Submitted by: Adrian W.
For the pie crust (double-crust 9-inch pie; you may also substitute pre-made pie crusts):
12.5 ounces all-purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
2 Tbs. sugar
1/4 cup cold vodka
1/4 cup cold water
1 1/2 sticks butter, chilled and cubed
1/2 cup vegetable shortening, chilled, cubed
For the praline filling:
1 1/2 cups chopped pecans
1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/3 cup melted unsalted butter
1/8 tsp. salt
For the apple pie filling:
6 medium tart apples (I used Arkansas Blacks, which are amazing, or Granny Smiths, etc.), peeled, cored, and sliced into 1/4-inch slices
1 Tbs. lemon juice
1 tsp. lemon zest
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/8 tsp. salt
1/2 cup sugar
2 Tbs. cornstarch
1 egg white
1 Tbs. sugar
For the pie crust: Mix dry ingredients (flour, sugar, salt) and cut in butter/vegetable shortening until you get a fine crumb (I go old school with a pastry blender, but you can also do this in a food processor by pulsing about 5 to 6 times). Gently mix in water and vodka with a silicone spatula, pressing firmly to form the dough (or in the food processor – add in liquids and pulse until dough comes together).
Divide into two equal sections, gently shape into flat discs, wrap in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for at least 45 minutes, ideally 2 hours. You can make this ahead; the dough will store in the fridge for 48 hours, or will freeze for up to 1 month tightly wrapped and placed in a freezer bag (just thaw for 24 hours in fridge before use).
For the praline filling: Mix dry ingredients and nuts in a small bowl. Add melted butter. Stir until combined. Set aside at room temperature.
Praline-Pie Crust Assembly: You’ll need a 9-inch pie dish and a floured surface. Roll one disc of dough into roughly 12-inch round shape, gently flouring to ensure it doesn’t stick to the surface. Gently press it into the pie dish, being careful not to stretch the dough (this will cause shrinkage). Trim edges, leaving at least 1 inch overhang. Save scraps; rewrap in plastic wrap and place back in fridge.
Place praline mixture in the bottom of the unbaked pie dish. Press gently to even it out across the bottom. Cover in plastic wrap and place in the fridge to rechill.
Roll out the second disc of pie crust dough, also into a 12-inch round shape. Fold into quarters, rewrap in plastic wrap and place in fridge to chill. All pie crust ingredients should be kept chilled in the fridge while you prepare the pie filling (below).
Prepare apples. Mix with lemon juice, lemon zest, spices, salt, sugar and cornstarch until well combined and all the apples are coated evenly. Set aside.
Final assembly instructions: Place empty baking sheet in oven. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
Remove chilled pie/praline bottom from fridge. Carefully pile the apple filling into a tall mound in the middle. Cover with the second rolled 12-inch pie crust, being careful to keep it centered. Trim the edges to allow for a 1-inch overhang. Set scraps aside. Pinch or roll the edges to seal them shut (in whatever decorative manner you prefer). Cut 4 slits on the top center of the pie to allow steam to escape. Recover with plastic wrap and replace in the fridge to chill.
[Optional: Re-roll all the pie dough scraps and cut out 8 leaf shapes. I just used a knife, but there are cookie cutters that also will do the trick.]
Beat one egg white in a small bowl. Brush egg whites on the backs of the “leaf” shapes and place them on the top of the pie. Then brush the entire pie crust with egg whites. Sprinkle top of crust with 1 tablespoon sugar. Place back in fridge uncovered, while oven preheats.
Baking: Place assembled pie on heated baking sheet in preheated oven (450 degrees F). Turn temperature down to 425 degrees and bake uncovered for 20 minutes, turning once. Then turn the temperature down to 375 and continue baking for 30 to 35 minutes, occasionally rotating to ensure even browning. Covering with foil to prevent burning if necessary. (This is important ESPECIALLY if you’ll be making this ahead and reheating the day of the event so the crust doesn’t get to dark when reheating.)
Remove from oven and cool on a wire cooling rack for at least an hour, or to room temperature. Will store wrapped tightly in foil, at room temperature, for 2 days. Makes one 9-inch pie.