Party-Worthy Pies

A lemon-hazelnut pie, an easy Thanksgiving dessert

Last Saturday, I had the pleasure of attending a fall fête just for bloggers, hosted by Amy from Old Sweet Song and Natalie from The SoHo.

I had a fantastic time sipping wine and mingling with the bloggers I knew and meeting many who I didn’t. However, the best part of the afternoon was the dessert table! While Amy and Natalie so graciously provided plenty of beverages for imbibing, each guest was asked to bring a fall-themed dessert to share.

Ingredients for an easy fall pie

The table was overflowing with mini-pear pies, caramel apple cookies, and homemade gingerbread caramels among other tasty treats. I made a pine nut-anise pie—a recipe that had been on my “to try” list for awhile now.

Since it was a recipe I hadn’t made before, I didn’t even get a chance to sample the pie before carrying it over to Amy’s apartment. Luckily, it was (very) good and, even better, my fellow guests agreed—it was voted as the favorite dessert of the afternoon!

Still high on my Saturday victory, Ryan and I cranked up the oven on Sunday to try out another pie recipe that had been tempting me.

Pouring the pie filling in a lemon-hazelnut pie

A finished lemon-hazelnut pie slice

Lemon-Hazelnut Pie

1 pie crust (frozen, or homemade, if you’re ambitious)
All-purpose flour, for dusting
6 tbsp. butter, melted
2 large eggs
3/4 c. packed light brown sugar
1/2 c. light corn syrup
1/4 c. lemon syrup
1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. flour
2 c. hazelnuts, toasted, peeled and chopped

1. Place a baking sheet on the lowest oven rack and preheat to 425 degrees F for 30 minutes.
2. For the lemon syrup, bring 1 cup water and 1/2 cup sugar to a boil. Add 1 thinly sliced lemon and cook 10 minutes; let cool.
3. Meanwhile, whisk all of the remaining ingredients except the hazelnuts in a bowl.
4. Spread the hazelnuts in the crust and pour in the filling. Gently press the lemon slices onto the filling before baking.
Place the pie on the hot baking sheet and lower the oven temperature to 325 degrees F. Bake until the crust is golden and the filling is set, about an hour. Cool on a rack.

Homemade lemon-hazelnut pie

This pie was just as delicious as the winning pie. Ryan thinks it might have been even more popular than the pine put pie, had I taken this to the party instead.

The caramelized lemons on top were perfect for eating on their own, while the gooey, sweet filling was almost reminiscent of a traditional pecan pie, with a bright punch of citrus. We ended up giving the leftovers away because we kept snacking on it—it was so good! (And completely worthy of a spot on this year’s Thanksgiving table!)

- Laura

P.S. Want the recipe for the pine nut-anise pie too? See below! It’s not terribly different from the recipe above, but both pies are party-proven and holiday-ready!

Pine Nut-Anise Pie

1 pie crust (frozen, or homemade, if you’re ambitious)
All-purpose flour, for dusting
6 tbsp. butter, melted
2 large eggs
3/4 c. packed light brown sugar
1/2 c. light corn syrup
1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. crushed anise seeds
1/4 tsp. salt
2 c. pine nuts

1. Place a baking sheet on the lowest oven rack and preheat to 425 degrees F for 30 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, whisk all of the remaining ingredients except the pine nuts in a bowl.
4. Spread the pine nuts in the crust and pour in the filling. Place the pie on the hot baking sheet and lower the oven temperature to 325 degrees F. Bake until the crust is golden and the filling is set, about an hour. Cool on a rack.

10 Comments

  1. Meredith
    Nov 11, 2011 @ 09:36:47

    I love your photography. Do you have good natural light in your kitchen or do you have flash equipment? Just curious- it’s getting harder and harder to take pictures in good light now that it’s winter.

    Reply

    • Smith & Ratliff
      Nov 11, 2011 @ 09:56:06

      Thanks! We shoot in all natural light, but now with winter, we find ourselves shooting much earlier since the light has changed. These were shot pretty early in the day—closer to noon, whereas we used to be able to shoot around 5 p.m. with no problems. Winter definitely makes it harder to get good light that’s not flat. -LR

      Reply

  2. Vanessa
    Nov 13, 2011 @ 12:44:52

    Oh, wow. Just… Wow.

    Reply

  3. Lakshmi
    Nov 20, 2011 @ 13:37:12

    An interesting recipe! Love the crunchy hazelnuts & lemon slices — raw and uncensored! I will modify the recipe to go without eggs and let you know how it turns out.

    Reply

  4. Kasey
    Nov 20, 2011 @ 16:22:53

    I love blogger get-togethers! You know you’ll eat well :) Lemon-Hazelnut pie sounds amazing – an Italian twist to the traditional pie. Love that.

    Reply

  5. Cheryl
    Nov 22, 2011 @ 19:27:43

    When you say lemon syrup is with one “thinly sliced lemon” do you mean one thin slice of lemon or an entire lemon thinly sliced?

    Reply

    • Smith & Ratliff
      Nov 22, 2011 @ 19:31:29

      Oops, sorry if that was unclear! It’s one entire lemon, thinly-sliced. (Every slice that’s on top of the pie was in the syrup first, so it looks like I got eight slices out of it.)

      Reply

  6. Pie time « The Dust Settles
    Jan 28, 2012 @ 18:54:41

    […] of us excited for her pecan hand pies — yummmm! Can’t wait. But Sara, can I add this pine nut anise pie to the list of “must-try’s” for the holidays? It looks and sounds […]

    Reply

  7. emily
    Feb 22, 2013 @ 23:40:47

    The Lemon-Hazelnut Tart is incredible!! A new favorite–thanks for the recipe. Here’s my version…with a tart crust instead of a pie crust: http://www.nothinginthehouse.com/2013/02/lemon-hazelnut-tart.html

    Looking forward to trying out more of your recipes!

    Emily

    Reply

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