Macadamia Nut Pie

I’ve written about this before but once upon a time, many moons ago, my ex, who was the night manager at a convenience store when I was expecting Darling Daughter, brought me home a little cookbook that was packaged with a carton of Benson and Hedges cigarettes (yeah, it was a LONG time ago).  It was full of recipes from America’s Favorite Resorts, and since Darling Daughter will be 23 in about 2 weeks, it goes without saying that the book is a bit…outdated.

It doesn’t mean the recipes aren’t damn good.  Because they are.

And this is one.

Coconut and Crust

The book is titled Recipes from America’s Favorite Resorts, and this one comes from the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel on the Big Island of Hawaii.  It’s my understanding that the Mauna Kea was the standard for high-end resorts in Hawaii from the time it opened in 1965 through the 80s; by the time Beloved and I discovered it in 2003 it was a little shabby and outdated (sort of like my cookbook), but still a charming and lovely place.  It certainly had one of the nicest beaches in the area – when we Beloved and I weren’t attempting to access remote black sand beaches, we spent hours lounging in a secluded cove at the far end of the Mauna Kea’s beautiful white sand beach (in fact, I learned to snorkel there).

Lots of Eggs

(It also didn’t hurt that Roy Yamaguchi’s restaurant was located in the resort right across the road.)

I heard the Mauna Kea was renovated a couple of years ago, and I’m a little sad because it’s now just another glitzy resort.  I’m going to miss that Grand Old Dame of a hotel.

I, of course, knew nothing of this when I first received this little gem of a cookbook – all I knew is that the descriptions of the resorts, including the Mauna Kea (which I never thought I’d ever really see), were wonderful and the recipes made me want to cook them.

Nuts, honey, butter and sugar

So I did, and you should too.  This is not an inexpensive pie to make, so I usually save it for special occasions, and it is very sweet and very, very rich – when it says the 9-inch will serve 8 – 12 people, it will serve 8 – 12 people.  But it is oh, so delicious.

Macadamia Nut Pie

Note: all ingredients should be at room temperature.

Macadamia Nut Pie

serves 8 – 12

7 eggs, slightly beaten

3/4 cup melted butter

3/4 cup honey

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1 cup flaked coconut (I use unsweetened coconut when I can find it)

1 unbaked 9″ pie shell

1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped macadamia nuts

Preheat the oven to 325° F.

Mix the eggs, butter, honey and sugar with an electric mixer on low until smooth. Sprinkle the coconut over the bottom of the pie shell; pour the egg/honey mixture over the coconut.  Be careful; the crust will be full.  Sprinkle the macadamia nuts evenly over the filling.

Bake for 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Cool for at least 30 minutes, but this pie is delightful if served a little warm.

Peach Pie

Peach PieI have absolutely no idea how it got to be Thursday already – this week is just going by in one big blur.

The cool weather is coming; it’s been in the mid-to-upper 80s for better than a month now – it’s been a truly lovely summer – but the temperature is starting to drop in our neck of the woods.  It is only getting up to 68 tomorrow, and the forecast sets our high temps in the low to mid-70s for the next week or so.  I’m beginning to think about dishes like chili and chicken noodle casserole, and plan on making Julia Child’s recipe for Boeuf Bourguignon, from her wonderful Mastering the Art of French Cooking, this weekend.

However, the last days of summer are showering us with the last of the summer peaches at a reasonable price, and I was able to get my hands on several ripe, fragrant freestone peaches last weekend, so pie it was.

Because I love me some pie.

Granted, this is a little more involved than most fruit pie recipes, but it is the most delicious peach pie you’ll ever eat.  At least I think so – to me, it tastes like a huge, juicy peach.

If you’ve never peeled a peach, merely blanch them in almost boiling water for 30 – 45 seconds, drop them in an ice water bath for a minute or so, cut a slit through the skin and it will just pull right off.

Peach Pie

serves 8

Pie crust for a 2-crust, 9″ pie (double the recipe given if you follow the link)

8 medium ripe peaches, about 2 3/4 pounds, peeled, pitted and sliced

2/3 cup sugar

pinch of salt

1/2 tablespoon of butter

1 heaping tablespoon tapioca

1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract

Roll the bottom pie crust 1/8 inch thick (or less) and 12 inches in diamter.  Transfer to the pie plate; trim the edge almost even with the plate.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, but no more than 3 hours.

Place the sliced peaches in a large bowl; add the sugar and salt and toss them gently to mix evenly.  Allow the peaches to macerate for at least 30 minutes, but no longer than an hour.

Pour the peaches into a colander suspended over a bowl to capture the juices – you should have around a cup of peach juice when they’ve drained.

In a small saucepan, boil the peach juice over medium heat, until it’s reduced by a little more than half and syrupy.  Swirl the juice in the pan, but don’t stir it. Remove from heat and swirl in the butter until melted.  While the peach juice is boiling, transfer the peaches back to the original bowl and toss them with the tapioca and almond extract until the tapioca is well distributed throughout the mixture.

Pour the syrup over the peaches, tossing gently.  Pour the mixture into the pie shell.

Roll the top crust into a circle about 12″ in diameter.  Moisten the edges of the bottom crust with a little water and place the top crust over the peaches.  Tuck the overhang under the bottom crust and press down all around the top to seal it.  Crimp the border using either a fork or your fingers, then slash the crust.  Cover the pie loosely with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerate for an hour to chill  (this will “relax” the pie crust and help prevent it from shrinking during baking).

While the pie is in the fridge, preheat oven to 425 ° F.  Set an oven rack in the lower third of the oven, and set a baking stone or baking sheet, covered in foil, on the rack before preheating.  Set the pie directly on the baking stone or baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes; reduce the heat to 375 ° F and continue baking for another 30 minutes, or until the crust is a nice, golden brown.

Cool the pie on a rack before serving.