Also known as Dutch apple pie, the best crumb pie starts with the apples: we always suggest a mix of different tastes and textures for a balanced filling that is both sweet and tart with toothsome and soft pieces. For example, Granny Smith apples are tart, Golden Delicious hold their shape nicely and McIntosh add an applesauce-like quality – a mix of these and/or your favorite varieties are ideal. For a simple upgrade, toss the filling with a couple tablespoons of heavy or sour cream for added richness. The pie dough gets special attention too: a preheated baking sheet acts as an extra heat conductor and sets the bottom crust before it has a chance to become soggy. Keep an eye on the crumb topping and cover with foil if it browns too quickly.
Make the crust: Whisk the flour, granulated sugar and salt in a large bowl. Rub the butter pieces into the flour using your fingers until pea-size pieces form. Drizzle in the vinegar and ice water; stir gently with a fork to combine. If the dough doesn’t hold together when you squeeze it, add more ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time. Turn out the dough onto a piece of plastic wrap and form into a disk; wrap tightly. Refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour or overnight.
Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface into a 13-inch round. Ease into a 9-inch pie plate. Trim the edges, leaving a 1-inch overhang, then tuck the overhanging dough under itself; crimp the edges with a fork. Refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour or overnight.
Meanwhile, make the crumb topping: Mix the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt in a medium bowl. Rub the butter into the mixture with your fingers until no longer floury and crumbs form. Freeze until ready to use.
Make the filling: Place a foil-lined baking sheet on the lowest oven rack; preheat to 400˚. Mix the apples, melted butter, both sugars, flour, lemon juice, cinnamon and salt in a large bowl. Spoon the filling into the chilled pie crust. Pat the crumb mixture on top.
Bake the pie on the hot baking sheet until lightly browned, about 30 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 350˚ and bake until the apples are completely soft when pierced with a paring knife, 60 to 80 more minutes. (If the topping is getting too dark, cover loosely with foil.) Transfer the pie to a rack to cool completely.
Tools You May Need
Photograph by Ralph Smith
Tools You May Need
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