Fall is officially here! Which also means, Thanksgiving is around the corner. I can already smell the turkey, macaroni and cheese, cornbread, biscuits, pumpkin pies and so much more! As much as I love me some pumpkin pie, (it’s a house hold favorite) we can get a little more creative than that.
Wait for it. . . Apple Pear and Walnut Pie!
Okay, I may be late to the game with this pie, but oh my, now the I have discovered it, it’s amazing! You will impress everyone with this pie at any Thanksgiving event this year. After this pie, you will be the official pie baker from here on out. You’re welcome ♥
My goal for this pie was to have a sweet but tarty flavor combination sandwiched in a crunchy buttery crust. For that I chose Bartlett Pears and the classic Granny Smith Apples. You have other options to choose from that would also work great.
Alternative pear varieties: Anjou, Bosc, Concorde.
Alternative apple varieties: Pink Lady, Jonagold, Honeycrisp.
I have even been known to use Gala Apples if I am combining fruits. In this case, the tarty taste of the Barlett pear would compliment the soft sweet taste of the Gala apples. Even understanding the different taste of ingredients and how they compliment each other is a science. It’s crazy! But it is all trial and error, don’t be scared to try something out!
WALNUT, THE POWER NUT
The interesting component to this pie – the walnut crumble. The truth is, I just added them in because I had them on hand and I am a firm “no food waste” believer. I wanted to use them up before I forgot they were in my pantry. Also, nuts never hurt a recipe! Unless you are allergic, in that case please omit it 🙂 thanks!
After further reading up on the power nut that is “thee walnut”, I learned what a great health benefit it is and all the positive health factors it can bring on a daily basis. A little push from the outside world, a lovely reader that stumbled upon my pie recipe, led me to this great healthyline.com article that shares 22 Evidence-Based Health Benefits to Walnuts. You read that right, 22! It also mentions how all these health benefits can be achieved if you consume walnuts in at least one meal a day. That’s a sign, you need some pie in your life!
A FEW BENEFITS THAT TRULY SPOKE TO ME
- Improves Overall Mood – Being a mom and struggling with postpartum depression and stress is hard. Anything that helps is welcome in my book.
- Anti-Inflammatory – When I think anti-inflammatory I think, yes, please help the dreaded Aunt Flo side effects.
- Contains Vitamins – Once women become moms I think most can agree a well balanced meal at every meal time can be a dream. Most of the time I snack, so reaching my vitamin intake through food is tough.
- Reduce Signs of Aging – This one is a no brainer! Who wants to get old, come on now!
- Reduce Risks of Diabetes – My dad developed Type-2 Diabetes in is 30’s; I am 29, soo…. Positive thoughts, but being cautious never hurt anybody.
- Improves Brain Function – I want me a smart brain.
- Improves Quality of Sleep – Once again, mom here! Sleep, what sleep? I have so much going through my brain that falling asleep can sometimes be easy but other time can be tough.
- Improves Quality of Hair – This kid has ruined me. Post-pregnancy hair loss is a doozy. It sucks, plain and simple. My thick hair is gone.
- Benefits Pregnancy and Babies – Anything to help out my little offsprings!
- Reduces Risk of Breast and Ovarian Cancer – Most women can agree with me, I think, that breast and ovarian cancer is always in the back of our mind. Cancer is not racist or selfish. Sure, genetics come into effect here, but it can happen to any one of us. Anything to help keep me on this earth longer for my family.
- Helps Maintain a Healthy Weight – I am vain, I will be the first to admit. Being fit and healthy is important to me, especially after having kids. Being able to keep up with them for a long time is important to me and keeping my hubby happy is a plus.
- Lowers Blood Pressure and Helps Your Heart – Two very important things!
These are only half of the great benefits that come from consuming walnuts. Crazy, right? We should all be eating walnuts every day! And what better way than in a delicious fall inspired Apple Pear and Walnut Pie. What a great reason to get to baking!
My baking skills are no where near up to par as other bloggers, influencers or psh, just other people in general. What does that mean? I can’t create a dough or overly complicated pastry recipe from my noggin’ just yet. Baking is a science and it takes time to say you are a true baker. I am an amateur who loves to play around with food and share my experiences.
So to keep it simple, I use The Cookie Rookie – Homemade Pie Crust. It’s 4 ingredients, super simple and she has tons of pictures! She also gives you a scaled version for a double pie crust (which is what we will need for this pie). Done and done √
If you are a way more advanced baker than I am, let’s face it, most of you will be, then use your own recipe. If you want an easier option than The Cookie Rookie, just pick up some store bought pre-made pie crust. In a pickle I use Pillsbury Pie Crust (2 ct).
