Thanksgiving Baking Adventures: Booze-Infused Pies

Happy Thanksgiving, fellow Americans! I like Thanksgiving because it’s a holiday centered around two of my favorite things: food and family. This year, I’m thankful for the fact that I don’t have to attempt to make an entire turkey dinner in my ridiculously tiny kitchen. I’m pretty sure it would be impossible. My husband and I always go to his parents’ house but I contribute some of the feast, such as my famous homemade mashed potatoes (made from real potatoes; none of that potato flake bullshit) and pies.

A few months ago, I saw a recipe on social media that caught my attention: fireball pumpkin pie. Yep, you heard me: pumpkin pie infused with fireball whiskey. I immediately thought about making it for Thanksgiving this year, but I hesitated because, typically, pumpkin pie requires evaporated milk, and I had never seen a lactose-free version of evaporated milk…until now! Apparently, Carnation heard the pleas of lactose-intolerant people everywhere and came out with a lactose-free version for us. Like most specialty ingredients, it comes in a smaller container and costs more, but it’s well worth it. That was enough to convince me to try it.

I spent about 4 long hours in my tiny apartment kitchen yesterday creating a total of 4 pies: a regular pumpkin pie and regular dutch apple pie to take to the in-laws, a fireball pumpkin pie and a Great Lakes Christmas Ale apple pie for my husband and I. In case you’re not cool enough to be from Cleveland area and haven’t heard of it, Great Lakes Christmas Ale is basically the best seasonal Christmas Ale in the craft beer world (though I might be a bit biased because, to me, it tastes like home). Remarkably, both the regular recipes and the booze-infused ones were pretty similar. Some measurements were slightly different to accommodate the extra liquid, but otherwise pretty consistent. The finished products looked alike too, so naturally we had to sample the ones containing alcohol so we didn’t accidentally take the wrong ones to the in-laws. 😉

You’ve already seen how pretty the fireball pumpkin pie turned out, and I’m very proud of that. Now here’s the apple:

Usually my food isn’t that photogenic, just absolutely delicious, so I guess I’m getting better at making it pretty and tasty. Yay for progress! Now back to that taste test.

The verdict: fireball pumpkin pie is awesome! It has a little more zing to it than regular pumpkin pie, and much of the alcohol didn’t cook out, so it gave me a buzz too. Be careful about eating this pie before driving! If you want to try it at home, here’s the recipe. Please note that it does call for heavy cream but I substituted the lactose-free evaporated milk and it turned out great.

The Christmas Ale apple pie turned out amazing too. Soaking the apples in the beer for a couple hours really added extra flavor to them. I would definitely recommend this recipe! If you’re interested in trying it, click here. I did make one small change to the recipe. It called for a top crust, but I prefer a dutch style crumble on top of my apple pie so I did a crumble on top like the one featured in this recipe. It only made the recipe better.

Four hours and four pies later, I was exhausted and my feet hurt, so I sat down and watched the Cavs/Lakers game (which was a great big disappointment) and fell asleep for a blissful 3 hours…until my dog Miles woke me up at 2:30 am. Now here I am, still awake at 4:23 am. Good thing I don’t have to work tomorrow!

So Happy Thanksgiving to all my readers and your families! I’m incredibly thankful for all of you. Please be safe on the roads and don’t drink and drive (or eat fireball pumpkin pie and drive.)

5 thoughts on “Thanksgiving Baking Adventures: Booze-Infused Pies”

  1. I am a newcomer to Ohio and I concur the Christmas Ale is top notch! I cannot wait to try these. Unfortunately my pumpkin pie always gets a weird brown spot right in the middle, I am jealous how pretty yours looks.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Aw thanks! I’m not sure what would cause that but it could be something to do with the oven. I also put my pies on baking sheets before I put them in the oven because it makes it easier to transport them in and out without spilling or making the filling uneven.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh! Do you usually put the pumpkin pie on a higher or lower shelf in the oven? If it’s on a higher shelf, that could cause the top to get overly brown. I’ve found I have the most luck baking pumpkin pie on a low shelf so the top is further from the direct heat of the bulb.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I never thought of that…I have a gas oven though which means it comes from the bottom and I have been putting my pies on the bottom rack!

    Liked by 1 person

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