I’m not going to lie: sometimes baking a pie with two pie crusts kind of stresses me out. As much as one can really get “stressed out” about pie. Enter my new friend, the crumb topping. Mix it up, pour it on, bake it. Bam. Done. No more rolling, cutting out vents, or designing some fancy picturesque top with cookie cutters. Just tasty, crunchy, easy crumbs. That I can handle.
Tip: if you happen to have a quart jar of apple pie filling (like I made last fall and am still trying to go through…) use that and just pour the crumb topping over it. Fastest dessert prep ever!
What you need:
For pie filling:
- 1 Pie Crust, store-bought or homemade
- 4 large (or 6 small) apples, cored, peeled, and sliced thinly (a mix of apple varieties will give you the best flavors, ie. mixing Gala and Fuji)
- 2 T. orange juice
- 1/4 c. flour
- 1/4 t. nutmeg
- 1 1/2 t. cinnamon
- 1/2 c. sugar
- 1 t. vanilla
For crumb topping:
- 1/2 c. brown sugar
- 1 t. cinnamon
- 3/4 c. flour
- 1 T. orange zest (from 1 orange)
- 1/3 c. unsalted butter, very soft
- small, medium, and large mixing bowls
- cutting board and sharp knife
- apple peeler, apple corer (optional)
- microplane zester
- 9 inch pie pan
- rolling pin
- flour duster (optional)
Time: 60 minutes prep, 50-60 minutes baking
Freezeable: Yes. The filling alone can be frozen, just thaw overnight in the refrigerator before using. The baked pie can be frozen once fully cooled. Wrap in double layers of foil before freezing. Allow to thaw overnight in the refrigerator, and then let come to room temperature before serving.
Multiplying the recipe: You could prepare the filling or crumb topping in double batches, and then prepare 2 9-inch pie crusts. If baking together, rotate pans halfway through baking time.
Apple Crumb Pie:
Prepare pie crust as directed. Preheat oven to 400F.
Wash, peel, and core the apples. Slice them thinly (about 1/4 inch thick) and place them in a large bowl. Be sure to slice the apples as evenly as possible so that they cook evenly. In a small bowl, mix together the orange juice, 1/4 c. flour, nutmeg, 1 1/2 t. cinnamon, sugar, and vanilla. Pour this over the apple slices and mix with a spoon or your hands until the apples are evenly covered.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pie crust into a 12-inch circle. Carefully transfer the pie crust into a 9-inch pie pan. Smooth the crust with your fingers. Pour the prepared apple slices into the crust.
In a medium bowl, combine the brown sugar, 1 t. cinnamon, 3/4 c. flour, and orange zest. Add the butter, stirring with a spatula or (my preference) your fingers. Once the butter is incorporated and the topping seems thick and crumbly, add it over the top of the apple slices. At this point, the pie can be refrigerated until ready to bake if you are preparing it in advance.
Bake for 20 minutes. Lower the temperature to 375F and bake for an additional 30-40 minutes. Let cool before serving with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.