♦ Don’t feel restricted in having to create a fancy lattice top. I’m personally not that great at it myself. I call my lattice “rustic” because the intent is there but it could still use some work. You can do a simple double crust and call it a day.
- If you do attempt a lattice and some sections are not as perfect as you’d like, cut the dough into different shapes via cookie cutters and cover those imperfections.
♦ You can choose to omit the “candied” flavor from the walnuts if the taste is too sweet. Meaning, just sprinkle crumbled walnuts over the top (don’t mix them with maple syrup and brown sugar). It will still be scrumptious! Tarty fruits and nuts are just meant to go together no matter how prepared!
♦ Be sure to thinly slice the pears and apples – this will ensure they soften and cook faster, and you don’t risk burning the crust (which I always do, yikes!)
♦ To achieve that golden appearance, you want to egg wash the top of your pie crust. Keep it simple, whisk the egg and add 1 tsp of water. If you don’t feel like wasting an egg, which I often don’t feel like doing so, you can substitute it with milk or cream. Brush the pie the same as you would with the egg wash with some milk instead (any variety works).
♦ Allow the pie to FULLY COOL before slicing. Trust me! It will fall apart and lose its pretty pie slice shape if you try to slice it too soon and when it’s too hot.
That’s all. GO GO GO! Try this pie, you won’t regret. I added tons of pictures above of how it should come together, it’s really not that hard. I mean, if I can do it, psh…. anyone can! ♥
Holiday time is upon us! Don’t stop with just this delicious Apple Pear and Walnut Pie – enjoy and share a few other desserts with your friends and family. Other scrumptious desserts I can share with you:
APPLE PEAR AND WALNUT PIE
- 2.25 oz Walnuts (crushed into random pieces)
- 2 tsp Maple Syrup
- 1 tbsp Brown Sugar
- 2 Pie Crust (double pie recipe or store bought)
- 15 oz Barlett Pears (about 3 medium size) (peeled, thinly sliced)*
- 13 oz Granny Smith Apples (about 3 medium size) (peeled, thinly sliced)*
- 1 tbsp Lemon Juice (fresh)
- 2 tbsp Flour, AP
- ½ cup White Sugar
- 2 tsp Cinnamon (ground)
- ½ tsp Nutmeg (ground)
- 1 tbsp Butter (unsalted, softened)
- 1 Egg
- 1 tsp Water
- Turbinado Sugar (sprinkle)
- Combine the walnuts, maple syrup and brown sugar in a bowl. Set aside.
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Roll out one pie crust dough and line a 9" pie mold. Trim the edges and pinch to create a design. Poke the dough with a fork (on bottom of pie pan) to create vent holes. Chill in the refrigerator while the filling is prepared.
- Combine the pears, apples, lemon juice, flour, sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg in a bowl.
- Fill the pie mold with the apple/pear filling.
- Sprinkle the top of the filling with the reserved candied walnut. Make sure to spread it around evenly.
- Dot the top of the pie with little pieces of butter scattered evenly.
- Roll out the second dough and begin to create a lattice top for the pie. If a lattice is too complicated (I am still an amateur), just roll out the second dough and use as a simple double crust. Cover the entire pie and pinch the edges to join with the bottom crust. Cut a few slits for vents and voila!
- Whisk the egg and water to create an egg wash. Lightly brush over the top of the entire pie crust.
- Sprinkle with turbinado sugar.
- Bake until the top of the pie is golden (the filling should be nice and tender) about 45 minutes.
- Remove from oven and place on a cooling rack to cool completely.
- Enjoy! (I like to warm it in the toaster oven for that yummy warm fruity taste) Yum!
- Use the homemade pie crust referenced in the text above, your own, or store bought crust - all 3 options work!
- If there is any excess pie crust dough - you can discard or save it for a later dessert/occasion. I normally save my dough scrapes for up to 5 days in a ziplock bag in the refrigerator. Sometimes I use it for odd little pastries such as mini tarts or pies. No food waste here!
- Be sure to thinly slice the pears and apples - this will ensure they soften faster and you don't risk burning the crust (which is what I tend to do sometimes)
- The walnut "crumble" can be pretty sweet, especially when added to more sweet pears and apples. You can omit the maple syrup and brown sugar and just sprinkle the crushed the walnuts over the top of the filling to reduce a tiny bit of sugar intake.
- If you don't feel like wasting an egg for an egg wash, substitute it with a tiny bit of milk. Use about 2 tbsp of milk (whole, 2%, fat free) and lightly brush over the top of the crust.
- Allow the pie to FULLY COOL before slicing. Trust me! It will fall apart and lose its pretty pie slice shape if you try to slice too soon and when it's too hot.
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