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Nesting

October 21, 2011

Most women who are pregnant tend to go through a phase they call “nesting” late in their third trimester. Generally, this involves massive amounts of cleaning, organizing and getting things ready for the baby.

Not with me. My nesting this time around seems to involve a lot of baking. In the past three weeks or so I’ve made two loaves of pumpkin bread, four loaves of banana bread, a double batch of pumpkin cookies, buttermilk brownies and a maple walnut apple pie.

Normally, I make my Grandma Emma’s apple pie in the fall, but I wanted something a little different. After doing a quick internet search, I found a recipe for Apple Walnut pie that looked easy enough (and I had all the ingredients on hand). But I wanted a little more flavor so I modified it slightly by adding maple syrup.

First, I made my preferred recipe for pie crust (doubled, as it’s a double crust pie), rolled half of it out and placed it in the bottom of the pie pan.

Then, I started on the filling with 3/4 c. chopped walnuts (the recipe called for ground, but I had chopped on hand, so that’s what i used, though I did chop them down a little more finely).

In a small bowl, I added 2 T. brown sugar, 1 egg beaten, 1 T. milk, 1 T. butter softened, 1/4 t. vanilla and 1/4 t. lemon juice.

Mixed it all together

and poured it in the bottom of the prepared pie crust.

Then I peeled, cored and sliced about 7 medium sized baking apples (5-6 cups total). I used apples my parents had been given from someone, so I’m not positive on the type, but I’m assuming any tart baking apples will work. I tossed 1 t. lemon juice in there to help keep them from browning too much while I got the rest of the filling ready.

In another bowl I mixed together 1/2 c sugar, 2 c flour, 1 t. ground cinnamon, 1/4 t. ground nutmeg and 1/4 t. salt.

I poured the dry mix over the apples and added 1/2 c. pure maple syrup, stirring it all together.

The apple mix went right on top of the walnut mix already in the pie pan and dotted with 2 T. butter.

I rolled the second crust out and placed it on top (the original recipe calls for a lattice crust, but I didn’t have the patience for that) sealing, fluting the edges and cutting vents for steam.

Into the oven at 375 for 50-60 minutes until top is golden and your house smells delicious. I like to put a pie shield around the edges for the last 20 minutes or so to keep them from getting too brown.

Ta da!

Yum.

The hub especially liked it warmed up with a scoop of ice cream.

The maple flavor wasn’t as pronounced as I would have liked, but it was extremely tasty. We both liked the nice flavor and texture the walnuts on the bottom gave the pie, along with the touch of nutmeg in the filling mix. It was a nice change up from the open-faced cream pie and will keep the recipe in my pie arsenal.

Maple Walnut Apple Pie
(adapted from Taste of Home)

3/4 c. ground or chopped walnuts
2 T. brown sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 t. milk
3 T. butter softened (divided into 1 T. and 2 T. portions)
1/4 t. vanilla
1 1/4 t. lemon juice, (divided into 1/4 t. and 1 t. portions)
pastry for double crust pie
5-6 c. tart baking apples, peeled cored and sliced
1/2 c. sugar
2 c. flour
1 t. ground cinnamon
1/4 t. ground nutmeg
1/4 t. salt
1/2 c. pure maple syrup

In a large bowl, combine walnuts, brown sugar, egg, milk, 1 T. butter, vanilla and 1/4. t lemon juice. Line a 9″ pie pan with bottom pastry. Spread nut mixture over crust.

In another large bowl, toss apples with remaining lemon juice. Combine sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Pour dry mix and maple syrup over apples, mixing well. Spoon over nut mixture in the pie crust. Dot with remaining 2 T. butter. Roll out second pie crust and place on top, trimming, sealing, and fluting the edges and then cutting vent holes.

Bake at 375 for 50-60 minutes, until top is golden brown. If desired, place pie shield over edges for the last 20 minutes to prevent over browning.

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