This past weekend we hit all the must do’s on the Fall in New England list. We went apple picking, hiked to get a better view of the foliage, watched football (Go Pats!), ate apple cider donuts, ran through some crunchy leaves, ate 2 types of soup and of course, baked an apple pie. And not just any pie – the best damn apple crumble pie you’ll ever have. (When you get your VT state license, they should probably hand you a punch list with all the things you must do per season to keep your residency status).
Speaking of residency in Vermont – we just crossed our 1 year in Vermont mark. Here’s a quick recap of what we’ve experienced/learned in our first year:
Mice love tiny kitchens in old houses, especially ones that see a lot of baking action (RIP oven #1)
A long-ass winter coat is not a fashion statement – it’s an absolute NECESSITY to survive the wind chill coming off the lake while you’re standing in the yard begging your dog to pee.
The maple creemees at the general store by our cabin > any Ben & Jerry’s flavor. Yeah. I went there.
Cool things to do in the summer include tubing down the river with a floating cooler full of beer and seltzer.
Speaking of summer, it’s absolutely gorgeous but you have to share it with all the city slickers from out of state, because they treat Vermont like their summer vacation play ground. STAY THROUGH WINTER. I DARE YOU.
It’s acceptable to wear flannel 7 days a week. Let me clarify…the same flannel…7 seven days a week.
It’s not cool to fangirl/boy when you see Bernie walking down Church St.
We’ve finally embraced our tiny hobbit house, but we can’t get too attached, because it’s slowly sliding off the cliff it’s precariously perched on.
If you don’t like dogs and beer…GTFO. (honestly, I don’t really like beer, but they let me stay because Loki is so cute)
And finally…maple syrup is acceptable to put on anything. ANYTHING.
The secret to really good apple crumble pie is using brown sugar and butter. Doesn’t seem like such a big secret, but honestly, brown sugar > white sugar. White sugar creates grainy, dry crumb topping. Brown sugar adds depth of flavor and more moisture into the topping (Hey thanks Molasses!). And butter. Well, butter simply elevates basically all desserts. DO NOT use hydrogenated vegetable oil (aka crisco) in this pie crust. No matter what Minny Jackson says, crisco does not belong in a pie.
Apple Crumble Pie
What You’ll Need
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups butter, cubed
1/4 cup cold water
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
6-8 medium sized apples
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
2 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon butter, melted
5 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup thick rolled oats
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Pro-Tip: roll your pie crust out onto a lightly floured silicone baking sheet. This ensures that your crust doesn’t stick to the counter and keeps your counter a little bit cleaner!
I used a mix of Cortland and McIntosh apples in this pie. My favorite apples are Honey Crisp and JonaMacs, but they’re kind of a pricy apple to use as pie filling. The Cortland and McIntosh taste juuuuust fine in this pie, trust me.
How to Whip it Up
To make the crust: In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the S Blade, pulse together flour and sugar. Add cubed butter and continue to pulse until butter is evenly distributed – you’re going for very course crumbs here. Add water and apple cider vinegar, continue to run on low until dough just comes together. Do not over blend – you want some chunks of butter in there! Remove dough some food processor, shape into small disk and wrap in plastic. Chill for at least 30 minutes.
While pie crust is grilling, make filling. Peel and thinly slice apples. Place in medium sized bowl – then stir to combine with both sugars, cinnamon, nutmeg, flour and melted butter. Make sure to coat all apple slices with filling mixture. Let sit at room temperature while dough chills and you make the topping.
To make topping: in a medium sized bowl microwave butter until melted. Then stir in flour, oats, brown sugar and cinnamon until you have delicious crumbles.
Once dough has chilled, roll out onto lightly floured surface until 1/8 inch thick (I like my crust on the thicker side, so I roll my crust a little thicker – closer to 1/4″). Line 9 inch pie plate with crust, trim edges and crimp. Pour apple filling in evenly, then crumble topping.
Bake at 400° for 15 minutes, then reduce heat to 350° and continue to bake for 40-45 minutes – until apples are soft and bubbling and pie crust edges are golden brown. You may need to cover with aluminum foil around 30 minutes to prevent burning the crust edges. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream. And it’s perfectly okay if you don’t share.