Monday, April 7, 2008
Maple Walnut Pie
Okay, I know that a maple walnut pie is a Fall pie and that we are now getting into Spring, but I needed a pie recipe that was quick and easy and called for ingredients I had on hand. I suppose if I was one of those really creative bakers, or if I just had more confidence in my pie making abilities I could have put together a fruit pie with various leftover fruit I have -- one pear, one apple, one cup of fresh blueberries, one stalk of rhubarb and of course frozen blueberries, blackberries and cranberries -- but pie intimidates me and my Sticky, Chewy, Messy Gooey book had this super simple and easy pie that looked really good, so I took the easy way out.
I used the second round of pie crust from yesterday's pie misadventures and while it wasn't totally messed up by all the abuse from yesterday, it wasn't exactly a dream to roll out -- I kept having to pinch pieces together that wanted to go their own way and of course I was worried about the texture after baking. Once I rolled out the dough and put it in the pie plate I put the whole thing in the fridge while I prepped the filling.
The filling is super easy -- toasted walnuts, maple syrup, eggs, brown sugar, a little butter and vanilla. The only problem was that I slightly over-toasted the walnuts so every now and again when you eat a bite of the pie you get a slightly burnt walnut. I happen to hate burnt walnuts, so it really frustrated me. When I baked the pie the crust also got a little over-done, I should have checked it after 20 minutes and probably should have shielded the edges with foil. But, since I didn't do any of that, the crust is dark brown instead of golden brown.
The texture on this crust isn't quite as good as yesterday's crust, but it is still easily one of my better crusts, even if it is dark brown. I added a little more liquid to this one yesterday since it was really dry and crumbly which gave it a bit more of the plasticky texture I dislike so much, but some of that also might be from the over-browning.
And of course the all important flavor. mmmmm... maple... I love maple. So the crust is a bit overdone, and a few of the walnuts are a bit of the burnt side... but the maple syrup makes everything all better. So sweet and nice and yummy.
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup grade B maple syrup
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
3 tbsps unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 cups chopped toasted walnuts
one 9-inch pie shell, unbaked
Position rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 450.
In a bowl, beat together the eggs, maple syrup, brown sugar, vanilla, and salt until smooth. Beat in the cooled melted butter and the walnuts.
Pour the filling into the pie shell and bake for 10 minutes. Reduce the oven temp to 350 and bake until the pie crust is golden and flaky and the filling is set 30 to 35 minutes longer. Let cool on a wire rack to room temp before serving.