Malted Walnut Pie

I had my eye on this recipe for a while, then I got distracted with all the Christmas preparations.  Now that I’ve tried it I have to say it’s a real winner!  If you like pecan pie but find it a little too sweet, this pie will be the answer to your cravings.  And all you pie-pastry phobics out there will appreciate the convenience of a graham cracker crust.  There are layers of flavor here:  crunchy crust painted with a thin layer of white chocolate, a filling made less sweet with the addition of barley malt syrup and malt vinegar, and the richness of browned butter and toasted walnuts.  Use a deep pie pan so that your crust is not too thick and the filling does not spill over during baking.  The perfect accompaniment is a little drift of unsweetened, very softly whipped cream.  It’s the best sweet start to 2014!

Malted Walnut Pie
(makes 8 to 10 servings)
Graham Cracker Crust
14 graham crackers (about 8 ounces)
2 tablespoons raw or granulated sugar
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
Filling and Assembly
2 cups walnuts
4 ounces white chocolate, melted
3 large eggs
3/4 cup light corn syrup
2/3 cup (packed) light brown sugar
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons barley malt syrup
1/4 cup malted milk powder
1 tablespoon malt vinegar
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla paste or extract
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
Unsweetened whipped cream, for serving (optional, but awfully good)
For the crust:  Preheat the oven to 325°F, with a rack in the middle position.  Pulse the graham crackers in a food processor until very fine crumbs form (you should have about 2 cups).  Add sugar, flour, and salt and pulse to combine.  Add butter and pulse until mixture is the consistency of wet sand.  Transfer the mixture to a deep 9-inch pie dish.  Using a measuring cup, press firmly onto bottom and up sides of dish.  Place the pie dish on a rimmed baking sheet and bake crust, rotating halfway through, until dry and set, 20-25 minutes.  Transfer to a wire rack and let crust cool.  (Can be made a day ahead and stored, tightly wrapped, at room temperature).
Filling and assembly:  Toast walnuts on a rimmed baking sheet (oven should still be at 325F), tossing occasionally, until slightly darker and fragrant, 8-10 minutes; let cool.  Pour white chocolate over cooled crust and, using a small offset spatula or the back of a spoon, spread over bottom and up sides, leaving 1/4-inch border along edge.  Let stand until chocolate is set, 20 to 25 minutes.  Whisk eggs, corn syrup, brown sugar, barley malt syrup, malt powder, vinegar, salt, and vanilla in a medium bowl.  Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat.  Cook, stirring often, until butter foams, then browns, about 5 minutes.  Let cool slightly.  Whisk brown butter into egg mixture, then fold in walnuts.  Place the pie dish on a rimmed baking sheet and pour in the filling.  Bake, rotating halfway through, until set (center should not jiggle), 60 to 70 minutes.  Transfer pie dish to a wire rack and let pie cool.  Cover and chill at least 2 hours before slicing.  Serve each slice of pie topped with whipped cream, if desired.  Store any leftovers, tightly covered, in the refrigerator.
(from Bon Appetit, the Thanksgiving issue)



  • The Devil's Food Advocate

    Thank you Yvette! Yes, you’re right, it does get sticky on the pie plate. I think it would be helpful to line the plate with parchment paper before pressing in the crust. I would also score the slices while the pie is still warm. That might make them easier to slice when ready to serve. I don’t own any silicone baking dishes but I bet it wouldn’t stick to one of those. Thanks again!

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