Norma’s Carmel Walnut Apple Pie For A Harlem ThanksGiving

November 6, 2015

Norma’s Carmel Walnut Apple PieOur friends at Down to Earth Markets who brings us the Morningside Park Farmers Market in Morningside Park in Harlem on Saturdays from 9 am-4 pm just sent us a great story.

The great story is about Norma Velazquez DeSousa, Winner, 2015 Apple Pie Contest.581021_10150813925954789_1132751513_n

Even better, is that this Thanksgiving, Piedmont, NY’er Norma wants Harlemites to become an Apple Pie legend just like her.

So Down to Earth Markets asked Norma for her recipe, and she graciously agreed.

Here it is in its full glory…

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Norma’s Carmel Apple Walnut Pie

2 cups of sifted all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon of salt

¾ cup of butter

5 to 6 tablespoons of ice water

Egg wash – 3 egg yolks whisked with 1 TBL water

2 cups walnuts, roasted at 325 degrees, 8-10 mins, set aside to cool.

¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream

1 teaspoon cinnamon

¼ teaspoon salt

¼ cup water

2 tablespoons light corn syrup

1 cup granulated sugar

2 tablespoons butter

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Apple Filling
4 pounds Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced

2 tablespoons butter

1 ½ tablespoons lemon juice

¾ cups granulated sugar

½ teaspoon cinnamon

2 tablespoons water

1 ½ teaspoons cornstarch

¼ teaspoon vanilla

1/8 cup of sifted all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons butter, cut into small chunks

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

PIE CRUST:  Sift the flour with salt into a medium bowl. With a pastry blender or 2 knives, cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal.  Sprinkle ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time, over flour mixture, tossing it lightly with a fork after each addition.  Pastry should be just moist enough to hold together, not sticky. Halve and shape into a ball; flatten each half, place in refrigerator until ready to assemble pie.

WALNUTS:   When the nuts are cooled, coarse chop and rub in a tea towel to remove some of the bitter husks.  Set aside.

Wisk together cream, cinnamon and salt in a small bowl, set aside.  Whisk together water and corn syrup in a medium saucepan.  Pour the sugar in the center of the saucepan, taking care not to let sugar crystals adhere to the sides of the saucepan. Gently stir to thoroughly moisten the sugar. Cover and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook covered and without stirring, until the sugar is completely dissolved and the liquid is clear, 3 to 5 minutes. Uncover and continue to cook, without stirring but gently swirling the saucepan occasionally, until the caramel is a pale golden color, 3 to 5 minutes more. Reduce the heat to medium-low and continue to cook (swirling occasionally) until the caramel is light amber colored and registers about 360 degrees on a candy thermometer, 1 to 3 minutes more. Remove the saucepan from the heat, add the cream to the center of the saucepan, and stir until the bubbling subsides.

VERY IMPORTANT: Be sure that your hand IS NOT directly over the pan because the mixture will bubble vigorously and produce extremely hot steam. Stir in the butter and vanilla, and transfer the caramel to a microwave safe bowl. Set aside to cool.

Place apples, butter, sugar, salt and lemon juice in a skillet and cook until apples are softened, remove the apples to a colander and drain the liquid back into the skillet. Boil until reduced by ½. Mix cornstarch and water, add to the skillet with the apple juice reduction, boil until thickened. Remove from the heat.  Whisk in cinnamon and vanilla. Add the apples back in and stir to combine.   Sprinkle with flour and mix.

Roll out ½ dough to ¼ inch thickness and place in pie pan. Put ¾ cup of nuts into the bottom of the pie shell. Pour ¾ cup of the caramel over walnuts (you may have to warm slightly in the microwave until pourable).  Add the apple filling, pour ½ remaining caramel over apples, toss a few walnuts on top and scatter 2 TBLS butter in small chunks.  Place top crust, seal edges, make small slits on top crust and finish the top with egg wash. Bake for 30 minutes.  After 30 minutes, keep an eye on the pie (cover the edges to keep from over browning if necessary).  Bake an additional 15-20 minutes until desired browning.

Top with a drizzle of caramel when serving.  Enjoy!

Let us know you deice to make Norma’s pie.

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