This week I had a special request for a recipe. A neighbor from 20 years ago, one of my very favorite babysitting clients, contacted me for a recipe for apple pie to make for her boyfriend’s birthday this week. I love a challenge, so of course, I had to make an apple pie this week. The thing is, for being a mainstay in piedom, I haven’t made all that many apple pies in my day. See, apple pie is my grandma’s pie. Her signature – the one she always makes for holidays and always is amazing and so delicious that there would be no use in me making one. In our family, we have a strong respect for one’s signature pie – my sister-in-law makes an amazing pecan bourbon pie, my grandma does apple pie, and my signature is cherry. So basically, I have no business replicating my grandma’s apple pie, which is a classic 2-types of apples, cinnamon, sugar, and double-crusted. Instead, I sought out a recipe that was very different, but still fit the bill of an awesome apple pie. This pie truly delivers. It tastes amazing, is pretty easy to put together, and the topping gives it a nice texture.
I made this with an all-butter crust, which is different from my usual crust. It turned out really well. I’m planning on doing a step-by-step tutorial on making your own pie crust in the future. Obviously, a homemade crust is fabulous with this pie, but certainly not required. Also note that the pie starts out looking ridiculously tall, but as it cooks, and especially cools, it will flatten down significantly.
Crunchy Apple Pie
1 prepared pie crust (unbaked)
6 granny smith apples
1 lime (for juice)
1/2 cup sugar
4 T and 1/2 cup of flour, divided
12 T cold butter (1.5 sticks)
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup oatmeal
1 cup pecans
1. Preheat your oven to 375. Peel and core the apples. I use a vegetable peeler first, then one of those apple slicers that cores and cuts the apple into 8 slices. This is the most time consuming part of the recipe. Slice the apples into 1/4″ to 1/2″ slices (I just cut each of the 8 pieces in half). Squeeze the lime over the apples and toss with the sugar and 4T of flour. Set aside.
2. Cut the butter into the 1/2 cup of flour. I slice the butter into 1cm sized cubes first, then mash it up with a pastry cutter. Stir in the brown sugar and the oatmeal. This mixture will be crumbly and dry, but that’s the way it’s supposed to be.
3. Arrange the apple slices into the pie crust. Spoon the brown sugar/oatmeal/butter topping over the top. You may have to use your hands to press the topping into the apples to make sure it stays put. This may cause your pie to look really tall and precarious, but I promise it will flatten down.
4. Carefully transfer your crust to the oven. Bake for 25 minutes and then check on the pie. If the crust is beginning to brown, add some foil around the edge. Rotate the pie 180 degrees (especially if you have an oven that has a hot spot). Bake the pie for another 25 minutes. During the second baking session, chop the pecans. After the pie has baked for 50 total minutes, scatter the pecans over the top of the pie (I used an oven mitt to sort of pat them in). Bake for 5 more minutes (55 total minutes of baking). Allow the pie to cool for several hours and serve, ideally, with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.