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  #1  
Old 12-04-2011, 05:31 AM
BeaMyra BeaMyra is offline
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Can I Substitute Walnuts For Pecans In Pecan Pie

I was given a whole mess of walnuts.

I have a great recipe for Pecan Pie. I was wondering if I could simply substitute walnuts for the pecans. I have googled around a bit, and the recipes for Walnut pie seem to be close, but I was wondering if, it there were any expert bakers who could tell me if I'd need to adjust a recipe and if so, what.

You know like, since walnuts are a bit dryer add a bit more liquid or whatever.

Also any killer walnut pie recipes you have I'd appreciate.

Or if anyone has has any good ideas for a big sack of walnuts, besides brownies, I'd appreciate your feedback
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  #2  
Old 12-04-2011, 06:21 AM
don't ask don't ask is offline
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Can't see why not. My dad used to make both Pecan Pie and Pecan and Walnut Pie. As I remember they seemed to be the same just one was only half pecan. I remember once he told me the trick was real vanilla in the syrup.
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  #3  
Old 12-04-2011, 07:04 AM
not what you'd expect not what you'd expect is offline
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Zucchini Bread will freeze nicely and also makes a great food gift for the holidays. And I like a lot of walnuts in my bread.

You might candy some of them too. There are a lot of recipes on the web for that sort of thing and they also make great gifts. Tie some of those up in a pretty bag with some ribbon. Let me know if you can't find a recipe. Brown sugar and cinnamon are two popular spices for this.

Just plain, they are great in salads and oatmeal and good for you too!
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  #4  
Old 12-04-2011, 10:47 AM
Sattua Sattua is online now
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You can use up a lot of walnuts in baklava. Once you've found phillo in the grocery store's freezer case, the rest of the process is easy.

I think that the pie idea would be lovely too, though. My aunt used to make pecan pie, but with peanuts and chocolate chips, for her son's birthdays. I think some chocolate would be a lovely addition to walnuts, too

Lastly, if you enjoy middle eastern food, maybe try making a batch of Turkish walnut sauce. The recipe looks bizarre but it's very tasty.
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  #5  
Old 12-04-2011, 11:41 AM
Johnny L.A. Johnny L.A. is online now
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I haven't had walnut pie in years. When I did, I preferred it to pecan pie. There's something about walnuts. Maybe they're a little more bitter than pecans? But mom always made me pecan pies, so that's been my fave for quite a while. So yeah, go ahead and substitute.
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  #6  
Old 12-04-2011, 11:52 AM
Sarabellum1976 Sarabellum1976 is online now
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If it were me, making a walnut pie instead of pecan, I think I'd candy the walnuts first to counteract the bitterness. Maybe salt them a little, too. I've never made walnut pie, though... so YMMV.

Chocolate chip & walnut cookies are good, also, and feel free to use a heavy hand with the walnuts.

How about walnut brittle?
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  #7  
Old 12-05-2011, 01:36 AM
BeaMyra BeaMyra is offline
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Thanks for the suggestions.

I tried it today with a straight substitute and it was a little bitter. I think if I used candied walnuts, as someone suggested it would've been better.

I will have to try the walnut brittle too. Thanks for the ideas
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  #8  
Old 12-05-2011, 02:32 AM
Ashes, Ashes Ashes, Ashes is offline
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To cut bitterness, rub off as much of the skins as possible. For 1/2 cup of nuts, bring 1 1/2 cups of water to a boil. Add 2 tablespoons of baking soda and the nuts and boil them for 3 minutes. Rinse really, really well under cold water. Wipe/scrub with with a terry kitchen towel if necessary.

I found this walnut butter recipe on-line and changed it a bit. It's good stuff.

3 cups walnuts
1/2 tsp cinnamon
generous pinch of salt
sugar to taste

Place the walnuts in the work bowl of a food processor fitted with the regular cutting blade. Process the nuts. After about 45 seconds stop the machine and scrape down the sides of the bowl.
Continue processing. After about 1-1/2 minutes, the ground nuts will come together into a ball. Taste the nut butter and add the seasonings, adjusting as you see fit, until it reaches the desired consistency.
Store in the fridge.

And walnuts by themselves freeze well.
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  #9  
Old 12-05-2011, 02:37 AM
Mangetout Mangetout is offline
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Walnuts burn a little more easily than pecans in my experience - so they may not be a perfect substitute in all cases where they are added as a topping before baking.

