Cran-Apple Pie with Sweet Walnut Topping (thanks, Emeril)

I had to track down this recipe so I can make one for Thanksgiving in GA.  Thought I’d share with the rest of you.  I *promise* it’s an easy pie to make and I *promise* it will absolutely kick the pants off any other apple pie you decide to make this holiday season.

Cranberry Apple Pie With Sweet Walnut Topping
By Emeril Lagasse / modified by Lori Ramey
Ingredients:
Basic pie dough to fill 9-inch pan, either store bought or make your own (ingredients and recipe below, if you want to make your own) —I use store bought Pillsbury Ready-Made crusts (the ones that come folded in fourths)

1 3/4 cups light brown sugar

5 tablespoons cornstarch  **I highly recommend using Ultra Gel or some other modified corn starch product in this pie because it is VERY juicy. If you can’t get Ultra Gel, use more cornstarch!

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 teaspoon salt

1 pound Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/4-inch slices (about 4 cups)

2 cups fresh cranberries, rinsed and picked over (I used frozen and they’re fine)

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

10 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut up

3/4 cup granulated sugar

2 tablespoons heavy cream

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 cup walnut pieces

Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
2. Prepare the Basic Pie Dough and line pie pan (recipe below) Refrigerate until ready to fill.  Or use a Pillsbury crust.
3. In a bowl combine the brown sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt, and mix well.
4. In another bowl combine the apples, cranberries, and lemon juice, and toss well. Pour the dry mixture in your other bowl over the fruit mixture. Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter and pour it over it all and mix thoroughly.
5.Turn the mixture into the pie shell and bake the pie until the fruit is tender, for about 1 hour. Remove from the oven and set the pie on a rack to cool. I recommend baking the pie at 425 for the first 15 minutes, then at 325 or 350 for another 30 to 40 minutes–makes a crispier bottom crust.
6. In a large skillet on medium heat, melt the remaining 8 tablespoons butter with the granulated sugar. Cook, stirring, until the mixture is bubbling and the consistency of a thick roux, for about 5 to 6 minutes. Mine always takes just 3 to 4 minutes to get to this point.
7. Stir in the cream, vanilla, and walnuts and cook, stirring constantly, for 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and cool for 20 minutes. Spoon the topping over the cooled pie and refrigerate overnight.
Ingredients and directions for basic pie dough:
2 1/4 cups of flour
Add 2/3 (or 10 2/3 tbsp.) cup very cold unsalted butter, or shortening, or lard
4 and 1/2 tablespoons of water
1 teaspoon salt
1.In a bowl combine 2 1/4 cups flour and 1 teaspoon salt. Add 2/3 cup very cold unsalted butter, or shortening, or lard. Work it through with your hands until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Using a fork, stir in 4 1/2 tbsp. water, 1 tbsp. at a time. Work it in with your hands just until you have a smooth ball of dough. Don’t overhandle the dough.
2. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 20 minutes. Remove dough from the refrigerator and roll out onto a floured surface. Unfold it into a 9-inch pie pan. Crimp the edges, or pinch the border.
3. To serve, cut the pie into wedges, and add a scoop of ice cream, if you like.
Courtesy of Emeril Lagasse © 2000
Last Updated: Oct 30, 2002 by Lori Ramey

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