Walnut Pie a la Mode
A classic: walnut pie, with its toasty nut flavor, is served with silky vanilla ice cream. More toasted walnuts and a sprinkle of raspberries complete the presentation. This is a two-crust pie. The pastry is chilled overnight, and the filling is refrigerated before being poured into the crust for baking — and then refrigerated again. Allow enough time for chilling during the various steps of the recipe.
- Vanilla Ice Cream
- Milk - 1/2 quart
- Vanilla bean - 1, split
- Egg Yolks - 6
- Sugar - 1 cup
- Heavy (whipping) cream - 1/2 quart
- Walnut Pie
- Sugar - 1 cup
- Butter - 1 cup, melted, cooled to room temperature
- Pinch of salt
- Flour - 3 cups
- Egg - 1
- Heavy (whipping) cream - 3 cups
- Sugar - 2 cups
- Shelled Walnuts - 1 pound, , chopped and toasted
- Egg Yolk - 1, beaten
- Walnuts - 1 cup, halved, toasted
- Fresh Raspberries - 1 cup
To prepare the ice cream: Put the milk in a saucepan and scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into the milk; drop in the pods. Bring to a boil and remove from the heat; set aside to steep. In a the top part of a double boiler or stainless steel bowl, whip the egg yolks and sugar until foamy. Strain the milk into the egg mixture and whisk to blend. Place on the top of a double boiler over simmering water and mix with a wooden spoon until the mixture thickens and coats the spoon. Remove from heat. Stir in the cream and refrigerate until cold. Freeze in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s directions. Pack in an airtight container and store in the freezer.
To make the pie: In a large bowl, combine sugar, melted butter, and salt. Add flour, 1 cup at a time, and mix. Add 1 egg and mix well but do not overwork. Divide the dough into one-third and two-thirds. Wrap in plastic wrap and let rest at least 2 hours, or overnight in the refrigerator.
Roll out the two-thirds portion until 13 inches in diameter. Place in a buttered 10-inch pie pan. Leave excess dough hanging over the edges. Roll out the one-third portion until 11 inches in diameter. Refrigerate both parts of the pie pastry.
In a saucepan over medium heat, boil the cream and sugar until reduced by one-half. Add the walnuts and cook 5 minutes. Pour into a bowl and refrigerate until cold.
Preheat the oven to 375 F. Remove pie plate from the refrigerator and fill with the cooled walnut mixture. Whisk the egg yolk until foamy and brush pie dough around the lip of the plate. Cover with the top pastry and crimp around the edges, removing excess pastry. Brush top of pie with beaten egg yolk. Score with a fork in a criss-cross pattern. Bake 30 minutes. Remove and let cool; refrigerate until cold.
To serve: Lightly dust the dessert plates with confectioner’s sugar. Cut the pie into wedges and place one on each plate with a quenelle of vanilla ice cream. Garnish with walnut halves and berries.