My Salted Maple Walnut Pie is the answer to all of those who don’t love pecan pie (or who just need a break from it). It’s sweet and tastes profoundly of maple, balanced with a hit of salt and so smooth from the savory toasted walnuts and white chocolate. This is sure to be your family’s favorite pie this holiday season.
I had one of those weekends where EVERYTHING was on my to do list, and I was determined to get it all done.
Clean the bathrooms, mop the floors, watch 15 episodes of Dawson’s Creek season 5 from the DVR, make a trial run to the hospital, figure out how to install the car seat, bake 2 Thanksgiving desserts to freeze (and pull out like I’m some amazingly prepared preggo host when everyone comes over), spend ALL THE MONIES at the Sephora VIB sale…
Have a total meltdown over seeing pictures of myself from behind at my friend’s wedding, send rantingly threatening texts to another friend begging her to not plan her wedding around one of her bridesmaids being 9 months pregnant (just in case I find myself in those shoes again next time around)…
Have a complete panic attack while watching the awful news from Paris, knowing my best friend is there on her honeymoon. Being so relieved to hear from her, knowing she is safe.
I’ll leave that there.
Dessert, because that’s why you’re here.
One of the Thanksgiving desserts I made is this AHmazing Salted Maple Walnut Pie. It was born out of me really not loving Pecan Pie, but missing this Malted Walnut Pie I made years ago at Thanksgiving and loved. That recipe had malt in every form, a graham cracker crust…a gluten bomb.
I decided to make it my own, switch to “healthier” versions of sugar, use less butter and eggs, but keep all of the amazing flavor. It really morphed into it’s own beast. And by beast, I mean incredible masterpiece.
I baked two versions. A version with crust (detailed below) and a version with no crust. Truthfully, I’m lazy and just baking the filling with no crust is a-okay by me. In fact, I highly recommend it. But, if you’re a crust lover, I included a gluten-free crust recipe (but I won’t tattle on you if you buy a premade crust!).
The filling is so sweet, but not unbearably so. It has a heavy hint of salt to balance it all out, those toasty walnuts that are so savory, and a bit of white chocolate to keep it more on the vanilla-side. I couldn’t be happier. And it just solidifies my need to never eat pecan pie again.
I hope you throw this pie into your rotation for the holidays! You won’t regret it!
- 1 cup gluten free all purpose flour
- 3 Tbs. almond meal
- pinch of kosher salt
- ¼ cup cold butter ( ½ stick)
- 1 egg
- 2-4 Tbs. ice water
- 1 egg + sparkling or coconut sugar, for decorating
- 4 ounces white chocolate (chips or a baking bar)
- 2 cups walnut pieces (or whole walnuts)
- 2 eggs
- ¾ cup maple syrup
- 2/3 cup coconut sugar
- ¼ cup sorghum syrup (or molasses)
- 1 Tbs. vanilla extract
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- ¼ cup butter ( ½ stick)
- 1 tsp. orange zest
- First prepare your pie crust: In a bowl, combine the flour, almond meal and salt. Cut in the cold butter until it is in small pieces. Then stir in the egg. Finally, slowly add ice water, 1 Tbs at a time until the dough comes together (be sure to stop before the entire dough is wet; you’ll want a little bit of flour left in the bowl or the dough will be too wet). Turn the dough out onto some plastic wrap, wrap it up tight, and place in the fridge to rest for 30 minutes or a few hours.
- Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F. Spray an 8” pie dish with nonstick spray.
- Lay out a large piece of parchment on your counter and sprinkle with gluten free flour. Turn your chilled pie dough out onto the parchment. Sprinkle the top of the dough with flour and then cover with another layer of parchment (so the dough is sandwiched inside). Use a rolling pin to roll the dough between the parchment into an even, flat circle. Carefully peel back the top parchment paper piece and discard. Flip your rolled pie dough into the prepared pie dish, and remove the parchment paper that was on the bottom (but is now on top). Use your fingers to carefully patch and pinch the dough to fit the pie pan. If you want to make a pattern around the edge of the crust, now is the time to do it.
- Use a fork to pierce holes in the bottom of the pie crust. Bake for 20 minutes. Place the blind-baked crust on a wire rack to cool, and put the white chocolate in the bottom of the crust (spread out evenly). I used a thin baking chocolate bar, so I just pressed the squares into the bottom of the crust. Let the white chocolate melt into the crust as the crust cools. (oven is still on at this point)
- Prepare the filling: Place the walnuts on a baking sheet in an even layer. Bake 10-15 minutes, watching them carefully, so they become toasted but not dark.
- In a small pan over medium-low heat, brown the butter until it is just fragrant and caramel-colored. Set aside to cool.
- In a bowl, whisk together the egg, maple syrup, coconut sugar, sorghum, vanilla and salt. Slowly drizzle in the browned butter while whisking. Then, add the orange zest. Fold in the toasted walnuts.
- Pour the filling into the pie crust. Beat the last egg in a small bowl. Use a pastry brush to brush the exposed crust with egg, then sprinkle with sparkling or coconut sugar (I used coconut sugar). Bake for 60-70 minutes, until the center is set. If it starts to get too dark early on, cover the pie loosely with a piece of foil.
- Let the pie cool on a wire rack. Slice, serve, enjoy!
- Keep finished pie on the counter for a day or in the fridge for 4 days. You can also make the pie ahead of time, wrap it well with plastic wrap and foil and place in the freezer. Let the pie defrost in the fridge for 24-48 hours before guests come over.
- The pie also tastes amazing without the crust! If you’d rather not make a crust, just bake the filling (with the white chocolate in the bottom) in a pie pan.