I never liked pie. I almost never tried it. Thanksgiving was when the widest spectrum of pies were available, but to me there always seemed to be other, more preferable dessert choices. Then, last winter, I tried my mom’s apple pie.
Oh. My. Wow. Revelation! I don’t like apples raw, I think they’re mealy and unappealing. But cooked…cooked with cinnamon and sugar…well, that’s a different story entirely.
Crumb-top pie is so much more appealing and easier-looking than pastry-topped pie. Still, I shied away from trying to make it. I have never made pie before. Ever.
This recipe does have the regular home-made pie crust, which can be intimidating. But I was craving this after the muffins from a few days ago, so I finally took the bull by the horns. And I have overcome! This recipe indeed looks intimidating, but don’t be fooled. It is simpler than it looks. One of the less-than-enjoyable tasks is the slicing of the apples, but then again no one ever showed me how. Nevertheless, I have discovered the way. If you cut the apples into fourths, then you can use the perpendicular sides to easily slice.
Between this pie and those muffins, I think I’ve found ways to get my apples in!
So don’t be afraid. Soon you will understand the phrase “easy as pie.”
Note: I used unpeeled apples, and nobody seemed to mind!
Crumby Apple Pie
For the pie crust:
1 1/4 c. flour
1/2 t. salt
1/2 c. (1 stick) cold butter, cubed
3-4 T. cold water
For the filling:
6 c. apples, peeled and sliced
3/4 c. homemade apple butter
3/4 c. sugar
1 t. cinnamon
1/4 t. nutmeg
1/4 t. cloves
2 T zinfandel
2 T corn starch
1/4 t. vanilla extract
For the topping:
1/2 c. packed dark brown sugar
1/4 c. granulated sugar
1/4 t. salt
3/4 T cinnamon
1 stick (8 T) butter, melted and cooled
1 1/4 c. flour
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
For the pie crust, combine all ingredients except the water in a food processor or in a mixing bowl with a pastry cutter. Add enough water to bring the dough together. Press along the bottom and up the sides of a pie plate. Place in freezer until ready to use.
For the filling, combine the 1st 6 ingredients. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Combine zinfandel and corn starch until smooth. Return to a boil, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Add vanilla and cool the mixture to room temperature, stirring occasionally.
For the crumb topping, combine all ingredients in a food processor or in a mixing bowl with a pastry cutter. Mix until topping resembles coarse sand.
Pour apple filling into pie crust and add crumb topping. Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until topping is brown.