A fruit that’s still available in the Winter, is abundant in Canada and delicious almost all year’ round is the apple. It’s one of my favourite fruits: crispy, crunchy, juicy, sweet and sour and good for ya! Besides the usual “an apple a day will keep the Doctor away”, apples are also versatile as they can be turned into a sauce, chutney, goes well with pork and games dishes and it’s wonderful in tarts, cakes and the subject of today’s post, pies.
We’re going to make an Apple Crumble Pie. The recipe borrows from your usual apple pie recipe and it has elements of an Apple Crisp. The short-crust pastry is homemade, easy to prepare and hopefully you won’t ever buy ready-made pie shells or use those shortenings that I dread when I see others baking with them. Being a Greek, we use olive oil alot but there’s a time a time and place to use butter as well. A short-crust pastry is one of those instances.
The filling and crumble topping are even easier: peel and core your apples, thinly slice and toss with the sugar, spices and flour. The topping, not unlike an Apple Crisp topping is made of all-purpose flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and butter. One simply covers the apple filling and into the oven goes the pie.
I like this recipe more than the usual apple pie because there’s less crust, you taste more apple and the crumble topping could be eaten on its own! My last tip before sharing the recipe is that one should choose a firmer apple as the baking time is approx. 1 hour. Courtlands, Empires, Golden Delicious and Honey Crisps.
Apple Crumble Pie
(requires a 9-inch diameter pie dish)
1 1/2 cups of all purpose flour
1/2 tsp. of salt
1/2 cup of unsalted cold butter, cut into 8 pieces
3-5 Tbsp. of cold water
1 tsp. of lemon juice
8-10 apples (depending how deep your dish is), peeled, cored and thinly sliced
1 tbsp. lemon juice
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 Tbsp. flour
1/2 tsp. ground allspice
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
pinch of salt
1/2 cup cold butter
Pre-heated 350F oven
- Combine flour and salt. Cut in butter using your hands or a pastry cutter until mixture resembles small peas. Sprinkle over water and lemon juice and gather flour into a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Unwrap and place on a floured board. Roll out to desired size. Makes enough for one 9 or 10-inch single crust pie.
- Carefully transfer your pie crust over your baking dish and press the crust down on the and along the perimeter of the baking dish. Using your rolling pin, roll over the rim of the pie to trim-off excess pastry. You may use a fork to crimp the edge of your pie.
- Peel the apples, cored and thinly slice. Toss in some lemon juice and place in the pie dish to see if you have enough apples to fill the dish and prepare more apples if needed. Empty the apples into a bowl and add the brown sugar, allspice, cinnamon, flour and toss with your hands. Place back into your pie dish.
- In the meantime, pre-heat your oven to 350F and set the rack to the middle position. To make the crumble, add all the ingredients except for the butter into your food processor and pulse until blended. Now add the cold butter and pulse again until the butter is broken-up in the flour into pea-sized pieces. Empty the topping mixture over your apples and spread evenly with your hands.
- Place in your pre-heated oven for approx. 1 hour or until the top is golden-brown, crisp and slightly bubbly. Insert a knife into the pie to ensure the apples are cooked and there is no resistance. Allow the pie to cool for 20 minutes, serve warm with homemade vanilla ice cream.
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