Apples, chiles, and pine nuts are indigenous to New Mexico and good for you. Chiles contain capsaicin and pack more vitamin C than oranges do. Pine nuts are rich in antioxidants and fiber. And we all know that apples keep the doctor away. Consider this pie a health food! Green chiles come in varying heat levels. Start with mild chiles, maybe mix in a few mediums, and use hot ones sparingly. A frozen “autumn roast” version will give you a nice mix of red and green chiles with medium heat. Hint: Keep some ice cream handy.

6 to 7 medium apples (any kind except Red Delicious; I like using a fifty-fifty mix of Granny Smith and either Gala or Fuji), peeled, cored, and sliced

2 tablespoons lemon juice

½ cup sugar

1 tablespoon cornstarch or tapioca starch

2 tablespoons ground cinnamon (less is fine, too)

½ cup pine nuts, toasted

½ cup green chiles, roasted, chopped, and drained (use more if they’re mild, less if they’re hot)

Pastry for a double-crust pie (see recipe)

1 tablespoon butter, cubed

1 egg white, beaten with 1 teaspoon water, for glaze

Makes 1 Pie

  1. Preheat oven to 425°. Splash lemon juice over apple slices in a medium bowl. Mix sugar, starch, and cinnamon in another medium bowl, then toss in the apples to coat. Mix in pine nuts and chiles.
  2. Fit one layer of pastry in the bottom of a pie pan, pushing it gently but snugly along the sides. Using kitchen shears or a paring knife, trim overhanging edges of crust to about an inch beyond the edge of the pie pan.
  3. Fill crust in pie pan with apple mixture, letting it mound in the center. Dot with butter. Using a pastry brush, glaze the outer rim of the bottom crust with the egg wash mixture. Then place the top pastry crust over the apples. Trim the outer edge of top crust to about an inch beyond the overhang. Gently press edges of the two layers together with your fingers, to make a seal all around the pie. Slightly lift the overhanging rim of the crust and tuck it under itself, so that it rides on the lip of the pie pan. Decoratively crimp the crust rim, using your fingers or a fork. Cut several ventilation slits in the top crust and glaze with egg wash.
  4. Place a cookie sheet or piece of aluminum foil on the bottom of the oven to catch any juices that may drip. Put the pie in the center of the oven and bake for 20 minutes. Turn temperature down to 350° and continue baking for approximately 40 to 45 more minutes, or until the top is golden brown and juices are bubbling through the slits. (If using a glass pie pan, visually check the bottom of the crust for doneness; it should be brown.) Cover the edge of the crust with a crust shield or strips of aluminum foil if it begins to burn before pie is done. Cool pie on a wire rack for one hour.

Read more: This recipe originally appeared in "Pie Lady's Favorite Pie Recipes" by Kathy Knapp.