As the proud owner and chief baker of Pie Country, it was just impossible to resist my rabbi's request last November for Nesselrode Pie. She gave me plenty of notice and a plea I could not refuse. For her wife's upcoming 40th birthday, she had her heart set on it, and not a one could be found. Please make one for us.
She had taught both of our children, officiated at my father-in-law's shiva and helped us build our first sukkah.
Could you say no?
My first thought - what the devil is Nesselrode Pie?
A quick online search provided the answers and just two recipes. Just two recipes! Most other pies have dozens if not hundreds of varying recipes that flood the screen with a simple search. Not Nesselrode Pie.
Nesselrode Pie appears to be indigineous to New York. From what I've managed to read, it was brought to popularity by Hortense Spier, the premier pie baker for restaurants in New York City, in the 40s and 50s. Evidently all things with chestnut puree have been named after Count Nesselrode, a 19th century Russian diplomat credited with negotiating the Treaty of Paris after the Crimean War. Don't ask me what the chestnut puree connection is all about!
Nesselrode Pie or Nesselro Pudding is simply a vanilla custard, aka Bavarian cream, spiked with rum and then folded with chestnut puree set in a buttery pastry shell and topped with some chocolate shavings. Some versions have candied citrons throughout the custard, others have marons glacee. We also add a lovely layer of fresh whipped cream.
It is a shame that no restaurant in New York City currently serves this. It would be easy enough - all they have to do is contact firstname.lastname@example.org. We deliver.