Yes, I know the time for apple pie has come and gone. The crunchy snow seems to discourage the fruit from growing. Either way, the other day I rustled up the ingredients for the fall dessert and set the oven to bake. I wasn’t actually the one craving this treat. Far from it. Cookies are all I need to make it through the winter. However, my dad does not feel the same.I don’t know how it started-I probably asked a favor or borrowed some money and needed a way to pay back my dad-but about a year ago I became the designated pie-maker in the family. And since my parents occasionally do me favors, I am constantly in their debt. For this reason, my dad reserves the right to look at me from across the room and just say “pie.” Meaning that I should go make pie. It really doesn’t matter what type; I’m sure cherry or pecan would be just as good as apple. We just happened to have apples.
Apple Pie Crumble
This recipe is a combination of old and new. The pie crust was stolen from the newspaper a few years back when they printed the county fair’s award-winning recipes. The apple crumble (which doesn’t actually need to be in a crust and was originally called apple goodie) is from my great-grandma Daisy. The two go together quite well.
1 Winning Pie Crust (see below)
3 cups apples, sliced
¾ cup granulated sugar
½ cup + 1 Tbsp flour, divided
½ tsp salt
½ cup brown sugar
½ cup oatmeal
¼ cup shortening
⅛ tsp soda
½ tsp baking powder
Preheat oven to 375oF.
Place the rolled out pie shell into a pie pan.
Mix together apples, granulated sugar, 1 Tbsp flour, and salt. Pour into the prepared pie crust.
In a medium bowl, mix together remaining ingredients. Spread on top of apples.
Bake 45-50 minutes, until apples are tender and crust is slightly browned. If the crumble is browning too quickly, cover and continue to bake.
Winning Pie Crust
This makes three crusts. Or one crust and two batches of pie crust baked at 350oF, with butter and cinnamon and sugar, for about 12 minutes.
3 cups flour
1 cup butter
¼ cup cold water
1 tsp white vinegar
1 tsp salt
In a large bowl, with a pastry cutter, gradually work the butter into the flour for about 3 or 4 minutes until it resembles a coarse meal. In a small bowl, beat an egg with a fork and then pour it into the flour/butter mixture. Add cold water, vinegar, and salt. Stir together gently until all of the ingredients are incorporated.
Separate the dough into thirds. Form 3 evenly sized balls of dough and place each dough into a large Ziploc bag. Using a rolling pin, slightly flatten each ball of dough (about ½ inch thick) to make rolling easier later. Seal the bags and place them in the freezer until you need them. (If you will be using it immediately it’s still a good idea to put in the freezer for about 15 to 20 minutes to chill.)
When you are ready to use the dough to make a crust, remove from the freezer and allow to thaw for 15 minutes. On a floured surface roll the dough, starting at the center and working your way out. (Sprinkle some flour over top of the dough if it’s a bit too moist.) If the dough is sticking to the countertop use a metal spatula and carefully scrape it up and flip it over and continue rolling until it’s about ½ inch larger in diameter than your pie pan.
With a spatula, lift the dough carefully from the surface of the counter into the pie pan. Gently press the dough against the corner of the pan. Go around the pie pan pinching and tucking the dough to make a clean edge.