Bitchin’. That was the word my friend Mike used to describe this walnut pie he recently made, which he said is basically a pecan pie but with walnuts and orange peel. I LOVE LOVE LOVE pecan pie, so I knew I had to give it a try (plus, who can resist an endorsement like ‘bitchin”?) I picked my tastiest tart crust recipe, and added some Grand Marnier and tons of orange zest to give it a complex flavor and aroma. Bitchin’ is truly the right word to describe this tart, and here’s how to make it:
5 tbsp unsalted butter
1 cup packed light brown sugar
3/4 cup light corn syrup (I know, I don’t like corn syrup either. But once in a while it’s okay, and there really is no substitute for it in pecan pie or its spinoffs)
1/2 tsp sea salt
2 cups walnut halves, toasted to bring out their flavor
1 tbsp Grand Marnier (I originally made it with 2 tbsp, and it’s too much. 1 tbsp goes a long way)
2 tbsp packed orange zest
3 extra large eggs, lightly beaten
Start by choosing your favorite pie crust/tart shell recipe, or use the one I posted at the bottom of the page. Blind bake the tart according to your recipe’s directions, and be prepared to have your filling ready to be poured into the tart while the crust is hot. Also have the oven set to 350 degrees F, with one of your racks on the lower third of the oven.
In a heavy bottomed saucepan, bring the butter, brown sugar, corn syrup, and salt to a boil over medium heat, stirring frequently so it doesn’t burn.
Once it comes to a boil, keep it at a boil for 1 minute, then remove it from the stove and stir in the walnuts, Grand Marnier, and orange zest. Let the mixture cool for about 5 minutes, then whisk the eggs into the mixture until it’s smooth. Pour the filling into the tart shell, place the tart on a sheet pan so you don’t make a mess in the oven, and bake for 40 minutes, until it doesn’t jiggle when you move it around. Let it cool on a wire rack, then eat it at room temperature or slightly warm =) Please leave any comments, questions, or suggestions below!
I have tried many different pie crusts, and this one tastes the best, though I must warn you, it’s kind of a pain to work with. Even if your dough breaks when you pick it up, don’t get frustrated, you can piece them back together and it turns out just fine. The pie crust recipe can be found at this link: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchens/pecan-pie-recipe/index.html and this tart was adapted from their pecan pie, which I made for Thanksgiving and thoroughly enjoyed (the entire thing was gone by breakfast the next day, if that tells you anything).