I’m all about food. The moment when I wake to the time I fall asleep, that’s all I’m thinking of-food.
More so now, that I’ve started the low carb diet. I’ve been slowly putting on weight over the last few years, and the weight gain has been causing a swelling in my feet and hands. Nothing seemed to have worked, so after all tests and discussions with my doctor, she advised me to try a low carb diet for a few months and then return gradually to a regular diet. That’s the reason why you’re suddenly seeing the words #keto and #lchf in my posts. The idea being that a change in the way the body functions might help. So after almost a month of strict control, the swelling is definitely reduced and the weight loss has begun. But I do know that it’s going to be a long way to a healthier body.
So while I am controlling my cravings, I am making healthier desserts for the family.
In all that I am making, I am trying to replace refined with whole grain and natural ingredients. Also we as a family are doing major portion control.
Hence this walnut maple pie. All right, I know you can see pecans instead of walnuts. But I used up all my walnuts for the filling and before the pies were eaten up, I needed to shoot the pictures. Hence, the use of pecans. FYI , pecans have a bit more protein and fat content than walnuts.
Most of the recipes I went through, bake the crust with the filling. That’s fine for a fruit filled pie, but for most pies I prefer a blind baked crust. I like my crust firm and not soggy. The blind baking, nut meal and the egg brushing makes a big difference.
And because I now mostly use whole wheat flour, the entire equation changes.
All purpose flour is more forgiving. Whole grain, nuttier, so more difficult to handle.
Like most people.
Yes. Baking is all about life lessons. And when you eat this pie, remember, in all this psychology lecture, I showed you the way to make this gorgeous bite of walnuts.
And I made you feel awesome.
And much less guilty than a freak shake.
The pie dough needs to be super flaky. Because it has more to prove than an all-purpose flour crust, it needs to work harder.
So- if you don’t have a food processor there are a few things you need to remember.
First ensure that the butter you use is absolutely chilled. You should be able to cut cubes. You can of course use Desi Ghee or clarified butter…but the 15% extra liquid in butter ensures your pastry is super flaky.
Second, an addition of nut meal in your pastry dough makes it even more nutty.
The brushed on beaten egg that seals the pie crust may seem to be a small step
But the egg wash seals the crust so when you pour the filling into the pie shell the shell will not get soggy.
And when you’re eating that pie you’ll thank me for it.
I did try an eggless version, but the pie didn’t taste as good.
Because the walnuts aren’t just held together without the egg.
You can use this pie crust for other pies too. Maybe an apple pie. I’ve made so many apple pies on the blog. Like here, here and here.
Walnut Maple Syrup Whole Wheat Pie.
2 ½ cup whole wheat flour or atta ,sifted at least twice
½ cup almond flour or ground walnuts. (Almond flour tastes best because it doesn’t have much Flavor and won’t burn)
½ tsp salt
1 tbsp. sugar ground
1 cup or 225 gms butter chilled and cut in cubes.
1 egg yolk, save the white for brushing on the pie crust.
You may need 1-2 tbsp. ice cold water.
Place the flour in a large bowl and mix in the sugar and salt. With a fork, cut the butter into the flour. (Sifting the whole wheat flour is the most important- measure only after the sifting)
It doesn’t matter if the butter is visible. When the pie crust bakes, the butter will melt and flakes will make the pie absolutely amazing.
Add in the nut meal and the egg yolk and work the dough together. Do not knead the dough .
Spread a large cling film on the work space and pop the flour mix on it. Collect the firm to make a pouch and bring the dough together like that.
Refrigerate for at least ½ hour.
After half an hour remove from the fridge and open the pouch.
Place either a parchment paper or cling film over the dough and gently roll out to 2 inches bigger than your pie dish. This crust will begin to bind as you roll it out, if it hasn’t already.
Roll out to 1/2 cm thin.
Removing the top cover. Lift the dough with the help of the cling film and fit into the loose bottom pie dish gently, press into the crevices and peel off the cling film gently..
This recipe will yield 2- 7inch pies or 6 -4inch pie crusts. You can freeze leftovers wrapped in film.
Prick with a fork after trimming excess. Place a parchment paper that’s bigger than the pie. Fill it up with any beans. I’ve a bottle of various beans which have been baked numerous times over the last 20 years.
Preheat the oven to 180C and bake 25 minutes.
Remove the pie crust and carefully lift the parchment paper and beans off.
Brush the reserved egg white all over and pop into the oven again for 7-10, minutes till the crust is light brown.
Cool the beans and pour back into the mason jar again.
Remove the pie crust from the oven and allow to cool 5 minutes while you prep the filling.
Walnut Maple Syrup Pie
1 ½ cup walnuts or Pecans
¾ cup pure maple syrup or honey
2 tbsp. whole wheat flour
3-4 tbsp. soft butter
1/2 tsp vanilla bean seeds or 1 tsp vanilla essence
1 tsp Zest of any citrus lemon or orange
Whipped cream to serve.
Chop the walnuts well.
In a bowl whisk together the butter, maple syrup or honey and eggs.
Whisk in the zest and the flour.
Now mix in the walnuts and salt.
Scrape this mix into the prepped pie crust.
Return to the oven and bake at 160C for 35-40 minutes. Remove from the oven and place on a wire rack and allow to cool.
Whisk the slightly sweetened cream with some more vanilla.
Spoon over the pie or pipe rosettes.
Slice once cool and enjoy.
The pie is free from refined sugar and flour.
It may be calorie dense, but don’t eat the whole pie in one go. You can share the calories. You know it’s a healthier alternative to the pies available at the delicatessen counters.
And it’s so easy to assemble. I made this batch and baked two different sets of pies. The random pecans I used in the pictures, because I used up all the walnuts for the pie filling.
All you need is that pie dish. Bake this pie and stay happy. The walnuts are crunchy and just sweet enough. The citrus or that is in the lemon zest lifts off the sweetness of the maple syrup. The vanilla seeds are mild and amazing. If you can buy the vanilla bean or vanilla seeds, do it atleast once. There is a reason why most pattissieres use that .
Food makes those feelings come alive.