National Nut Day

I am a nut. If we are what we eat, then I am truly nutty. I like them all… pecans, walnuts, cashews, almonds, Brazil nuts, pistachios, pepitas, macadamias, hazelnuts, and even the ones, like peanuts, that aren’t really in the “nut” category.

Nutcracker Museum reports that nuts were a regular part of the human diet from as far back as almost 800,000 years ago. Nuts have a long history. Pecan remains from 6100 BC were found in a cave in Texas. Greeks and Romans touted walnuts as a gift from the gods. Macadamia nuts have long been associated with Hawaii, but they were originally grown in Queensland, Australia and were eventually brought to Hawaii.

Because Mom’s Pink Cake was such a hit on National Angel Food Cake Day, I want to share another of her superb recipes. This gem is from 1985. Mom (Glenna Burnham) repeatedly earned her “Best Cook in Town” reputation.

Glenna Burnham’s Macadamia Nut Cream Pie

Make and bake a 9” or 10” pastry shell with high, fluted edge.

Filling:

1 T gelatin (1 envelope)

¼ c cold water

½ c sugar (or favorite substitute)

½ tsp salt

1 ¼ c milk

3 slightly beaten egg yolks

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

½ c heavy (whipping) cream

½ c chopped macadamia nuts

3 egg whites

¼ tsp cream of tartar

½ c sugar (or favorite substitute)

Sweetened whipped cream

Macadamia nut shavings (or chopped)

Soften gelatin in the cold water. Meanwhile, mix ½ c sugar, salt & milk in saucepan; cook over low heat, stirring constantly until scalded. Remove from heat. Slowly stir half the mixture into the egg yolks; then blend back into hot mixture in saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring until it begins to boil. Immediately remove from heat. Stir in softened gelatin. Cool. When mixture is partially set, beat with rotary beater till smooth. Blend in vanilla. Then gently fold in the whipping cream, whipped until stiff, and the ½ c chopped macadamia nuts. Make a meringue of the egg white, cream of tartar, and ½ c sugar. Carefully fold the egg yolk/whipped cream mixture into the meringue. Pile into the cooled baked pie shell. Chill in the refrigerator until set (about 2 hours). Remove from refrigerator 20 minutes before serving time. Top thickly with the sweetened whipped cream and sprinkle macadamia nuts shavings over the top. Serve cold.

(Photo by Whitney Wright)

About Cathy Burnham Martin

Author of 20+ books, and counting! A professional voice-over artist, dedicated foodie, and lifelong corporate communications geek, Cathy Burnham Martin has enjoyed a highly eclectic career, ranging from the arts and journalism to finance, telecommunications, and publishing. Along with her husband, Ron Martin, she has passions for entertaining, gardening, volunteering, active and visual arts, GREAT food, and traveling. Cathy often says, "I believe that we all should live with as much contagious enthusiasm as possible... Whether we're with friends or family, taking people along for the ride is more than half the fun."
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