Friday, August 07, 2020

Super Cinnamon Crumble-Topped Apple Pie

The Gravenstein apples are ripe and Sweetie and Raine picked a bucketful yesterday. Pie was promised. There is nothing quite like a Gravenstein apple pie. The apples cook down and become soft and moist and so delicious. They are the perfect balance of sweet and tart. We decided to use a crumble topping instead of a top crust.

This is really Raine's pie. I did peel and slice some apples and assist with advice, but Raine did all the work, including picking most of the apples, peeling and slicing the rest of the apples, rolling out the pie crust, measuring and mixing up the filling...including lots of cinnamon!...and measuring and putting the topping ingredients together, plus assembling the pie. Since we both really, really like cinnamon, we agreed that he could put extra into the filling and the topping, so it's a super cinnamon pie.

For the filling we used my Mom's apple pie recipe in the Classic Comfort Food cookbook, with a bit of brown sugar added, but not too much. She would usually do a two crust pie and would usually make her own pie dough, but this time our attention was on the crumble topping. For the bottom crust we used Pillsbury Ready Crust and we based the topping on a recipe we found online from Bon Appetit. We made enough changes that I'm calling this Raine's Apple Pie.

The crust is buttery, the apples sweet-tart and soft with some cinnamon and the topping is crunchy and rich and full of cinnamon flavor. A slice with some vanilla ice cream and you'll be glad that the Gravensteins have arrived.

No Gravenstein apples where you live? Substitute another favorite apple. Some good ones, although the texture will be different, are Granny Smith, Jonagold, and Honeycrisp.

Raine's Apple Pie

1 - Ready Crust pre-rolled dough for 1 crust (or your favorite pie dough for 1 crust)

6-7 cups (about 3 1/2 pounds) Gravenstein or other good pie apples, peeled and sliced, core and seeds removed
2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon (we used Penzey's Vietnamese Cinnamon)
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
1-2 Tablespoons soft butter, in small lumps
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 Tablespoons butter, cold, cut into 6 pieces
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. On a lightly floured work surface roll out the crust gently so that the crust will fill a 9-inch pie plate with an overhang of at least an inch all around. Fit into pie pan. Set aside.

In a large bowl toss the apples with the 2 Tablespoons flour, 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon,and the 2 Tablespoons brown sugar until thoroughly coated and mixed. Put apple mixture into prepared pan and dot with the butter lumps. Set aside.

In  a medium bowl mix together the flour, brown sugar, ground cinnamon, and salt. Use a pastry cutter to cut the cold butter into the flour mixture until it looks like we sand. Stir in the chopped walnuts.

Take a handful of the flour/butter mixture and squeeze lightly to make clumps. Distribute the clumps, which may come apart a bit as you distribute, over the top of the apple filling, completely covering the apples. Use all of the topping mixture.

Fold the extra dough up and over the filling and topping, pleating the crust as needed, giving a little pinch now and then to help it stay pleated.

Bake pie in the preheated 450 degree F oven for 10 (ten!) minues. Then reduce the oven temperature to 350 and continue to bake for another 35-40 minutes. Crust will be golden brown. It's a good idea to check on the pie about 10 minutes before it might be done and to tent the top with aluminum foil if the topping is browning too fast. I forgot to do that part, so some of the topping got a bit burnt...but it still tasted great.

Let finished pie cool on a wire rack until thoroughly cool. Serve in wedges with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on the side if you are feeling decadent.

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