipe to enter into my very first, and only, video recipe contest, I chose to make a decorated creme brulee pie. Meijer, a regional grocery store chain, was hosting a recipe contest where the entrants were to create a delicious dish using products found in their store. The contest was held in November, so I created pies decorated with images of a snowflake, a gingerbread man and some beautiful fall leaves. To my delight, I won first prize in the contest. You can still watch me making my Creme Brulee Pie, here.
For Halloween the year after the contest, my husband, Jim, and I decided to host a Dead Man’s Diner party. I turned this luscious, elegant, creme brulee pie into a big giant bloodshot EYE! My guests loved it. I caramelized the sugar EYE while my guests watched. Many had not ever seen the brulee process and were thrilled to witness the transformation from granulated sugar to hard crackling caramel.The recipe listed below uses a refrigerated pie crust baked in a 9″ pie plate. When I created the pie for the Meijer contest, I used their frozen pie shell which is very shallow and didn’t require very much custard. So follow the ingredient list here if you are using a refrigerated pie crust or a deep dish frozen pie shell. Use the ingredient list from the video, if you use a shallow frozen pie shell.
Creme Brulee P-EYE
1 refrigerated pie crust, thawed
3 cups heavy cream , chilled
1/2 cup granulated sugar
pinch table salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
9 egg yolks
1-2 tablespoons black sanding sugar
2-3 tablespoons green or blue sanding sugar
4-6 tablespoons granulated sugar, or white sanding sugar
1 tablespoon red sanding sugar
Special Equipment Needed:
9″ pie plate
2″ round cookie cutter
4 1/2″ round cookie cutter
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Unroll thawed pie crust into a 9″ pie pan. Lightly press crust into the edge of pan. Fold excess crust under and press together to form a thick crust edge. Flute edge. Prick bottom and sides of crust with a fork. Lay a piece of tin foil over crust. Fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake for 8 minutes. Remove foil and weights. Return to oven and bake until golden brown, 4-8 minutes. Let crust cool completely.
Combine 1 1/2 cups cream, sugar, and salt in medium saucepan. Heat over medium heat, stirring occasionally to ensure all the sugar dissolves. Continue to heat until small bubbles appear around the edge of the pan. Remove from heat. Stir in remaining 1 1/2 cups cold cream and set aside. Place egg yolks in a mixing bowl and lightly whisk. Add 1 cup of the cream mixture to the egg yolks and whisk to combine. Pour the remaining cream into the eggs in a steady stream while whisking. Stir in the vanilla and then pour mixture back into the saucepan. Heat over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and reaches a temperature of 175 degrees. Let mixture stand for 10 minutes before pouring into cooled pie crust. Cool at room temperature for 1 hour. Then refrigerate pie until completely chilled, at least 4 hours or up to 4 days.
Remove the pie from the refrigerator and decorate the top of the pie with sugar.Place a 2″ round cookie cutter in the center of the pie. Sprinkle in black sanding sugar until you have a nice black pupil. Place 4 1/2″ round cookie cutter in the center of the pie, keeping the smaller cutter in place for now. Sprinkle green or blue sanding sugar in between the two round cutters, creating the iris. Keeping cutters in place, sprinkle white granulated or sanding sugar all around the outer perimeter of the pie. Carefully remove the cookie cutters and fill in any gaps with sugar. Create a bloodshot appearance, by sprinkling small lines of red sanding sugar around the white of the eye.
Then for best results, use a propane torch to caramelize the sugar. If you don’t have a torch, place pie under the broiler until sugar melts. If you’d like, you can chill pie in refrigerator for 15 minutes before serving.
Note: Caramelize sugar within 30 minutes of decorating. (Do not refrigerate your decorated pie before caramelizing. The sugar will melt into the pie.)