For the past few years, 5 or 6 if I recall correctly, my cousin D-Train (of this site) and my brother have been competing in an annual Thanksgiving “Pie-Off”. They both bring a pumpkin pie that everyone tries, selecting the better of the two after dinner. With BeerFM’s ‘Cooking with Beer’ expansion I decided to join in the Pie-Off fun, making a pumpkin pie using pumpkin beer. I contacted Russ Klisch, president of local brewery Lakefront, and he gave me a six-pack of their Pumpkin Lager, one of my favorite seasonal pumpkin beers, to create a recipe with. And for that I thank him!
Unfortunately the beer industries’ trend of releasing seasonal beers earlier and earlier each year makes it sometimes difficult to find pumpkin beers around Thanksgiving. If, to your dismay, you can’t find Lakefront’s Pumpkin Lager, another pumpkin beer will be sufficient.
What I’ve come up with doesn’t use much of the beer in the pie itself as to keep it a little thicker. Instead, I’ve come up with a recipe to reduce Lakefront’s Pumpkin Lager to make a delightful sauce to drizzle over the pie.
Let’s start with the pie; this recipe makes two 9″ pies:
-2 pie crusts (I used Honey Maid graham cracker pie crusts for mine)
-2 cups of canned, mashed pumpkin
-1/2 cup of Lakefront Pumpkin Lager
-1/2 cup half and half
-1 cup of Pumpkin Spiced Eggnog
-8 oz cream cheese
-1 cup sugar
-1/4 teaspoon salt
-1/2 stick of melted butter
-1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
-1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
-1/4 teaspoon of ginger
-1/4 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Crack the two eggs into a bowl and use a basting brush to coat the inside of the pie crusts with the egg-whites. Bake crusts in 350° oven for 5 minutes then remove.
Lightly beat the remainder of the eggs and set aside.
In a large bowl beat the cream cheese with a hand mixer adding in the pumpkin until thoroughly blended.
Begin adding the sugar, salt, eggs, Lakefront Pumpkin Lager beer, half and half, pumpkin spiced egg nog, and melted butter. Blend thoroughly.
Finally add the vanilla extract, cinnamon, ginger, and pumpkin pie spice.
When all ingredients are added to the bowl and thoroughly blended together, pour the pie filling into the crusts and place back in oven. Bake for 50 minutes. When finished, remove the pies and let cool. Drizzle with the sauce below and serve with whipped cream or a small scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Lakefront Pumpkin Chocolate Caramel Pumpkin Pie Sauce:
-1 12 oz bottle of Lakefront Pumpkin Lager beer
-3 heaping tablespoons of T. Marzetti Old Fashioned Caramel Apple Dip
-2 tablespoons mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
-1 teaspoon brown sugar
-1/8 teaspoon molasses
-1/8 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
-1/2 teaspoon maple syrup
Pour beer into a large sauce pan and bring to a boil slowly. Beer has a tendency to boil over quickly which is why a large sauce pan is called for. Watch it like a hawk. Get a nice rolling boil going and keep it going for 6 to 7 minutes while stirring. The reduction should have noticeably deepened the color of the beer and reduced it to about a cup of liquid, give or take. Reduce the stove-top heat to a simmer and stir in the caramel dip, brown sugar, semi-sweet chocolate chips, molasses, maple syrup, and pie spice. Melt these until they are completely blended. Let cool briefly to thicken up a bit and drizzle the sauce over the pie or even on vanilla ice cream.
Enjoy and Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at BeerFM!