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Cardamom Apple Walnut Pie

Ingredients

for the dough:

  • 400g all purpose flour (about 3 cups)
  • 7g salt (1 teaspoon)
  • 230g cold unsalted butter, cut into chunks (2 sticks)
  • 120g cold plain yogurt (1/2 cup)
  • 30g cold water (2 tablespoons)

for the filling:

  • 1180g granny smith apples (about 7 apples)
  • 30g lemon juice (2 tablespoons)
  • 20g cornstarch (2 tablespoons)
  • 130g brown sugar (2/3 cup)
  • 80g finely chopped walnuts (3/4 cup)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • Egg wash: 1 egg yolk beaten with 2 teaspoon cream or water

Instructions

  1. Place the flour, salt, and butter in a food processor fitted with the blade attachment. Pulse several times, until the butter blends into the flour, and there aren’t any lumps bigger than a tic-tac. Add the yogurt, and pulse 2 or 3 times to distribute. Evenly drizzle on the water. Pulse a few times until it can be squeezed together into a pliable and smooth dough (don’t over-process). If the dough won’t come together, add a few more drops of water. Shape the dough into 2 equal balls, flatten the balls into discs, cover each with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for just 30 minutes. Work on the filling while you wait.
  2. Peel the apples and slice them into 1/2 inch-thick wedges, discarding the cores and peels. Toss them in the lemon juice as you work to keep them from oxidizing (use a microwave safe bowl). You should end up with 905g (2 pounds) apple slices.
  3. Stir together the lemony apples, cornstarch, brown sugar, walnuts, salt, cardamom, cinnamon, and allspice. Let it sit for 15 minutes (or longer).
  4. Once it’s macerated for 15 minutes and has some juices pooling in the bottom, microwave* the filling for about 3-6 minutes, just until it heats through, softens slightly, and shrinks down a bit (pause to stir it once or twice). Let it cool to room temperature for a few minutes.
  5. Preheat the oven to 400°F (205°C) once you’re almost ready to roll the dough out (feel free to wait a bit longer to preheat if you are doing the complicated pattern below).
  6. On a lightly floured surface, roll a round of chilled dough out to between 1/8- to 1/4-inch thick; it should be quite a bit wider than the pie pan (about 13-13.5 inches across). Once it’s rolled out, gently wrap it around your rolling pin to transfer it to the pie pan. Unroll it onto a 9-inch pie pan and gently press the dough into place so it’s in contact with the entire pan.
  7. Roll out the other round of dough into a long oval that’s about 11×13 inches (1/8-inch thick). Optionally, chill the oval on a sheet pan for a few minutes to make it easier to work with.
  8. Fill the pie shell with the cooled filling once you’re ready to decorate. Gently tamp it down so it’s level.
  9. Decorate however you wish (e.g., cut the second round of dough into strips and make a lattice top, or follow the instructions below the recipe for this pictured styling).
  10. Trim the excess and crimp everything together.
  11. Brush with the egg wash, and bake for 15 minutes at 400°F (205°C).
  12. After 15 minutes, reduce the heat to 350°F (175 °C) and bake for 60 more minutes. If the edges of the crust start to brown too quickly, use a crown of tin foil for the last 20 minutes of baking.
  13. Place the pie on a cooling rack for at least 3 hours, until it comes to room temperature.

Notes

* You can easily skip this step if you don’t have a microwave, or just use your stove. If you skip it, your apples might be a little al dente, and your pie won’t be quite as juicy, or you might have to cook it longer than this recipe suggests. Also, if you skip this step, it might have a bit of a hollow dome, or you’ll have to spend time carefully nesting them all together. I’ve made it both ways, and it’s delicious in either case.

To make this ahead: The finished pie can be stored at room temperature for about a day, but it will last longer in the refrigerator. If you’re having guests over, feel free to make it the day before serving and leave it at room temperature.