I was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest and the varieties of fruit grown here are my favorites. All sorts of berries, cherries, pears, peaches and plums. All I can say is yum! Cooked apples remind me of my childhood. We had several different apple trees in our back yard, including Gravenstein. My mom could make the kind of apple pie that everyone raved about.

This is not her pie. I just want to make that clear. But, I know she would still love it. In fact, I think I will make this one for our next family gathering. It’s perfectly sweetened with maple syrup and has a walnut crust. I like my apples soft but firm and a little crunch in the crust. That’s my idea of perfection.

I used Gala apples in this recipe. It’s apple season, so they are fresh and you won’t have to worry so much about texture. Most varieties will soften and get mushy as they age. Here is an article about apple varieties that are good for cooking.

Apple and Walnut Pie

Use an 8″ pie plate.

1 cup untoasted walnuts
1/2 cup whole barley flour (or favorite low salt gluten-free flour blend)
1/8 tsp sea salt
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 tsp maple syrup
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp vanilla

2 small or medium size apples that will stay firm when cooked (I used Gala)
pinch of sea salt
1/2 cup apple juice (the thicker organic kind)
1/2 cup water
1 Tbsp maple syrup
1 Tbsp kuzu
1/2 tsp cinnamon

1.  Heat oven to 350°.

2.  For the crust:  In a food processor, grind the walnuts until in small but coarse pieces. Pour into a bowl, add the rest of the crust ingredients and mix well. If the crust doesn’t seem quite moist enough to bind, stir in a little more maple syrup or 1 tsp water. Place in pie plate and press down so it is firm and even on the bottom of plate. Put in oven for 10-15 minutes or until firm and slightly puffy. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.

3.  For the filling:  Slice apples in half and take out the core. Slice vertically into half moons.

4.  Heat a skillet on medium low. Add the sliced apples and the sea salt and dry sauté until some of the apples start looking a little translucent.

5.  While the apples are cooking, mix the rest of the filling ingredients, except for the cinnamon, in a bowl or jar. I like to use a mason jar so I can screw on the lid and shake the liquids to combine. Make sure all the kuzu dissolves so your sauce will be smooth as it cooks.

6.  Add the ingredients of jar to the apples and stir. Let it come to a boil, then turn heat down to simmer. Stir frequently as the sauce thickens. Add the cinnamon and combine thoroughly. Let simmer until the sauce is very thick.

7.  Remove sauce from heat and immediately pour onto the baked crust. Smooth out the apples and make sure the filling gets evenly distributed. Let cool. Filling will set more as it cools.

Note: You can substitute organic whole wheat flour, organic whole wheat pastry flour or spelt flour for the barley flour if that’s what you have on hand. I tend to use barley flour as an alternative to wheat. We often get plenty of wheat in our diets already. I always choose organically grown wheat.