Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Apple Pie with Walnut Crumb Topping

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We're coming down to the final days before Thanksgiving... have you started prepping yet? This year, we're spending it with The Baron's extended family and I'll be in charge of desserts. So since I had so much fun making pies in a couple pie classes I've taught, I'm going to do a few pies to bring to the table. Specifically, an apple lattice pie, blueberry crumb pie, and ginger peach pie... recipes to be featured here on the site soon! But I will share this Apple Pie with Walnut Crumb Topping. I had students make this in one of my pie classes and it was a hit! Fresh apples are seasoned with sugar and cinnamon, then topped with a walnut and brown sugar crumb topping before baking...

Apple pie is a must during the fall and especially during Thanksgiving. If you're intimidated to make a double crust pie (which is a pie that has a crust on the bottom and on top), this is a good pie to make since it only uses one crust. The topping of walnuts, brown sugar and flour is perfect if you're serving folks who love a bit of crunchy topping for texture. To serve, I love a slice of this pie with a healthy scoop of vanilla, caramel or cinnamon ice cream and a drizzle of buttery caramel. 

Apple Pie with Walnut Crumb Topping
recipe adapted from Whole Foods

For the Crust
  • 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour or gluten free flour blend
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable shortening
  • 4 tablespoons ice water
For the Topping
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour or gluten free flour blend
  • 3/4 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted [Plugra] butter, at room temperature

  • For the Filling
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour or gluten free flour blend
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
  • pinch sea salt
  • 2 1/2 pounds (about 6) Granny Smith, peeled and cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
Prepare the pie crust. Place flour and salt in the bowl of a food processor and pulse to combine. Or, whisk together in a medium bowl. Add butter and shortening and pulse in the food processor or cut in using a pastry blender just until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add ice water 1 tablespoon at a time, until dough just comes together. Gather up dough, pat into a disc, cover and chill at least 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the topping. In a medium bowl, stir together flour, walnuts, brown sugar and salt. Mix in butter with fingertips until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Set aside.

When ready to bake pie, preheat oven to 400°F. Roll pie crust dough out on a lightly floured surface into a 12-inch circle. Place dough in 9 1/2-inch pie plate and press into place. Trim and fold under the edges and crimp for a decorative crust. Chill in refrigerator while making the filling.

In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, flour, cinnamon, lemon zest and salt until combined. Add apple slices and lemon juice and toss until evenly coated. Spoon apple filling into pie shell and sprinkle evenly with crumb topping. Bake pie on lower rack of oven 20 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F and continue to bake 45 to 50 minutes longer or until apples are tender and topping is golden and crisp. Cool on a wire rack.

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