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Challenge: Fall Harvest

Surprise Filling Apple Pie

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Apple season is here and homemade fresh-out-of-the-oven apple pie is pretty hard to beat.

Surprise Filling Apple Pie


  • 2 (9-inch) frozen deep dish pie shells
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 cup walnuts or pecans, finely ground in processor (surprise layer)
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar (surprise layer)
  • 1 large or 2 small eggs, lightly beaten (surprise layer)
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted (surprise layer)
  • 1 tablespoon milk or cream (surprise layer)
  • ½ teaspoon lemon juice (surprise layer)
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract (surprise layer)
  • 6 cups sliced and peeled tart apples (6 medium-large)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1-½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons butter, cubed and chilled
  • 2 teaspoons milk
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Sprinkle one pie shell with tablespoon of sugar.
  3. Bake for 15 minutes or until crust is lightly golden brown. (If bubbles form in pie shell during baking process, gently poke with knife or fork to deflate.)
  4. Remove from oven and set aside.
  5. In a bowl, mix together "surprise" layer ingredients until well blended.
  6. Spread onto bottom of baked pie shell.
  7. Refrigerate.
  8. In a large microwave-safe bowl, toss apples with lemon juice. Microwave until soft, about 3-4 minutes.
  9. Add sugar, vanilla, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.
  10. Mix well to incorporate into apples.
  11. Pour apple mixture over walnut layer.
  12. Dot with butter.
  13. Form unbaked pastry shell over filling.
  14. Seal the edges.
  15. Brush top with milk and sprinkle with sugar.
  16. Cut slits in pastry.
  17. Place pie on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil.
  18. Bake for 35 minutes or until top is golden brown.

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