I developed and styled this dessert and cocktail pairing for Table Magazine’s blog. This cocktail and dessert are the perfect combination for secluded winter days!
Though the skies may be grayer than our vitamin D requirements would prescribe, and though the sidewalks may present snowy, icy death traps, the real problem with winter is not winter. The real problem is having to leave home. Imagine if you could hibernate in a beautiful cabin retreat with rustic wooden details, vintage metal accents and a crackling fire in front of a comfy couch with a sheepskin covering. Winter would no longer be the poor scapegoat. It would be heaven.
I have yet to formulate the business plan or career path to enable a multiple-month escape to such a place. In the meantime, we must plan ways to foster our imaginations and delude ourselves. Dessert can be one of those delusions. Whether you’re making this for your own moment of solitude or looking to gather friends for the sake of warmth in numbers, this pairing counteracts the bleakest of winter associations.
An Appalachian Flip is a cocktail creation from Art in the Age. Makers of organic, historical liquors, this pioneer-chic company fits perfectly into my frozen fantasy. This cocktail combines Root with your choice of a pale ale and an egg for that frothy, flip texture. With the nutty, earthy flavors and thicker texture, think of this as winter’s milkshake. The salted caramel pie is a perfect counterpart. Richly sweet with a hint of salt, this pie demands to be savored one bite at a time. The decadence of the caramel makes this an ideal dessert for a larger gathering, since a small slice goes a long way. For an extra touch, imbibe a homemade whipped cream with a splash (or two or three) of bourbon or more Root (or both?) and add a dollop to each slice before serving.
2 parts ROOT
1/2 part rich demerara syrup
1 whole egg
Dry shake (without ice). Then shake again with ice and double strain. Pour into a fizz glass and top with pale ale.
SALTED CARAMEL PIE
1 1/4 cups assorted biscotti crumbs (or graham cracker crumbs )
8 Tablespoons (½ cup) unsalted organic butter, melted
1/4 cup organic light brown sugar
2 14-ounce cans or organic sweetened condensed milk
Fleur de sel or salt
Preheat the oven to 350°.
In a food processor, pulse the biscotti crumbs with the melted butter and light brown sugar until the crumbs are moistened.
Press the crumbs evenly into a 9-inch glass pie plate. Bake for about 10 minutes, just until lightly browned. Let cool.
Increase the oven temperature to 425°.
Scrape the condensed milk into a 9-by-13-inch glass baking dish and sprinkle with a scant 1/2 teaspoon of fleur de sel.
Cover the dish with foil and place it in a roasting pan.
Add enough hot water to the pan to reach one-third of the way up the side of the baking dish. Bake, lifting the foil to stir 2 or 3 times, until the condensed milk is golden and thickened, about 2 hours; add more water to the roasting pan as necessary. The consistency of the caramel should be like dulce de leche.
Scrape the caramel filling into the pie crust, smoothing the top. Cover with foil, and refrigerate until the filling is chilled and set, at least 4 hours.
BOOZEY WHIPPED CREAM
makes 1 1/2 – 2 cups whipped cream
1 cup organic heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2-3 Tablespoons bourbon or Root, to taste
Place a metal mixing bowl and metal whisk into the freezer for 10 to 15 minutes.
Remove the bowl from the freezer. Add the whipping cream and vanilla.
Use a mixer to beat until light peaks form. Add the spirit of your choice, and continue to beat until stiff peaks form, being careful not to over mix.
Chill until ready to serve.