Apple Pie with Crumb Topping

Another birthday. Another apple pie.

Trent loves apples – applesauce, apple butter, apple cider and, especially, apple pie. His favorite apple pie is with a crumb topping instead of a top crust. No ice cream. No whipped cream. Just a big hunk of apple pie.

Trent has always marched to a different drum. It’s one of the kajillion things I love about him. No birthday cake for that kid!

Following is Trent’s favorite apple pie recipe.

I used to use those pie crusts you get in the refrigerated section of the grocery store. They were good. Nobody ever complained, that’s for sure.

Then, several years ago, I made a crust from scratch.

There was no going back.

The awesome thing is that it’s easy-peasy. You can make them ahead and freeze them, which I definitely do for Thanksgiving.

You begin by pulsing flour, butter and shortening in a  food processor. (If you do not have a food processor you can use a pastry blender, two butter knives or your hands.) Pulse until the butter is the size of small peas.

You then beat the egg with ice water, salt and vinegar.

The vinegar helps to make the crust tender. Unfortunately, vinegar has many other uses and my husband keeps walking off with mine. So I labeled it. It hasn’t helped.

You then blend the flour mixture with the liquid mixture. And stir with a wooden spoon until it begins to come together.

At that point, you have to go in with lightly floured hands. Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and divide into two pieces. Flatten into two discs and wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 60 minutes.

Once the crust is chilled you can start on the apple filling.

Do you have one of these? I bought one years ago from Pampered Chef thinking it was a bit of a gimmick. But this little contraption has made quick work of many apple recipes! Today, my daughter peeled nearly all the apples while I trimmed any missed pieces of peel and separated the slices. I LOVE having her help in the kitchen.

Combine the apple slices with with flour, sugar, spices and lemon juice and stir until slices are coated. (I made 2 pies so this is double the amount called for in the recipe).

Now it’s time to roll out the pie crust. (My daughter took this picture and most of the pics from here on out. She’s 10. She’s awesome!)

Place crust in pie plate, trim excess and crimp the edges.

Fill the crust and dot with butter.

Prepare the crumb topping and sprinkle evenly over pie. Place on a foil-lined baking sheet (unless you want your oven to be a mess and enjoy the smell of burnt sugar). Don’t ask me how I know…

Here are the recipes:

Perfect Pie Crust

Makes two 9-inch piecrusts

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup vegetable shortening
  • 8 Tablespoons cold, unsalted butter, cut into 1/4 – inch cubes
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1/3 cup plus 2 Tablespoons ice-cold water
  • 1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
  1. Place flour in a large bowl.
  2. Cut the shortening and butter into the flour until the butter is the size of small peas. (Or pulse 10 -12 times in a food processor.) Place mixture in a large bowl.
  3. In a separate bowl, beat the egg, 1/3 cup of the water, salt and vinegar. Add to the flour mixture, stirring until it begins to come together. Add additional water if the dough is too crumbly.
  4. Use lightly floured hands to form the dough into a round ball. Place on a lightly floured surface, divide into two pieces and flatten each piece into a disc. Wrap each piece in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour or up to 3 days.
  5. Roll out the chilled dough onto a lightly floured surface to form a 12-inch circle. Fold in half and lay dough in pie pan. Unfold. Press gently into the bottom and sides of pan.
  6. Trim the edges leaving a 1 1/2 inch overhang and crimp the edges. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 50 minutes up until 3 days. Or freeze for a future use.
  7. Use crust as directed in pie recipe.

Adapted from Foster’s Market Cookbook

Apple Crumb Pie

Makes one 9-inch pie (serves 6)

  • 1 unbaked pie crust
  • 6 cups tart apple slices (Granny Smith), peeled
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon apple pie spice *
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Roll out and line a 9-inch pie plate. Trim edges and crimp.
  2. Combine apple slices, sugar, flour, apple pie spice and lemon juice in a large bowl.
  3. Spoon into unbaked pie crust and dot with butter.
  4. In a medium bowl, mix 2/3 cup all-purpose flour, 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. With your fingers, blend in 5 Tablespoons cold unsalted butter until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Srinkle over apples and bake 40 – 50 minutes. If the pie browns too quickly, cover lightly with foil.
  5. Cool on a cooling rack.

Adapted from Disney’s family cookbook

Of course, you don’t have to eat it like Trent. Ice Cream is perfectly acceptable and even encouraged!

Q&A for the Day:

  • Do you have any unique birthday traditions?
  • How do you like your pie – a la mode or unadorned?

3 thoughts on “Apple Pie with Crumb Topping

  1. Pingback: Happy Birthday – Florida Style | Barbells and Buttercream

  2. Pingback: Easter Carrot Cake | Barbells and Buttercream

  3. Pingback: Punch to the Face | Barbells and Buttercream

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