Creamy Sweet Beet Pie with Hazelnut Crust and Yogurt Syrup


This is my ode to the beet. I love it. It is good steamed/boiled, but why stop there? Surely the humble, yet provocatively deep red-colored, beet has more to offer beyond the boundaries of salads, or worse, as a natural red food color. The result of an evening of inspiration and creativity was this Creamy Sweet Beet Pie with Hazelnut Crust. The yogurt syrup makes it even better. Oh my! Even the beet skeptic might be swayed to the beat of the beet!

Creamy Sweet Beet Pie with Yogurt Syrup

•  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •

Like a northern snowbird, I headed south last week. To get used to the time, I had this not-so-great idea to tough it out on my first night: stay up, finish writing this, get some work done, and be early to bed the next evening to ‘reset’ my circardian rhythm. My thirty-something body, on the other hand, had other plans–like succumbing to exhaustion before midnight, not feeling my laptop slip from the bed and not hearing the heartbreaking sound of the machine hitting the hardwood floor. Nope. I had woken up in a daze at 3am, local time, and slowly realized that ACK! MY LAPTOP!!! Blood drained from my face when I saw it closed, but monitor at the bottom. #$&(*&%! I leaped from the bed to assess the damage, praying that the screen didn’t $hatter into piece$.  Thankfully, everything was still intact except for the corner dent, and most importantly: it still worked! Whew. After that, I couldn’t bring myself to push my luck in the staying-up-too-late-to-post department for the rest of the week.

•  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •

Beets, we meet again. You and your unpretentious exterior.


Your unassuming presence change once peeled and cut, and you resemble rubies or garnets.


Just looking at you make me smile. Jewels, you are.

Oh, god, I talk to vegetables. Secret’s out!

Well, if you’ll excuse me, I’ll go back to being sane.

Enamored is an understatement as to how I feel about beets. I wanted to do something more than roasting and boiling them for salads. When I got more beets, I had PIE in my mind, thanks to the  apple pie and pumpkin pie I had in rotation in the kitchen, so pie it is.

For the crust, I wasn’t feeling the flaky dough crust, so I decided on a graham cracker crust. Well, well, guess who ran out of graham crackers (or crumbs)? Haha. I still had whole hazelnuts, so I ground them into powder consistency and added wheat germ and butter.

Ground hazelnuts

The ground-nut crust was borne out of last month’s almond-grinding for the macarons. Since then, I’ve ground more almonds and hazelnuts for crusts that have earned raves among family members.

hazelnut crust

The hazelnut and wheat germ crust went perfectly well with the beets.

Creamy Sweet Beet Pie with Hazelnut Crust

It could have been a planet’s unattractive red surface at first glance, and I wasn’t quite confident of the outcome that I was ready to toss it if it didn’t turn out good. However, my doubts melted after I took my first bite. I was in awe of how good everything melded together. It’s an odd marriage of ingredients, spices and textures, for sure, which really made for an interesting dessert.

Creamy Sweet Beet Pie with Hazelnut Crust

I wasn’t the only one taken by it, judging by how fast it disappeared from the pie plate, down to the very last crumb. And I mean…the very last.

If you haven’t had beets as a dessert, then here’s your chance! Yummy, yummy, yummy. Dare I say it’s even healthy?! I think so. :-)

Creamy Sweet Beet Pie with Hazelnut Crust and Yogurt Syrup Download the PDF Recipe for Creamy Sweet Beet Pie with Hazelnut Crust and Yogurt Syrup



  • 500 grams fresh whole beets (approx 3-4″-diameter beets), peeled and cut into ½” cubes
  • 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons whole wheat flour
  • 7 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • 3.5 oz shelled hazelnuts, ground to powder consistency in a food processor
  • 2 oz wheat germ
  • 4 tablespoons salted butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar


  • 1/2 cup greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup icing sugar


  • food processor (for grinding hazelnuts)
  • 2 small mixing bowls
  • 9″ glass pie plate
  • 1 baking sheet
  • parchment paper
  • 1 medium mixing bowl
  • 1 large mixing bowl
  • aluminum foil


For the Crust:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F with the rack in the lower middle position.
  2. Mix ground hazelnuts, wheat germ, brown sugar and melted butter in a small bowl to create a gritty paste.
  3. Transfer onto the pie plate. Press and level against the bottom and sides of the plate with a spatula. Bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes. Set aside to cool on a trivet.
    Keep the oven on.

    For the Filling:

  4. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Pour and spread cubed beets on the parchment paper. Bake for 10 minutes. After removing, place the oven rack in the upper middle position.
  5. Put baked beets in a medium bowl and toss with lemon juice.
  6. Mix flour, brown sugar, ground cinnamon, and ground nutmeg using a spatula in a large bowl. Pour beets into the mixture and toss to coat.
  7. Beat eggs with heavy cream in the medium bowl from #5 with a fork. Pour over the beet and flour mixture, and stir together with a spatula until there are no dry spots left. Assembling the Pie:
  8. Transfer the beet mixture into the pie plate with crust. Level with a spatula. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes.
  9. Remove pie from the oven. Increase the temperature to 400°F and place the rack in the lower middle portion of the oven. Cover the pie plate with foil and return to the oven. Bake for another 10 minutes.
  10. Cool the pie (still covered with foil) on the trivet for 30 minutes, then uncover and cool for 30 minutes more.

