Monday, May 31, 2010

Heavenly Hazelnut Pie

   I have a new pie recipe to share.  I made a rhubarb pie today and mixed up enough pie dough for two double crust pies.  After I cut up the rhubarb it became obvious that I had only picked enough for one pie.  As I was considering what sort of pie to make for the second pie Rachel showed me an old recipe card she had found for "Heavenly Hazelnut Pie".  We still have about three quarts of  shelled hazelnuts on hand so hazelnut pie it was.  Since this recipe only required a pie shell I had enough crust made up for two more pies. The basic recipe is as follows:

        1 1/4 cup coarsely chopped hazelnuts
        1 6oz package of choclate chips
        1 9 inch pie shell, unbaked
        3 large eggs
        1 cup of honey
        1/2 teaspoon vanilla
        1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, melted and cooled

     Sprinkle nuts and chips over the bottom of the pie shell.  In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, honey, and vanilla.  Blend in the butter and pour the mixture into the pie shell.  Bake at 325 degrees for 50 to 60 minutes or until firm.  Serve slightly warm or at room temperature.  Makes eight rich servings.
Optional: serve with ice cream.

      Since I had two pie shells, I decided to try a little variation on the recipe.  I only had enough liquid honey on hand for one pie ( an embarrassing confession for someone who owns a bee supply store and sells honey), so I used brown sugar for one pie rather than honey and substituted butterscotch chips for the chocolate chips.  Both pies turned out very well and set up nicely. Linda told me that they truely were heavenly. However, she liked the original recipe chocolate chip version better. I used three duck eggs in each pie which is probably the equivalent of using four chicken eggs.

     I use a pie crust recipe from the Mormon Family cookbook.  It really is a pretty simple recipe and turns out well.  The recipe for the pie crust is as follows:

      2 1/4 cups flour
      1 teaspoon salt
      3/4 cup vegetable shortening
      1/3 cup cold water

     I usually just put in half a teaspoon of salt and sometimes I omit the salt.  I blend the flour and shortening with a pastry cutter and then add the water gradually while I toss the flour and shortening mixture with a fork. I'll try to get some pie pictures uploaded tomorrow.

     It actually was sufficiently warm and dry this afternoon that I was able to go through a few beehives.  I was pleasantly surprized to discover that one overwintered colony has put away about eighty pounds of maple honey.  I knew they had stored some maple honey, but I didn't expect that much.  We don't get maple honey every year as it depends if the weather is warm enough and dry enough for the bees to forage when the maples are in bloom, usually during April.  Some years it seems to rain the whole time the maples are blooming.  Not everyone likes maple honey as it has a strong menthol flavor.  Some people even describe it as tasting like cough syrup.  I like it, but I can understand why many people don't.

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