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Walnut Crusted Apple Pie


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My Christmas dinner was a disaster.

I may be exaggerating.  Maybe not quite a disaster.  But it did leave me crying into my hands at the table, quietly sobbing "I'm sorry, it's so bad" to my family.  My poor husband knew just how to respond and patted my shoulder lovingly with a "it's really not that bad honey..." But when it all came down to it, when asked if he'd eat any leftovers he hesitated for a long while before saying sweetly, "no... I don't think so." And that's when I knew it had been a huge flop.  A 9 lb ham in the trash... Not for my lack of skill or trying.  I cooked all afternoon!  But I'll spare you the details of the slimy ham I purchased from Albertson's and get down to the fact that dessert saved the day.

Not the prettiest looking pie, I couldn't get the crust to come together like a pastry crust should.  It was crumbly and hard to handle and I ended up just smashing the edges together in an effort to "seal" the two crusts.  No decorative crimping here... sorry folks.  And for this reason alone I figured the dessert would likely follow in the footsteps of the disastrous dinner.  But no, this thing was amazing... and even better on days 2 and 3!

Walnut Crusted Apple Pie

1 lb fuji apples peeled, cored and thinly sliced
1 lb golden delicious apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
6.75 ounces all purpose flour (about 1 1/2 cups)
3 tablespoons packed brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons cold butter cut into pieces
3 tablespoons ice cold vodka (or water)
Cooking spray
1 tablespoon milk
1 egg yolk

Combine first 8 ingredients (through cinnamon).  Toss to coat.

Place nuts in a food processor; process until finely ground.  Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife.  Add flour, 3 T brown sugar and 1/4 t salt to food processor; pulse 5 times.  Add butter and pulse until mixture resembles a coarse meal (about 6-8 times.) Turn processor on and slowly add vodka through food chute processing just until combined (do not form a ball.)  Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead 3-4 times.  Divide into 2 equal portions.  Flatten each portion into a 4 inch circle on plastic wrap.  Chill 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 425.

Unwrap and place 1 dough piece onto plastic wrap.  Cover with 2 overlapping pieces of plastic wrap.  Roll dough, still covered, into a 10-inch circle.  Place into a 9-inch pie plate coated with cooking spray. Spoon apple mixture into crust.  Follow same rolling instructions for second dough piece, rolling into a 12-inch circle.  Place over apple mixture and press edges of crusts together.  Fold under and flute.  Cut slits in top of dough to allow steam to escape.

Combine milk and egg yolk, stirring with a whisk.  Gently brush top of dough with egg mixture.  Place pie plate on a foil lined baking sheet (or on one of these amazing pie drip catchers from Williams Sonoma that my step mom bought me!) Bake at 425 in lower third of the oven for 20 minutes.  Shield edges of pie crust with foil.  Reduce oven temperature to 350 (do not remove pie from oven) and bake an additional 30 minutes or until browned.  Cool on a wire rack.

Original recipe courtesy of Cooking Light


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