Recipe: Apple Crumb Pie

If I had to make a list of the top 100 things I loved in this world, I think that below my family, friends, cats, health, my iPhone, my KitchenAid, and a handful of personal belongings would be "Pie For Breakfast."

To me, Pie for Breakfast, is the ultimate breakfast spurge (which I indulge in anytime there is pie in the house). It's sweet and fruity and makes you feel like you're breaking the food laws without doing anything too terrible. And when I think harder about it, pie probably isn't the worse thing you could eat for breakfast. A giant stack of french toast or donuts are probably way more calories than a slice of pie. And at least pie has a little fruit mixed in? I feel like that has to count for SOMETHING. But what do I know, and I honestly don't care very much. Everyone deserves pie for breakfast every once and a while. It's important for your self care.

So today we are getting back to basics with an apple pie. I wanted something that would be a cross between an apple pie and an apple crisp, which is make usual go-to use for apples. So we're making a pretty standard apple pie and adding a crumbly top. Win-win all around!

Apple Crumb Pie

Yields 8 slices
Crust recipe via The Four & Twenty Blackbirds Pie Book

Crust:
1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 stick cold, unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 cup cold water
2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup ice

Filling:
3 medium tart apples (like Granny Smiths)
4 medium sweet apples (like a Honey Crisps or McIntosh)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch of nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon allspice

Topping:
1 cup flour
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup quick oats
1/2 stick butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Crust: Sift together flour, salt, and sugar together in a large bowl. Add the butter pieces into the flour mixture and using a pastry blender, cut the butter into the flour. Work quickly until mostly pea-sized pieces of butter remain (a few larger pieces are okay, don't overwork). 

Combine the water, ice, and vinegar into a mixing cup. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of liquid over the flour mixture and cut it in with the pastry blender until fully incorporated. Add more of the liquid, 1-2 tablespoons at a time, using the pastry blender or your hands until the dough comes together. Squeeze and pinch with your fingertips to bring all the dough together, sprinkling dry bits with more small drops of the ice water mixture, if necessary, to combine. Shape the dough into a flat disc, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, preferably overnight, to give the crust time to mellow.

Let's make a pie: Roll dough on lightly floured work surface to a 12-inch disk. Transfer dough to pie plate by rolling dough around rolling pin and unrolling over 9 1/2-inch pie plate or by folding dough in quarters, then placing dough point in center of pie plate and unfolding. Working around circumference of pie plate, ease dough into pan corners by gently lifting dough edges with one hand while pressing around pan bottom with other hand. Leave dough that overhangs lip of plate in place; refrigerate dough-lined pie plate for 10-15 minutes. While the pie is chilling, preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Core, peel, and slice all the apples and add in a large bowl with lemon juice (so not to brown). Add sugar, spices, salt, lemon zest, and flour to the apples and mixture until apples are evenly coated. Remove dough from the refrigerator and begin adding and evenly layering apples. Apples should fill the pie plate slightly below the lip of the plate. Flute edges of the crust.

In a large bowl, mix together all the topping ingredients until you have a crumbly mixture. Add handfuls of the mixture on top of the apples squeezing it and crumbling it as you go. Cover all the apples evenly.

Place pie on a baking sheet and place on the bottom rack in a 425-degree oven for 20-25 until the crust is just starting to set and brown. Lower the oven temperature to 375 degrees and bake for an additional 35-40 minutes until golden brown and the filling is slightly bubbling. Cool pie on a wire rack for 2-3 hours.

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