French Crumble Apple Pie

• 30 September 2010

by Guest Blogger, Rebecca Mudrick

I love eating homemade apple pie, but when it comes to making a beautiful pie, well ... I'm just not good at it. My pies taste fabulous, but they look terrible. And after spending years trying to figure out - unsuccessfully, mind you - how to roll out, place and flute a top crust I finally cried uncle and gave up. Instead, I make a french apple pie which is perfect for those who are crust-challenged like myself. I can hide an ugly (but perfectly flaky!) bottom crust under cinnamon-sweet apples and a buttery crumb topping. Are you salivating yet? If so, here's the recipe:

1 1/2 cups flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon shortening, chilled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1/4 cup ice-cold water
1 large egg yolk
1/2 tsp cider or wine vinegar

Mix flour, sugar and salt. Using a pastry blender cut shortening and butter until the mixture is the consistency of course bread crumbs. Do not over blend. In a small bowl or cup, mix ice water, egg yolk and vinegar. Gradually add water mixture to flour mixture just until the dough clumps together (the dough should be moist but not wet or crumbly). Gather up the dough into a disk and wrap in wax paper and refrigerate while preparing the apples and crumb topping. Roll out dough until it is approximately 13 inches in diameter and 1/8 inch thick. Carefully fold the dough into quarters and transfer to pie dish and flute edges.

Apple Filling:
4 to 5 cups crisp, tart apples
3/4 - 1 cup sugar*
1 to 2 tablespoons flour*
1/2 to 1 teaspoon cinnamon*
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon lemon juice

Mix ingredients in large bowl and pour into prepared pie crust.

*Amounts vary depending on the type of apple you are using for your pie. Use more sugar if your apples are especially tart, or more flour if they are really juicy.

French Crumb Topping:
1 cup flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup chilled butter, cut into small cubes

Cut butter into sugar and flour with a pastry cutter (or in a food processor) until well blended. Spread topping evenly over apple filling.

Bake assembled pie at 375 degrees for 40 - 50 minutes. Enjoy!

p.s. a special thank you to my mother-in-law for helping me make, photograph, and eat my french apple pie today!

Rebecca also blogs at Overexposed and Darling Art.

image by Rebecca Mudrick


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