Apple Crumb Pie Recipe
For the Crust 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour Pinch of kosher or sea salt 8 Tbsp (1 stick) cold unsalted butter 2 or 2 ½ Tbsp ice water
For the Topping 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour ½ cup packed dark brown sugar 2 tsp ground cinnamon 8 Tbsp (1 stick) cold unsalted butter
For the Filling 1 cup sugar 2 tsp ground cinnamon 5 tbsp unsalted butter 3 pounds McIntosh apples, peeled, cored, and cut into 1-inch dice (8 to 9 cups) 1 vanilla bean, split ¼ cup unbleached all-purpose flour Squeeze of lemon juice
1. To make the crust, combine the flour and salt in a medium bowl. Cut the butter into small cubes and add to the flour mixture. Using a pastry blender or your fingertips, cut or blend the butter into the flour until pea-sized pieces are formed. Add just enough ice water so the dough can be formed into a ball. Do not overwork, or the crust will be tough. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill for at least 1 hour.
2. Meanwhile, make the topping: Combine the flour, brown sugar, and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Cut the butter into small pieces and add to the flour mixture. Using a pastry blender or your fingertips, work the butter into the flour mixture until lumps about the size of hazelnuts are formed. Refrigerate until needed.
3. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to an 11-inch circle, 1/8 inch thick. Press onto a 9-inch pie pan, and trim the excess dough; crimp the edges to make a border. Prick the bottom of the pie shell with a fork, and refrigerate or freeze to set the crust.
4. Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and heat the oven to 350. Line the dough with foil, fill with rice, dried beans, or pie weights, and bake for 15 minutes. Remove the weights and foil and continue baking for about 15 minutes, or until the crust just begins to brown. Remove from the oven and let cool. (Leave the oven on.)
5. To make a filling, combine the sugar and cinnamon. Melt the butter in a large skillet or saute pan over medium heat. Add the diced apples and sugar mixture. With a small knife, scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into the apple mixture; discard the bean. Cook the apples, stirring for about 5 minutes, or until the edges just begin to soften. Add the flour and continue to cook, stirring, until the flour is completely absorbed, about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and add lemon juice to taste.
6. Add the cooked apple mixture to the pie shell, mounding it high in the center. Cover with the crumb topping. Bake in the oven until the crumbs are lightly browned, 30 to 40 minutes. (If the crust starts getting too dark, cover it with a band of aluminum foil).
Serve warm, and enjoy!