The dessert case is a stressful place for me, because I can never narrow my sweet craving to just one treat. Will it be of the gooey fudgy variety, demand an extra flakey crust, or be big and boozy? On St Patrick’s Day (or any holiday really), I don’t believe in choosing just one dessert genre, so let’s bake Irish Whiskey Brownie Pie and have all three!
A decadent collision of boozy Irish whiskey, buttery flakey pie crust, bold espresso, and a super-fudge brownie, Irish Whiskey Brownie Pie is molten chocolate meets after dinner drink, in pie form. When I stumbled across this recipe for Chocolate Midnight Pie from King Arthur Flour, I knew I had to try my own version, with an Irish twist.
As I shared in Monday’s post for Corned Beef and Cabbage Grilled Cheese, on St. Patrick’s Day I forsake the mini-EU of countries that comprise my heritage in favor of celebrating my inner Irish girl. Irish Whiskey Brownie Pie is my ideal Irish dessert. It’s rich enough for a special occasion, while remaining decidedly homey and unfussy. It’s also spiked with Irish whiskey, a change to which I suspect my fellow Irishmen and women will not object.
PS. On St. Patrick’s Day, I consider you alllll my fellow Irishmen and women, so gather ’round for a big ol’ slice of fudgy brownie bliss!
No matter your brownie style, Irish Whiskey Brownie Pie will please. Middle brownie lovers will go giddy over the way the fudgy pie filling melts with each bite. Edge brownie lovers will rejoice in the contrast between the nearly molten filling and the fabulous, flakey crust. Everyone will flip for the light, crackly brownie top. It reminds me of that mysteriously crackly and enigmatically delectable flakey chocolate layer that forms over a pan of boxed brownies. With each bite, the light top of Irish Whiskey Brownie Pie shatters to reveal gooey brownie filling below. It’s an opposites-attract romance for the ages.
Holding all of our flavors together is a boozy coffee crust. We’re adding espresso powder for deeper flavor and spiking it with smooth Irish whiskey. The whiskey works it two ways. It makes the crust even more flakey (same idea behind a vodka pie crust—the alcohol slows down the gluten formation, leaving you with a tender, extra flakey crust) and…now we have more whiskey to the pie. Win!
No matter how decadent dessert I am baking, I make a point to incorporate whole wheat flour for a boost of fiber. I love the deep, nutty flavor of regular whole wheat flour in my breads, but I find it can be too harsh for some desserts. My secret: white whole wheat flour. It has the same fiber and nutrition as regular 100% whole wheat flour, but is milled from a lighter white wheat berry, giving it a mild flavor and light color that’s ideal for use in cakes, cookies, muffins, and yes pie.
Substitute up to half of the all purpose flour in any baking recipe with white whole wheat flour, and (with the exception of something extremely delicate such as an angel food cake), you will hardly notice a difference. You can substitute all of the all purpose flour with white whole wheat, though your dough will require a bit of extra moisture and the final product will be a touch more dense. I often bake my cookies and brownies with 100% white whole wheat flour, and use half white whole wheat/half all purpose for my cakes.
For our Irish Whiskey Brownie Pie crust, I used half all purpose flour and half white whole wheat flour, and it was just as tender and flakey as the pie crusts I’ve made with 100% all purpose flour. Plus, I enjoyed the secret knowledge that I was slipping my guests a few extra grams of fiber with their dark chocolate. All in the name of being a good friend, of course!
As long as this crackle-topped, whiskey fudged, and espresso crusted Irish Whiskey Brownie Pie is behind the bakery case, my dessert decision is a piece of cake, er, pie.
Irish Whiskey Brownie Pie
For the Crust:
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, very cold
- ¾ cup all purpose flour
- ½ cup white whole wheat flour
- ¼ cup powdered sugar
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon espresso powder
- 1 – 3 tablespoons half and half cold, or substitute heavy whipping cream
- 2 tablespoons Irish whiskey (any kind you like—I used 2 Gingers)
For the Brownie Filling:
- ¼ cup unsalted butter (4 tablespoons) at room temperature
- 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 4 large eggs
- ¼ cup Dutch process cocoa
- 2 tablespoons Irish whiskey
- 1 tablespoon half and half or substitute heavy whipping cream
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon espresso powder
- 2 tablespoons cornmeal (yellow or white)
- 2/3 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
- Whipped cream for serving (optional)
- Prepare the crust: Dice the butter, then place it in the freezer while you prepare the other ingredients. In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade (or a medium mixing bowl), place the all purpose flour, whole wheat flour, sugar, and salt, then pulse a few times to combine. (If not using a food processor, stir the ingredients together in a medium bowl). Add the butter pieces, then pulse just until the dough resembles a cobblestone street. Some pieces will be the size of peas, others oatflakes. (Without a food process, work the butter into the dry ingredients with a fork or pastry blender.)
- Dissolve the espresso powder in 1 tablespoon of the half and half. Sprinkle over the crust mixture. Sprinkle on whiskey. Add up to 3 tablespoons (or more, if necessary) of the half and half to the dry ingredients, pulsing a little after each. Add only as much half and half as you need to for the dough to just hold together when you take a handful. On a lightly floured work surface, pat the dough into an even, flat, 1-inch disk, wrap in plastic, then refrigerate 1 hour or overnight.
- Prepare the pie: Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and allow it to warm at room temperature until it becomes flexible enough to roll, 15 to 30 minutes. On a lightly floured work surface, roll the dough into a 12-inch circle. Transfer the dough to a regular (not deep-dish) 9″ pie pan that’s at least 1 ¼ inches deep. Trim and crimp the edges, then place the crust in the freezer to chill, while you prepare the filling.
- In the bowl of a standing mixer or a medium mixing bowl, beat together the butter, sugar, and salt until smooth. Add the eggs one at a time, beating slowly but thoroughly after each addition. You want to ensure the eggs are well combined, without beating in a lot of air. Stir in the cocoa, whiskey, half and half, and vanilla.
- In a food processor (mini is easier), grind together the espresso powder, cornmeal, and chocolate. Gently stir it into the batter, then pour the batter into the prepared crust.
- Bake the pie for 45 minutes, adding a crust shield after 20 minutes (if you do not have a reusable crust shield, carefully fit the edges with pieces of tin foil). The middle will look very soft. The pie is done baking when the internal temperature has reached 165 degrees F. Remove the pie from the oven, cool to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate overnight before serving.
- Serve each slice topped with whipped cream, if desired.
Join today and start saving your favorite recipes
Create an account to easily save your favorite projects and tutorials.Register