Nesselrode Pie

December 20, 2016
4 Ratings
Photo by Bobbi Lin
  • Makes 1 pie
Author Notes

This famous—and briefly lost—18th-century pie was invented by Antonin Carême, world’s first “celebrity chef.” And then it was re-invented by me. Read the full story here: Robicelli

What You'll Need
  • For the pie and pudding:
  • 1 fully cooked pie shell (your favorite recipe)
  • 1 envelope gelatin
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream, plus an additional 1/2 cup
  • 3 eggs, separated
  • 1/4 cup sugar, plus an additional ⅓ cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon dark rum
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 cup candied fruit mix, drained of syrup and rinsed once
  • Chocolate shavings, for garnish
  • For the Nesselrode fruit mix:
  • 1/3 cup chopped roasted chestnuts
  • 3 dates, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/3 cup honey
  1. Combine buttermilk and ¾ cup heavy cream together in a small saucepan and sprinkle gelatin over to to soften—about 5 minutes. Cook over medium heat until mixture begins to steam, stirring to ensure gelatin dissolves.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together yolks and ¼ cup sugar until pale yellow. Temper in the hot milk mixture a bit at a time, then return to saucepan and continue to cook until it coats the back of a spoon.
  3. Pour through a strainer into a bowl set in an ice bath. Add vanilla, salt, and rum, and stir continually until custard stops steaming. Set aside to cool completely.
  4. Whisk egg whites into a soft peak. Continue whisking while adding ⅓ cup sugar and bring to a firm-peaked French meringue.
  5. Whip ½ cup heavy cream to stiff peaks.
  6. In a large bowl, fold together the custard and Nesselrode fruit mix. In alternating additions, fold in the meringue and whipped cream. Pour into cooked pie shell, top with chocolate shavings, and place in either fridge or freezer to set completely.
  7. To make the fruit: Mix all ingredients together in a 2-quart saucepan, then add enough water to cover by about 1/2-inch. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely before incorporating.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Patricia Hanrahan
    Patricia Hanrahan
  • ForYouWithLove
  • EMR
  • Lynn D.
    Lynn D.
Allison Robicelli is a James Beard-nominated food writer, a Publisher's Weekly-starred author, and lots of other fun things. Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, she currently lives with her two sons and four cats in Baltimore, Maryland.

6 Reviews

EMR December 30, 2016
I made a couple of tweaks to this recipe (substituted pecans for chestnuts and brandy for rum, did not use candied fruit mix but stuck with cranberries)...This is the BEST pie I have ever tasted. I am ashamed to say that my husband and I ate the entire pie in a 24 hour period...I am not in the habit of eating an entire pie in a day..actually, I have never done something like that..This pie was worth the shame I brought on myself!
Patricia H. December 20, 2016
This is a problem on Food52. No one test drives the recipe. My strategy is to find similar recipes on-line and compare ingredients and directions in each. Here, check the New York Times' Nesselrode pie recipe for tips like replacing difficult to locate roasted chestnuts with canned marrons glaces. This method helps clarify badly written recipes.
Lynn D. December 20, 2016
I'm a little confused. Is the 1 cup candied fruit mix from the "For the Nesselrode fruit mix" listed below?
Linda B. December 20, 2016
Me too. What do you do with it?
Linda B. December 20, 2016
Oh, got it. It's folded into the pie mixture
ForYouWithLove December 21, 2016
Thanks !! I haven't understood