How to Make a Yummy Walnut Pie

Close-up of a walnut pie
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  • 2 hrs 20 mins
  • Prep: 90 mins,
  • Cook: 50 mins
  • Yield: 8 servings

Basic walnut pie is a simple recipe and makes a fine dessert for parties, especially during winter holidays, when nuts are an appropriate part of the main event. You can use this walnut pie recipe for other nut pies by just substituting pecans, macadamia nuts or whatever kind you like best.

What You'll Need

  • Pie Crust:
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons ice water
  • Filling:
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups roughly chopped walnut halves

How to Make It

Make the Pie Crust

  1. In a food processor, briefly pulse flour, salt, and sugar until combined. Add the butter and pulse until the mix looks like cornmeal. Add 2 tablespoons of ice water and pulse until the mixture is crumbly but holds together. If necessary add up to 2 more tablespoons water. Do not overmix. 
  2. Turn dough onto plastic wrap and fold wrap over dough. Shape the dough into a disc about 1 inch thick and refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour.
  1. When the dough is firm, roll out on a lightly floured board and place into a 9 1/2-inch pie plate. Trim and flute the edges for a clean appearance.
  2. If you prefer you can use a ready-made pie crust; if it is frozen it must be thawed before filling.

(Recipe for dough from

Make the Filling

  1. In a  mixing bowl, beat the eggs with a whisk until foamy. Pour in the melted butter and whisk until mixed.
  2. Add the brown sugar, granulated sugar, milk, flour, salt and vanilla; mix well. Stir in the walnuts.

Bake the Pie

  1. Preheat oven to 400 F.
  2. Pour the filling into the prepared pie shell. Bake for 10 minutes at 400 F, then reduce temperature to 350 F and bake for another 35 to 40 minutes, or until the crust is browned, the filling is set and a knife comes out clean when inserted into the center.

Serving Suggestions

Walnut pie is good all by itself, undressed. But if you serving it at a party and want to glam it up a little, serve a la mode, with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a big mound of freshly whipped cream. If you want even more jazz, sprinkle tiny chocolate chips or curled chocolate strips on the whipped cream or ice cream. 


Riff on this basic recipe to make chocolate, maple, toll house, caramel apple or mocha walnut pie. Or add walnuts to pumpkin for an edgy but traditional Thanksgiving dessert. Walnuts complement a wide range of flavors.