Friday, September 29, 2017

Autumn Apple Green Chile Pie

I bet I can guess what you're thinking right now -- Green chiles... in a pie? Did I read that right? Sounds weird.

But you'd be surprised at how delicious this pie actually is! 

I was lucky enough to live in New Mexico for two years, where warm fall days are filled with the magical smell of chiles roasting. When I lived in Oregon, I was oblivious to the cult of the green chilies and I didn't really like the peppers all that much. These days, I'm a convert and I can't get enough of them. Especially when autumn arrives and the days start turning chile. Haha. (Bad joke.) 

Anyway, I made this pie recently with chiles I picked up in Hatch (the chile capital of the world!) This was inspired by a recipe from the book The New Mexico Farm Table Cookbook. The chiles give the apples a tasty roasted flavor and just a hint of heat. If you can't find freshly-roasted chiles where you are, they are available at Trader Joe's in the frozen section or in cans at the grocery stores. Just be sure to taste the peppers beforehand to gauge their level of heat. Sometimes the labels (usually, mild, hot, and extra hot) are not accurate. 

This pie will also be featured in Meltdown in Christmas River (Book 10), which will finally be out this fall!

Apple Green Chili Pie
(makes one 12-inch pie)

For the Crust   

3 cups flour
9 tablespoons cold butter
6 tablespoons vegetable shortening
½ teaspoon of salt (or more, if you like your crust a little saltier)
½ cup of cold water

Mix flour and salt together. Cut butter and vegetable shortening into small pieces, then add to flour mixture. Cut butter and shortening into flour with a pastry cutter until mixture is pebbly. Add water a little at a time until it forms a dough. Split dough into two and roll into balls. Cover in plastic wrap and place in freezer for half an hour.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees and roll out one of the dough halves into a disc. Place and form into pie dish. Cut off excess edges and poke crust several times with a fork. Place back in freezer for 10 minutes, then place dish in heated oven for 10 minutes to pre-bake.

For the Filling

6 to 7 Granny Smith apples, peeled and sliced
4 tablespoons of mild roasted green chiles, chopped with most of seeds removed (adjust amount depending on heat of chiles.)
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar, plus more for sprinkling
1 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup of pecan pieces
2 tablespoons butter
1 large egg
Vanilla ice cream (for serving)

Pre-heat oven to 375. Add the sliced apples and chopped green chiles to a large saucepan (test the chiles beforehand to gauge heat level -- if too spicy, reduce amount to only 2 tablespoons.) Saute over medium heat for about 12 minutes, adding a little water to pan if necessary, until apples are slightly tender. Remove from heat and let cool a few minutes. Add flour, sugar, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and lemon juice to the apples and chiles, and stir until well combined. Pour mixture into pre-baked pie crust. Roll out second ball of dough and make a lattice topping over the filling, weaving strips of dough over and under each other. Beat egg in a small bowl and brush egg wash over lattice topping. Sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 45 minutes to an hour. 

Meanwhile, melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. When bubbling, add the pecans. Toast about 4 minutes, until fragrant. Remove from heat. 

When pie is ready to serve, sprinkle slices with toasted pecans and a scoop of vanilla ice-cream. Enjoy! 

Happy Fall!! 

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