I got the idea for an eggnog pie from Layne, who writes one of my all-time favorite blogs and told me she was thinking of "hacking" a recipe for an eggnog custard pie. Suddenly, I couldn't get the idea of eggnog pie out of my head and had to have one for Thanksgiving. Since I'm no good at hacking recipes, I looked through a bunch of cookbooks and found this fine recipe in San Francisco A La Carte, the outstanding 1979 cookbook by the San Francisco Junior League. It isn't a custard pie, it's a boozy, superrich cream pie and if you eat more than a small slice you will feel fat and tired and sick. But it's worth it.
1. Bake and cool a 9-inch pie shell. The original recipe calls for a pastry crust, but I think a cookie crumb crust would be a lot better.
2. Soften 1 tsp. gelatin in 1 TBS cold water. Set aside.
3. Scald 1 cup milk in the top of a double boiler over simmering water.
4. Dissolve 2 TBS cornstarch in 1/4 cup cold water and stir into scalded milk. Then add 1/2 cup sugar, 1/4 tsp. salt, and 3 beaten egg yolks. Cook, stirring constantly, until sugar has dissolved and it's sort of thick, about 15 minutes.
5. Add softened gelatin and stir until dissolved. Add 1 TBS butter, 1 tsp. vanilla, and 1 TBS bourbon. Stir until butter melts. Cool.
6. Beat 1 cup cream until stiff, fold into filling, and pour into pie shell. Refrigerate a while to firm up. Before serving, top with freshly grated nutmeg.