I’ve been trying for years to find a good apple pie or crisp recipe, because it’s something Jeremy frequently requests. There have been times when I’ve come close, but either the topping wasn’t crisp enough or thick enough, or the apples were bland and mushy or so wet that the crust turned to goo overnight. But I think, as of yesterday, my search is over.
The apple pie I made yesterday morning fulfills all of our criteria perfectly. The crust was flaky; the apples were soft—not mushy—and redolent of cinnamon; the topping was crunchy and crumbly, but held together when sliced without making a mess; and best of all, look Ma, no lake in the pie plate! Plus, it’s pretty impressive to stick a huge mountain of apples and crumbs in the oven and end up with a normal-sized apple pie. 🙂
Cinnamon Crumble Apple Pie
3 1/4 lbs Granny Smith apples (about 6 apples)
2/3 C granulated sugar
2 T AP flour
2 T corn starch
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp allspice
2 T unsalted butter, melted
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 C AP flour
1/2 C oatmeal
1/2 C granulated sugar
1/4 C packed brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1 stick (8 T) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 disk Combination Crust (see recipe below), or purchased refrigerated pie crust
Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 400°F. Roll out dough on lightly floured surface to 12-inch round. Transfer to 9-inch-diameter glass pie dish. Trim overhang to 1/2 inch; turn edge under and crimp decoratively. Refrigerate while preparing filling and topping.
For filling: Peel, core, and slice each apple into 16 wedges. Mix dry ingredients in large bowl, and toss to coat apples. Add vanilla and melted butter and toss thoroughly.
For topping: Blend first 6 ingredients in processor. Add chilled butter cubes; pulse until mixture resembles wet sand.
Toss filling to redistribute juices; transfer to crust, mounding in center. Pack topping over and around apples. Don’t panic if it seems huge; the apples will cook down. Bake pie on baking sheet until topping is golden, about 40 minutes (cover with foil if browning too quickly). Reduce oven temperature to 350°F. Bake until apples in center are tender when pierced and filling is bubbling thickly at edges, about 45 minutes longer. Cool until warm, about 1 hour. Serve with vanilla or cinnamon ice cream.
The pie crust recipe I used this time was a little difficult to roll out because it tended to crumble, but the result was an incredibly flaky crust. The photo above is a cross-section of a pie crust cookie made with rounds of dough scraps and various sugars (cacao nib, coconut, cinnamon, and demerara). You can see just how flaky even the rerolled scraps came out.
2 1/2 C AP flour
1 tsp salt
2 T sugar
3/4 C (12 T) unsalted butter, chilled, cut into 1/4 inch cubes
1/2 C shortening (8 T)
6-8 T ice water
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
Mix flour, salt, and sugar in a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Scatter butter pieces over flour mixture, a few at a time. Cut butter into the flour mixture with short pulses. Add shortening a tablespoonful at a time, and cut into mixture with several more short pulses, just until the mixture resembles coarse cornmeal with butter bits no bigger than peas. Pour mixture into a mixing bowl.
Mix ice water and vinegar in small measuring cup to blend. Drizzle over flour mixture; stir with fork until moist clumps form, adding more water by teaspoonfuls if dough is dry. Do not overwork dough. Gather dough into two balls; flatten into disks and wrap in plastic; refrigerate at least 30 minutes. Ready to roll! Enough for one double-crust 9-inch or 10-inch pie.