This is a pie which is about people moving from the greater New England area, in their twenties. I shared this pie with some fantastic people who are moving from Boston to Brooklyn this weekend, (good luck, folks, if you read this), and a variation follows if you want to serve it as a dessert rather than a brunch pie.
1 c. white flour
6 tbl, butter, frozen (takes about 90 minutes in the freezer, but longer won't hurt it).
1 tbl, brown sugar
1/2 tsp, nutmeg.
2-3 large apples, peeled, cored, and chopped.
1 cup milk
2 eggs and one egg yolk
1/2 c. brown or white sugar
1/4 c. brown or white sugar
1/2 c. walnuts, crushed and toasted.
1/2 c. maple syrup.
1/4 c. flour
1 tsp apple pie spice/or cinnamon and nutmeg.
(Optional- substitute one cup of chunked white bread or pound cake for some of the apple)
Brunch variation (slightly eggier flavor, more firm)
First, make the crust. Grate the frozen butter into a bowl. Work in the flour and sugar and nutmeg, and then add just enough water so that when squeezed, the crumbs form a dough. Don't overwork- some butter lumps are ok, and you want the mixture to remain fairly cold. It won't form a dough per se, but what you want is a mixture which is fairly moist but crumbly. Press into the bottom of a pie pan, and chill for at least fifteen minutes. (Look, ma! you don't roll it out!)
Preheat oven to 425, and bake crust for 12 minutes. It won't be done, but you just want it set enough so the wet ingredients don't sink in.
Into a large bowl, dump your apples, nuts, and spices, and 1/2 cup of the sugar.
toss around a bit, then put into your semi-baked pie shell. Return to the oven for about 12 minutes at 425. (Apples take longer to cook than other things, so this is semi-important - but if you're making it the night before and reheating it in the oven, you don't have to do this.) Remove from the oven.
(AFTER THIS POINT, the recipe is for the eggier, brunchier version- the dessert version will pick up from this point)
You may want to leave your milk out from the moment you start making this if you're using a glass pan, because cold milk hitting hot glass is a recipe for explosions. just keep that in mind.
In another bowl (jesus, do you need a lot of bowls to do this), beat the eggs, egg yolk, milk, maple syrup, remaining flour, remaining sugar, and vanilla. Pour over the apples, and bake at 350 until the middle doesn't wobble. (Maybe an hour, possibly longer. Depends on your eggs)
Remove apples, nuts, and crust from oven and put aside to cool; set oven temp. at 300.
In a heavy saucepan, melt 2tbl of butter with 1tbl of the milk and the flour. Stir slowly until the color is like the wood grain paper that covers cardboard furniture at ikea. Slowly stir in the rest of the milk, and the sugar, and the vanilla, and hold well below boiling. Remove from heat. It should be somewhat thick. In another bowl, beat together the eggs and egg yolk.
Slowly slowly, drizzle a tablespoon of the hot milk mixture into the eggs, and stir. Drizzle another tablespoon of the hot milk into the eggs, and stir. Another tablespoon of hot milk into the eggs, and stir. Another tablespoon of the hot milk into the eggs, and stir. Continue like this until most of the milk is gone, then scrape the rest into the bowl.
Pour eggs and milk mixture over pie crust, apple, walnut mixture. Bake at 300 for fifteen minutes, then 350 until the custard is well set and golden. (As little as a half an hour, as much as an hour- just keep checking it).