Macadamia Nut Cream Pie – Attempt 2

Please feel some sympathy for my tough plight.  My attempts to find the macadamia nut cream pie of my childhood is forcing me to bake and eat pie after pie after pie.  Oh, the horror!  Yes, the quest continues and this past weekend I made another MNCP (let’s abbreviate, shall we?) using a recipe that Aaron graciously sought out from his sister.

Just looking at the recipe, it struck me as being pretty close to what I had in mind.  The custard filling has cornstarch to thicken it and the ground nuts are added at the end of the process, so they aren’t cooked too much.  Macadamia nuts seem to lose their flavor when cooked.  The one thing I wanted to change was the shape.  Her recipe is made with a shortbread crust in a 9-inch square baking dish but I wanted to use a traditional pastry crust in a pie plate.  Other than that, though, I followed the recipe religiously.


The ingredients are simple: milk, sugar, corn starch, pinch of salt, eggs, vanilla, macadamia nuts, and a pre-baked pie crust.


I have a lot of trouble with pie crusts and need to practice more.  This one shrunk on me something fierce.  Too much water, I think.  Maybe time for a food processor.  (Wishful thinking with my lack of counter space.)


The larger portion of the milk and sugar are heated until near-boiling.  The smaller portion of milk along with the eggs and corn starch are mixed together.  Then you add a bit of the hot milk-sugar mixture into the milk-egg mixture to warm it up.  This is called tempering.  Then you pour the milk-egg mixture into the milk-sugar mixture, cooking for another five minutes or so until it thickens.  Add the vanilla (there was too much at two teaspoons – tasted too vanilla-y) and the chopped nuts.  It is then added to the pie crust and allowed to set in the fridge for at least six hours.


Looks pretty, despite my lame decoration with whipped cream.  Maybe I should buy a more decorative tip for my pastry bag?  But the real question is, how did it turn out?  A short video answers that question:


In short, good taste but still not set.  Thinking this through, I have a theory about the problem.  I think it is the eggs.  The eggs here look smaller than the ones in the US.  It that is the case, then the recipe doesn’t have enough of the protein from the eggs to help give it structure.  The two egg recipe probably could use a third egg.  Anyone want to validate that theory or am I going to have to cook  yet another pie and suffer through the experience of eating it, just to test the theory? 

Yeah, woe is me, right?


0 thoughts on “Macadamia Nut Cream Pie – Attempt 2

  1. From what I understand it could be a cornstarch problem. When I’ve made cream pies there has been a huge emphasis on making sure you include the right amount of cornstarch… maybe look into that? I hear it makes the cream filling thicker and if that were the case it might hold it’s shape more. I don’t think I’ve ever made macadamia nut cream pie though it sounds good.

  2. You could try cooking it longer at a low heat. The eggs will continue to bind the longer you cook them. You will have to stir constantly. -OR- one teaspoon of flour, actually you might be able to find tapioca flour easier, one Tbl. spn. Cream pies take patience.

  3. oh no, it didn’t set! how disappointing! i will definitely have to try the recipe out as it was originally written and see how it turns out. my sister didn’t say anything about having trouble getting it to set, so i’m sad that your attempt didn’t turn out.i do have a good pie crust recipe if you want it… it’s my grandmother’s recipe and i’ve never had problems with it shrinking (i didn’t even know pie crusts had that problem!). i don’t use a food processor — the secret to getting a nice, flaky crust is to use as little (ice cold) water as possible, and to chill the fat (i prefer vegetable shortening). also, a pastry cutter helps, although using two knives to cut the fat into the flour works too. the less you work the pie crust, the better.

  4. Tough job, but someone has to do it. Another pie eating gig, drat. Have you thought of using a coconut cream pie recipe and just subbing the nuts? I have never had a cream pie be so runny. It is about the cornstarch and the temp of the cooked pudding I think. It has to come to a good boil and then be chilled if I remember right.

  5. I know this is lame, but have you thought about using a store bought custard powder and just using that? I use it often when I make custard type desserts. And it really holds its shape! I can show it to you when you come here later.

  6. I’d like a copy of Aaron’s sister’s recipe. I’ve never had this problem with cream fillings either. The eggs might be part of the problem. Would you say your large eggs are about the same size as medium eggs in the States? According to my Betty Crocker cookbook, 1 medium whole egg = 1/4c; 2 = 1/3-1/2c; 3 = 1/2-2/3c; 4 = 2/3-1c. This info may/may not be relevant.

  7. I don’t know what the others above have said, but I don’t think it is the eggs. If you add an extra egg, it will become more fluid-y. I would like to suggest a thickening substitute such as a small amount of agar ( seaweed ) that is very clear. I think that will do the trick Chris.

  8. Oy, that last picture makes me sad. 😦 You could probably validate your theory by looking up egg sizes in the US online and compare them to the egg sizes in Thailand. How thick was the custard after you cooked it? Was it solid? I’m surprised that the cornstarch didn’t set it enough…

  9. @brooklyn2028 – @ZSA_MD – @jandsschultz – @tehls – @stebow – @amygwen – @Finity – @yang1815 – @suggestivetongue – Thanks to everyone for the advice and suggestions, which pointed in several interesting (and sometimes contradictory) directions!  The theory I’m going with at this point is that there needs to be more egg yolks and less egg white.  The recipe calls for two eggs, but most cream pudding recipes would have more yolks than whites.  So I’ll test that theory in the next week or so and let you know how it turns out…@AppsScraps – In the meantime, I’ll go buy a nicer tip to use for piping whipped cream.  As you point out, penis-shaped whipped cream is… well… it just is.@kunhuo42 – We’re on the same page on the pie dough recipe, except that I like a mixture of butter and shortening for both tenderness and flakiness.  Most likely, I may have stretched the dough a bit too much while putting it into the pan.@aotolife – @seedsower – @Fatcat723 – Well, taste is more important than looks, but presentation plays an important role in the enjoyment of food, too.@CurryPuffy – Okay, so you’re adding a Bangkok pie tasting leg to your holiday travel plans?@fortheloveofblogging – @TheCheshireGrins – @ThePrince – And if the third time isn’t the charm, there’s always the fourth time, right?  And the fifth time, and the sixth time…@elizabethtravis – I’ve got to figure out the recipe here first!@ElusiveWords – You know, I eat a much larger portion of the pie than Tawn does, so I’m thinking more of the grams are ending up on my hips.

  10. @christao408 – ok, i consulted my sister and she said you have to cook the pudding so that it becomes very thick, without overcooking it so that it separates (the heat can’t be too high or it will curdle). she said it’s a little bit tricky to get it right. but otherwise, she has no problems getting her pie to set. 

  11. @kunhuo42 – Well, it became very thick, nicely so.  Didn’t see it break but as it cooled, it didn’t ever firm up completely.@elizabethtravis – I have, thanks.  The first recipe I tried was from the University of Hawai’i, in fact.  But I will keep trying until I get a pie that I’m satisfied with.@murisopsis – That part about the pants is hardly a sure thing!

  12. Amazing hot this turned out! Thanks for sharing this recipe to us, now I want to try making this cream pie. Hopefully I can serve this up in the party I would be hosting a couple of days from now. Kudos!

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