GINGERBREAD

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There are gingerbread houses, gingerbread cookies, and gingerbread cakes. We think it’s high time for a gingerbread pie. Our basic pie crust is augmented with gingerbread elements, while the filling features the dark, bittersweet taste of molasses, along with warm spices including the zing of two types of ginger. This wintertime classic combination of flavors is elevated by the addition of crisp, toasty cashews. Cashews’ curvy shape reminds us of the cute squiggles used to decorate gingerbread men (and ladies) adorning the top of the pie.

MAKES ONE 9½-INCH DEEP-DISH PIE

WHAT YOU NEED

Pie dough for a Gingerbread Crust (this page)  

9½-inch deep-dish pie plate 

2-inch gingerbread man cookie cutter 

Pie crust shield or foil (see this page) 

Piping bag (see this page) fitted with a #3 piping tip, if decorating with royal icing 

INGREDIENT

FILLING

Dulce de leche1¼ cups (from 1 

13.4-ounce can)13.4 ounces380 grams


Muscovado sugar1⅓ cups9.3 ounces265 grams


Unsalted butter, at room temperature3 tablespoons1.5 ounces43 grams


Unsulphured molasses⅓ cup3.75 ounces106 grams


Eggs4 large

All-purpose flour4 teaspoons0.4 ounce12 grams


Kosher salt¾ teaspoon

Ground ginger1½ teaspoons

Ground cinnamon1¼ teaspoons

Ground cloves¼ teaspoon


Crystallized ginger, chopped¼ cup1.4 ounces40 grams


Cashews, roughly chopped and toasted3 cups13 ounces369 grams


DECORATION

White Royal Icing (this page), piping consistency (optional)1 recipe

PREPARE THE CRUST: Roll out the large disc of dough to a ⅛-inch thickness (this page) and place in a deep-dish pie plate—ideally, one with deep ruffled edges. Trim the dough along the ruffled edges or crimp as desired (see this page). Place the prepared crust in the freezer until it is quite firm, about 20 minutes. Preheat the oven to 350°F. 

PARTIALLY BLIND-BAKE THE CRUST: Follow the instructions on this page. The pie will bake longer after the filling is added, so it should not be completely browned at this point. Remove the pie dish from the oven, set it on a wire cooling rack, and remove the foil or parchment and pie weights. Keep the oven at 350°F. 

Roll the small disc of dough to a 1⁄16-inch thickness and transfer it to a piece of parchment. Using the gingerbread man cutter, cut out about 10 gingerbread men. Slide the parchment with the gingerbread cutouts onto a sheet pan and place the little guys in the freezer. 

MAKE THE FILLING: To the bowl of a food processor, add the dulce de leche, muscovado sugar, butter, molasses, eggs, flour, salt, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and crystallized ginger. Process until uniformly mixed. If the bowl of your food processor is large enough, add the cashews and pulse once or twice until just incorporated into the filling. (If you have a small food processor, you’ll have to stir the mixture and cashews together in a larger bowl.) 

Place a pie crust shield on the crust to protect the edges from drips and splashes and pour the mixture into the warm pie shell. Place the frozen gingerbread men from the freezer on the surface of the pie. You can arrange as many men as desired in whatever pattern you like, depending on the size of your cutter. Seven of them will fit nicely around the edge, arms outstretched but not quite holding hands. 

BAKE THE PIE: Carefully transfer the filled pie to the middle rack of the oven and bake until the top has browned slightly and the filling has puffed and set, about 1 hour. The gingerbread men will also appear a bit more suntanned than when they went in. If the center is still jiggly, continue baking, checking every 5 minutes until it has set and is firm. Allow the pie to cool completely to room temperature. 

ADD THE DECORATION: If desired, decorate the surface of the pie and the gingerbread men with the Royal Icing, using the prepared piping bag or a squeeze bottle if you prefer. This pie is best served at room temperature. (Leftovers can be stored, covered, at room temperature for up to 3 days.) 

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