For this year’s Thanksgiving pie, why go the traditional route? We say create your own memories, starting with this black bottom walnut pie from Jaynelle St. Jean, chef and owner of Pietisserie in Oakland, California. Her bakery is known for offering fun twists on classic pies like a chocolate cream confection with a buttery pretzel crust, a grapefruit custard with graham cracker crust, and her most eye-catching treat: the black bottom walnut pie.

The pie starts with a flaky butter crust that’s topped with a layer of chocolate. Inside that decadence is a walnut filling with molasses and vanilla. Her modern take on the classic nut pie has become a Thanksgiving staple for Bay Area locals, so much so that the shop has a line down the street on Thanksgiving morning. In previous years, her pies sold out for home delivery via William Sonoma.

This Thanksgiving, St. Jean has given us her famous recipe to share with you. Veer off the beaten path and bring this unique pie to this year’s Friendsgiving.

BLACK BOTTOM WALNUT PIE

(Makes 1 pie; 9 servings)

Ingredients:

Crust:

  • 1 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 8 tablespoons cold salted butter, cubed
  • 1/4 cup ice water

Black Bottom Crust:

  • 1 cup flour
  • 3 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons cold butter
  • 3 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 egg yolks

Filling:

  • 1 cup corn syrup
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoon flour
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Toppings:

  • 1 cup whole walnuts
  • freshly whipped cream, for serving

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

2. Make the butter crust. Combine the flour and salt in the bowl of a food processor, add butter, and pulse until coarse.

3. Add ice water and combine until a dough forms.

4. Form into a ball, cover with parchment paper or plastic wrap, and refrigerate for roughly 20 minutes.

5. Make the chocolate crust. Combine flour, cocoa powder, and salt in a bowl, and set aside.

6. In a separate bowl with an electric mixer, beat butter, sugar, and egg yolks until combined.

7. Add in flour mixture, and mix until a dough forms.

8. Form into a disk, cover with parchment paper or plastic wrap, and set aside.

9. Prep the crust. Lightly dust a flat surface with flour. Remove butter crust from fridge, and roll out with a rolling pin until crust is about 1/8-inch thick and fits your pie pan.

10. Carefully fold the crust in half and half again to transfer it into the pie pan without breaking. Unfold it inside of the pan, then cut the edges so they hang off the pie pan (about an inch).

11. Tuck the crust edges under itself. Then position one hand on the inside of the crust’s edge and the other on the outside. Push the dough between the index finger and thumb of your outside hand and index finger of your inside hand (see picture). You’ll form a U shape with the crust. Continue the same pattern with the remaining crust to form a decorative, crimped edge.

12. Place it in the freezer for 30 minutes or until firm.

13. Make the filling. While crust firms up, combine all filling ingredients in a large mixing bowl, and whisk until combined. Set aside.

14. Assemble the pie. Once the crust is firm, remove from freezer.

15. Gently press the chocolate crust on top of the buttery crust base until it evenly covers the entire bottom.

16. Place the walnuts on top of the chocolate crust.

17. Pour into the prepared pie, on top of the walnuts.

18. Place your pie pan on a baking sheet and bake for 30-40 minutes or until set around the edges and the center is puffy and jiggly.

19. Allow pie to cool completely before serving with freshly whipped cream.

Share your favorite holiday pies with us on Instagram @BritandCo.

(Recipe via Jaynelle St. Jean/Pietisserie; photos via Kurt Andre/Brit + Co)