Monday, February 1, 2010

Apple Crumb Pie

When Katie and Anthony came over for dinner, I told Anthony to choose what we should have for dessert. It seemed only fair, considering that Katie got to choose what we were having for dinner. (Being the carnivore that she is, she chose Classic Beef Pot Roast. Come to think of it, that's what she chooses every time!) Anyway, this pie was Anthony's pick. Sounds good to me! If you know me, you know how much I love an apple pie. This one is pretty basic. You have your sugar and your apples and your spices, but it's all about the crumb topping. LOVE it! Top it with some Vanilla Ice Cream or whipped cream or Home Made Caramel Sauce, or dare I say it ALL OF THE ABOVE, and you have a slice of heaven on a plate!

1 pie crust (either home made, or store bought)
1 lemon
6 sweet crisp apples
6 tbs butter
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp nutmeg
2 tsp cinnamon (or more)
pinch salt
1/3 cup flour

Heat oven to 350F.
Roll out the pie crust and place it in a deep pie plate. Tuck the excess dough into the pie plate and flute to make a decorative edge. Set aside.
Fill a large bowl with cold water. Squeeze the juice from the lemon into the water and give it a stir. Peel, core, and slice all of the apples, adding them to the bowl of lemony water as you go. (This keeps your apples from turning brown while adding a little lemon flavor at the same time!)
In a large skillet, over medium heat, melt the 6 tbs. butter. Drain the apples, and add them to the skillet along with the sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon, and salt. Gently toss until well coated. Add flour and gently toss again until the juice thickens. Remove from heat and pour apples into the prepared pie crust.
Now make the crumb topping:

1/2 c. firmly packed brown sugar
1 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 c. cold butter

Mix the brown sugar and flour together. Cut the butter into the sugar/flour mixture, until it resembles coarse crumbs. (I know we're always told not to use our hands to mix in the butter because the heat from our hands softens the butter, but I always get in there with my hands to make sure it all comes together. What can I say, it's just how I do it!) When your crumb mixture is well incorporated, then pour it over the top of your pie, making sure to cover everything to the edges. Sprinkle the top with more cinnamon. Place the pie in the oven and bake for about 40 minutes or until the crust is golden. Remove to a wire rack to cool for 10-15 minutes before serving, or let it cool completely.

As I always say, the first rule of cinnamon is that you can never have too much. I never measure it, so the amount listed is just a guess. I always add lots of cinnamon, and then taste an apple to see if it's enough. 10 times out of 10, I wind up adding more.
If you'd like to see a demonstration of how to "tuck the excess dough into the pie plate and flute to make a decorative edge", just watch my video on How to Make a Lattice Top. The "fluting" part is in the last section of the video, after we finish weaving the top crust. Great then!

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