An Open Faced Apple Pie with a Buttery Crumb Topping
It is hard for me to pick a favorite apple pie and even within the realm of crumb-topped pies there are variations that appeal. Some feature a crisp-style topping with oats and a hefty dose of cinnamon. Others feature nuts, typically walnuts or pecans. I wanted to be a bit more of a purist with this version and let the apples shine so I opted for a simple buttery crumb, the whole dish very lightly spiced. This Apple Crumb Pie is made in a deep-dish plate for a generous ratio of fruit filling, lined with a classic pie crust, filled with 3 whole pounds of apples and then topped with the textural crumb topping. As with most apple pies I like to use a blend of apples and have made recommendations in the Tips; feel free to play with combos of your own. You might note the absence of nutmeg. I am not a fan in my apple pies but certainly feel free to add ¼ teaspoon of freshly ground to the apple filling if you like.
- 1 single pie crust, chilled
- 7 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- ½ cup sugar
- ¾ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon baking powder
- Pinch of salt
- 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
- 3 pounds of apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
- ½ cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons firmly packed light brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- For the Crust: Position a rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside. Coat a deep-dish 9½ x 1½-inch tempered glass pie plate with nonstick spray.
- Roll out dough on a lightly -floured surface to a 12-inch round. Transfer to the pie plate. Fold edges under and crimp decoratively. Refrigerate while oven preheats and you made topping and filling.
- For the Topping: Melt butter (we use the microwave so that you can accomplish this step in one bowl) then whisk in sugar, cinnamon, baking powder and salt. Stir in flour until combined. Use your fingers to squeeze together crumbs; set aside.
- For the Filling: In a large bowl, toss together the apple slices, sugar, brown sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice, cinnamon, and salt let sit for 15 minutes. Scrape into crust, top with crumbs and place on prepared sheet pan and place in oven. Bake for 15 minutes, then turn heat down to 350°F and bake until golden brown on top and filling should be bubbling, about 50 to 60 minutes.
- Cool pie plate on rack at least 1 hour to allow the juices to thicken. May be served warm or room temperature or store at room temperature overnight lightly covered with foil. Serve with vanilla ice cream, if desired.
- For the apples I like a blend of sweet and tart as well as firm and soft. Try a couple of Granny Smith as a tart/firm variety. A couple of McIntosh or Cortland provide some softness in texture. Gala or Jazz or Golden Delicious would round out the mixture nicely. Of course if you have local orchards near you take advantage of more unusual varieties. Some of my favorite apples to use for pie are Northern Spy, Baldwin, Spitzenberg, Rhode Island Greening, Gravenstein and Jonagold. Try them if you can.
- To core and peel your apples there is simply nothing like an old-fashioned rotary peeler. We wouldn’t make an apple pie without a spiral apple peeler and slicer; cuts our time in half or more.