Over the years my Thanksgiving menu has evolved to incorporate my all-time favorite foods. This includes roasted brussel sprouts, cornbread (on its own), cornbread sausage stuffing (both in and out of the bird), and of course the pear-glazed turkey. And this year I’ve added a new favorite to the spread, the hazelnut chess pie. Chess pie is a custard-based pie that incorporates a bit of cornmeal into the custard for a slightly thicker texture. I added a few of my favorite elements from the standard pecan pie fare to the mix, as well as a smattering of fresh northwest hazelnuts, and in the end I came out with one of the single most delicious pies I’ve ever tasted. Imagine what a pie filled with a hazelnut chocolate custard would be like. That’s this pie.
For the crust I wanted to enhance the nuttiness of the filling with a similar flavor, so I went with buckwheat flour. Buckwheat flour is made from the seeds of the buckwheat plant, which is not related to actual wheat. It is a separate type of grain that has a warm, rich, and nutty flavor to it, which makes it perfect for use in baked goods with nuts. I also incorporated some McCormick Gourmet Ground Jamaican Allspice and Saigon Cinnamon in the crust for a little bit of holiday flavor.
If you’re still scratching your head about what to make for Thanksgiving, I’d definitely recommend adding this to the list, and if you’re looking for a wider range of recipe options, you should take a peek at American Homemade and Flavor Print for a really awesome selection of tailored and tasty recipes. And on that note, I wish you all the warmest of Thanksgivings, filled with delicious food, good drink, and warm company. And just a reminder to take a peek at my gift guide rather than brave the crowds on Black Friday, the small batch craftsman on it will thank you kindly. Cheers!
Hazelnut Chocolate Chess Pie With A Buckwheat Crust
This take on the classic southern chess pie brings in the warmth and crunch of hazelnuts, paired with the creamy richness of chocolate. It makes for an unforgettable dessert that's sure to become a new fall favorite!
Hazelnut Chocolate Chess Pie
- 2 eggs beaten
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/3 cup dark corn syrup
- 1/2 cup creme fraiche or heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 3 tablespoons corn meal
- 1 1/2 teaspoons flake kosher sea salt
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon hazelnut extract
- 1 1/2 cups hazelnuts chopped
- 1/2 cup buckwheat flour
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup unsalted butter very cold
- 6-8 tablespoons ice water
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon flake kosher sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon allspice
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. To prepare the crust, mix together all of the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Cut the butter into pea-sized pieces over the bowl, or pulse together using a food processor. Add the ice water, a tablespoon at a time, mixing with a wooden spoon rather than your hand to help keep the dough cool, until fairly well mixed (it's okay if there's still some small blobs of butter).
Grab a handful of the dry crumbly dough mixture and squeeze. If it holds together you don't need to add anymore water. Roll the dough out until it is about 1 centimeter thick, then place it over a well-greased and lightly floured 8-inch pie dish (mine measures about 2 inches deep).
Trim the edges and use the remaining dough to create a decorative border by cutting out shapes, (or just place the remaining dough in a freezer-safe plastic bag and freeze for when you want to make another pie). Place the crust in the refrigerator.
Hazelnut Chocolate Chess Pie
To prepare the filling, beat the eggs, granulated sugar, brown sugar, corn syrup, creme fraiche, cocoa powder, corn meal and salt until smooth. Add the butter, vanilla, and hazelnut extracts and mix until incorporated. Stir in the hazelnuts.
Pour the filling into the pie shell. Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour or until the filling is set on top and the pastry is golden brown. Allow to cool for 1 hour before slicing and serving.