Recipe: Maple Apple Walnut Crunch Pie

With a little freezer space and a few hours before the big day, delicious pies and cakes can be made ahead and frozen, leaving our ovens free for that big ol' bird and all the fixings to go with it. 
Unlike a traditional apple pie, which should be frozen before being baked, this one, made with grated apples and crunchy oatmeal and walnuts, can be baked ahead of time and warmed before serving. Top with a scoop of cinnamon ice cream or whipped cream flavored with maple syrup. If you are using a 9-inch pan, fill just to the crust line and discard excess filling. Good baking apples include Granny Smith, Golden Delicious, Jonathan, Cortland, Rome, Baldwin and Winesap. To grate the apples, use a food processor or the large holes of a four-sided grater. -- Jeanne Besser

Hands on time: 20 minutes  Total time: 1 hour and 5 minutes  Serves: 8-10 slices; makes 10-inch pie



Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. In a bowl, lightly beat the eggs. Add the brown sugar, butter, oatmeal, maple syrup, vanilla, apples and cream. Stir until thoroughly combined. Pour the filling into the pie crust. Sprinkle the walnuts over the top. Bake for 10 minutes, reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake for 30-35 more minutes, or until the pie looks bubbly, the crust is golden and the center remains firm when gently moved. Check after 20 minutes, and every 10 minutes thereafter, to make sure the nuts and crust are not overbrowning; if necessary shield with foil. Cool thoroughly at room temperature. Wrap tightly with plastic wrap and place in a 2-gallon freezer zip-top bag, or cover tightly with aluminum foil and freeze. Defrost the wrapped pie at room temperature. Unwrap and heat in a preheated oven (250 degrees) for 10-15 minutes and serve. 
-- Adapted from "Bake and Freeze Desserts" by Elinor Klivans


Per serving: 443 calories (percent of calories from fat, 57), 8 grams protein, 44 grams carbohydrates, 3 grams fiber, 28 grams fat, 70 milligrams cholesterol, 204 milligrams sodium.