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Nuts About Apple Pie

Recipe By: Grace Thatcher
Year Submitted: 2015
Winner First Place

Ingredients

Crust
4 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons sugar
1 cup of shortening
6-8 tablespoons cold water

Walnuts
2 cups walnuts

The Caramel
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

The Fillling
4 pounds apples, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
2 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
3/4 cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons water
1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons water
¼ teaspoons vanilla

Directions

To make the crust:
Into a large mixing bowl sift the flour salt and sugar together. Cut in the shortening with a pastry blender until the mixture develops a course texture. Sprinkle the water over the mixture a spoonful at a time and toss until the dough begins to cohere. Gather the dough into a ball and press together with your hands. Divide the dough into two discs. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour before using.

Roll and fit one disc of pie crust into a 9 inch deep dish pie pan. Set aside in refrigerator. Roll the other disc of pie crust out and cut lattice strips. Weave lattice top and set aside in the refrigerator to stay cool and make it easier to handle.

Toast the walnuts:
Put the walnuts on a sheet pan and put into a 325 degree oven for 8-10 minutes to toast. Set aside to cool When the nuts are cooled rub in a tea towel to remove some of the bitter husks. Set aside in a bowl until you are ready to assemble the pie.

to make the caramel:
Mix the cream, cinnamon and salt in a small bowl. Combine the water and corn syrup in a medium saucepan. Pour the sugar in the center of the saucepan, taking care not to let sugar crystals adhere to the sides of the saucepan. Gently stir with a clean spatula to thoroughly moisten the sugar. Cover the pan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook, covered and without stirring, until the sugar is completely dissolved and the liquid is clear, 3 to 5 minutes. Uncover and continue to cook, without stirring but gently swirling the saucepan occasionally, until the caramel is a pale golden color, 3 to 5 minutes more. Reduce the heat to medium-low and continue to cook (swirling occasionally) until the caramel is light amber colored and registers about 360 degrees on a candy or instant-read thermometer, about 1 to 3 minutes longer. Remove the saucepan from the heat, add the cream to the center of the saucepan, and stir with a whisk until the bubbling subsides, being sure the your hand isn’t directly over the pan because the mixture will bubble vigorously. Stir in the butter and vanilla, and transfer the caramel to a microwave safe bowl. Cool.

To make the filling:
Place apples, butter, sugar, salt and lemon juice in a skillet and cook until apples are softened,
remove the apples to a colander and drain the liquid back into the skillet. Boil until reduced by 1/2. Mix cornstarch thoroughly into the water to make a slurry and add to the skillet with the apple juice and boil until thickened. Remove from the heat and add the cinnamon and the vanilla and whisk until well mixed. Add the apples back in and stir to combine all ingredients.

To assemble and bake the pie:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Put ¾ cup of nuts into the bottom of the pie shell. Pour ¾ cup of the caramel into the bottom of the pie shell (you may have to warm slightly in the microwave until pourable).(You will have caramel left over, save this to finish the pie) Add the apple filling. Fix the lattice top crust to the pie and finish the edge of the pie decoratively. Bake for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes keep an eye on the pie and cover the edge to keep from over browning if necessary. Bake the pie until the filling bubbles at the edge.

Garnish the pie with a drizzle of caramel if desired when the pie has cooled.