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Author Notes: This recipe began as a classic from the Thanksgivings of my childhood,originally baked by my grandmother's housekeeper, Jessie. The recipe was written down as pie #309 in the 1940 cookbook "Aunt Chick's Pies." Over the years, I have tweaked it to serve at our Thanksgiving table, and also at restaurants where I worked. The recipe fills a 9&1/2" pie plate, providing for "second helpings" after the turkey tryptophan has worn off. It is my son Drew's favorite pie; per his request, the filling is over-the-top with nuts. Jessie always baked the filling for this pie over a double boiler and set her oven to "low." As the original recipe declared, "Bake at 300 degrees until done. When a knife comes out of the centre clean, it was done at least 5 minutes ago." —Ellen Gray
Makes: one 9&1/2 pie
All Butter Pie Crust
2 and 1/2
cups All purpose flour
tablespoons cold butter, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1/4 to 1/2
cups cold water
Drew's Wild Nut Pie filling
tablespoons Unsalted butter, room temperature
1 and 1/3
cups dark brown sugar
teaspoon kosher salt
eggs, room temperature
cup dark corn syrup
1 and 1/2
tablespoons good quality vanilla extract
tablespoons good quality maple syrup
2 and 1/2
cups assorted nuts (pecans, cashews, macadamias, and walnuts)
- Prepare all-butter pie crust: in bowl of food processor fitted with metal blade, combine flour, salt and sugar. Pulse once or twice to combine. Add butter to flour and pulse just until the butter resembles coarse meal. With machine running, add cold water gradually through feed tube, just until it holds together. Turn mixture out onto plastic wrap, pat dough into a disc, wrap and refrigerate for one hour. Roll dough out to fit a 9 and 1/2 inch pie plate, fluting edges. There will be leftover dough to use to cut decorative leaves, or save for another time. Chill crust then partially blind bake.
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees. In the top of a simmering double boiler, combine butter, brown sugar, salt and corn syrup. Stir over heat until butter is incorporated into sugar and corn syrup. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs. Remove the sugar/syrup mixture from over the double boiler and gradually whisk the warm mixture into the eggs. Take your time- you don't want to scramble the eggs. Return the mixture to the top of the double boiler, stir in vanilla extract and maple syrup and continue stirring the filling until it is quite warm to the touch. (On an instant-read thermometer, 130 degrees.) If you added the eggs too quickly and you spy tiny flecks of egg, you can strain the mixture. Spread mixed nuts into partially blind baked shell. I like to leave the nuts in large pieces, even whole, without chopping them. Pour warm pie filling over nuts and bake in pre-heated 300 degree oven for approximately 1 hour and fifteen minutes. (Once again, check your instant-read thermometer; the internal temperature of the pie should read 205 degrees.) If the edges of the pie begin to brown too much during baking, you can cover the edge of the pie with aluminum foil strips. Aunt Chick and Jessie both indicate in the recipe that the pie is "jelled" when it's time to remove it from the oven. The pie must rest for several hours before slicing. Torturous, but well worth it.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Thanksgiving Pie