Black Walnut PieThe Humbling
Beat 3 eggs, add 1/2 C brown sugar. Melt 1/4 C butter and add with 1 C corn syrup. Mix with the egg mixture. Stir in 1 C finely chopped black walnuts that have been mixed with 1 C quick cooking rolled oats. Pour into a 9-inch pie shell. Bake at 425 degrees for 10 minutes, then lower heat to 350 degrees and continue baking till crust is nice and browned, about 20 to 25 minutes. You can substitute another C of chopped walnuts instead of the rolled oats. This will make the walnut flavor much more pronounced.
I've made my own pie crusts regularly for a couple of years now. I used to shy away from them, but picked up a few tricks that made it so much easier. As I am mixing the dough, I was thinking about the tips I could give you. What wisdom could I share, so that you too could make lovely pie crusts like me? (what does it say in Proverbs about pride?)
I was so into thinking about blogging, and my lovely pie crusts, that I didn't even notice I had put way too much water in. It wasn't until after I chilled the dough, and was trying to roll it out, that I realized what I had done. The dough was so sticky I couldn't work with it at all. I had to scrape it off my work surface and add more flour. The end result was not something I'd take pride in. It tasted just fine, but it sure wasn't pretty.
Humbly, I submit some tips (they really do work, I promise!) about pie crust:
1. Chill the ingredients before mixing.
2. Chill the dough before rolling
3. Roll between wax paper. This is what finally got me to make crusts all the time. It is so much easier to work with and get into the pie plate.
4. Do not add too much water!
I really think the recipe is a good one, but my result was mediocre. The problem (besides the crust) was I didn't have enough corn syrup. I only had about 2/3 C. I referred to my substitution list. None of the quick lists had corn syrup on them. I dug a little more and the first substitute I found was molasses. I should have kept digging.
I like molasses, but even just 1/3 C was a little overpowering in this recipe. It even overpowered the black walnuts, which have a strong flavor themselves. I won't make that substitution again. I probably should have used maple syrup.
I will try this recipe again. Next time, I think I will use all nuts and skip the oatmeal. It was ok, even with all the problems, but I think it could be really good. It was a learning experience, but sometimes that is what cooking from scratch is all about.