It’s Thanksgiving for our friends across the pond! Scotch whisky has a lot to be thankful for when it comes to north America – not just because as a country, the USA are among the biggest fans of all things Scotch – but because the bourbon industry in the States helps to support the whisky industry through its provision of used barrels for spirit maturation. Whiskey regulation in North America means that bourbon spirit can only be matured in fresh oak barrels; a large proportion of ex-bourbon barrels are then sold to the Scotch whisky industry for maturing new-make spirit fresh off the stills.
Bourbon barrels are responsible for those big, bold, often aromatic flavours you find in many Scotch whiskies: vanilla, coconut and other sweet treats will dominate, maybe with a slight spicy note.
Last year we published a blog post on Scotch whiskies with some classic bourbon flavours to celebrate Thanksgiving – have a read and see what you think!
This year, we’ve gone a wee bit different: below you’ll find a recipe for a classic pumpkin pie that takes a dash of inspiration from Scotland with the inclusion of a wee nip of whisky in the filling. We finish with a selection of Scotch whisky matches to bring out those autumnal flavours. Enjoy!
Whisky Pumpkin Pie
1 tin of pumpkin puree (400g)
150g caster sugar
1 can of evaporated milk
½ tsp ground ginger
2 cloves, ground finely
½ tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 dram (25ml) of Scotch whisky – we chose Scapa Skiren for its complimentary notes of honeycomb and fruity aromas
125g plain flour
100g cold, cubed butter
pinch of salt
pinch of sugar
Equipment: 23cm flan tin
- First make the pastry – combine the flour, salt and sugar in a mixing bowl and rub in the butter using your fingertips until the mixture resembles oatmeal flakes. Add fridge-cold water in drops and gradually bring the mixture together in a soft dough. Wrap the dough and chill it for 30 minutes, then roll it out and line your greased, floured flan tin. Put it back in the fridge while you make the filling.
- Heat the oven to 190°c
- Beat the eggs, sugar, whisky, vanilla and spices in a mixing bowl.
- Fold in the pumpkin puree, followed by the evaporated milk.
- Pour the filling into the pastry shell and bake for 40-50 minutes until the filling has set. Cover the top with foil if the filling starts to colour or catch.
- Enjoy the pie warm or cold with cream!
Whisky matches for pumpkin pie
We asked our team for some Scotch whisky matches that would pair perfectly with this classic pumpkin pie, see what you think!
This much-loved coastal Highland whisky isn’t too spicy, so would allow the flavours of ginger and cinnamon to come through from the pie. You’ll also find lots of soft sweetness and fragrant notes with a slight oiliness to the finish which works perfectly with the palate and creaminess of the pie itself.
Always a team favourite – A’Bunadh is a beautiful whisky that goes with lots of winter dishes. At cask strength, it has a certain kick to it, but the sherry maturation gives flavours of orange, sparky ginger and dried fruit, all of which work beautifully with the winter spiciness of the pumpkin pie.
Well, we had to throw this one in, didn’t we? A smooth cask-strength blend, our anniversary whisky has all those soft sweet like vanilla and coconut ice, with some rich spiciness to compliment the pumpkin pie flavours, and sophisticated smokiness to the finish. It also happens to be the perfect celebratory whisky, and we’re incredibly thankful to have been here on Castlehill for 30 years!
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!
Read more about how Scotch whisky is different to America whiskey on the Scotch Whisky Experience website.