They can be used in place of pine nuts to make a lovely pesto.
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  #10  
Old 12-05-2011, 03:42 AM
BeaMyra BeaMyra is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mangetout View Post
Walnuts burn a little more easily than pecans in my experience - so they may not be a perfect substitute in all cases where they are added as a topping before baking.
You have a point there too, but as a whole, simply putting in walnuts instead of pecans worked fairly well. It was a tad bitter but my kid and his friends ate it. But they're teenagers so that doesn't count for much

Next week I will definitely try candying the walnuts first, so I think that will take the edge off of them. Then again, I like raw walnuts, just not as many as I got.
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  #11  
Old 12-05-2011, 07:27 AM
devilsknew devilsknew is offline
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I once made/ate a fantastic Chocolate Walnut Pie which was very simple to make and almost exactly like Pecan Pie in recipe. Here's the google search page, as it seems there are many different recipes that are nearly the same. It seems to be popular or traditional Kentucky Derby fare (A Hot Brown and Walnut Chocolate Pie sounds like a good combo). I didn't notice any particular bitterness from the walnuts in this pie but maybe, just maybe, that was mitigated by the slight bitterness and extra sweetness of the Chocolate?
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  #12  
Old 12-05-2011, 09:17 AM
Quercus Quercus is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by devilsknew View Post
I once made/ate a fantastic Chocolate Walnut Pie which was very simple to make and almost exactly like Pecan Pie in recipe. Here's the google search page, as it seems there are many different recipes that are nearly the same. It seems to be popular or traditional Kentucky Derby fare (A Hot Brown and Walnut Chocolate Pie sounds like a good combo). I didn't notice any particular bitterness from the walnuts in this pie but maybe, just maybe, that was mitigated by the slight bitterness and extra sweetness of the Chocolate?
I concur with the above learned lady or gentleman. Walnuts are a little harsher than pecans, so they go better with stronger flavors, like chocolate. Instead of pecan pie, make chocolate walnut tart or something.

And whatever you do, toast the walnuts before using them in anything baked.
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  #13  
Old 12-05-2011, 10:06 AM
Sigmagirl Sigmagirl is offline
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I am allergic to pecans, so I look for fruitcake that has walnuts instead of pecans.
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  #14  
Old 12-05-2011, 11:50 AM
Chefguy Chefguy is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ashes, Ashes View Post
To cut bitterness, rub off as much of the skins as possible. For 1/2 cup of nuts, bring 1 1/2 cups of water to a boil. Add 2 tablespoons of baking soda and the nuts and boil them for 3 minutes. Rinse really, really well under cold water. Wipe/scrub with with a terry kitchen towel if necessary.

I found this walnut butter recipe on-line and changed it a bit. It's good stuff.

3 cups walnuts
1/2 tsp cinnamon
generous pinch of salt
sugar to taste

Place the walnuts in the work bowl of a food processor fitted with the regular cutting blade. Process the nuts. After about 45 seconds stop the machine and scrape down the sides of the bowl.
Continue processing. After about 1-1/2 minutes, the ground nuts will come together into a ball. Taste the nut butter and add the seasonings, adjusting as you see fit, until it reaches the desired consistency.
Store in the fridge.

And walnuts by themselves freeze well.
Even easier (I've done this many times):

2 cups walnuts
1/4 cup water
3/4 cup sugar

Combine all in a bowl. Microwave for 6-8 minutes, stirring every two minutes. Once you hit six minutes check carefully after one more minute. Don't overcook. Spread on a piece of wax paper to cool and then break up into smaller pieces. Caution: DO NOT BE TEMPTED TO TOUCH OR TASTE THE NUTS WHILE HOT. Unless you're into third degree burns.

By the way: at stores, candied walnuts go for about $15/lb.

Last edited by Chefguy; 12-05-2011 at 11:51 AM..
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  #15  
Old 12-05-2011, 01:27 PM
Crown Prince of Irony Crown Prince of Irony is offline
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Here's a simple use that makes for a great snack or holiday hors d'oeuvre.

Toast a bunch of walnut halves in the oven at 375 for around 7-10 minutes, then lower the temp to warm until 10 minutes before you serve (ETA: leave the oven door open for a few minutes after lowering the temp so they don't burn). While they are toasting, slice a baguette thinly, brush each piece with olive oil, and put them in to broil for a couple minutes when you take the walnuts out, watching carefully that you brown, not burn them.

