Friday, March 13, 2015

Friday Pie-Day: Macadamia Caramel Pie

Tomorrow’s Pi Day! (3.1415...) Here’s what we made yesterday… Sticky doesn’t even begin to describe this delicious pie. Yes, it’s amazing, outstanding, gorgeous, and all that jazz, but it’s homemade caramel, so what do you expect?

I wasn’t expecting it to be so simple to make, that’s for sure. So that was a plus.

It required minimal ingredients. Trader Joe’s macadamia nuts were a huge hit, by the way.

I actually made the pie crust the night before, which turned out to be a good decision, since the dough had to chill.


It was a different recipe than our usual one, but it turned out quite well using only flour, sugar, butter, and eggs.

I loved this new method for rolling out the pie crust – using wax paper minimizes mess on the counter.

And rolling out the top crust between 2 sheets of wax paper is a trick I will definitely be trying again! I stored them like this in the refrigerator overnight, which worked out wonderfully.

So the first step of making the pie filling is to toast the macadamia nuts – just spread them on a baking sheet for 5 minutes in a 350 degree oven. I think I did way more than the 2.5 cups that it required. This had to be at least 3 cups, maybe almost 4.

Try not to pop too many in your mouth in the process (though if you have extra, it might be helpful just to test them and make sure they taste all right).

Next it’s time to start making caramel! I was a little worried about this, wondering how regular sugar was going to transform into rich brown caramel…

…but I needn’t have fretted. At first it looked like brown sugar!

This was after 11 minutes of me standing there feeling silly about stirring sugar in a cast iron skillet while it seemed like nothing was happening. All of a sudden, CARAMEL!

Only 3 minutes from that point, it was full-fledged caramel. (By the way, after we cleaned out the pan, we scraped the sides with apples – so yummy!)

Next comes the fun part – pour in heavy whipping cream very slowly and watch it bubble! This part was so fun that I spread it out over 5 minutes. Also, you don’t want to pour too much in at a time because it bubbles up so much!

This was after all the cream was added. (I was stirring constantly so it wouldn’t burn.)

Then, remove it from the heat and stir in those toasted macadamia nuts! Warning: this pie filling is super thick, and, as I already mentioned, sticky!

Can you tell how thick it is?!

Let me just say again how easy it was to prepare the pie crust the night before. I just slapped it on top of the pie and cut slits for venting, then popped the pie in the oven!

After an hour and a half of cooling, it sliced just fine!

The nuttiness was complemented by the rich caramel flavor, and this pie was another winner for sure!

It goes great with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream too!

If you do end up with leftovers (which I can’t imagine, but who knows?), just make sure you heat them up before trying to slice them. Refrigerating the caramel will make it even harder, so unless you want to break a knife, take my advice.

Macadamia Caramel Pie (recipe adapted from Taste of Home)
2¾ cups all-purpose flour
2½ cups sugar, divided
1 cup cold butter, cubed
2 eggs
1 cup heavy whipping cream
3 cups macadamia nuts, toasted
1 egg white, lightly beaten

  1. In a food processor, combine the flour, ½ cup sugar and butter. Cover and pulse until blended. Add eggs; pulse until blended. On a lightly floured surface, gently knead dough 5 times or until a ball is formed.
  2. Between 2 sheets of wax paper, roll two-thirds of dough into a 13 inch circle; press onto the bottom and 2 inches up the sides of an ungreased 9-inch springform pan (or regular pie pan). Cover and chill. Roll remaining dough into a 9-inch circle; chill.
  3. In a large heavy skillet, cook and stir remaining sugar over medium heat until melted and dark brown, about 20 minutes. Slowly stir in cream until blended. Remove from heat; stir in nuts.
  4. Cool for 15 minutes. Pour into prepared pan. Top with 9-inch pastry circle. Fold pastry from sides of pan over the top pastry; seal edges with a fork. Brush top with egg white.
  5. Bake at 325 degrees for 50-55 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack for 20 minutes. Carefully run a knife around edge of pan to loosen. Remove sides of pan. Cool completely before cutting.

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