Salty Honey Walnut Pie
Source: Anna Derivi-Castellanos & Lenore Estrada, Three Babes Bakeshop
Recipe Type: Desserts | Seasons: Autumn, Spring, Winter
This recipe was demonstrated for CUESA’s Market to Table program on April 29, 2017.
Makes one (9-inch) pie
6 ounces walnut halves (preferably from Old Dog Ranch)
1 vanilla bean
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
¼ cup sugar
2 tablespoons corn flour
½ teaspoon kosher salt
9 ounces honey
3 eggs, at room temperature
½ cup cream plus additional for brushing the crust, at room temperature
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1 9-inch pie shell, pre-baked
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spread the walnut pieces on a large baking sheet in a single layer. Toast for approximately 8-10 minutes, or until glossy and fragrant. Be very careful not to burn them! Check them often and rotate the pan halfway through roasting. Once they have cooled, break them into ¼-inch to ½-inch pieces. Meanwhile, split the vanilla bean in half lengthwise with a paring knife and, on a cutting board, scrape the seeds out of the pod with the tip of the knife, making sure to scrape it completely clean. Set the seeds aside (the pod can be used to infuse other custards, and will keep for weeks, refrigerated and wrapped in plastic).
In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar together. Beat in the corn flour and salt until the mixture is thick and well combined. Add the honey and vanilla bean seeds, blending until thoroughly incorporated. Add the eggs one at a time with the mixer running, then slowly add the cream. Finally, add the vinegar and mix until the custard looks completely uniform.
Scatter the walnut pieces evenly along the bottom of the pre-baked pie shell, and slowly pour the custard filling over the nuts, making sure that each nut is coated with custard, dunking the nuts into the custard if necessary. With a pastry brush, apply cream to the exposed edges of the pie shell.
Bake on a parchment-lined sheet pan at 350°F for 50 to 60 minutes, or until only slightly wobbly in the center and nicely browned and puffed up on top. Allow the pie to cool before finishing with a generous sprinkling of Maldon salt.
Photo by Colin Price.