Apple Crumble Pie

I’m not sure it’s possible to take kids apple picking without them asking if there’s going to be pie.  Lucky for M and O, of course there was going to be pie.  Upon being informed that there will be pie, the next series of statements involves what they’re going to do to help.  Also lucky for M and O, there are plenty of jobs involved in making a pie, so there are enough steps involved that everyone can help.  M was a big help making the crust for this pie, and with cleaning up.  O (Or “Chef O” as he then demanded to be called) was a big help with the apple peeler/ corer/ slicer and with stirring the filling.  It was nice to sit down after dinner and see the kids enjoy a pie that they’d help to make.  I think that when kids get involved in the kitchen, it helps teach them that the good stuff is worth a little effort.  They were a really big help, and I’m thrilled they both take so much interest in what goes on in the kitchen.

This pie is extremely worth some interest and effort.  It’s like a great marriage between apple pie and apple crisp.  The brown sugar oatmeal topping is a delicious substitute for a top crust.  The bottom crust is buttery and flaky and does a great job of not getting soggy underneath the apples.  I served it warm with a little fresh whipped cream and it was so good we almost had to stop M from licking crumbs off of her plate.  If you don’t have an apple peeler/ corer/ slicer that’s fine, just be sure to slice the apples as uniformly as possible so that they cook evenly.   A food processor is the easiest way to make a pie crust, but you can also mix the ingredients using a pastry blender or two forks.  Make sure your butter is really cold before starting (I like to freeze mine overnight first, but straight out of the fridge works).  Of course, if making your own fresh pie crust really terrifies you, there are refrigerated pie crusts as an option but I really like the way this buttery crust works with this pie.

Apple Crumble Pie

Ingredients:

for the crust:

  • 1 1/4 C. all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 6 Tbsp. butter, chilled and cut into pieces
  • 4-6 Tbsp. ice water

for the filling:

  • 6 medium-large pie apples (I used Mutsu and Ida Red, I also recommend Granny Smith or Jonagold)
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 C. packed brown sugar

for the crumble topping:

  • 2/3 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 C. quick-cooking rolled oats
  • 1/2 C. packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • pinch freshly ground nutmeg
  • 3 Tbsp. butter, chilled and cut into pieces

Directions:

To make the crust, place the flour, sugar and salt into the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel or dough blade.  Pulse a few times to combine.

Add the butter to the flour mixture in the bowl of the food processor and pulse in three-second increments three to six times, until the butter and flour mixture resembles coarse sand (there should be no butter clumps larger than a pea).

With the food processor running, add water in 1 Tbsp. increments until the mixture is almost completely formed into a dough.

Turn the mixture out onto a floured surface and knead it with your hands to make a ball.

Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30-60 minutes.

To make the filling, combine the apples, sugar, flour, spices and salt together in a large mixing bowl and set aside until dough has chilled.

Once the dough has chilled, heat the oven to 450 degrees.

On a large, lightly floured, flat surface, roll out the chilled pie crust into a large circle about 1/8 of an inch thick, adding more flour to the surface or rolling pin as needed to keep the dough from sticking.

Gently lay the bottom crust into the dish, crimping or pinching off the edges.

Spoon the apple filling mixture into the crust leaving any excess juice at the bottom of the bowl and arrange slices in an even layer.

To make the crumble topping, combine the flour, oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg in a bowl.

Add in butter and press it into the flour mixture with your fingertips and breaking it up, until mixture resemble very coarse sand.

Top the apple mixture evenly with the crumble topping,  squeezing it into small clumps in your hand (to create larger crumbles) as you finish the pie.

Bake the pie for 20 minutes at 450 degrees until browned.

Turn down oven temperature to 350 degrees and bake for an additional 30-40 minutes, until pie is dark gold and apple slices are tender when pierced with a fork.

If  you are worried about over-browning the crust, you can place a ring of foil around the edge of the pie plate to shield it while the pie finishes baking (I don’t find this necessary, it depends on your oven).

Serve at room temperature.

Makes 8-10 slices.

Source:  adapted from Baking Bites

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