Apple pie is awesome. There's no getting around it. In whatever form it appears, whether old fashioned double crust American apple pie or German strudel, apples it seems were meant to be baked into a pastry of some sort with cinnamon and sugar.
My wife and I recently obtained an entire box of Granny Smith apples. I feel like a kid at Christmas! Oh the possibilities! One of the first things I wanted to make was an old favorite, Dutch Apple Pie. I've always loved the crumbly top on this classic and it requires the making of one less crust, or gives you an extra crust to make something else - like quiche!
Because I used half the pie dough for a savory quiche, I cut back on the sugar by about half. I used a very basic two-crust recipe. Begin by sifting together:
2-1/2 c all purpose flour
1 T sugar (the normal amount would be 2 T)
1 t salt
In a food processor or by hand, gently mix in:
1/2 c frozen shortening, cut into small pieces
Mix until the flour takes on a grainy texture. Add in:
1-1/2 c frozen butter, cut into small pieces
Gently mix together, being careful not to over handle the dough, as this will make it tough. The flour should take on the texture of small peas. Slowly, a tablespoon at a time, add in:
6-8 T ice water
Gently mix water into the dough until it's just moist enough to stick together when pinched. Split the dough into 2 even pieces and wrap each in plastic. Refrigerate the dough for at least 15 minutes or for up to 2 days. It may also be frozen for a week or more, if properly wrapped.
Once the crust is ready, roll it out and line your pie dish. If you like, you can cover this in plastic and put it back in the fridge until you're ready for it.
The filling is real simple. Peel, core and slice enough apples for about 5-6 cups. I used 4 Granny Smiths and a small Fuji. The tarter the apple, the higher the pectin. Pectin is important because, just like in jellies and jams, this is what makes the filling set up and not be too runny. I also add a little flour which, combined with the pectin, helps hold the filling together.
Begin by preheating your oven to 375°. Take a large bowl and combine:
5-6 c sliced apples
1 T lemon juice
Toss together until the apples are well coated, then add:
1/2 c granulated sugar
1/4 c packed brown sugar
3 T flour
1 t cinnamon
1/4 t nutmeg
Toss apples until they are completely coated with sugar and spices. Pour the apples into the pie crust. In a small bowl, whisk together:
3/4 c flour
1/4 c granulated sugar
1/4 c packed brown sugar
When combined, add:
1/3 c soft butter
Mix together until the texture is crumbly. Cover the apples with the topping. Bake pie for 50 minutes, turning about halfway through to insure even baking. Allow to cool completely before serving.
Outstanding! Pie that makes you thankful for bad weather - a great excuse for staying inside with a fresh pot of tea. There is nothing better!