Thanksgiving brings as many pecan pies as it does pumpkin pies, I think – and I prefer the former to the latter. A crunchy, nutty pie, held together with a delicious brown sugar glue and topped with whipped cream, is my idea of dessert. But why should pecans get all the attention? Fresh walnut halves are wonderful baked into a pie – especially when paired with pecans. Make sure the walnuts you buy are fresh; when they begin to turn rancid they turn bitter. Good, fresh walnuts should be nutty and slightly sweet. Around the holidays, the turnover in the nut section tends to improve, and so do your chances of getting a nice batch of fresh nuts.
Luckily, pecan pies are among the most simple you can make – beyond the crust, which you could of course buy, but is best from scratch (don’t worry about it looking imperfect – if it’s wonky, it’s rustic) – the filling takes about five minutes to stir together. Cooling the pie completely before you cut into it will allow it to set so that it cuts cleanly. Try topping this pie with whipped cream sweetened with a drizzle of maple syrup.
Maple Walnut Pecan Pie
1 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup pure maple syrup
1/2 cup golden syrup (such as Roger’s or Lyle’s)
3 large eggs
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cups pecan halves, toasted
1 cups walnut halves, toasted
Line a pie plate with pastry and crimp the edges. In a medium bowl, stir together the brown sugar, maple syrup, golden syrup, eggs, butter and salt. (Don’t worry about getting all the lumps of butter out.) Scatter the pecans and walnuts over the bottom of the shell and pour the mixture overtop.
Set on a rimmed baking sheet and bake at 350F for 50-60 minutes, until set. Cool completely before cutting.
Small bites with lots of flavor: Homemade Girl Scout Cookies Recipes!