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
For the pie
toasted hazelnuts, finely chopped
mixed apples, cut into 1/4-inch slices (I like a blend of Golden Delicious, Jonathan, and Northern Spy)
fresh lemon juice, plus 1/2 teaspoon zest
flour, plus 3 tablespoons
cold butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Once pie has cooled, cut into slices and top with a dollop of Maple Cream before serving.