As autumn approaches so many people can harvest apples from their trees. So it is a time when apple pies are very popular as a dessert. Of course, not everyone has apple trees. I most certainly don’t but I do love apple pie. So I decided to make one, but with a difference. Instead of the more usual pastry top I decided to put crumble over the apples to make a crunchy top.
So, that means the recipe has three distinct areas of preparation. The pastry, the filling and the topping. Each are very easy to prepare. Once prepared they need to rest for at least an hour before assembling, and baking, the pie.
Each of those three areas of preparation are very easy too. So, together with the assembly, of the pie, this is actually a very easy recipe.
I used Granny Smith apples, which are quite tart. However the variety of apple is a matter of personal preference.
For the filling I started with about 1100 gram(2 1/2 lbs) of apples. I peeled and sliced them, adding some lemon juice to prevent discolouration.
Then I added some sugar, salt and ground cinnamon. I also added some double cream to give extra richness to the filling. I used 120ml(1/2 cup) of cream but, since I discarded the excess liquid when filling the pie, that amount can be reduced if desired. Or the excess liquid can be poured into the pie, but that risks making it soggy on the bottom.
I also used some custard powder between layers of apple, when filling the pie, as well as some breadcrumbs, to absorb liquid as it leached out of the apples during baking.
The pastry was very simple to make, using just flour, sugar, salt and butter as well as a little sour cream and water. The sour cream helped to keep the pastry dough supple during rolling and lining.
The Crumble Topping
The topping was very simple too, using just flour, sugar, salt and melted butter. When combined the mixture clumped easily. Then, along with the pastry, it was chilled for at least an hour.
After everything had chilled or rested for an hour the pie was ready to assemble, in a 9 inch/23cm pie dish.
Rolling out the pastry was easy enough. The I lined the pie dish with it.
I had intended to sprinkle breadcrumbs over the base, but I forgot. But that wasn’t a problem as i added them in as I layered the apples. It is better to sprinkle them on the bottom though.
As I added layers of sliced apple into the pastry I sprinkled custard powder over each layer. The powder absorbs liquid from the apples. For those who may not have custard powder some vanilla pudding powder, or some flour, will be fine.
The crumble topping hardens in the fridge as the melted butter sets. I broke it up a little and sprinkled it on top of the apples.
Then the pie was ready to bake.
I baked my pie at 180C/160C Fan/350F for 70 minutes. I had placed the pie dish on a baking tray to catch any juice which oozed out. That was to prevent anything baking onto the floor of the oven.
The kitchen filled with such a lovely aroma as the pie baked.
After 70 minutes I removed the pie from the oven and left it to cool for 3 1/2 hours. That really is the minimum time. It gives time for the pie to settle and to firm up enough to cut into neat slices. It is fine, for those who can wait, to chill the pie overnight before serving.
Another version is this Apple Pie
Apple Pie With Crumble Top – Apple Crumble PieCourse: Desserts, Pies, TartsCuisine: InternationalDifficulty: Easy
175g(1 cup+3 tbsp minus 1 tsp, based on scooping packed flour into a 250ml cup) plain flour
7g(1 1/2 tbsp) caster sugar
3g(1/2 tsp) salt
112g(8 tbsp) cold unsalted butter, cubed
20ml(4 tsp) ice cold water
20ml(4 tsp) sour cream
- Crumble Topping
140g(1 cup minus 1 tbsp, based on scooping packed flour into a 250ml cup) plain flour
100g(1/2 cup) light brown sugar
3g(1/2 tsp) salt
85g(6 tbsp) melted unsalted butter
- Apple Filling
1100g(2 1/2 lbs) apples, peeled and thinly sliced
30ml(2 tbsp) lemon juice, used to toss the apples after slicing
100g(1/2 cup) caster sugar
120ml(1/2 cup) double cream(you can reduce this amount as excess will be discarded).
3g(1 tsp) ground cinnamon
5ml(1 tsp) vanilla extract
3g(1/2 tsp) salt
21g(3 tbsp) custard powder
20g(2 tbsp) breadcrumbs
- Place the sliced apples into a large bowl.
- Sprinkle the sugar, salt, cinnamon and vanilla extract into the same bowl and stir around to mix into the apple slices.
- Add the double cream and stir again. Note that you can reduce the amount of cream since excess liquid will be discarded later).
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set aside until later.
- Place the flour, light brown sugar and salt for the crumble into a bowl.
- Stir around to combine them, then pour in the melted butter and stir until the mixture is fully combined and is starting to clump together.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill for at least an hour.
- In the bowl of a food processor place the flour, sugar, salt and pulse to combine.
- Add the butter and pulse repeatedly, about 10 to 15 times, until the mixture resembles course sand.
- Add the water and sour cream then process until the mixture clumps into a soft dough.
- Remove the dough from the processor and form into a disc, then wrap in plastic wrap and chill for at least an hour.
- Preheat the oven to 180C/160C Fan/350F.
- Place the dough on a lightly floured work surface and roll it out to a circle about 12 inches in diameter.
- Carefully transfer the dough into a 9 inch/23cm pie dish, lowering it to the base and against the sides.
- Tuck any overhanging dough under around the rim.
- Crimp or form a pattern around the edge of the pasty.
- Sprinkle the breadcrumbs onto the base of the pasty.
- Place a layer of apples over the breadcrumbs.
- Sift some of the custard powder over that layer and repeat the layering process, sprinkling again, until all the apples are in the pie dish. Discard excess liquid.
- Stir the firmed up crumble mixture and break up any large pieces.
- Sprinkle the crumble over the apples, covering completely.
- Gently press the crumble down onto the apples.
- Place the pie dish onto a rimmed baking tray, to catch any drips, and place the pie into the oven to bake for between 60 to 75 minutes, until a knife poked in shows that the apples are tender.
- Remove the pie from the oven and leave until completely cooled before serving. That will take at least 3 1/2 hours.