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Feb 12, 2008 09:19 AM

Bittman's Walnut Pie -- has anyone attempted?

Have been curious about Bittman's recipe for walnut pie ever since it appeared in the NY Times a couple weeks back.
(recipe in link on left


Has anyone tried? Would love to get some reviews on how it worked or didn't work, any adjustments made, etc. Thinking of subbing pecans for walnuts...

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  1. I haven't tried it, but it's quite similar to the Honey and Pine Nut Tart in "Dolce Italiano," which I have made. The "Dolce" recipe calls for half sugar and half honey instead of all sugar and includes one egg plus one yolk. Otherwise they're almost exactly the same. I reported on that recipe here

    but in essence, I thought it cloyingly sweet. The honey may have been the culprit here, but it dampened my interest in the Bittman recipe.

    2 Replies
    1. re: JoanN

      Thanks JoanN. Your review of the Honey and Pine Nut Tart made me smile. I also tend to do way to much sampling when I bake which kills my appetite for the end result. Shame about it being too sweet. Mr BB loves pine nuts and would love to find a good desert recipe -- but he's not a big fan of overly sweet.

      The sweetness issue is definitely a concern for me with the Bittman recipe -- which makes me question whether it's a good idea to sub pecans for walnuts -- walnut flavor a bit more robust. But my concern with cooking with walnuts is when they're a bit past their prime and they get that really bitter edge.

      If I end up making, will post on how it turns out.

      1. re: bite bite

        hey bb,
        maybe you and mr bb would enjoy the pine nut tart in claudia fleming's book. it has a short crust and caramel, and it has rosemary in the caramel, which makes it not so cloying. it is beautiful and elegant and satisfying.

    2. I've made it 3 times. The first time the preparation was a nightmare but it ended up absolutely fabulous! It was very dark, unlike the caramel in the video (which I hadn't seen yet). I cooked it in an enamel coated cast iron pan and the sugar took forever to melt. The second time it was too soft. I undercooked it after watching the video. The third time was great again. That time I didn't add any water to the sugar when melting. I used a cheap stainless steel pan and the sugar melted much faster, but when I added the butter it turned in to a hard mass and I had to remelt it. It then hardened up nicely in the crust. Next time I plan add some melted chocolate the crust. And each time I lightly toasted the walnuts. Probably not necessary. I may try pecans sometime but love the walnuts.