Imagination Pie from Hook

Imagination Pie
Imagination Pie

I’m going to kick off this food blog with a dessert that’s a slice out of my childhood. Do you remember the movie Hook with Robin Williams as a grown up Peter Pan? Aside from the amazing cast (Dustin Hoffman, Julia Roberts, and Bob Hoskins just to name a few), Hook was a stellar movie and a creative re-imagining of a classic tale.  What child watched that movie and didn’t want to be one of the lost boys? I know I did!

Hook-1991-movie-poster

The turning point in the film, where Peter remembers how to be the Pan-man, comes at a big sit down dinner with all of the lost boys. The plates and bowls lining the table appear empty, but that doesn’t stop the lost boys from digging in. The secret, Peter discovers, is to imagine the food and the plates and bowls will suddenly be full of the most amazing and brightly colored food. The scene leads to a huge neon food fight as everyone celebrates Peter’s rediscovery of his imagination. You see, without imagination, the food doesn’t exist.

Lost Boys & My Imagination Pie Comparison HorizontalHook Food Fight

In honor of the film, and at the request of my friend Will’s visit, I decided to replicate the psychedelic pie from the lost boys feast. The main requirement was that it was bright and beyond belief. I started with a flaky pie crust, filled it with a violet-hued crème, and topped it with some super bright honey whipped cream. I call it “Imagination Pie.” Best enjoyed with childhood friends, hopefully this pie will help you unleash your imagination, just like with Peter.

Imagination Pie

 

Imagination Pie

 

Imagination Pie
Imagination Pie

Imagination Pie

Yield: Makes one 9-inch pie.

Ingredients

    For the pie crust:
  • 2 1/2 cups (350 g) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon table salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 12 tablespoons (171 g) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch slices
  • 1/2 cup (100 g) cold vegetable shortening (i.e. Crisco), cut into small bits
  • 1/4 cup cold vodka
  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • For the crème filling:
  • 6 egg yolks, room temperature
  • 6 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 cups whipping cream
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 4 tablespoons (57 g) unsalted butter, cut into pieces, room temperature
  • purple food coloring
  • For the whipped cream topping:
  • 3 cups heavy cream, cold
  • 8 tablespoons honey
  • red food coloring
  • blue food coloring
  • green food coloring

