The month after Christmas is always the hardest. Sugar has lots its appeal as your jeans have gotten tighter. The sky, once bright blue, has turned gray. Piles of slushy snow sit on the curb, with litter and cigarette butts scattered all over. Leaving your bed has become an everyday struggle.
However, life goes on and soon you start realizing the beauty of winter. The way it makes you more motivated to plow through your library pile. The way it makes you crave hearty soups and piping hot tea. The way the lights twinkle amidst the falling snow. And, last but not least, the way the kitchen and oven become the center of your house.
I remember baking this pie and thinking that nothing could be better. Spending a chilly afternoon bundled up in the kitchen is not for everyone. Furthermore, the idea of baking a pie makes some people want to poke their eyes out. However, I’ve gotten used to the art of baking pie. The techniques for getting the perfect dough are still being learned but I think I am on my way to becoming an average pie baker. I still have issues with crimping my pie crusts and making it look like a work of art. But, taste wise, my pies get an A.
I made this pie originally on Thanksgiving. Amidst a backdrop of turkey, mashed potatoes, bread, and pumpkin pie, it got lost. However, when it came time to bring a dessert to my dad’s for Christmas, it was the first thing to pop in my mind. This Cinnamon Crumb Apple Pie comes from Epicurious and it was deliciously easy. Apparently, I was not the only fan of this pie as it has been reviewed by over 240 people. Instead of bothering with a double crust (the bane of my existence), this recipe used a simple crumb mixture, adding more sweetness and crunch to the pie. After peeling and coring Granny Smith apples, you mix the apples with a brown sugar mixture, then dump it into your prepared pie crust. Top the apple mixture with the crumb topping, dot some butter on top, and pop it in the oven. See, fairly painless!
What emerges from the oven is something gorgeous and delectable. The golden-brown crust covers a glistening hot apple mixture, with juices oozing out of every corner. Needless to say, everyone at the dinner table was excited to dig in. With a generous scoop of vanilla ice cream, we plowed in, grateful for winter and it’s bounty. And grateful to be sharing a dessert all together under one roof.
Cinnamon Crumble Apple Pie
Attribution: Bon Appetit
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: One hour, 25 minutes
Yields One 9-Inch Pie
1 1/3 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/4 cup frozen solid vegetable shortening, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
3 tablespoons (or more) ice water
1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
3 1/4 pounds Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, sliced 1/4 inch thick
2/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
Mix flour, salt, and sugar in large bowl. Add butter and shortening; rub in with fingertips until coarse meal forms. Mix 3 tablespoons ice water and vinegar in small bowl to blend. Drizzle over flour mixture; stir with fork until moist clumps form, adding more water by teaspoonfuls if dough is dry. Gather dough into ball; flatten into disk. Wrap in plastic; refrigerate 30 minutes.
Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 400°F. Roll out dough on lightly floured surface to 12-inch round. Transfer to 9-inch-diameter glass pie dish. Trim overhang to 1/2 inch; turn edge under and crimp decoratively. Refrigerate while preparing filling and topping.
Mix all ingredients in large bowl to coat apples.
Blend first 5 ingredients in processor. Add chilled butter cubes; using on/off turns, cut in until mixture resembles wet sand.
Toss filling to redistribute juices; transfer to crust, mounding in center. Pack topping over and around apples. Bake pie on baking sheet until topping is golden, about 40 minutes (cover top with foil if browning too quickly). Reduce oven temperature to 350°F. Bake until apples in center are tender when pierced and filling is bubbling thickly at edges, about 45 minutes longer. Cool until warm, about 1 hour. Serve with ice cream.