Walnut pie has a nutty-ness that makes you sing. Every bite is a mouthful of earthy nuts wrapped around caramelized filling resting on a bed of flaky crust.
Can you tell that my mouth is watering?
If it’s gooeyness you want, the pie delivers it in spades. If it’s a showstopping dessert you’re looking for, search no further.
Honestly, it’s one pie that wants for nothing.
Except for strong willpower to exercise portion control.
Let me begin by humbly accepting that I simply picked up the classic pecan pie recipe and replaced it with walnuts. And threw in a handful of Tasha twists.
Start with the pie dough
- Sift flour with a tablespoon of powdered sugar and then rub in chilled, cubed pieces of butter.
- Use your fingertips to rub the butter in. Why not the palms? Because they generate more heat that melts the butter, something you do not want.
- When the mixture looks like coarse bread crumbs, fold in 3 to 4 tablespoons of cold water.
- Working with your hands, gather the dough and form a ball. You don’t need to knead; it comes together rather easily.
Make the walnut pie crust
- Flatten the dough slightly, wrap it in foil, and refrigerate for 10 to 15 minutes. It’ll make the dough firm and easy to handle.
- Dust your work surface lightly with flour, then roll the dough to a 1/8th inch thickness, about 10"-11" in diameter.
- Gently pick it up and place it in an 8-inch pie dish.
- With a firm hand, press it inwards along the base and edges so it takes the shape of the dish.
- Cut off the extra dough around the edge with a knife.
- Prick the base with a fork and then slide the whole thing into the fridge or freezer while you make the filling.
Get the pie filling ready
- In a bowl, beat 2 eggs with coconut sugar till they're voluminous.
- Mix in flour, honey, vanilla extract, and a teaspoon of cinnamon.
- Right at the end, combine melted butter that’s been cooled to room temperature.
- Fold roughly chopped walnuts into the smooth mixture.
Finally, bake and serve the walnut pie
- Pour the filling into your chilled pie crust.
- Top it with some more halved walnuts.
- For the first 15 minutes, bake the pie at 200° C.
- Then lower the temp to 180° C and bake for 30 minutes more till the pie appears to be set but has the teeny, tiniest wiggle in the center.
- Let the pie cool for at least 2 hours before you cut a slice and serve.
- It’s very, very (and very) important for all your ingredients to be at room temperature. I let mine sit out for 45 minutes to 1 hour.
- If your eggs are cold, and you’re short on time, keep a pan of warm water under the bowl you’re using to mix the filling. You’ll get a nice, smooth, and creamy filling.
- Pie fillings have a rude tendency to curdle. They’re finicky like that, which is why I added a bit of flour in the filling to help stabilize it.
- Most pie recipes cream butter and sugar first and add the eggs later. For me, personally, it has never worked. Every time, pie after pie, the filling curdled. To avoid that I incorporate butter at the end, and it works like magic.
- Keep an eye on the pie after it’s crossed the 25-minute mark because each oven is different, and bake times tend to vary.
Why is my pie dough not coming together?
If the dough feels too dry or is not sticking together, increase the amount of chilled water and gather it into a smooth dough.
How long can uncooked pie dough be refrigerated?
The great thing about walnut pie recipes is that you can prep it ahead. Make the dough a couple of days in advance. You can keep the rolled-out pie dough in the refrigerator for three days.
Why do you need to bake the pie at two different temperatures?
We’re not blind baking the pie crust like we did in my mushroom quiche. That’s why we need to bake it at high temperatures first. It makes sure the crust is cooked through. For the same reason, I advise placing the pie on the lower rack of the oven rather than the middle.
Can you blind-bake a walnut pie crust?
You can, of course, pre-bake the crust, especially if you love the crunch of a well-done tart shell. Use my quiche recipe for the steps to blind baking a crust. When you reach the final baking stage, keep the oven temperature at 180° C and bake for 25 minutes.
How do you know when the walnut pie is done?
The top of the pie should be deep golden brown. The crust should be puffed up. And the middle of the pie will jiggle if you shake it.
