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Walnut-Bottom Peach & Apple Pie is one of those ‘short window of opportunity’ recipes that you’ll kick yourself for not trying.
Autumn is pie season. I just made that up, but it sounds right, doesn’t it?
How big of a pie fan are you? Try my other great pie recipes – County Fair Lemon Pie, Farm Recipe Green Tomato and Raspberry Pie, Strawberry and Lemon Pie, Easy 15 Minute Peanut Butter and Chocolate Cream Pie, and Heavenly four-layer Chocolate Pie.
Walnut-Bottom Peach & Apple Pie is a marriage of three markedly different textured and flavored ingredients. They work incredibly well together because each contributes what the other requires, giving the final bake its taste, consistency, and aroma. Served warm with a big scoop of French vanilla ice cream or chilled with a dollop of freshly whipped and sweetened cream, every layer scores big.
A favorite in the American South, especially South Carolina and Georgia ‘the Peach state,’ peach is a popular and classic fruit pie flavor that is notably rich and mildly sweet. And as it should be given the majority of U.S. peach production takes place between California, Georgia, and South Carolina. It may only be August, but I am in utter denial that summer is coming to a close. That said, I also love fall, and fall brings apples.
As I do every time this year, I manage to find a way to combine these fruits into one dessert. Last year, I brought NEA readers my Peach & Apple Hand Pies. I am still floored at how many of you wrote in to say you had tried the recipe and loved it. Again, thank you! This season, I am adding an element to this dynamic duo. One more ingredient, one I associate with fall most often. Enter stage right, the walnut…
Peach and apple are not a new flavor combination by any means. One search of the internet yields dozens of recipes and many fantastically tasting sweet endings to any dinner. The idea for a walnut-bottom came from a memory I have of a hefty slice I was used to ordering up at a favorite restaurant in Basking Ridge, The Store.
Now long gone, the memory of that pie with its cinnamon brown sugar and walnut ‘top’ was that one thing that I ALWAYS ORDERED, no matter what I ended up with as my main. It boasted a wonderful sanding sugar on the top for extra crunch. But what if I wanted to reverse the layers? What if the walnut ‘top’ become the walnut ‘bottom?’ I kept thinking, ‘hey, I could probably try to figure that method out.’ And…I did?
To assemble roses and leaves: Begin by rolling scrap dough very thin on a floured surface. Use a 4″ round cookie or biscuit cutter to cut 3 circles. Lay the 3 circles out flat and overlapping almost to their centers. Roll the circles together like a cigar. You do not want to be really tight, but not too loose, either.
Once rolled, take a sharp knife and cut the cigar in half. Working with one half at a time, ‘unfurl the petals.’ Paint with egg wash and nestle within an open square in the lattice. Leaves can be cut freehand with a sharp knife, and ‘veins’ added by gently pressing the knife blade down, but not through. The braided edge is done exactly like we braided one another’s hair as children – just keep the strips flat and lose during the braid, and don’t make it “too pretty to eat.” 🙂
Homemade peach and apple pie is one of my favorite things about the end of summer. Adding walnuts just makes each gooey sweet slice that much better.
You can use fresh peaches or frozen but if it’s peach season, go to the trouble. The end product is completely worth the work. The fruits are so ripe at the moment, that you barely require skill to void them of their skins and fuzz. Canned peaches on the other hand, have a much different texture, so I would avoid them in this method. They have their time and place, but not in this recipe. Get the vanilla ice cream ready, this one is certain to be a hit.
“The sign of a good pie are the meager crumbs left in the empty tin.” – Grandma Smith
All images and text ©Jenny DeRemer for Not Entirely Average, LLC
Walnut-Bottom Peach & Apple Pie
- ¾ cup finely chopped walnuts
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 small eggs, each beaten and in separate bowls thin one beaten egg with 1 teaspoon of tap water; use this for the wash
- 1 tablespoon milk
- 3 tablespoons butter, softened
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 ¼ teaspoons lemon juice, divided
- Pastry for double-crust pie (9 inches)
- 3 cups sliced peeled tart apples, about 3 medium apples
- 2 cups fresh sliced peaches, stoned and void of skins
- 1 box fun-sized raisins
- ¾ cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Line a 9-inch pie plate with bottom pastry; trim even with the edge of the plate.
- Roll top pastry thin and to a 12" diameter. Using a sharp knife or an edger/pastry cutter, cut strips for lattice by cutting an even number of pastry strips of the same width. If assembling flowers or leaves or a braided edge, roll any additional scraps and form according to the instructional photos above. Set aside.
- Combine the walnuts, brown sugar, egg, milk, 1 tablespoon of butter, vanilla, and 1/4 teaspoon of lemon juice in a large bowl—spread the nut mixture over the crust.
- Toss apples, peaches, and raisins in a large bowl with the remaining lemon juice. Combine the sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt; toss with fruit mixture. Spoon over the nut mixture and dot with the remaining butter.
- Assemble the lattice crust by folding back every second pastry strip onto itself, more than halfway across the pie. Trim, seal, and flute edges. Top with a braided edge if using. Nestle roses and leaves in an opening between the lattices. See the images above. Using a pastry brush, top lightly with egg wash thinned with 1 teaspoon of tap water.
- Bake at 375° for 50-60 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm with a scoop of French vanilla ice cream or well chilled with freshly whipped sweetened cream.
The nutrition value can vary depending on what product(s) you use. The information below is an estimate. Always use a calorie counter you are familiar with.
Please note that table salt and iodized salt are NOT substitutions for Kosher salt. Do not deviate unless otherwise specified.