When it comes to good food, Thanksgiving really gives us a chance to shine. There are a few things I make that seem to create a lot of interest. Earlier this year I finally responded to the requests about how to make homemade yogurt, and this time it’s my pie. The great thing about this recipe for Roasted Hazelnut Pie Base, is that it’s simply an addition, and it will enhance nearly any pie. It’s your favorite pie, but better!
Roasted Hazelnut Pie Base works wonderfully with pumpkin (my favorite), apple, and berry pies. And being that I do live On The Nut Farm, it’s just possible that I may have more recipes featuring hazelnuts than your average Joe. 😉
Roasted Hazelnut Pie Base aka… Your favorite pie, but better
3/4 c. toasted and finely ground, hazelnuts (about 3/4 – 1 c. whole nuts)
1/3 c. brown sugar, firmly packed
4 T. butter, softened
1/4 t. vanilla
salt, just a pinch
Mix the ingredients, just until they come together into a paste. Press into the bottom of you favorite pie crust. Bake at 450˚F for 10 minutes, until bubbly. Allow to cool completely, then bake your pie as usual. Your favorite pie, but better!
* this makes enough for one deep-dish 9-9 1/2 inch pie.
toasting hazelnuts –
This is a super simple process that greatly enhances the flavor of the nuts, so don’t be tempted to skip this step 😉 Oh, and you may want to have more nuts on hand than the recipe calls for, because they are oh-so-yummy, when toasted!
Spread the nuts in a single layer on a large rimmed baking sheet. Toast in a 350˚F oven, shaking the pan every few minutes, until the nuts are lightly browned and fragrant, about 5-10 minutes. You will know they are almost ready when the skins begin to crack. Be careful not to let them burn 😉
Pour the warm nuts onto a kitchen towel (one that’s a little rough is best), and rub the warm nuts vigorously to loosen the skins.
This is one of those recipes where making substitutions will not give you a good final product. Please don’t be tempted to use margarine in this recipe. The water in margarine does not play nicely with the oils from the nuts, and you will have a disappointing mess.
grinding hazelnuts –
Again simple, but a little care is needed. You can grind the (cooled) nuts in a blender or food processor, the key is to do just a few at a time. Go slowly, just a few pulses, otherwise you will end up with hazelnut butter, which is super tasty, but not what you’re looking for in this recipe.
Press the hazelnut base evenly into the bottom of your pie crust.
Get ready for the most intoxicating smell! Oh my goodness, this is the best part. Watch the baking time closely, and you may want to place some aluminum foil, or a pie crust guard, around the edges of your pie crust to keep it from burning.
Once your pie base has cooled, use as you would any other pie crust.
That’s it, simple and sumptuous. Enjoy!
until next time, keep the green side up,