Friday, July 15, 2011

Apple Crumble Pie

If you're afraid of pie crust, this is the pie for you. If you're allergic to almonds, this is not the pie for you.

It consists of a crumb crust that's made extra delicious with the addition of ground blanched almonds. You press it into the pie plate, and then freeze until firm. It's a bit tricky to press in--all those crumbs have a tendency to want to go where they want to go rather than where you want them to go.

I used a mix of a whole bunch of apples, including Granny Smith. Bad choice, as the tart Granny Smiths never quite melted into the pie the way say a McIntosh would have. I also might omit the nutmeg next time.

The pie looks gorgeous when out of the oven. It's a bit tricky to slice and looks more like an apple crisp on the plate than apple pie. But it all goes down the same way...

Apple Crumb Pie
(adapted from Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook)

Almond Crumb Crust
1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup plus 2 tbsp blanched almonds finely ground
1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, room temp, cut into small pieces

In a large bowl, whisk flour, almonds, sugar, and salt.  In a food processor, cut int the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.  In a 9-inch glass pice place, press a little more than 1/2 the crumbs into the bottom up the sides and onto the rim.  Press firmly into edges.  Freeze pie shell until firm, about 15 minutes.

Apple Filling
3 1/2 lbs assorted apples (Cortland, Jonagold, Rome, McIntosh, Empire, Macoun... Granny Smith DO NOT work well for this recipe)
Juice of 1 lemon (about 2 tbsp)
1/3 cups sugar
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp unsalted butter cut into small pieces

Preheat oven to 350.  Peel, core, and cut apples into 1/4 inch slices.  In a large bowl, toss apples, lemon juice, and spices.

Pour into chilled pie shells, mounding apples slightly in the center.  Dot with butter.  Sprinkle remaining crumbs over apples to cover completely.

Bake until crust is golden and juices begin to bubble, about 1 hour.  Cool completely on a wire rack.

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