Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Apple Crumble Perfect Pie

A very good family friend turned 60 this weekend, and his wife, Carol, threw him a surprise party. I was honored when Carol asked me to bake an apple pie for her hubby's big night. First of all, Carol is a great cook. And second, she has only heard of this pie from my mom, so she is putting a lot of trust in me and my pie prowess.

Even though my Thanksgiving apple pie was not all that good, I feel supremely confident about the apple crumble pie I am making for the party. It never fails to be perfect. It is just the right amount of sweet, crumbly and goes perfectly with vanilla ice cream. A great addition to holiday or birthday festivities.

The original recipe for this pie was from Bon Appetit. I have made just a few changes.

-Make a pie crust or use a pre-made one. I like Pillsbury's crust.
-Preheat oven to 400
-For the filling: peel, core and slice 1/4 inch thick about 3 lbs of granny smith apples
-Combine apples with 1/2 to 2/3 cup sugar depending on your tastes, 2 tbsp flour, 2 tsp cinnamon, a dash of nutmeg, ginger and allspice, 2 tbsp melted butter. Set aside.
-For topping: Combine in a food processor: 1/2 cup flour, 1/2 cup oats, 1/2 cup sugar, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1/2 tsp salt, 6 tbsp unsalted butter chilled and cubed. Pulse until mixture is combined in to moist meal. (You could do this with a pastry cutter too.)
-Mold crust in to a pie pan. I recommend using a deep dish pan if you have it.
-Pour apples into crust. It will seem like you have way too much apple mix. It will be a big mound of apples. Just go with it.
-Pour topping on to apples and use your hands to squish the topping all over the apples. Again, it will seem like the pile of apples is too big and that the topping will never stick. Trust me - it will all work out.
-Put pie on a baking sheet. Bake at 400 for about 30 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 and bake until it looks browned and bubbly, about 45 min to 1 hour more. If it looks like the topping is getting too dark, just cover with foil.
-You can easily make this a day ahead and reheat it before serving.

Here it is. I gave it a little dusting of confectioners sugar since it is for a party and all.

Happy 60th, Mike! And thanks, Carol, for letting me contribute this yummy dish to your party.

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