All Butter Pie Pastry- (this makes enough for a double crust pie; you only need one circle of dough for a bottom crust; wrap and freeze the other half for another time)
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 tablespoons sugar
1½ teaspoons salt
1 cup (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into ½” pieces
½ cup whole milk
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, cornstarch, sugar and salt. Cut in the cold butter using a bench scraper. Add the apple cider vinegar to the milk. Gradually add half of the vinegar/milk mixture to the dry ingredients and butter, tossing gently to combine. Add the remaining half of vinegar/milk mixture to the dry ingredients and butter. The dough should just hold together; if it feels dry, add an additional tablespoon or two of cold milk. Divide the dough in half, flatten into a disc and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least an hour before rolling out.
On a lightly floured sheet of parchment paper, roll one disc of dough into a circle about 12” in diameter. Gently ease the dough into a 9” pie plate, roll the edges under and crimp decoratively. Place in the freezer for 15 minutes to firm up.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line the pie shell with parchment paper and fill with dry beans or pie weights. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 25 minutes.
Remove the baking sheet from the oven and carefully remove the parchment paper and pie weights. Return the pie crust to the oven and bake an additional 8 minutes until golden. Set aside to cool while you prepare the filling.
Bourbon Brown Butter filling- (adapted from the 1939 Carnation Cook Book and Holly Ricciardi)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1½ cups dark brown sugar
3 eggs, separated
2 tablespoons flour
½ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons bourbon
1½ teaspoons vanilla
1- 12 oz. can evaporated milk
zest of one small orange
(optional garnish: caramelized sugar made by heating 1/2 cup superfine sugar over low heat
until melted and golden; swirl the pan, do not stir the sugar. Remove from the heat, cool for a minute then use a fork to drizzle the sugar over a foil lined baking sheet. When cool, break into pieces.)
In a small heavy bottomed saucepan, brown the butter over low heat until it melts then begins to form lightly browned specks at the bottom of the pan. The butter should be slightly toasty in color and just start to smell nutty. It can turn from brown to burnt quickly so remove it from the heat and place over a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. Let the brown butter cool and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the cooled brown butter and brown sugar, beating on low until creamy. Scrape down the bowl and add the egg yolks, beating until light. With the mixer on low, add the flour and salt until combined. Add the bourbon and vanilla then the evaporated milk, mixing until well combined. In a clean bowl, whip the egg whites with a pinch of salt until soft peaks. Fold the beaten egg whites into the brown sugar/yolk mixture being careful not to over mix.
Place the cooled pie shell on a parchment lined baking sheet. Carefully pour the filling into the pie shell (use a steady hand- the filling is quite runny) and place the pie on the middle rack of the preheated oven. Bake the pie for 50-60 minutes, until golden brown and puffed around the edges. The center of the pie should be just the slightest bit jiggly. (Every oven is different; if the edges of the pie start to get dark but the center of the pie is very jiggly, cover the pie with a sheet of parchment paper and bake it an additional 8-10 minutes.) Remove the pie to a rack to cool completely then refrigerate at least overnight, preferably longer so the filling sets up nicely and is easier to cut. Cover and refrigerate any leftovers.