This month’s Crazy Cooking Challenge, hosted by Tina of Mom’s Crazy Cooking, is apple pie. We are huge apple pie fans…but I have a love-hate relationship with pie crust. Since hubby is pie crust connoisseur, it gives me great pleasure to bake up his favorites…but I hate the fiddliness of rolling and fitting this pastry. So just having to deal with the bottom crust is an ideal situation…and who doesn’t love a crumb topping?
The only difficulty I had with this pie was the extremely long baking time. I took mine out after an hour and let it cool. When I cut the first slice, the apples were still firm. I popped it back in the oven, covered it with foil and baked nearly another hour. Perfection. The crumb topping wasn’t quite as picture perfect after the second trip into the oven, but the taste was still superb. Just make sure you use a knife to check if the apples are tender before removing your pie from the oven. Bill’s verdict was that this was really, really good…and I’m certain he said it more than once…between bites.
Tip of the Day: Using different varieties of apples…some sweet, some tart, some firm, some soft…makes for the best pie. The resulting filling will have a better depth of flavor compared to a filling made from only one kind of apple.
Crumb Topped Apple Pie~
3 pounds baking apples (use different types like Granny Smith, Golden Delicious, Jonathon), peeled and cut into slices
3/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon cinnamon
A few gratings of fresh nutmeg
Pastry dough for 1 layer pie crust (your favorite recipe or pre-made crust)
1 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
6 tablespoons butter, cool, not cold
Roll out pie dough and fit into a 9 inch pie plate. Place in refrigerator while preparing filling. Preheat oven to 400º.
Toss apple slices with sugar, lemon juice, cinnamon and nutmeg. Set aside, stirring once or twice to help dissolve sugar.
In a medium bowl, using two knives or pastry blender, cut butter into flour and sugars. Then pinch with fingers till large crumbs form.
Take crust out of refrigerator and fill with apples. Sprinkle topping over top of apples. Bake for 40 minutes then reduce to 350º for 50 minutes or till filling is bubbling and apples are tender. Cover crust with foil if browning too quickly.
Cool before slicing. Serve with vanilla ice cream.