Make Ahead

Mixed Apple Pie with Hazelnut Crumb Crust and Maple Cream

November 27, 2011
2 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Prep time 45 minutes
  • Cook time 1 hour
  • Serves 6-8
Author Notes

I spent the past summer working at a summer camp in upstate New York. We made a Thanksgiving dinner every Thursday night for the campers. Besides the requisite turkey, stuffing, and mashed potatoes, we also made apple pie from scratch. This is my version, which uses toasted hazelnuts in a granola-like crust for true fall flavor. A mix of apples is key to get the flavors right, and only use real maple syrup; if you don't have it, just substitute honey instead, which is what we used at camp. This pie also keeps very well and will still be crisp after 3 days. —chez_mere

Test Kitchen Notes

I'm a non-baker, and I'd definitely make this again -- especially if I wanted to impress guests. The apples (I used Cortland, Braeburn, and Golden Delicious) stacked up wonderfully and didn't leave a drop of liquid in the bottom of the pie plate, keeping the crust crisp and not and all soggy. The hazelnut and oatmeal combination, as well as the pretty layered top, were just happy bonuses! —LauriL

What You'll Need
  • For the pie
  • 1 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup toasted hazelnuts, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 6 cups mixed apples, cut into 1/4-inch slices (I like a blend of Golden Delicious, Jonathan, and Northern Spy)
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, plus 1/2 teaspoon zest
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 3/4 cup flour, plus 3 tablespoons
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 5 tablespoons cold butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • For the tangy maple cream
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream, chilled
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon maple extract OR maple syrup
  1. Combine oats and next 5 ingredients in a medium-sized bowl. Drizzle butter over top and mix well. Press mixture firmly and evenly into the bottom and sides of a 9- or 10-inch greased pie plate to form a thick crust.
  2. Preheat oven to 375° F. Place a medium-sized glass or stainless steel bowl in the freezer to chill. Place apples in a large bowl and drizzle with lemon juice and maple syrup; mix well. In a small bowl, combine lemon zest, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, allspice, and 3 tablespoons flour. Sprinkle mixture over apples and toss to coat. Evenly distribute filling into unbaked crust, taking care to layer the apples. This will ensure your pie desn't fall apart when you cut into it.
  3. For the topping, combine remaining flour, brown sugar, and butter in a medium bowl. Using a pastry cutter or your fingertips, rub in the butter until pea-sized clumps form. Sprinkle topping over filling and pat neatly into place.
  4. Bake pie for 45 to 60 minutes, or until the apples are soft and the crust is browned on the edges. This takes about 50 to 60 minutes in a convection oven and slightly longer in a normal oven. If the top seems to be browning too quickly while baking, loosely cover with aluminum foil. Remove pie from oven and allow to sit for at least 2 hours.
  5. While the pie is baking, make the Maple Cream. Pour cream into chilled bowl and beat with a whisk or hand mixer until stiff peaks form. Beat in yogurt and extract until just combined. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge until ready to serve.
  6. Once pie has cooled, cut into slices and top with a dollop of Maple Cream before serving.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Marianna
  • bryan
  • Kack
  • aliagrace
  • JocelynT

22 Reviews

Marianna May 7, 2015
Hi chez_mere, this recipe is similare to the my favourite way to make the apple pie. I usually prepare it by adding only the hazelnut cream and this make the pie more suitable to my sons which don't like the taste of the classic apple pie. I have posted it on my personal blog at:
I think the next time I will prepare the apple pie with all ingredients you used.
Thanks and regards.
bryan November 30, 2014
The pie turned out in the end, but not without a few hiccups. First, the recipe needs editing (the apple-tossing step is listed twice).

Second, the ingredients for the maple mixture should be increased, because I ended up with very little of it. I had to go back and mix another batch and pour it on the pie placing it in the oven. Otherwise the pie would have been nothing more than a crust with baked apples arranged on top. Not exactly a pie.

Third, the edges of the crust burned on the first pie (I turned the heat down slightly on the second pie).

Fourth, the pie crust essentially tastes like a glorified granola bar. Perfectly roasted hazelnuts did little to jazz it up. I grated a quarter-pound Gruyere and mixed it in the second batch of crust. The result was tastier and less like granola-y.

Fifth, as others have noted, if you follow the recipe you will not end up with the pie pictured above. Ditch the topping. It's unsightly. However, make sure to add more of the maple mixture or else you'll have a dry, bland dessert.

Sixth, the whipped cream mixture is, in my opinion, unappetizing. I understand that many people like the Greek yogurt mixture, and I also understand that it's a slight bit healthier than using all cream, but if you're going to eat a pie, eat a pie. Ditch the yogurt.

