This pie has a sick amount of crumb topping on it and thats just how it should be for a crumb pie. I make this recipe at least once a month. If you're using in-season apples, adjust the sugar to 1/2 cup as they will naturally be much sweeter. I add 1/2 cup of the sugar then taste the filling mixture to see if it needs more, then proceed with additional 1/4 if necessary. One of the biggest mistakes people make when baking pie is under baking it. People see a small amount of golden brown and automatically think its finished. This is very wrong! Pie should be cooked for at least an hour, most cases more. You want to make sure the bottom of the pie dough is cooked and the filling is bubbling in the center, which means it has fully cooked thru. The edges of the crust will be deep golden brown, flaky and delicious. Don't rush pie perfection, have patience!
Makes one 9-inch pie
FOR THE PIE DOUGH
1⅓ cups all-purpose flour
¾ teaspoon salt
¾ teaspoons sugar
1 stick unsalted butter, cubed, chilled
¼ to ⅓ cup ice water
FOR THE CRUMB TOPPING
1 cup all-purpose flour
½ cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
FOR THE FILLING
8 apples, mix of Granny Smith and Honeycrisp, peeled and cut into ½-inch slices
¼ cup all-purpose flour
¾ cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon nutmeg
1 tablespoon cinnamon
Juice of 1 lemon
MAKE THE PIE DOUGH In a food processor, pulse the flour, sugar and salt until combined, about 8 pulses. Add the chilled butter and pulse until the butter resembles large pieces around the size of a chickpea. Add the water, a few tablespoons at a time, pulsing 1 to 2 times for each addition.The dough is ready when it easily holds together, without crumbling, when gently squeezed.
Place the dough onto a sheet of plastic wrap. Pull the edges towards the center, applying pressure, to shape the dough into a disc. Seal tightly and roll with a rolling pin to flatten. Chill for at least an hour.
MAKE THE CRUMB TOPPING: In a medium bowl, mix the flour, sugar, cinnamon, salt and butter, using your hands, until the mixture comes together, about 3 minutes. The mixture should hold together when squeezed. Squeeze to create large crumbs, then break them into grape-sized pieces.
MAKE THE FILLING AND ASSEMBLE: Preheat the oven to 400 F.
Roll out the pie dough into a 12-inch circle on a lightly-floured surface. Transfer to a 9-inch pie plate and trim the dough, leaving about 1-inch overhang. Tuck the excess dough underneath and gently press against the lip of the pie plate to create an edge. Crimp edges as desired. Place the pie shell in the fridge or freezer while you prepare the filling.
In a large mixing bowl, toss the apples, flour, sugar, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon and lemon juice until well combined.
Place the filling and any accumulated juices into the pie shell, top with the crumb topping and bake on a rimmed baking sheet for 15 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 350 F and bake until deep golden brown and filling is bubbling in the center, about 1 hour. Cool completely before serving.
~ Any baking apples will work, such as Rome, Empire or Cortland. Use a mix of tart and sweet apples for a well-balanced pie.