Grizzly Bear Pie

A walnut and honey custard filling is baked over a flaky crust in this grizzly bear pie. Being a close cousin to pecan pie makes me an instant fan.

Walnuts and honey are two of my favorite things in the entire world. Never a day goes by when I don’t reach for a handful of nuts or infuse my tea with honey. I love the flavor honey imparts to baked goods and this pie is no different.

The filling tastes mildly of honey with the texture of soft, spoonable caramel. It’s made of eggs, heavy cream and lots of butter that bubbles as it bakes and sets up as it cools. It’s rich, dense and quite sweet.

The super sweetness of the filling finds balance in the savory meatiness of the nuts. They become instant friends.

The original recipe from Vinegar Hill House, a Brooklyn restaurant, calls for toasting the walnuts, a step I skipped. I like walnuts just the way they are. Feel free to toast them first if you like.

Move over pecan pie! There’s a new kid in town.

I like him better.

Grizzly Bear Pie

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 40 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 25 minutes

Yield: 1 (9-inch) pie

Grizzly Bear Pie

A walnut and honey custard filling is baked over a flaky crust in this grizzly bear pie.


1 + 1/2 cups (6 1/2 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon buttermilk powder, optional
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) cold butter, cut into small pieces
1/4 cup cold vegetable shortening
4 to 5 tablespoons bottled ice water
1 + 3/4 cups walnut halves and pieces
1/2 cup white sugar
2/3 cup honey
3/4 tsp salt
1 cup unsalted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 large egg plus 1 yolk
a pinch of coarse sea salt


  1. Sift together the flour, buttermilk and salt into a medium bowl. Cut in the butter and shortening with a pastry blender or two knives used scissor fashion until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  2. Stir in 4–5 tablespoons of ice water until dough just holds together. Pat into a disk, wrap in plastic and refrigerate.
  3. Make the honey filling in a heavy-bottomed saucepan - combine sugar, honey, and salt and stir until blended. Add the butter and cook, stirring, over medium-low heat until the butter has melted and the mixture comes just to a boil.
  4. Carefully pour into a large mixing bowl (not a glass one). Whisk in vanilla then allow to cool about 20 minutes or to room temperature/lukewarm.
  5. Meanwhile, roll out the crust on a lightly floured surface to about 11 inches in diameter. Place in a 9-inch pie pan and flute the edges, trimming off excess (save the scraps).
  6. Scatter the walnuts over the crust. Preheat the oven to 350° F. Set a baking sheet on the bottom rack to catch any drips.
  7. Once the honey mixture is cooled whisk in the cream then the egg and yolk until well combined. Pour over top of the walnuts not quite to the top because the honey will bubble and rise a little. If you have extra honey use it to bake a mini pie with your crust scraps or just discard.
  8. Bake the pie for 40- 45 minutes or until filling is set but still jiggles slightly and the crust is a deep golden brown. The pie will continue to set as it cools. Sprinkle the cooled pie with Maldon or other flaked sea salt, if desired.


Pie adapted from Saveur

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  1. Platanos, Mangoes and Me! says

    I am a pecan pie freak. This is the first I hear of this pie. I am ready for one.

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