Walnut Maple Pie

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Where my parents live in Sacramento, their house is surrounded by huge walnut trees. The housing development is in what was formerly a commercial walnut orchard. When I was younger, the trees blanketed the neighborhood with shade in the blazing hot valley summers, and in the fall, all of us kids spent weekends picking walnuts. We harvested 500 lbs of walnuts a year, just from our five trees.

These days the trees are getting old, two of them are already gone and the other three are just hanging in there, not really producing much. Still, we have a special affinity for walnuts. Growing up, pretty much any recipe calling for pecans we would just substitute walnuts. Which is how I first started making walnut pie.

At its simplest, it’s just a pecan pie for which you swap out the pecans for walnuts. But walnuts can be a little more bitter than pecans, so for this particular version, I’ve decided to use a dark maple syrup instead of the more commonly used corn syrup.

The sweet maple flavor helps to balance whatever bitter edge the walnuts may have. Like our pecan pie, this walnut maple pie is not overly sweet. I’m quite pleased with it (my parents both call it a winner!) and hope you will be too.

Walnut Maple Pie Recipe

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  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: Makes 8 servings.

Use a dark maple syrup (US grade B) for this recipe if you can. It has a much stronger maple taste than Grade A.

Ingredients

  • 1 9-inch pie shell, frozen for at least 30 minutes (see pie crust recipe)
  • 2 cups roughly chopped walnuts
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup maple syrup (grade B)
  • 1 Tbsp dark rum (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 Tbsp melted butter
  • 2 Tbsp all purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon of ground nutmeg

Method

1 Preheat oven to 375°F. In a bowl, mix together the beaten eggs, maple syrup, rum (if using), vanilla extract, melted butter. Sprinkle with flour, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Whisk until smooth.

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2 Spread the chopped walnuts over the bottom of a prepared pie shell. Pour the maple syrup egg mixture over the walnuts. Place in the preheated oven on the middle rack. Place a cookie sheet on the rack underneath to catch any drippings from the pie crust.

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3 Bake at 375°F for 40-45 minutes. After about 20 minutes (about halfway through the baking), you may want to tent the pie crust edges with foil, or use a pie protector, so that the edges don't get burnt.

By the way, don't worry if the surface of the pie "cracks" while cooking. The pie filling will puff up while hot (because of the eggs), and then deflate while it cools.

4 Remove from the oven and let cool completely before serving.

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Showing 4 of 46 Comments

  • Jessie

    Hi Elise! This looks absolutely fabulous~ However, I would like to modify it to make it paleo… The crust I’ll figure out, but I am going to try replace the maple syrup (unavailable where I live) with local honey, and coconut oil for the butter. How about the flour? Could I just add in a few TB of almond flour or tapioca starch? I guess what I am trying to ask is what function the flour fulfils…!? I’ll let you know how it turns out! Merry Christmas!

  • Teresa

    Is this pie made with English walnuts or black walnuts?

  • kelhappy1

    This sounds great. My husband is from Canada and his favorite ice cream is maple walnut. I will give this recipe a try for Thanksgiving to see what he thinks. Can you substitute anything for the butter? My daughter has a dairy allergy.

  • Barbara

    Elise: I come to your blog every holiday at the last minute when I decide that what I was making won’t be enough and I need one more thing! God bless you for always having that perfect recipe to add to my holiday meal! Merry Christmas to you and your family!

  • Steve

    Making this tonight and have been looking forward to doing so for the last few weeks! It looks delicious…

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