The first time I made this pie was around Halloween, so I was gearing up for the holiday pie making season. Generally I am not a huge fan of pecan pie, as it is a little too rich for me, but I thought I would try a little twist by making it an apples pecan pie. The pie tasted just like a candied apple covered in pecans. When making this pie be sure to drain as much liquid as possible off the apples so that the pie is not too wet. Otherwise it will not set properly.
Cheddar Cheese Single Crust
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tbsp. sugar
- 1 tsp. salt
- ¼ cup unsalted butter cold cut into ¼ in cubes
- ½ cup coconut oil cold cut into ¼ in cubes
- ¼ cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
- ¼ cup of cold water
- 2 pink lady or granny smith apples
- ¼ cup unsalted butter (half a stick) melted and browned
- 1 cup light brown sugar packed
- 3 large eggs
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- ¼ cup cane sugar syrup or dark corn syrup
- 2 tsps. vanilla
- ½ tsp. cinnamon
- ¼ tsp nutmeg
- 1 ½ cups coarsely chopped pecans
Making the Crust
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees
Sift flour, sugar, and salt together to make sure they are thoroughly combined.
Cut in the ½ cup of cold butter that has been cubed. I personally use a food processor for this, but you can always do this with your hands or pastry blender. Pulse the processor six times so the mixture ranges in size from bread crumbs to lima beans. Then add in the coconut oil to the mixture. (You can always use vegetable shortening instead, but I personally like the flavor that the coconut oil gives to the crust of the pie. Pulse six times or cut the oil in till the resembles the same consistency as the butter addition. Add in the cheddar cheese and repeat the process. Now it is time to add the chilled water to the mixture. I add a small amount at time to make sure the mixture does not become to wet. The mixture will have a crumbly look to it, but comes together when you work it with your hand on a flat surface. Let the dough chill in the fridge for at least an hour.
Blind baking the crust
Roll out the bottom crust and place into the pie dish. Trim and scallop the edge of the pie crust, then place in the freezer for 15 minutes till the pie crust is set.
Once the crust has set take it out of the freezer and get you pie weights ready for the blind baking. I use old beans and ceramic pie weights for my pies. Place a piece of into the pie crust with the edges of the foil going over the sides of the pie dish. You want it to be easy to remove the pie weights from the center of pie crust.
Place the pie on the center rack for fifteen minutes. After fifteen minutes remove the foil and pie weights from the pie dish. Then prick the bottom of the pie and the sides if it has started to puff out. The small holes will heal back up and this will prevent your pie from cracking when you place the filling inside. If the pie crust cracks the filling will seep underneath the crust and burn.
Bake the crust for 10 to 12 more minutes. IF the edges of the crust already look golden at this point cover the edges with foil so that they do not burn.
After the pie crust has partially prebaked take it out of the over and place it onto a cooling rack.
Peel, core and slice the apples into uniform slices. I use apple corer, peeler and slicer for the apples. I cut the apple into quarters once it has been peeled, cored, and sliced. Place apples into large flat bottom pan and simmer in the water until they are translucent. This takes roughly 3 to 5 minutes. Once they are translucent, drain them and set aide in a bowl. Bowling the apples down is an important step to remove some of the liquid. If they pie has too much liquid it will not set up properly.
Toast the chopped pecans on the stove briefly, but make sure they do not burn. and set them aside.
In a small saucepan brown the butter. After the butter melts stir consistently till butter has slight amber color. Do not let it get too dark or the butter will burn.
Combine the eggs, brown sugar, spices, cane sugar syrup, maple syrup, and vanilla. Once the mixture is well combined add in the browned butter slowly as not to cook the eggs. Then add the coarsely chopped pecans to the mixture
First place the apples into the pie shell then pecan pie mixture over the top.
Place the pie on the center oven rack to bake for 15 minutes. Lower the heat to 350 and then tent the pie if it appears to be burning. Bake the pie for another 25 to 30 minutes rotating the pie halfway through this time. The pie should be completely set before taking it out of the oven. The center should not make waves when the pie is moved.
Take pie out to cool and setup completely before it is served. This should take around 2 hours before the pie is completely set. The pie can be served chilled or warm.