    Making the Syrup:

  11. Beat the icing sugar and yogurt together until smooth.
  12. Slice beet pie and serve with yogurt syrup. Instead of the yogurt syrup, you can also top with vanilla ice cream or crème fraiche.


Beet preparation: The original recipe calls for cubed fresh beets that are pre-baked to cook and dry a little to make them chewy. You can also  shave or grate the beets if you have trouble chewing or if you don’t like them chewy; and you may then skip Step #4.

Serving suggestions: You can top the pie with vanilla ice cream or crème fraiche, instead of yogurt syrup. Best served warm. Re-heat in microwave for 10 seconds before serving.

Hazelnut Crust: Very versatile and I urge you to use it with other fruits (or veggies!).

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  • November 22, 2009 6:31 pm

    What an unusual and beautiful pie! Beets are something I’ve only recently acquired a taste for and I never would have thought they could end up as a dessert. My curiosity is piqued!
    .-= kellypea´s last blog ..Waldorf Salad sans Mayo =-.

    • joy
      November 23, 2009 11:14 am

      Thank you, Kelly! :) That’s so true about the acquired taste — I used to be just MEH about it. They taste like corn to me, and in the Philippines, we use corn for dessert so I thought I’d try it. :)

  • November 22, 2009 8:16 pm

    Well, you know, I have had beets in a couple of desserts before, but this is something I would never have thought of! I’m not entirely sure how much I’d like chunks of discernible beet in my pie (I’d be inclined to puree the filling), but I’m all for creative takes on veggies–it does look lovely and definitely worth a try!
    .-= Ricki´s last blog ..Reprise: Last Minute Thanksgiving Ideas =-.

    • joy
      November 23, 2009 11:18 am

      Ricki, do you have recipes for those? I’d love to try them. :) I did put a note on the recipe that for those who don’t like chunks or the chewiness of the beets, perhaps shaved or grated would be more to their liking. Only one person out of 5 taste testers made a comment about it, because of his difficulty chewing food in general.

  • November 22, 2009 10:35 pm

    That looks such a beautiful, healthy pie to indulge. I would love a big piece of that. Thanks for sharing
    .-= MaryMoh´s last blog ..Sweet Corn And Apple Chicken Soup =-.

    • joy
      November 23, 2009 11:21 am

      Thanks MaryMoh! It ended up being rich that it’s hard to believe it could be so healthy. Haha. :) You’re welcome.

  • November 22, 2009 10:51 pm

    Wow i really would have never thought to make a pie out of beets, but since i have some lying in the fridge I’m definitely going to try your pie recipe rather than roasting them like i always do! Those were some gorgeous beet pics by the way!
    .-= Nastassia´s last blog ..I Left My Heart In San Francisco! =-.

    • joy
      November 23, 2009 11:23 am

      Me, too! I’m glad I experimented. :) Let me know if you try it, Nastassia! Would love to hear what you think. :) And thanks a lot!

  • November 23, 2009 6:22 am

    I love the idea of using beets in this! Sounds delicious!

    • joy
      November 23, 2009 11:25 am

      Thanks! The outcome was certainly a surprise to me. :)

  • stellans
    November 23, 2009 6:58 am

    I am a certified beet-o-phile, but I’d never thought of a beet pie! Thank you so much for trying this first; I think we’ll try this this weekend. :)

    • joy
      November 23, 2009 11:26 am

      You’re welcome, Stellans! Definitely let me know how it goes. I always love to hear feedback. :) Happy Thanksgiving!

  • November 23, 2009 10:57 am

    Joy, that’s gorgeous! And something I’d never have thought of–but there’s no way it could be bad with those flavors you’ve got going on. Nice one!

    Whew! on the laptop!

    • joy
      November 23, 2009 11:28 am

      Thank you, Elle! At least once a month, I try to experiment on dish that’s totally unexpected — some make it here. Hehe.

  • November 23, 2009 6:32 pm

    Wow, what a gorgeous picture. This is one of those I dare you recipes for me. I don’t like beets but that picture is too good to resist! It’s saying I dare you not to like me. So this is bookmarked to try.

  • November 23, 2009 6:39 pm

    Holy Beet, Batman! This looks like a delicious use of that favorite root of mine. I have an annual beet dinner party and this is on the docket for next time. They are like cooking with jewels, aren’t they?

    Very well done!

  • November 24, 2009 3:35 pm

    Although I’ve never really loved beets, this looks delicious! Might just have to test it out =D.
    .-= Lauren´s last blog ..Glorious Gluten Free Grain Muffins =-.

  • December 4, 2009 8:11 am

    Thanks fot the inspiration!

    i’m having friends over tonight, and i have this big bag of beats…
    im totally going to make a steal. but i’ll do the graham crust. (friend allergic to nuts)

    have a nice holiday season. (which is so much about eating that im sure you will. :))


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