Directions

    For the pie crust:
  1. Process the salt, sugar, and only 1 1/2 cups of flour in a food processor until combined, about 2 one-second pulses.
  2. Add butter and shortening and process until a homogeneous dough just starts to collect in uneven clumps, about 15 seconds. The dough will resemble cottage cheese curds and there should be no uncoated flour.
  3. Scrape the bowl with a rubber spatula and redistribute the dough evenly around the processor blade.
  4. Add the remaining 1 cup of flour and pulse until the mixture is evenly distributed around the bowl and mass of dough has been broken up, 4 to 6 quick pulses.
  5. Empty the mixture into a medium bowl. Sprinkle the cold vodka and water over the mixture. With a rubber spatula, use a folding motion to mix, pressing down on dough until dough is slightly tacky and sticks together.
  6. Divide the dough into two even balls and flatten each into 4-inch disk. Wrap each in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 45 minutes or up to 2 days.
  7. Once the dough is thoroughly chilled, roll out the dough on a well-floured surface until it is between 1/4" and 1/8" thick. And forms a cirlce with a diameter a few inches larger than that of your pie plate. I find it helps to roll out the dough between two sheets of floured parchment paper. Work quickly and in the coolest part of your kitchen, in order to keep the dough cool while you're working with it. Chill the rolled-out dough for about 10 minutes.
  8. Transfer your pie dough to the pie plate and gently press the dough down into the edges of the plate with your knuckle. Trim the excess dough to leave about an inch of overhang all around. Take the overhanging dough and fold it over itself to create a double thick layer of crust on the lip of the pie plate. Feel free to decorate this trim with the tines of a fork, or leave it as is. You can use any excess dough to patch up any holes in your pie crust.
  9. Refrigerate the pie shell for at least 30 minutes (or 15 minutes in the freezer). (The pie shell can be tightly wrapped in plastic wrap and refrigerated for up to 1 day or frozen for up to 2 weeks. Bake directly from the refrigerator or freezer.) *(see note below)
  10. Position a rack in the lower third of the oven, and heat the oven to 350°F (175°C).
  11. Line the pie shell with parchment paper, fill with pie weights (or beans or rice), and blind bake for 35-45 minutes, or until the entire shell is light brown all the way through. After 20 minutes of blind baking, remove the pie weights and parchment paper to allow the pie bottom to brown. If the top edge of the dough is getting too dark, cover with a ring of aluminum foil and continue baking until the entire shell is flaky light brown all the way through.
  12. Place the pie shell on a cooling rack until it reaches room temperature.
  13. For the crème filling:
  14. Place a heatproof bowl over a pot of gently simmering water, making sure that the water doesn't touch the bottom of the bowl.
  15. Add the egg yolks and sugar to the bowl and whisk together.
  16. Add the cream, sour cream and vanilla and continue cooking, whisking occasionally, until very thick, 30 to 35 minutes. Do not boil or the crème will curdle.
  17. Remove the bowl from over the water and whisk in the butter and then the purple food coloring.
  18. Cool for 20 minutes then pour into the cooled crust.
  19. Chill in the refrigerator for 20 minutes to make the crème firmer as a base for the whipped cream.
  20. For the whipped cream topping:
  21. Measure out the heavy cream into the bowl of your mixer. Place the bowl of cream and the whisk for your mixer in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.
  22. Whip the cream until soft peaks form.
  23. Add the honey and whisk another 30 seconds.
  24. Remove 1/3 cup of the sweetened whipped cream to a separate bowl. Remove another 1 cup of the sweetened whipped cream to a second bowl.
  25. Add red food coloring to the remaining whipped cream until you get a vibrant red color, scraping down the sides of the bowl as you go. Be careful not to overwhip the cream.
  26. Place a thick layer of the red whipped cream on top of the crème filling, making sure to hide the purple color hidden underneath. Smooth the top of the whipped cream slightly with a rubber spatula, though we're not going for perfection here as we want the pie to look like it was made by the lost boys.
  27. Wipe out the mixing bowl, then add the reserved 1 cup of whipped cream.
  28. Add blue food coloring and continue as with the red portion.
  29. Make six mounds of blue whipped cream around the edge of the pie. I used a pastry bag, but you can also make messier mounds by spooning heaps on top of the red whipped cream layer.
  30. Wipe out the mixing bowl, then add the reserved 1/3 cup of whipped cream.
  31. Add green food coloring and continue as before with the red and blue portions.
  32. Make one large mound in the center of the pie with the green whipped cream.
  33. Chill the pie for at least 20 minutes before serving.

Notes

Don't be surprised if your purple crème layer comes out less gelatinous than in my photos above. The photos in this post are from the first time I made this pie. At first I used an egg custard filling, which lived up to its name, but was too eggy for this recipe, so I subsequently switched to my reliable crème recipe to make the filling smoother and with less chew.

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* I like to roll out the dough and place it into the pie plate, cover it with plastic wrap, and then store it in the refrigerator for up to an hour until ready to bake. This lets me keep my kitchen cool for optimum dough handling by only preheating the oven once the dough is ready and in the refrigerator.

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The pie crust recipe comes from Cook's Illustrated, who developed this amazing pie crust with vodka. The vodka gives you more moisture to form the pie dough, but cooks off completely to reduce the moisture in the crust, leaving it nice and flaky. Make sure the vodka is 80 proof or higher or its water content will be too high. See the original recipe here.

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TheDessertStomach.com

http://thedessertstomach.com/2013/03/11/imagination-pie/

 

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