Lay them out with some really good spreadable (not too crumbly) veined cheese - Cambozola, Gorgonzola, Stilton, etc.; and some large red grapes, sliced in half lengthwise. Serve with the baguette slices (or, if you rather, with an assortment of good quality crackers). Guests should spread a bit of cheese on the baguette slice, put a walnut half on, and top with a grape half. Sit back and watch it disappear, but save some for yourself.
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Last edited by Crown Prince of Irony; 12-05-2011 at 01:30 PM..
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  #16  
Old 12-05-2011, 01:52 PM
Fenris Fenris is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny L.A. View Post
I haven't had walnut pie in years. When I did, I preferred it to pecan pie. There's something about walnuts. Maybe they're a little more bitter than pecans? But mom always made me pecan pies, so that's been my fave for quite a while. So yeah, go ahead and substitute.
Yeah--I've never heard of walnut pie before, but my first thought is "I love pecan pie, but it's so icky sweet I can't eat much of it. Walnuts are more bitter...damn they'd be good in it!"
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  #17  
Old 12-05-2011, 01:57 PM
Dogzilla Dogzilla is offline
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I made black walnut pie one year, convinced I had duplicated my grandmother's famous black walnut pie that was in such high demand every year. I used the same pecan pie recipe she'd used (out of my trusty 1958 Better Homes & Gardens Cookbook). I called my sister to brag about my culinary feat.

She pointed out that Gramma's famous pie was hickory nut pie and no one in the history of my family had ever made a black walnut pie until I did. That said, the black walnut pie was delicious. I made no modifications to the pecan pie recipe and it turned out just fine.

Last edited by Dogzilla; 12-05-2011 at 01:57 PM..
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  #18  
Old 12-06-2011, 02:59 PM
Parenchyma Parenchyma is offline
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Don't forget the maple+walnut combination.

Years ago I worked at a bakery that made these cookies. Only 4 ingredients. They are wicked rich, so now the only time I make them is occasionally at Christmas.

Bring to a boil 2.5 cups maple syrup (grade B will be richer than grade A) and 1.25 cups butter. Take pot off stove and mix in 3.75 cups flour and 2 cups chopped walnuts.

Use a pastry bag or spoon out into little mounds (you can try sizes from teaspoonfuls to more than a tablespoonful but not usually at the same time). If the room is cold and the batter thickens, you can even roll them up by hand into balls, wetting your fingers often. Leave room as they spread a lot. Bake at 350 until just brown at edges. Watch closely so they don't overbake and turn into little rocks.

The chewiness/crispiness ratio seems to vary most with the type and amount of flour. I usually use whole wheat pastry flour but it would work with many types, including non-gluten flours. I recommend experimenting with a partial batch first.

When you hit these right they draw raves. They were always my most-requested Christmas cookie.

There is also a good Maple-Walnut Pie recipe in the first Moosewood Cookbook by Molly Katzen.
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  #19  
Old 12-08-2011, 04:07 AM
Senegoid Senegoid is offline
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A very useful thing to do with a whole bunch of walnuts is invite me over and feed some of them to me. Baked in a pie should be just fine.

Story time:
I lived in a guest house on a ranch. The owner had, besides horses and cows and dogs, eleven macaws. He travelled a lot, and I took care of the critters on weekends when he was away. He bought blemished walnuts direct from nearby farmers (that they couldn't sell otherwise), literally by the barrel-full. I was supposed to crack open five for each parrot, but check them for mold and bugs. (That's 55 nuts right there I had to crack.) About half of them were bad. So there's 110 I had to crack open.

The problem with the good walnuts was, I ate them all myself. So I had to crack open a WHOLE LOT of walnuts before I actually got around to giving any to the parrots!

Last edited by Senegoid; 12-08-2011 at 04:09 AM..
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  #20  
Old 12-09-2011, 08:13 AM
BeaMyra BeaMyra is offline
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I just tried the pecan pie, substituting candied walnuts instead of plain walnuts and it works out so much better. So I would say if you want to substitute walnuts for pecans, candy them first. Thanks for the other ideas
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  #21  
Old 12-10-2011, 07:37 PM
devilsknew devilsknew is offline
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Originally Posted by BeaMyra View Post
I just tried the pecan pie, substituting candied walnuts instead of plain walnuts and it works out so much better. So I would say if you want to substitute walnuts for pecans, candy them first. Thanks for the other ideas
Well, that isn't my experience, a bag of Diamond Walnut halves worked just fine without candying them or otherwise adulterating them (wasting my time). Candying walnuts just seems useless and redundant if you are essentially going to candy/roast them in a pie full of sugar and syrup.

You said you came into a bunch of walnuts? Are they commercially grown and processed or are they "fresh" off the ground from under someone's tree? Maybe they are a bit more "green" and tannic than your average walnut?
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  #22  
Old 12-10-2011, 09:40 PM
Baker Baker is offline
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Using walnuts in place of pecans won't change the working of a recipe, just the flavor.

As a baker I've used ground pecans in place of walnuts in baklava. It's still good, just different in taste.
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  #23  
Old 12-11-2011, 01:38 AM
devilsknew devilsknew is offline
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I think this guy understands Chocolate and Walnuts when they coalesce in essence wit some Kentuck Bourbon.
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