I've been on a bit of a walnut kick lately, and this recipe is an ode to the deep, rich walnut flavor. This recipe is a cousin to my favorite (!) kind of pie: pecan. It has the same gooey, caramely flavor, but is offset by the heartiness of the walnuts.  And who can say no to a hidden layer of chocolate?                       The How To (The Crust):
  1. Pop the stick of butter in the freezer for a few minutes
  2. Fill a 1/4 measuring cup with cold water and drop an ice cube in
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, and salt
  4. Dice the very cold butter into small chunks
  5. Cut the butter into the flour mixture (you can use your fingers, a pastry blender, or two forks)
  6. Pour the ice water (ice cube removed!) over the mixture and press together with a rubber spatula
  7. Knead the dough with your hands a couple of times, just until it comes together. You can add one more tablespoon of water if the dough is too dry, but only do this if really need to
  8. Wrap in plastic wrap, flatten into a disk shape, and refrigerate for at least an hour
  9. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees
  10. Roll out the pie dough and place in a 9-inch pie plate. Prick all over with a fork and freeze for 20 minutes, or until solid
  11. Cover the frozen pie crust tightly with a piece of buttered foil. Really press it down!
  12. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes, then remove from the oven and discard the foil
  13. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees, and let pie crust hang out in the freezer to cool completely
The How To (Toasted Walnuts):
  1. Hey, remember that rimmed baking sheet we used earlier? Spread the walnuts on it and pop em in the oven for 8-10 minutes. Shake the pan around a couple of times to ensure even toasting
The How To (Black Bottom): 
  1. In a small saucepan, bring the cream to a boil over medium heat. Whisk in chopped chocolate until smooth
  2. Pour chocolate mixture into the chilled pie crust and spread it around evenly
  3. Place the crust back in the freezer while you make the walnut filling
The How To (Filling + Assembly):
  1. In a medium saucepan, combine brown sugar, butter, dark corn syrup, and pinch of salt
  2. Simmer over medium heat for two minutes, whisking continuously
  3. Remove from the heat and whisk in toasted walnuts, vanilla, cider vinegar, and bourbon (if using)
  4. Let cool slightly (approximately 5 minutes), then whisk in eggs, one at a time
  5. Pour mixture into the cooled pie shell
  6. Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes - when it's done there will be a bit of a jiggle in the center of the pie, but the edges should be set
  7. Cool on a rack, serve at room temperature
A Few Notes:
  • Don't forget to lower the oven temperature from 400 to 350 (I know because the first time I tested this recipe I forgot!)
  • The bourbon is optional, but as you know, I like putting bourbon in pies
  • This pie lends itself well to a whipped cream pairing (just omit the lemon zest)
  • You can always tent some foil around your crust if it starts browning too quickly
Pairs Well With: