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Apple Green-Chili Pie With Cheddar Crust and Walnut Streusel | Walnut Giveaway from California Walnuts | Pie Month

Part 3 in our Month of Pie series. Pie Month is a celebration of things we love. Because life is hard, and there should always be more pie. Have a look at the other entries. Really. 
Pie #1 - Lemon Cream Icebox Pie
Pie #2 - Malted Crisp Tart
Pie #4 -  Peanut Butter Cream Pie with Chocolate Cream Pie, Caramel & Deep Dark Fudge

There’s a giveaway at the end of this post. Walnuts, people.

Pie isn’t always easy. But it’s always worth the challenge. And sometimes, one time, you make your first successful crust.

When we started thinking about the Month of Pie, back in November, I put a call out on Twitter for people to share their favorite pies. So many great suggestions came rolling in, but one stood out as a challenge. Did we dare make this pie? 

Sean Timberlake, who runs Hedonia and Punk Domestics, responded that there was one pie he liked a lot. It’s from Chile Pies and Ice Cream in San Francisco. Apples, roasted green chilies, walnut streusel topping, and a cheddar cheese crust. It sounded like a mashup of the Southwest and our favorite cinnamon crumb apple pie

So this weekend, I decided I was up for the challenge of something different. With a quick search, I found the recipe for the pie Sean liked, from the November 16, 2010 edition of the New York Times as the lead in a profile of innovative pies and their makers. Which means at almost the same time Sean mentioned it to me, the Times was printing it. Clearly, this makes Sean a trendsetter of record. And Sean clued me into the secret topping, not in the NY Times recipe, which is the chili honey. The chili honey is a stunner. Like liquid red hot candy.

This pie is a beauty. A breeze to make. The crust was a complete success. It’s the first time I’ve ever made a pie crust that was worth eating and held together. And the cheddar in there really stands out (I used Kerrygold Reserve Cheddar which added a tangy depth of flavor). I no longer fear the crust.

The streusel topping? Brilliant. Steal this topping. The perfect texture for the softness of the chilies and apples. The walnuts come through strong, with the sweet crunch from the brown sugar and the butter.

So, what about the chilies? Honestly, they’re a challenge. This is going to be right in some reader’s crave spot, and for others it will miss completely. I love this pie. Karen respected it. That’s OK. Part of this Month of Pie is to move beyond our tried and true, and chilies in our apple pie stretched us toward new flavors and forced us to think about pie differently.

Apparently, 2011 is the year of the Pie, according to a story on NPR that came out right as we started our Month of Pie. With such focus, the traditional pies, the classics, will remain. But a month of pie, let alone a year, demands new approaches, new considerations. And this is always good, not matter the results. 


Walnut giveaway
We were lucky enough to receive a five pound box of walnuts from California Walnuts. We love these folks. They supported us during our weird, funny, and sad online-only conference, BlogHer Food Pity Party. #BHF10PP for those in the know. (Side note...we’re running #BHF11PP. Stay tuned for the wallowing). 

California Walnuts sent us gift of walnuts from their latest crop, and we told them we were going to share the love with our readers. So here’s your chance to win a ton (OK, five pounds) of beautiful walnut halves, all thanks to California Walnuts.

Sorry, the winner was already chosen. But feel free to tell us your favorite pie in the comments below. We love the inspiration.

Here are the rules:
  • Leave a comment below telling us your favorite pie for your first entry.
  • This contest is open to people (and animals, I guess, if they have internet access) in the US AND Canada. Love you, Canada.
  • All comments (and extra entries listed below) must be entered by 12:00 pm Eastern on Friday, January 14.
  • We will announce the winner, chosen by, at 3:00 p.m. on Friday, so come back and see if you won.

For extra entries
Listen, you don’t have to do any of these if you don’t want. Just do them if you feel like it.
  • Go “Like” California Walnuts on Facebook if you’re on FB. Come back and let us know that you “Liked” them. (or tell us that you’re already their fan on FB).
  • If you use Twitter, tweet something nice about @CaWalnuts & @thepeche (put us both in the same tweet, please).
  • Go “Like” The Peche on Facebook. If you’re already a fan, you’ve already received an extra entry.
We're not receiving any compensation for this giveaway. We just like California Walnuts.

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Reader Comments (40)

I perked up when I read the title of this pie. I'm on a salty/sweet combo kick. So cheese and chilies with apples and streusel is right up my alley.

My favorite pie is key lime pie. I love a good sour citrus flavor. I made it for the first time a few weeks ago, and couldn't believe how easy it was.

January 10, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJen

This pie sounds so interesting! Who would think to add chilis but the picture sure does look delicious!

My favorite pie would have to be pumpkin.

January 10, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterFran {The Flavorful Fork}

I can't wait to see all the different pies this month!

My favorite is pumpkin pie!

January 10, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterK

I'm obsessed with this. Looks AMAZING.

My fave pie is COCONUT!

January 10, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMaggy@ThreeManyCooks

Gorgeous pie! I love that close up. My favorite pie would have to be Peach! I'm eager for summer to roll around.
Loving this recipe and I love CA walnuts too!!

January 10, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKim - Liv Life

I like CA Walnuts on Facebook. I try not to eat to much pie. Trying to do without the sugar. I do love walnuts, apples, peaches, pecans, well you get the idea.

January 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCat

Incredible pie! What a mix of flavors and ingredients. Very creative.

January 11, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterbriarrose

So many pies, so little time! This pie sounds incredible... Definitely moving to the top of my list!

January 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJen @ My Kitchen Addiction

Strawberry-rhubarb pie is my favorite, by far. I can't wait until the summer months where I can make one again!

I have also "Liked" California Walnuts on Facebook.

January 12, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLaura

I long for a rhubarb pie. It also signals the beginning of spring!

January 12, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJamie Samons

I am glad I followed this link - I am so intrigued by this pie recipe that I might just have to try it. Usually I go for pies with a bit of savory to them (so, yes, I am digging the peppers and cheese).

January 12, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLivia

Mixed berry pie! mmm!

January 14, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJessalyn

This sounds great! New Mexico green chile is spelled with an "e" on the end, though, not an "i." The plural is chiles. It's a very important detail to anyone who knows real NM chile... Just thought you might want to know.

January 16, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Thanks, Anonymous, for your comment about how to spell chili. We followed the lead of the NY Times which featured the pie. The story repeatedly used the "chili" spelling specifically for the pie, even though "chile" was used elsewhere. I guess we'll stick with the NY Times on this one. Read the story (link above) to see how they handled it.

January 16, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterC Thornton

Wow, Pie month should be ever month, right! what a beautiful pie. I've added this "CHILI" pie to my must make list.Nom-nom. Love the name "Peche"!

January 23, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterGeorgie

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