Mardi Gras king cake pie

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By: Aimee Broussard

This year Mardi Gras is falling ridiculously early. Maybe I've just been so busy with other things but every time I see friends all decked out in their Mardi Gras ball gowns, I think "crap, it's almost over and I haven't even decorated my porch". Sigh. While I have given up on my porch, I have NOT given up on trying out a Mardi Gras King Cake Pie.

While fitting for the 52 Pies Project, this pie is not entirely of my own creation. I saw a post in the food section of Nola.com for a King Cake Pie sometime last year and thought it was interesting, but never made time to actually recreate it.

I changed up a few things, including using an imitation rum extract rather than actual dark rum so you'll notice that the coloring of my pie differs greatly. My pie is also non-alcoholic and I think the rum flavoring is a bit more subtle. Same goes for my pie crust, I used a pie shield to keep from getting such a dark crust. I also increased the spices, too.

INGREDIENTS
1 (9-inch) pre-baked pie crust, cooled
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
¾ cup granulated sugar
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Zest of one lemon
3 eggs
1 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon imitation rum
½ teaspoon fresh lemon juice
Sanding sugar for topping, purple green and yellow

INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Bake the pie crust until lightly browned, about 15 mins. Allow to cool completely.
  3. In the bowl of a mixer, beat cream cheese with sugar, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon, vanilla, and lemon zest. Add eggs one at a time, then add in the heavy cream, rum, and lemon juice. Stir until well combined.
  4. Pour filling into cooled, pre-baked pie shell. Using a pie shield to keep the edges from over-browning, bake on middle rack in oven for 40-55 minutes. The pie is done when the edges are set but the center still a bit jiggly. It will continue to firm and set as it cools.
  5. Allow the pie to cool completely on a wire rack, 2 to 3 hours, before adding the sanding sugar in whatever pattern you like.
  6. Note: The pie must be refrigerated for storage, but under refrigeration the sugar may bleed and cause the colors to run. Decorate the pie just before serving or transporting.
Read on about how to decorate your king cake pie here!

'The Chew': King Cake Pops

See more from Aimee Broussard:
French bread hot crab dip
Bananas foster pralines
Creamy shrimp & sweet corn soup
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