Blue Cheese Apple Pie with Toasted Walnuts

A Sweet and Savory Apple Pie to Grace Your Holiday Table

103_Blue Cheese Apple Pie with Walnuts


This Blue Cheese Apple Pie with Toasted Walnuts with its sweet and salty balance of tangy blue cheese, sweet fruit and crunchy, toasty nuts is a perfect example of the kinds of desserts and treats that Agatha Kulaga and Erin Patinkin are drawn to. In fact their book and bakery, which share the name of Ovenly, both feature just this kind of recipe – a bit sweet, a bit savory, such as their Currant Rosemary Scones. And don’t miss our interview with the new authors to learn more about how they come up with such delectable flavor combinations.

Excerpted from Ovenly: Sweet and Salty Recipes from New York’s Most Creative Bakeryby Agatha Kulaga & Erin Patinkin (Harlequin Nonfiction). Copyright © 2014. Photographs by Winona Barton-Ballentine.

Ovenly. Final Book Jacket

Originally, we were going to make a classic apple-walnut pie for the shop, but that sounded too simple. We rummaged through the fridge and found some Bayley Hazen Blue Cheese from Jasper Hill Farm. We tossed the pungent but sweet cheese onto the chunky apple filling, added freshly cracked black pepper and popped the pie in the oven. The result was juicy, sweet and subtly sharp, and impressed both our cheese- and pie-loving friends alike. It is a great option for the fall season and is best served with a jug of red wine or a digestif.

Blue Cheese Apple Pie with Toasted Walnuts
Makes: one 9-inch pie
Pâte Brisée:
  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 2½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup ice water
  • ¾ cup coarsely chopped walnuts
  • 2 pounds (approximately 5 to 6 medium) apples (a mix of Winesap, Jonagold or Golden Delicious works best)
  • ¼ cup lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
  • ½ cup sugar + 1 tablespoon, for garnish
  • ¼ cup (packed) light brown sugar
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • ⅓ cup + 2 tablespoons crumbled mild, dry blue cheese
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 large egg yolk, for brushing
  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream (or whole milk), for brushing
  1. Prepare the Pâte Brisée: Cut butter into 1-inch cubes, and place in the freezer for 20 minutes, or until very cold.
  2. In a food processor, add the flour, sugar and salt and process until combined. Add the butter and process until the mixture resembles coarse meal, about 15 seconds.
  3. Pour in the ice water through the feed tube in a slow, steady stream, and process until the dough just holds together when pinched. If necessary, add more water. Do not process more than 30 seconds.
  4. Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and gather it into a ball. Divide the dough in half, flatten each half into a 6-inch disk, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to overnight before using. If not using right away, you can freeze unrolled dough for up to 1 month. Just let it thaw in the refrigerator overnight.
  5. After the dough has chilled sufficiently, remove 1 disk from the refrigerator and place it on a lightly floured surface. Roll the dough into a 12-inch circle. To prevent the dough from sticking to your surface and to ensure uniform thickness, keep lifting it up and turning it a quarter turn as you roll. Always roll from the center of the dough outward.
  6. Fold the dough in half and gently transfer it to a 9-inch pie pan. Press the dough gently against the sides of the pan. Brush off any excess flour and tuck the overhanging dough under itself, crimping as desired. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 30 minutes before filling.
  7. Remove 1 disk of the pâte brisée from the refrigerator 10 minutes before rolling. Roll out the disk to line the bottom of a 9-inch pie pan (the dough should be about 12 inches in diameter). Transfer dough and press into the pan, and then chill it in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes, or freeze for 10 minutes (or up to overnight) before using.
  8. For the Filling: Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Toast the walnuts on a rimmed sheet pan for 10 minutes, or until golden and fragrant. Remove the walnuts from the oven and let cool.
  9. While the walnuts toast, peel, core and cut the apples into ⅛- to ¼-inch-thick slices, and place in a large bowl. Add the lemon juice and then toss. Set aside.
  10. In a small bowl, whisk together the sugars, flour, cornstarch, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg and pepper until well combined. Add the flour-sugar mixture to the apples. Mix with a rubber spatula or a wooden spoon until the apples are uniformly coated. Then mix in the toasted walnuts.
  11. Fill the prepared bottom pie crust with the apple mixture, and then top with the blue cheese crumbles. Dot the top of the filling with the 1 tablespoon butter. Place the pie in the refrigerator while rolling out second disk of pâte brisée.
  12. Roll out the second disk of the pâte brisée to 12 inches in diameter. Remove the pie from the refrigerator, and top with the second pâte brisée crust, covering the pie completely. Tuck the edges under the bottom pie crust, and then pinch the edges of the bottom and top crusts together (you can also press the edges together with a fork). Cut 3 to 4 steam vents in the center of the top crust.
  13. Refrigerate the pie for 1 hour or freeze for 30 minutes before baking.
  14. When the pie has about 15 minutes left to chill, position the oven rack in the bottom third of the oven, and then preheat the oven to 425⁰F.
  15. Prepare an egg wash by whisking together the egg yolk and the cream.
  16. Remove the pie from the refrigerator or freezer. Using a pastry brush, brush the top of the pie crust evenly with the egg wash, and sprinkle with the remaining 1 tablespoon sugar.
  17. Place the pie on a rimmed sheet pan. Bake it for 15 minutes, or until the crust just begins to turn golden. Reduce the heat to 350ºF, and bake 40 to 45 minutes more, turning halfway through baking, or until the crust is golden and the juices are bubbling through the steam vents. Keep an eye on the pie. If the edges of the crust brown too quickly, cover it loosely with aluminum foil.
  18. Transfer the pie to a wire rack and let cool for at least 1 hour before serving.

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