If there was a recipe to capture my childhood in one bite, it would be this pie (or my mom’s homemade roll recipe). We had this pie on big family holidays, my dad’s birthday and many fall days when the apples are perfectly ripe in New York state. One of my biggest childhood memories is sitting at the kitchen table helping my dad peel apples while my mom made the crust and the crumb topping.
The great thing about this pie is that you don’t have to wait for perfect autumn days to eat it. I found some nice Macs from Champlain Orchards at Healthy Living Market the other day so I couldn’t resist making my mom’s recipe. A little trivia about me: I once won the Saratoga County Fair Pie Baking Contest – and it was with this recipe! There is no double crust here, but instead a really buttery crumb topping.
Want some tips on how to make the perfect apple pie? Here are a few:
- Cut your fruit FIRST. While you’re cutting your fruit, put all of your crust ingredients in the freezer (like Crisco, ice water, etc.) to get them super cold. The colder the better when it comes to the crust. That’ll keep your crust soft and flaky, instead of getting powdery or sandy (which can happen if you overwork the dough!)
- Cut your apples and then put all of the filling ingredients on them. Let them sit and marinate in those beautiful cinnamon-sugar juices. Your fruit will get that much better before it goes into the oven.
- Mix up your apples! Don’t use just one kind. For this, I used mostly Macintosh, but threw in one Empire for some crisp tartness. Your fruit will have a better depth of flavor and the consistency is better throughout the pie.
Read on for the recipe!
- 2 2/3 cup flour
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 cup Crisco (put in the freezer for about a half hour before using)
- 7-8 tbsp. ice water
- 8 heaping cups sliced apples
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup flour
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 1 tsp. nutmeg
- 1 cup flour
- 1/2 cup cold butter
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- To make the crust: cut Crisco into the flour and salt. Add water 1 tablespoon at a time and stir with a fork until the crust can be formed easily into a ball. Divide in half and roll the first half onto a pastry cloth and place in a pie plate. Reserve the other half for a top crust or freeze for further use.
- For the filling, peel the apples and combine with the filling mixture. Let sit to allow the apples to juice up a bit. Once they're ready, add them to the pie shell.
- For the crumb topping, mix all of the ingredients with a pastry cutter and place all over the top of the apples.
- Bake at 425 for 15 minutes and then decrease the temperature to 350 degrees and bake for another 30 minutes. To make sure the pie is done, insert a paring knife into the pie and there should be little to no toughness on the apples.