I'm always wary of recipes that claim to be "just like the restaurant's" unless it actually comes from a cookbook published by the restaurant. So when my friend, Ann, forwarded this recipe to me, I tried to find some other "just like the restaurant" variations. The only problem was, I kept finding the exact same recipe, just on different sites and they all had originated from "Tart's with Tops on: or how to make the perfect pie."
So, in the name of experimentation, I decided to throw all my suspicions aside and try a "just like the restaurant" recipe for the Sour Cream Apple and Walnut Pie from The Little Pie Co. (a pie shop in Hell's Kitchen).
At the moment, the jury is still out on this one. Hot pie (i.e. right out of the oven) is not good. It never is. And last night I couldn't resist it's enticing smells (I promise they will drive you nuts while you are cooking)...I dove in while it was still hot.
Wrong, I know better.
However, after it spent some time cooling, it was much, much better. Delicious, in fact. And even if you're not a fan of walnuts and sour cream (which describes some of us at this household) I still recommend trying it. The best part was the combination of the bottom crust with the top crumble. I was very happy with how flaky this crust ended up (especially for a butter crust) and with all that brown sugar and butter, how could you go wrong?
However, it must be said that in my personal opinion, it wasn't quite right. 10 apples? 10? Do you see how high that filling is? That's not the only thing either, the apples aren't as creamy or altogether toothsome as I hoped they'd be (but maybe that's because the ratio of apples to sour cream is not right).
If I were to do it again, I would use only 6 to 8 apples. Also, I would increase the amount of brown sugar mixed in with the apples from "a little" (which is too vague) to maybe 3 tablespoons or 1/4 cup. Also, I would like to play with adding a pinch of salt and/or a sprinkle of cinnamon. All I'm saying is, it could use some tweaking.
But maybe that's just me.
And again, at the moment, it is just me. I left some pie in the break room at my office and there have been nothing but compliments coming my way all day.
One 9-inch Butter Crust:
8 Tablespoons butter
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
6 tablespoons ice cold water
Combine flour, salt and cut the cold butter into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse meal. Add cold water and use your hands to combine and form a disk. Chill for 30 minutes (or more).
Roll out on a well floured surface until it's about 12-inches wide.
Sour Cream Apple and Walnut Pie
(adapted from Tart's with Tops on: or how to make the perfect pie)
10 large eating apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
A little light brown sugar
2/3 cup sour cream
(note: I doubled this because I had sooo many apples to cover)
½ cup sugar, half light and half dark brown
½ cup unsalted butter, cold
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
½ cup flour
¾ cup walnuts, crushed into small bits
Preheat the oven to 400 F. Line pie dish with the rolled-out pastry dough. Cut overhang to one inch and pinch with fingers to seal edges.
Toss the apple slices, sugar, and sour cream in a bowl. Mix with your hands until everything is well amalgamated. Pile apples into the pie shell, packing it tightly and mounding it up toward the center.
For the topping, rub together the sugars, small bits of cold butter, syrup, and flour with your hands. When combined, add the walnuts. Take lumps of the mixture on the palm of one hand and flatten them out with the other palm, so you have a flattened layer rather than a crumble top, and cover the surface of the apples bit by bit (like a puzzle). Cook for 20 minutes before turning the temperature down to 350 F and cooking for another 30 to 40 minutes. Check the top layer and if it has darkened too much, cover with a layer of foil and continue cooking until finished.