I admit it.  I judge a book by its cover.  And the reason this pie sailed through the semifinals and into the finals of the intense competition of the Parks family Thanksgiving meal is the crust.  Of course, I like apples and pears, too, so I’m not totally shallow.  Another one from Martha Stewart Living November 2012.

Important note:  My version of this recipe DOUBLES the ingredients for the crust.  Every single pie I’ve ever made has never made enough crust for the size AND thickness.  Better to have extra left over than to not have enough.  This will also allow you to make a deep-dish pie, which we always prefer anyway.  Consider yourself warned.  

*Featured in our Thanksgiving 2012 Menu.


Finely chopped walnuts replace some of the flour in the crust of this apple-pear pie. Extra-wide strips of pastry give the traditional lattice top a modern twist.

Prep Time:  45 Minutes

Total Time:  4 hours

Makes one 9-inch pie
Serves 8

Ingredients

Crust

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for surface

  • 3 ounces walnuts, toasted and chopped (1 cup)

  • 2 Tbsp. granulated sugar

  • 2 tsp. coarse salt

  • 4 sticks cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

  • 2/3 to 1 cup ice water

Filling

  • 5 to 6 Granny Smith apples

  • 3 firm-ripe Bosc pears

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar

  • 1 whole vanilla bean, split and scraped

  • Juice of 1/2 lemon (about 5 teaspoons)

  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter

  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten

  • Fine sanding sugar

Directions

Crust:

  1. Pulse flour, walnuts, granulated sugar, and salt in a food processor until walnuts are finely chopped. Add butter; pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal, 8 to 10 seconds. Drizzle 1/3 cup ice water evenly over mixture. Pulse until mixture comes together when pressed in your hand (dough should not be wet or sticky). If dough is too dry, add more ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time, and pulse.

  2. Lay out 2 pieces of plastic wrap. Empty half the dough onto each piece. Bring edges of wrap together to gather dough. Press into disks. Roll out disks, still wrapped in plastic, to 1/2-inch-thick rounds (8 inches in diameter). Refrigerate at least 45 minutes and up to 2 days. Let stand at room temperature 5 to 10 minutes before rolling.

  3. Roll out 1 disk of dough into a 12-inch round (a generous 1/8-inch thickness) on a lightly floured surface. Fit into a 9-inch pie plate, and trim edge, leaving a 1-inch overhang. Roll out remaining disk of dough to a generous 1/8-inch thickness. Transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet, and refrigerate, along with dough in pie plate, until firm, about 1 hour.

Filling:

  1. Peel and core apples, and cut into eighths (you should have about 7 cups). Peel and core pears, and cut into eighths (you should have about 5 cups). Toss apple and pear slices with salt, granulated sugar, vanilla seeds, and lemon juice. Melt butter in a large saute pan over high heat. Add fruit mixture, and cook, stirring, 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-high, and cook until fruit is softened, about 5 minutes more. Stir in flour, and cook 1 minute. Remove from heat; let filling cool completely.

  2. Cut dough on baking sheet into 3-inch-wide strips. Pour filling into dough-lined pie plate, and brush edge of dough with some egg wash. Weave dough strips into a lattice over filling, and press overhang onto edge of crust. Trim edge, fold under, and crimp as desired. Brush top of pie with more egg wash, then sprinkle with sanding sugar. Freeze until firm, about 30 minutes.  Preheat oven to 425 degrees with rack in lower third of oven.

  3. Bake pie 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees, and bake until crust is golden and filling is bubbling through lattice, about 1 hour. Let cool completely on a wire rack.

Cook’s Note

Pie can be stored at room temperature 1 day.