Before the cookies and candies start appearing for the Christmas season, we enter the season of pie.
That’s right – Thanksgiving means pie, pumpkin, chocolate, cherry and pecan. However, being the thrifty daring cook that I am I took a little time this weekend to experiment with a new pie recipe for the holidays.
First off, I can’t resist a bargain. That means when I see something about to expire in the supermarket with a price slash of more than 50 percent, I’m in. So, as you know the cost of walnuts is near $17 a pound anymore. We love nuts in our cookies, ice cream sundaes and cakes. But who can afford walnuts at $7 for about 12 ounces. I hope that math adds up; at any rate nuts are priceless anymore.
That means when one finds bags of walnuts for $2.95 naturally you stock up. But as you know, even in the freezer, nuts get stale. So, I thought it would be fun to cook up something different with walnuts.
And then I found it – a walnut maple pie recipe. And so in my spare time this weekend and I use that term sparingly… I whipped up some pie crust with only the finest lard and flour I had and tried a Walnut Maple Pie.
The pie is along the pecan pie type with only a bottom crust. Oh, delightful to say the least, it looks marvelous and tasted even better.
I had extra pie crust dough that I have stashed in the refrigerator so I have to bake another pie – this time squash.
If you didn’t know; the canned pumpkin you buy is largely squash. It is more flavorful than most pumpkins. However, I haven’t used canned pumpkin for pie for years and years. That stuff doesn’t hold a candle to the real deal.
My mother did tell me that her mother, my grandmother Emma made pumpkin pie like apple pie. She sliced the squash and tossed it with flour and spices and sugar and baked it in a double crust. And let me tell you that it is marvelous to say the least.
You must use proper squash, not watery stuff, but dense like Hubbard or buttercup. If you are interested in seeing how it is done, I did a Germans from Russia blog post about a year ago and you can find it here http://wp.me/p1DHnC-46. Or if you are reading a paper copy of the paper you can go to www.dasguteessen.com and search out Alternative Pumpkin Pie and there are photos and instructions to follow.
Granted there are tons of tried and true recipes out there – but every once in a while you must try something new. So here is that delightful walnut pie recipe. I do hope you are fortunate enough to find a sale on nuts. Now if only I could develop a recipe with both the pumpkin and the walnut pie in one dish… oh way too good baby.
1 9-inch pie shell, frozen for at least 30 minutes (see pie crust recipe)
2 cups roughly chopped walnuts
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup maple syrup (grade B1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 Tbsp melted butter
2 Tbsp all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon of ground nutmeg
1 Preheat oven to 375°F. In a bowl, mix together the beaten eggs, maple syrup, rum (if using), vanilla extract, melted butter. Sprinkle with flour, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Whisk until smooth.
2 Spread the chopped walnuts over the bottom of a prepared pie shell. Pour the maple syrup egg mixture over the walnuts. Place in the preheated oven on the middle rack. Place a cookie sheet on the rack underneath to catch any drippings from the pie crust.
3 Bake at 375°F for 40-45 minutes. After about 20 minutes (about halfway through the baking), you may want to tent the pie crust edges with foil, or use a pie protector, so that the edges don’t get burnt.
By the way, don’t worry if the surface of the pie “cracks” while cooking. The pie filling will puff up while hot (because of the eggs), and then deflate while it cools.
4 Remove from the oven and let cool completely before serving.
Yield: Makes 8 servings.