In response to Albuquerque Lee Higbie’s plea that New Mexico declare an official state pie (see Editor’s Letter), Kathy Knapp of the famous Pie-O-Neer Café in Pietown offered up her New Mexico Apple Pie with Green Chile & Piñon. New Mexico Magazine senior editor Gwyneth Doland whipped up a taste-test for our staff, along with her streusel-topped variation. Both recipes follow. Let us know which one you like best—or what you’d rather see as the state pie—at firstname.lastname@example.org.
NEW MEXICO APPLE PIE WITH GREEN CHILE & PIñON
Courtesy of Kathy Knapp, Pie-O-Neer Café
- 2 unbaked pastry crusts
- 5-6 large apples, peeled, cored, and sliced (we use ½ Granny Smith and ½ Fuji or Gala; any apple will work except Red Delicious)
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- ½ cup sugar (more if using only tart apples)
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 2–3 tablespoons cornstarch or flour (depending on how juicy the apple/chile mix becomes)
- ½–1 cup green chile, roasted and chopped, drained if using frozen (medium heat preferred)
- ¾ cup piñon or pine nuts, toasted
- 1–2 tablespoons butter, cubed
- 1 egg white, mixed with 3 tablespoons water for egg wash (optional)
- 1–2 teaspoons decorating sugar or table sugar for sprinkling on top (optional)
- Preheat oven to 425°. Combine apples, lemon juice, sugar, and cinnamon in a bowl. Let sit a few minutes so the apples can macerate. Add cornstarch or flour and gently mix to dissolve. Add chile and mix gently to incorporate. If chile is very wet, more cornstarch or flour may be added.
- Place bottom pastry in pie pan (Pyrex or suitable glass preferred). Scatter toasted and cooled piñon nuts in bottom. Add apple mixture, mounding slightly in center, then dot with butter. Use egg wash to coat rim of crust to create a seal. Place top crust on apples and crimp pastry edges together. Cut several steam holes then brush with egg wash and sprinkle with decorating sugar or regular table sugar. (Egg wash and decorative sugar are optional but will result in a more polished-looking pie.) Decorate top crust with a pastry scrap cut to look like a chile and sprinkled with cinnamon.
- Place pie in center of oven and bake for 15–20 minutes at 425°. Turn heat down to 350° and continue baking another 40–50 minutes or until crust is golden brown and juices are bubbling from steam vents. If using glass pie pan, look at bottom of pie to ensure it is brown. If not, continue baking for another few minutes. If edges of crust begin to get too dark, cover w/strips of aluminum foil or use pie-crust shields.
- Cool on wire rack for one hour. Enjoy with ice cream.
By Gwyneth Doland
This is a quick and easy variation on Kathy’s pie, but instead of putting piñons in the filling, I added them to a crumble topping. I made both, but used a smaller pie pan, so didn’t use all of the apple filling for Kathy’s version. I put the rest of it into another smaller dish, then mounded the crumble on top. If you end up with extra topping, use it on any kind of fruit crisp.
Makes about 3 cups
- 1 stick (8 tablespoons) butter, softened
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup brown sugar
- ½ cup rolled quick oats
- ¾ cup toasted piñon
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- In a mixing bowl, use your hands to work the butter into the dry ingredients. Just put your hands in there and squeeze until you have marble-sized lumps of buttery crumble. Sprinkle the crumble all over the top of the pie (use the recipe above) and bake as directed.