Walnut-Crusted Apple Pie


I was running on fumes yesterday when an email from my editor came through on my phone.

With a subject line of, “A glimpse inside!” it was about 1.2 seconds that went by before I had open the pdf file that contains the initial layout and look of my cookbook. I got goosebumps. Literally.

It was just as I had envisioned and more. It is clean, crisp, and very “me”.


While the cookbook is coming along beautifully (did I mention it will be up on Amazon for pre-sale within just a few short days? PINCH ME.), my pie-making skills are seriously lacking.

I think the only other pie I’ve made was a Peanut Butter Honeycomb Pie (amazing)…and while that was a near disaster with the honeycomb quadrupling its volume and nearly overflowing onto my parent’s kitchen floor, this pie was a near disaster too. I don’t do dough. I can’t do dough…I don’t even own a rolling pin. I rolled this dough with a Nalgene bottle.

It worked…kind of.


Mr. Prevention called it “the ugliest pie ever” and I in return withheld him from having any. Until a picture was taken…the next day.

I took a slice, which is picturesque…but two slices missing is just tacky.

In preparation for the quickly approaching Thanksgiving holiday, this apple pie from Cooking Light’s latest issue was definitely delicious and offers up some nutritional perks, like the omega 3’s from the walnuts and fiber from the apples. Apple pie is no pecan pie, but I’m a fan of both!



Walnut-Crusted Apple Pie from Cooking Light

1 lb Fugi apples (about 2), peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
1 lb Golden Delicious apples (about 2), peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
6.75 oz (~ 1 1/2 cups) all-purpose flour
3 Tbsp brown sugar
1/4 tsp salt
5 Tbsp cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
3 Tbsp ice-cold vodka
Cooking spray
1 Tbsp nonfat milk
1 large egg yolk


Combine first 8 ingredients; toss to coat.

Place nuts in a food processor; process until finely ground. Add flour, 3 tablespoons brown sugar, and 1/4 teaspoon salt to food processor; pulse 5 times. Add butter; pulse 6 times or until mixture resembles coarse meal. With processor on, slowly add vodka through food chute, processing just until combined. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead 3 to 4 times. Divide dough into 2 equal portions. Gently press each portion into a 4-inch circle on plastic wrap. Cover with plastic wrap; chill 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 425 F.

Unwrap and place 1 dough piece on plastic wrap. Cover with 2 sheets of overlapping plastic wrap. Roll dough, still covered, into a 10-inch circle. Place into a 9-inch pie plate coated with cooking spray. Spoon apple mixture into pie plate.

Unwrap and place remaining portion of dough on plastic wrap. Cover with 2 sheets of overlapping plastic wrap. Roll dough, still covered, into a 12-inch circle. Place over apple mixture. Press edges of dough together. Fold edges under; flute. Cut slits in top of dough to allow steam to escape.

Combine milk and egg yolk, stirring with a whisk. Gently brush top of dough with milk mixture; bake at 425 F for 20 minutes in the lower third of oven. Reduce oven temperature to 350 F (do not remove pie from oven); bake an additional 30 minutes or until browned. Cool on a wire rack.

Yield: 10 slices.

Nutrition Information (per slice): 242 calories; 9.6 g. fat; 21 mg. cholesterol; 117 mg. sodium; 34.2 g. carbohydrate; 2.7 g. fiber; 1.4 g. protein

Result: Dough isn’t easy to work with, but if I can do it…you can do it! It wasn’t pretty and so a dear Facebook follower suggested we just refer to this pie as “rustic”. I love it. Doesn’t matter really what it LOOKS like, because it tasted AMAZING! Enjoy!


Only Wednesday? Oy vey. Hockey again tonight. I think I’ve spent more time on the ice this past week than I have since high school or college!

P.S. Thanks for all the love and support of my cookbook. I’m feeling so much love!


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  1. October 24, 2012 / 6:41 am

    I can’t imagine how surreal this must all seem at times – your freakin cookbook will be on AMAZON in a few days! I am so happy for you 🙂

  2. October 24, 2012 / 8:49 am

    Congrats, Nicole! I can’t wait to see your cookbook appear on Amazon soon. It’s gotta feel good, huh?

  3. Jenn
    October 24, 2012 / 9:04 am

    I saw this in Cooking Light this month and book-marked it, too! I haven’t had the guts to try it yet. Way to be brave, Nicole! And it looks deliciously deformed. 🙂

  4. October 24, 2012 / 9:24 am

    I’ve never encountered a pie with a walnut crust; this looks tasty! And I LOVE that you improvised with your Nalgene bottle, ahaha. 🙂

  5. October 24, 2012 / 9:32 am

    My pies always look totally and completely hideous. I have no idea how people are able to crimp edges and make lattices and everything that makes a pie look stellar. However, not to toot my own horn, but my pies taste pretty awesome. I find really buttery crust hard to work with (and, consequently, extraordinarily ugly when I try to pull it together) but the texture and taste is so good, no one cares.

    I really can’t make desserts look nice. It’s not in my genes.

  6. October 24, 2012 / 9:55 am

    That’s so funny Nicole, I saw that same recipe and planned on making it this weekend to see if it was “Thanksgiving worthy!”

    Hooray for hockey!

  7. October 24, 2012 / 12:07 pm

    I love apples and walnuts together, so I think this is pretty much the best idea ever.

    Also, I’m so excited for you and your cookbook. You can bet I”ll be buying that sucker. 🙂

  8. October 24, 2012 / 12:30 pm

    Exciting news about your cookbook!

    The pie looks pretty to me – I wish I was enjoying a big slice right now 🙂

  9. October 24, 2012 / 3:59 pm

    Sign me up – this apple pie sounds fantastic, love the use of walnuts in the crust! I have had many failures with pie crust but my most successful attempts have been with the Cooks Illustrated pie crust recipe which involves vodka. I think it’s totally key for rolling out the dough. But, I can see how the crumbly walnuts might make it a little harder. Still, though, I bet it tastes amazing!

  10. October 24, 2012 / 11:45 pm

    This pie looks just fabulous!
    This time of year, pumpkin is my fav. But apple comes in a close second. Soo good!

  11. October 25, 2012 / 12:12 am

    I can’t wait for your cookbook to come out! Especially if it’s very you.

    • Nicole, RD
      October 25, 2012 / 12:40 pm

      Aw, thank you 🙂

  12. October 27, 2012 / 1:31 pm

    I can’t wait to get my hands on your cookbook when it comes up — I bet it will be AMAZING, just like this recipe. 🙂

  13. November 4, 2012 / 3:17 pm

    Haha, love the term “rustic.” It’s a trick I’ve used myself when a baked good comes out not as pretty as I’d imagined! Vodka in the crust? Interesting!

  14. TINA
    November 12, 2012 / 7:33 pm

    Great news about your cookbook! I just made this pie and it was delicious (and very rustic)!

    • Nicole, RD
      November 12, 2012 / 10:30 pm

      Tina, thank you! I’m so glad you liked the pie 🙂

  15. Pingback: Cakes and Pies

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