What to do if the pie crust is browning too much?
Loosely cover the top of the pie with a foil ring if the crust is threatening to burn.
Honey: Typically, pecan pies (the original muse for this recipe) are made from light corn syrup. I didn’t have any and substituted it with honey. You can even replace it with maple syrup.
Butter: Chilled coconut oil will work in a jiffy. For a vegan walnut pie, try plant-based butter.
Eggs: Swap regular eggs with flax eggs. To make two flax eggs, mix 2 tablespoons of ground flaxseed with 6 tablespoons of water. Set that to chill in the fridge for 10-15 minutes.
Pie variations you can try
Once you have the basics down, you can experiment as much as your heart desires with this recipe.
Don’t have walnuts? Use pecans.
Want more nuts? Add some.
Want a nuttier taste? Toast the walnuts. I know it’s an additional step but lends an addictive and pronounced flavor. On low heat, roast the nuts for five minutes till they’re fragrant. You can use either the oven or your stovetop.
Want a boozy touch? Pour a tablespoon of rum.
Don’t want additional flavoring? Get rid of the cinnamon. It’s optional anyway.
Deeply bronzed, the pie has a rustic beauty to it that I didn’t want to mar with anything. Not even a dusting of sugar.
But you do, you. Feel like making it extra decadent? Serve it with:
- Ice cream
- Caramel sauce
- Whipped cream
Why the walnut pie recipe works?
Buttery, flaky crust
Gooey, luscious filling
Easily customizable to your preference
Easy Walnut Pie
- 200 gms / 1.5 cups All-purpose flour
- 1 tbsp Powdered sugar
- 100 gms / 1/2 cup Butter, cubed,and chilled
- 3-4 tbsp Cold water
Walnut Pie Filling
- 2 Eggs, at room temperature
- 100 gms /3/4 cup Coconut sugar You can also use brown sugar instead
- 80 gms / 1/4 cup Honey
- 2 tbsp All-purpose flour
- 1 tsp Cinnamon powder (optional)
- 1 tsp Vanilla extract
- 85 gms / 6 tbsp Butter, melted and cooled
- 200 gms / 2 cups Walnuts, roughly chopped
- 8-10 Walnut Halves, for topping (optional)
- Combine the flour and butter in a mixing bowl.
- Rub the butter into the flour, using your fingertips, until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs.
- Pour in the water, 1 tbsp at a time, and bring the dough together.
- You don’t have to knead it. Using only the heel of your hand push the dough away from you. Then bring it back with your fingertips till smooth.
- If the dough feels dry whisk in more chilled water.
- Shape the dough into a ball, flatten it slightly, cover in cling wrap and then refrigerate for 10-15 minutes.
- Keep an 8" pie dish handy.On a very lightly floured surface (you don’t want excess dry flour), roll out the dough to an approximately 10" circle.
- Pick it up gently and place it in your pie dish. Push the dough inwards along the edges and the base with a very firm hand.
- After you’ve made sure the dough fits the pan well, trim the dough that’s hanging over with a sharp knife. Prick the base with a fork and place the pie crust in the freezer while you work on the filling.
Walnut Pie Filling
- Preheat the oven to 200C.
- Toast the walnuts lightly ( about 5 minutes) in an oven or in a skillet over the stovetop. Let cool.
- In a bowl, beat together the eggs and coconut sugar until thick and pale.
- Add honey, flour, vanilla extract, and cinnamon powder ( if using).
- Whisk in the melted butter. You'll have a smooth, thickish batter.
- Fold in the toasted, cooled walnuts.
- Pour this batter into your chilled pie crust. Top with walnut halves if you like.
- Bake for 15 minutes at 200C, on the lower rack. Then lower the oven temperature to 180C and continue baking for 35-40 minutes until the pie filling is slightly puffy and is a bit firm to touch in the center.
- Let the pie cool for at least 2 hours. Slice and serve as is or with whipped cream or ice cream. Enjoy!