Hazelnut Maple Pie and a Foolproof Pie Crust
Great news, everyone! Just in time for the biggest pie holiday in the whole year, I have discovered the best pie. Ever. In the world. It is the best. It wasn't even on purpose. But holy shoot.
Do you like hazelnuts?
Do you like maple syrup and brown sugar?
Do you like the gooey, buttery layer in a pecan pie? How would you like it with a touch of maple?
Do you like flakey pie crust that tastes like a buttery cookie, and holds together and falls apart just right?
Do you like pie?
Then you will like this pie.
Because it is the best pie. Ever.
Note: even if you don't like nuts or perhaps don't care for gooey, buttery, maple-touched layers under crunchy hazelnuts (if you don't I don't know why we're friends)...if this is you, then make another pie, but use this crust.
Because it is the best crust.
And I am no expert at making pie crusts, but I made this pie crust, and it tastes like an expert did it.
My husband told me to cut a slice from this pie and run it over to the next door bakery who tells me they aren't hiring right now. He says if they taste this pie, they will fire someone else and hire me.
Please. Just make this pie.
P.S. sorry some of the photos are unfocused. The pie was steamy. Plus I took them in a state of trembling pie lust.
Basically this whole recipe came from Dinner with Julie, who got the pie part from Bon Appetit.
Grandma Woodall’s “Never-fail” Pastry
This will give you enough pastry to line a 9” pie plate; double it to make enough for two pies or a double crust.
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 cup butter, chilled and cut into pieces
1/4 cup lard or shortening, chilled and cut into pieces
2-4 Tbsp. ice-cold water
1 tsp. vinegar (optional, stir it into the water)
In a large bowl or the bowl of a food processor, stir together the flour, sugar and salt. Add the butter and shortening and use a fork, pastry blender, wire whisk or the “pulse” motion of the food processor to blend the mixture until it resembles coarse meal, with lumps of fat no bigger than a pea.
Drizzle the minimum amount of water over the mixture and stir until the dough comes together, adding a little more a bit at a time if you need it. Gather the dough into a ball, flatten it into a disc, wrap it in plastic and chill it for at least half an hour. If you are making a double crust pie, divide the dough in half, making one half slightly larger than the other. (Your pastry can be prepared up to this point and frozen for up to 4 months; let it thaw on the countertop when you need it.
Maple Hazelnut Pie
1 unbaked single pie crust
3/4 cup pure maple syrup (pure is [much] better, but fake will do)
1/2 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
1/2 cup corn syrup
1/4 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. bourbon (I didn't have this so I skipped it, although I bet it would have been fantastic)
1/4 cup butter, cut into bits
1 large egg white, lightly beaten
1 cup hazelnuts, coarsely chopped
3 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
In a medium saucepan set over medium-high heat, combine maple syrup, brown sugar, corn syrup, and salt and bring to a boil, stirring until sugar dissolves. Continue boiling for a minute, reducing heat if it looks like it might boil over. Remove from the heat and stir in the bourbon, then the butter; whisk until butter melts. Let cool to lukewarm, whisking occasionally, about 20 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350 F. Brush crust with the beaten egg white, and scatter with hazelnuts. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs and vanilla; whisk in the cooled maple-sugar mixture. Pour into the crust, over the hazelnuts. Bake for 45-50 minutes, until filling is set and slightly puffed. Cool completely on a wire rack.