Carrigaline Whiskey and Ginger Pie
From Cork's "Whiskey Country", a sweet dessert souffle in a gingery crust

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Carrigaline Whiskey and Ginger Pie

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Adjust Servings:
For the souffle filling
0.75 lb / 3 cups Potatoes - riced or mashed COLD
0.75 lb / 1.75 cups Granulated sugar
6 Large eggs - separated
1 teaspoon Vanilla extract
4 fluid ounces / 0.25 cup Irish whiskey
0.25 cup All-purpose flour
0.25 cup Butter
1 cup Milk
1 teaspoon Powdered ginger
0.5 teaspoon Cream of tartar
For the dessert's crust
1 Pastry dough recipe Enough for 1 springform pan or 2 single crust pie dishes
1 teaspoon Powdered ginger
As a topping
Enough to dust the top Confectioners' / icing sugar

    Riced potatoes give this old dessert recipe a fluffy texture to set off the traditional combination of whiskey and ginger

    • Serves 8
    • Medium


    • For the souffle filling

    • For the dessert's crust

    • As a topping



    Though Ireland has a fair number of purists who’d never dream of putting anything but water in whiskey, there are different views on the subject, and alternative additives. One very traditional one is ginger ale. Even the Jamesons Distillers’ website nods in this direction.

    So it should probably be no surprise that the flavor combination turns up in this old recipe from County Cork. It looks like the invention of a cook from that part of the world who had some leftover cooked potatoes on a day when the farmyard chicken flock was laying well. Half a dozen extra eggs on the counter, maybe a forgotten half-glass of whiskey from yesterday evening’s hospitality… and in a moment of inspiration, a dessert was  born.

    It starts out in the normal way for a a dessert soufflé — beaten eggs, whipped egg whites, sugar to sweeten it all. But then it goes its own way, adding mashed potatoes, ginger, and whiskey lees. Additional ginger in the crust completes the picture.

    After baking the soufflé falls, but in this case it’s meant to. The final result is a fluffy upper layer and a rich, dense lower layer, fragrant with whiskey.


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    Several hours before baking

    Peel, chunk and boil (in unsalted water) enough potatoes to produce three cups of riced potatoes. (Usually this is about four medium-sized potatoes.) Rice the potatoes and set aside to cool completely.


    Making the flour / butter / whiskey mixture

    To the milk add the powdered ginger and mix together. Set aside.

    In a heavy saucepan, melt the butter. When it's bubbling, add the flour and whisk together until completely combined and beginning to thicken. Remove from the heat and whisk in the milk and ginger mixture. Return to the heat and continue whisking until the mixture thickens more. Then remove from the heat again and whisk for several minutes more.

    Scrape the mixture into a separate bowl to cool. Whisk several times over the next hour or so as the mixture cools completely. When cool, add the whiskey and stir gently to combine.


    Prepare the pie crust and baking containers

    Use the rolled-out pie crust to line a 21-cm springform pan or a deep pie dish. (You can also use two pie dishes if you don't have a single deep one.)

    Move an oven rack to a relatively low position in the oven -- because this souffle/pie will rise quite high before it falls -- and preheat the oven to 375° F. (Adjust the temperature down to 365F if you have a fan oven.)


    Beginning the souffle batter

    Separate the yolks and whites of the eggs.

    Beat the egg yolks until lemon-colored. Then beat in the sugar, adding it a little at a time until the mixture becomes fluffy. When the sugar is completely beaten in, gently stir in the riced potatoes, vanilla and pour into a large bowl and set aside.


    Beating the egg whites

    Add the cream of tartar to the separated egg whites and beat until the egg whites form stiff peaks when the beater is pulled out.


    Finishing the batter preparation

    Whisk the flour / butter / whiskey mixture one last time and stir it gently into the beaten eggs / sugar / potato mixture.

    Use a spatula to add a cup of beaten egg whites to the batter. Whisk this in. Add a second cup of egg whites and whisk this in as well. Then add the rest of the egg whites to the batter and fold together until completely combined.


    Check the oven and bake the pie(s)

    Make sure the oven has reached 375F. Pour the souffle batter into the springform or pie dishes and place these carefully in the oven (as you want to avoid jarring the incorporated air out of the batter).

    The pies will rise quite high in the first 15-20 minutes of baking. This is normal. Bake for 50 minutes.

    Remove to a rack to cool. The pies will quickly collapse. This is expected.


    Serving the pie(s)

    Just before serving, dust the top of the pie with a little confectioner's sugar if you like.

    The pie can be eaten warm if you prefer, but it will be extremely fragile and will be likely to fall apart.

    For a more stable pie, allow to cool for several hours (overnight is best if you can allow it that long). Again, dust with powdered sugar before serving.


    I write for a living. But food is one of my favorite hobbies... learning about it, cooking it, eating it!

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