I had a pretty big jar of cashews that I wasn’t eating fast enough, and I wanted to do something with them. My first instinct was to dip them in chocolate, but I remembered that I wanted to try this recipe. I discovered it around the holidays while I was making pecan pie. I was very intrigued by the maple, and wanted to know if the “maple flavor” would shine through.
I made a few substitutions for this recipe in the spirit of “making it work with what I have”. I only had dark chocolate and not bittersweet, but I didn’t think that would be a problem. I also only had salted cashews, so I cut back on the salt quantity for the recipe. Lastly, I didn’t have any brandy. I did a bit of research on substitutions, but I didn’t really have anything close, so I added a little sherry instead.
The pie was pretty good! The taste and texture was basically the same as a pecan pie base. I really liked the chocolate and cashews, although I could’ve kept the original measurements for the salt. If you like cashews, this is a recipe worth trying.
Side note: I recommended using a glass or tart pan for this recipe. Unless I’m making a double crust apple pie, I always use the tart pan. Frist, I’m terrible at crimping dough, but more importantly, I’ve found that using a tart pan is great for when you’re baking a pie for others. Since it’s easily removable from the pan, it’s easy to take with and you don’t have to worry about leaving your pie pan at someone’s house. I’ve been doing this for years now, but I do think I’m finally ready to tackle crimping again.
Cashew, Chocolate and Maple Pie
- 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 10 tablespoons (1 ¼ stick) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 3 to 5 tablespoons ice water
- 1 ¼ cups pure maple syrup (or ¾ cup dark corn syrup)
- 6 tablespoons (3oz) unsalted butter, melted
- 1 cup packed, dark brown sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 3 large eggs
- 2 tablespoons brandy
- 5 ounces dark chocolate, finely chopped
- 1 ¼ cups salted roasted cashews
Equipment: 9 inch glass or tart pan
Make the crust:
In food processor, pulse flour and salt until combined. Add butter and pulse just until mixture resembles coarse meal. Drizzle 3 tablespoons ice water evenly over mixture and pulse or gently stir with fork until incorporated. If it doesn’t hold together, add more ice water ½ tablespoon at a time, pulsing or stirring until incorporated. Do not overwork dough, or it will be tough. Turn dough out onto lightly floured work surface, form a ball, and flatten into a disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill until firm, about 1 hour.
On lightly floured surface, roll out dough to 12-inch round, then transfer to pie pan. Trim edge, leaving 1/2-inch overhang, then fold overhang under and crimp edge decoratively. Prick bottom and side of shell all over with fork, then chill shell 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 425°F.
Line shell with foil and fill with rice or dried beans and bake until pastry is set and pale golden on rim, about 15 minutes. Remove foil and rice or beans and bake shell until pale golden all over, 5 to 7 minutes more. Cool on rack.
Make the filling and bake the pie:
In medium saucepan over medium high heat, simmer maple syrup, uncovered, until reduced to ¾ cup, about 10 minutes. Carefully whisk in butter (it may splatter), then sugar and salt. Remove from heat and let cool to warm room temperature. In medium bowl, whisk together eggs and brandy. Whisk egg mixture into cooled maple syrup mixture.
Preheat oven to 325°F. Spread chopped chocolate in even layer over bottom of prepared crust. Sprinkle nuts in second even layer, then pour filling over nuts. Bake until filling is puffed and center is just set, 45 to 60 minutes. Cool in pan on rack. Adapted from epicurious.