This is a slightly tangy and sweet, incredibly rich, apple pie.  The pie has layers of complexities that appeal to all the taste sensations.  The apple cider pie crust is rich and flaky but has the added flavor of apple cider. The filling tastes familiar, soft and tender with a sour tang, and the topping is a lovely walnut strudel crunch.  This pie does take some time to make, but you will be rewarded with an incredible pie that you will include in your holiday menu. There are four parts to making this recipe, the pie crust, peel and slice apples, custard and the topping.

In most of my recipes, gluten-free flour is interchangeable with regular flour, but that is not the case here. This pie taste better made with regular gluten four. The gluten-free version changes the pie crust texture significantly, and makes the pie crust difficult to roll out due to lack of elasticity. so I continue to work on a gluten-free, pie crust recipe.

Use a 9 or 10″ pie pan (preferably 10″).

Prep Time:    60 minutes
Cooking Time:    60 minutes
Serves:    12-14

1 ¾ C all-purpose flour
¼ C sugar
1 t cinnamon
½ t of salt (or less)
1 stick of unsalted cold butter cut into 8 pieces
¼ C apple cider or apple juice

Add the flour, sugar, cinnamon, salt and butter to a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Process until the mixture resembles large peas. Add the apple cider or juice.  Process until dough forms a ball. With floured hands, form dough into a ball and wrap in plastic or floured wax paper. Chill for one hour in the refrigerator. While the dough is chilling, make the strudel topping and set aside and then make the filling.

1 C whole or chopped walnuts
½ C all-purpose flour
4 oz cold butter (1 stick)
1/3 C granulated sugar
1/3 C firmly packed brown or dark brown sugar
1 T cinnamon
Pinch of salt

Add either whole or chopped walnuts, flour, butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt to a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Process off and on until the mixture is crumbly. Set aside.

8 C cooking apples, sliced apples (about 6 medium apples)
1 1/2 C sour cream (regular or lite)
1 C medium packed brown sugar
1 egg
1/3 C all-purpose flour
1 t vanilla
½ t salt (or less, to taste)

Add the sliced apples, sour cream, sugar, egg, flour, vanilla and salt to a large bowl and mix until all ingredients are combined. Set aside.
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

Once the dough has chilled for an hour, remove it from the refrigerator to a well-floured surface. If the dough is chilled too hard, let it warm up just a little bit until it is pliable.  Roll the dough out into a circle ¼” thick. Lightly grease the pie pan with spray oil and gently ease the dough into the pie pan. You can trim overlap dough or roll it up to make a ridge. (We don’t like to waste any crust.)
Pour the filling into the prepared crust. Bake at 450 degrees for 10 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees and bake 35 minutes more. The pie is baked when a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. (For easier clean up, place pie on a cookie sheet covered with aluminum foil.)

Remove the pie from the oven, keeping the oven on at 350 degrees.  Mash down the apple filling slightly with a fork.  Sprinkle the topping over the filling, return to the oven, and bake for an additional 15 minutes.
Remove the pie from the oven and place it on a cooling rack. Cool for at least 2 hours before slicing. Serve with ice cream, in this case, vanilla.

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