A crisp in the middle makes a rich apple pie

Posted Oct. 12, 2010, at 10:45 p.m.
Last modified Jan. 29, 2011, at 12:52 p.m.

Last week we had an Apple Galette that was pie-like, but this week we have an actual apple pie — a rich version of one. I picked this recipe up in 1974, which makes it practically antique. It is luscious with a meltingly gooey apple filling. When I assemble it I’m reminded that the recipe seems to call for an apple crisp between piecrusts.

If you need a more ordinary pie then you can stop with the first step’s sugar, flour, cinnamon, salt, and apples and put that between crusts and call it good. The butter, brown sugar, and flour crumble in the second step is what makes this pie rich.

Usually about nine medium apples do the job. I have a friend who is 102 years old and swears by Granny Smiths. You probably have your favorite cooking apple, and Cortlands, Baldwins, Macouns, Fuji, Mutsu and others all are fine. I usually cook with scavenged apples and I always taste them as I slice so I can tell if they are a bit sweet or tangy and might need more or less sugar, or even a healthy squirt of lemon juice to brighten them up. Apples also vary in juiciness and a bite will tell you if they might need a bit of water added. Less water the better, in my book.

Use whatever piecrust is your favorite. You’ll need two nine-inch crusts, or you can scant the recipe — that is, use just a little less of everything — to make an eight-incher.

Looking for … Pumpkin Pie. All right, I’ll admit, I have a pumpkin pie recipe that I like a lot. But it would be more interesting to hear from you, especially if you have a special way with this classic pie.

Rich Apple Pie

Yields one nine inch pie

pastry sufficient for two 9 inch crusts

9 medium apples

juice of half a lemon (optional)

¼ cup white sugar

1 tablespoon of flour

1 teaspoon cinnamon

grated nutmeg to taste

bit of salt

Line a nine-inch pie plate with pastry. Core the apples, peel if you wish, and slice into a large bowl. Add the lemon juice if the apples are sweet. Mix together the sugar, flour, cinnamon, and nutmeg and add to the apples, tossing to coat them. Put them into the pie plate.

¼ cup butter

½ cup brown sugar

½ cup flour

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Cut the butter, brown sugar, and flour together until they form a crumbly mixture. Spread it over the top of the apples in the pie plate. Add the top crust, crimp the edges and cut vents. Bake 45 minutes to an hour, or until the crust is evenly golden and you can begin to see the filling bubble.

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