Friday, April 1, 2011

My Mom's Apple Crumb Pie~ 4.1.11

I am a huge fan of all things pie- pizza pie, quiche, fruit pie, tarts, what else is there? hmmm.... you get my point.
Nothing, in my mind, compares to my mom's apple pie. I love the way the apples are not crunchy but are soft and almost melt in your mouth. I love the crumb topping that reminds me of a crisp, but yet it's not b/c it's a PIE! And the filling is never gooey, just slightly sweet and spicy from the cinnamon. It's perfect and reminds me of home and family and all that I love. I never order apple pie at a restaurant b/c chances are they've used granny smith or a similiar firm apple and that just will not do.

The only other pie that I've made was way back in 2008 (see here.)... and that actually turned out marvelous!

So why has it taken me this long to make it? Maybe it's the thought that no one besides my mom can make this pie? Well, silly me. It's so easy.... after you get all those apples peeled and sliced, that is. An apple peeler/corer is sounding like a good idea to me at this point!

You'll have to bear with me through the recipe. If you've ever asked for a recipe from your mum or grandmother, you'll know how difficult it can be to pin them down on specifics. AND sometimes, tips and secrets and ingredients don't come out in the initial "printing" of the recipe you requested. It was just that way with this... so be ready for lots of parentheses!

Mom's Apple Crumb Pie
adapted from the good 'ol Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook

3 lbs Macintosh apples (or more depending on size) You want the apples to really MOUND up in your pie shell as they will really cook down during the baking
lemon juice
pie crust- I used this one

1. Peel, core and slice apples, thinly. As you place them in a large bowl, every few apples you finish- toss them with the lemon juice to keep them from browning.
2. Mix sugar and cinnamon (1/4c sugar and 1 tsp cinnamon) and sprinkle on the apples. Toss. Taste and depending on how many apples you have and how tart they are, add a little more sugar and sprinkle a bit more cinnamon. (see what I mean? a true "mom's recipe" kinda thing)
3. Put apple mixture into an unbaked pie crust (Mom told me you can take some smidges of butter and tuck them in around your apples- not too much, maybe a Tbs or two- her mom used to do that) and pop it in the fridge while you make your crumb topping. I like my pie crust nice and cold before it hits the HOT oven.
4. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Crumb topping:
1/3 c sugar
3/4 c flour
6 Tbs butter
Mix sugar and flour together. Cut in the butter with your fingers- feels so great to work with your hands! Until it's crumbly like this... and sprinkle it on top of the apples. All of it. Don't be shy.

before I bake it.... 400 degrees, about 35-50 minutes. You want it bubbly and browned nicely.

And after it comes out of the oven....
Now, Mom mentioned that sometimes, she puts this under the broiler to brown up just a bit more. I wasn't home when it came out of the oven, so it is the way it is here. I might do that next time. Mom also freezes these before they are baked. Wrapped well in foil and then sealed in a ziplock bag. Just bake extra long from the freezer.

Of course, you should serve it warmed up with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream! Perfection!

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