My mother and sister are deathly allergic to all nuts, nut oils and anything that remotely comes into contact with a nut. As a result, I had never, ever tasted pecan pie until I got married and my mother-in-law served me a piece at her house. Instantly I swooned. For someone who absolutely loves salty and sweet combinations, this was heaven on a plate.
Then it hit me, my own mother used to make a pie that looked similar only it substituted salty sunflower seeds for the forbidden pecans. Recently, I found the recipe and made a test-run of it to see if I wanted to serve this at my house for Thanksgiving this year. The answer was a resounding YES!
Warning - if you plan to make this for someone with nut allergies be sure to read the sunflower seed package carefully - many brands roast them in peanut oil! Watch out!
Sunflower Seed Caramel Pie
3 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup dark corn syrup
1/4 cup white sugar
3 tablespoons butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup roasted, unshelled salted sunflower seeds
1 unbaked 9 inch pie crust (I used Pillsbury prepared crust)
Whipped Cream for topping (recipe follows)
Cinnameg Sugar (recipe follows)
1. Heat oven to 350.
2. Line pie plate with prepared crust. Pour one cup of sunflower seeds into unbaked crust.
3. In a small bowl, melt butter. Set aside to cool slightly.
4. In a large bowl, beat eggs lightly.
5. To beaten eggs add sugars, syrups, melted butter and vanilla. Mix well.
6. Pour liquid mixture over sunflower seeds in unbaked crust.
7. Bake at 350 for 50 minutes or until center of pie is only slightly jiggly and well set.
8. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely before serving.
Whipped Cream Topping
1. Pour one cup of heavy whipping cream into the bowl of a large mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.
2. Cover with a clean dishtowel to prevent splattering.
3. Whip at medium speed while gradually adding 3 tablespoons white sugar.
4. Continue whipping until well combined and holds its shape.
*I make this the day ahead and keep in sealed container in the fridge. Just before serving, give it a gentle stir to soften. Works amazingly well!
1. In a small bowl mix together 1/4 cup sugar, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg, and a pinch of salt. Mix well.
2. Pour into a small shaker and enjoy this seasonal sprinkle on coffee, toast, muffins, and most especially, on top of the whipped cream for this pie!
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