Seventh--does maple extract exist? This is like finding the holy grail. I live in a major metropolitan area and none of the grocers in the area carry maple extract. The best I could do is imitation maple flavoring (barf). I suppose you'd need to order this online ahead of time, which is fine. But really, if you use syrup it's not the end of the world.
chez_mere November 30, 2014
Sorry you found this pie so disappointing :/ It is meant to be a rather rustic dessert, hence the granola-esque crust. If you find the crust too thick, I recommend skipping the crumb topping and just sprinkling on a little of the reserved oat/nut mixture from the bottom. I do like the idea of adding a little gruyere though.....
S December 1, 2013
Just a final note and a heads up for those considering this recipe--I did not even notice there was a second picture of the pie. You're right, Kack, they look totally different! Definitely misleading! :( My pie looked like the second picture, for sure. I would not have wanted to make the pie at all if the second picture was the featured one. That picture is nothing special. I was attracted to the glistening, beautiful arrangement of the apples and looked no further! Also, just to clarify, when I toasted the hazelnuts on the stove, they did not burn at all; they burned as a result of their time in the oven. This is why I would not toast them first in the future. I don't mind the hazelnut skins.
Kack December 1, 2013
PS the hazelnut crust was a lot of work (toasting nuts, taking their skins off, and chopping).
LauriL December 1, 2013
I used to think Hazelnuts were a lot of work until I accidentally discovered an easy method to getting the skins off. I roasted them at 350 for almost 10 minutes and then poured them into a close mesh metal food strainer. It's the kind that straddles the whole sink. So I began rolling them around in the strainer, after they had cooled, and the skins just rubbed right off! Now I make them all the time to use in salads and such!!
Kack December 1, 2013
I made this pie and like S, the topping did not come out as pictured, disappointing, but it tasted good. (I think it was deceptive to post the featured picture if it is supposed to look like the second picture. They're not even close) I doubted I would make it again. By day 2 it was tasting better. Now it's day 4 and the pie is fantastic. The maple cream is subtle and sophisticated. I used Mutsu apples, left on the skin and sliced them very thinly.
aliagrace November 30, 2013
I used this recipe for one of my Thanksgiving pies especially because it meant I didn't have to roll out a pie crust! It was delicious and the brown sugar topping was so tasty. I did not make the yogurt though because we had ice cream on hand. Also, only found golden delicious at grocery store so used gala and honeycrisp instead. My husband liked it so that made me happy. Will definitely keep this one up my sleeve!
S November 29, 2013
P.S. The maple yogurt cream was really good. I used non-fat organic Greek yogurt to lighten it up. Also, I used a teaspoon or so of pure maple syrup, as I did not want to buy the extract. Will definitely make that again! :)
S November 29, 2013
So, my pie turned out to be a disaster! :( It was dry, mealy, and unenjoyable. Next time I would use ZERO flour for the topping and instead, just do a combo of bits of butter and brown sugar. There is no way a topping of 3/4 cup flour could give you a pie like the one pictured above. I love the hazelnuts in the crust, although I would cut back on the oats next time. Also, I would not toast the hazelnuts ahead of time, as they burned a little. I'm really curious to know how other people had success with the recipe as is. Please share!
LauriL November 30, 2013
If you look at the second picture you will see that it looks exactly like that, once you put on the topping with the flour in it. You had to be a little fussy putting on the topping but it worked great for me using the exact measurements that the baker called for. Also, hazelnuts don't burn if you are watching them. All nuts need watching due to their high fat content or you will loose them in a second!!
JocelynT November 28, 2013
This pie is amazing! Made it for thanksgiving and everyone liked it. The photo doesn't do it justice - mine was heaping with apples with a nice dollop of the maple-yogurt cream. Yum! Thanks for sharing!
S November 28, 2013
I made this today and my pie does not look anything like the picture. There is way too much flour for the topping in this recipe! I would cut back to 1/4 cup flour next time. I used coconut flour, but I'm certain the same result would have occurred with regular flour. I'm disappointed :( I'm sure the flavor will be great, though, it's still in the oven!
JocelynT November 28, 2013
I agree with the topping comment. Also, I added about 2 tablespoons of brown sugar to the cream.
Linda O. November 24, 2013
Steps 2 and 3 are repeated..looks like an error
LauriL November 24, 2013
And did you do it twice? Lol...
Linda O. November 24, 2013
No...was just reading the amazing recipe and thought hmmmm...déjà vu
LauriL November 24, 2013
Weird...the one i copied didn't repeat that step. Pitt was fabulous BTW!! Do make!!
LauriL November 14, 2013
I made this lovely pie over the weekend as a Food52 tester. It's a definite keeper. I used Cortland,Braeburns,and Golden Deliscious. Brought the pie to work. No one was allowed a piece unless they wrote down their comments!! Everyone was bowled over by the nut crust and the cream topping which balanced out the sweetness of the apples. Come on Thanksgiving!!
chez_mere November 21, 2013
So glad you liked it!! I love a pie where you don't have to roll out a crust and still don't lose out on flavor.
Sunnycovechef November 10, 2013
This pie looks delicious and I'm baking your pie tomorrow. Did you peel the apples?
chez_mere November 21, 2013
Sorry for the late response, but many times I just leave the peel on. I think it helps the apples stay intact and I like the rosy hue you get from red-skinned varieties. Plus, it saves a ton of time and come Thanksgiving, who isn't looking for a couple shortcuts?!