Almond Inspiration

Last night, as I was drifting off to sleep, I had a sudden flash of inspiration.

They’ve been hitting me rather a lot lately. Sometimes they’re not really all that genius – like the other night, when I was nearly asleep, and I suddenly heard the voice of Ask a Ninja shouting, “You can’t grow tacos!” That might not have been particularly inspired. In fact, that might be an indication of latent insanity. But every now and again, I get a real winner, and that is why I’ve decided against the asylum, and taken to keeping a pen and paper next to my bed at night.

Last night, the thought that sent me bolting for a pen and flashlight was the two words, “almond pie.” Did I know what an almond pie was? Certainly not. Was that going to stop me from making one? Absolutely not!

So before dinner today, I looked up my mother’s award-winning pecan pie recipe. (I do not lie. My father’s workplace pie competition gave two of her pies 1st and 2nd place overall – both of them varieties of pecan. It’s good stuff.) And I walked the epic half a block to the grocery store and bought myself some almonds, and commenced in the most original pie I have attempted since the avocado cream of 2009.

Okay, so the picture kind of makes it look like baked beans. But it’s a pie. An almond-shaped pie, at that! And, since my mom and brother have been gluten-free for two weeks, it also has an almond-flour crust! (At least, the larger pie – just up and slightly to the imaginary right of the cropped-out part of this picture – does.) I’m a purist.

And if I may say so myself, it’s something of a hit. Think of all the powerful goodness of pecan pie, but light enough that you don’t feel like you need to be rolled out the door in a wheelbarrow when you’re through eating. It’s pretty delicious.

So, for pie adventurers out there, here’s the recipe:

4 eggs
1 cup light corn syrup
2/3 cup white sugar
1/3 cup butter, melted
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp almond extract
2 cups sliced almonds
pie pastry

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a medium bowl, beat eggs with a fork till combined. Stir in corn syrup, sugar, butter, and vanilla. Stir well. Add nuts. Stir some more.

Pour into a 10″ pie pastry (in a dish, of course,) and cover edge with foil to prevent overbrowning.

Bake in a 350 degree oven for 60-65 minutes, or until knife inserted near the center comes out clean.

Cool on a wire rack. Cover and chill to store.

And may I just say, with the possible exception of Instant Jell-O filling, this may be the easiest darn pie I’ve ever made! Enjoy! ♥

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