Four blocks north of Brooks Brothers’ Madison Avenue offices, in the shadow of Rockefeller Center’s yet-unlit Norway spruce, stands Bouchon Bakery. This midtown bakeshop has long been a favorite of our editorial team, so we were thrilled to be given inside access to their busy kitchen. What we found—in addition to a heavenly smell—was a place where tradition reigns supreme (and café waiters are required to wear Brooks Brothers shirts.) So in the spirit of holiday generosity, Bouchon Bakery Director Alessandra Altieri and Bouchon Bakery & Café Pastry Chef Nick Bonamico give us a sneak peak into Bouchon’s special holiday menu and take us, step-by-step, through their top-secret pumpkin pie recipe.
Bouchon’s Thanksgiving Pumpkin Pie Recipe
(Yields one pie)
2 Tbs all-purpose flour
2 eggs (room temp)
2 egg yolks (room temp)
100g dark brown sugar (1 cup + 1 Tbs firmly packaged) 160g pumpkin puree (2/3rd cup) (room temp)
2 pinches ground cloves
1 pinch ground nutmeg
2 pinches ground allspice
1/4th tsp cinnamon
75g buttermilk (1/3rd cup) (room temp)
2.5 Tbs brown butter, warm
1 pre-baked tart shell
Whisk together the flour, eggs and yolks in a bowl until smooth. Slowly pour in the sugar and whisk together until fully combined with mixture. Do the same for the pumpkin, spices and buttermilk. Lastly, whisk in the butter until fully incorporated and smooth.
Pour mixture into an 8″ x 1″ tart shell and bake at 300F for approx. 35 minutes, or until the center slightly jiggles. Cool completely before decorating with fresh whipped cream.
Pâte Sucre Recipe
(Yields one pie)
½ cup (120 grams) butter
¼ cup + 3 Tbsp (50 grams) powdered sugar
½ cup(50 grams) almond flour
1 ½ cup (200 grams) all-purpose flour
1/4t (2 grams) vanilla extract
3T (28 grams) eggs
Combine butter and sifted powdered sugar in a Kitchen Aid fitted with a paddle attachment. When butter and sugar have no lumps slowly add egg until combined, scraping down sides of bowl. Add the vanilla, almond flour and all-purpose flour into the bowl and mix until dough comes together. Remove dough from bowl and pack into a round disc, then plastic wrap it. Refrigerate the dough for 1 hour (or until is lightly chilled through).
Remove dough from refrigerator and discard plastic wrap. Place dough onto a lightly floured surface. Sprinkle a little bit of flour on top of the dough to keep the rolling pin from sticking. Roll the dough out to approximately ¼“- thick. Be sure to keep rotating the dough (one quarter of a turn each time) as you roll to prevent it from sticking to the table.* Lightly sprinkle more flour on the table if needed.
Once the dough is at the desired thickness, line the tart mold and punch the entire bottom of the tart with a fork.
Place lined tart mold into the refrigerator, allow to chill and rest for 30 minutes. Pre-heat oven to 325F.
Remove tart from refrigerator and place into oven for approx. 15 minutes, or until a light golden brown. Allow shell to cool completely before filling.
*NOTE: rotating the dough not only helps to keep the dough from sticking, but it also helps to stretch the gluten in the dough evenly in all directions. This way when you bake your crust, it shrinks evenly in all directions opposed to just in one direction.
Thanksgiving traditions have evolved over time—whole turkeys can be fried in a driveway, cranberry sauce eaten from a can and mashed potatoes made from a box (shiver). But the memory of family and friends gathered around a table to enjoy a home-cooked meal sticks with us for generations. (And the memory of pie, well that lasts forever too.)
On behalf of all of us at Brooks Brothers, and our new friends at Bouchon Bakery, we wish our readers a very Happy Thanksgiving.