I think the title of this post needs some punctuation. But I’m not sure how or where to punctuate it. It’s almost as if the awesomeness of this pie must be not be broken up by a comma. Or worse, a semi-colon.
I mean, look at it.
I must warn you all. There is A LOT of crumble and even more of a rich, buttery shortcrust base. But that’s how like it. More crust in every bite. You can tell yourself there’s fruit in this pie and therefore eating it for breakfast is ok (I did that).
I won’t tell.
I’ve been wanting to make apple pie, for a long long long time. It’s just one of those things a baker MUST bake. But while regular pastry crust is awesome, it is tedious. And crumble is always awesome. A quick shortcrust base is even better.
I combined all of that to create this seriously incredible pie. A soft, rich base filled with cinnamon coated, brown-sugared apple chunks. Topped with a light (yet buttery) crumble topping.
The icing on the cake (pie?) was this salted caramel. Yes, it’s still in the fridge. No, it hasn’t gone bad. Hallelujah! A bit of it poured on top of the apples, and a bit more drizzled on top of the pie. Sweet, warm, caramel-y goodness oozing everywhere.
In case you haven’t guessed it yet, this is not diet food. This is weekend food. The kind you have with a steaming mug of mulled tea so you can enjoy the luxury of Mumbai’s sort of winters. I’ve accepted the festive season is over (gone back to my regular logo :)) but hey, the ceiling fans are still on low!
While a warm slice of apple pie is usually eaten with vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, or anything else that’s cold, I find this one doesn’t really need it. One, it’s RICH. Like really, really heavy. You need to eat it slowly. While making a big gooey mess out of the whole thing.
Two, there’s too much deliciousness in it for there to be room for any more. Honest. You need nothing but a fork with a big, slow-eaten, slice of this pie.
Nothing says winter like apple pie does. Make this 😀
What you’ll need:
225 gms cold butter, cut into cubes
350 gms flour
100 gms caster sugar
3 apples, any kind, peeled and chopped into bite-sized pieces (I prefer doing this right when I need the apples, to avoid them going too brown)
2 tbsps brown sugar (adjust according to sweetness of apples)
2 tsps cinnamon powder, or to taste
1 tsp lemon juice
Crumble topping (This makes A LOT of crumble, so you can halve it if you like)
150 gms flour
75 gms cold butter, cut into cubes
1/4 cup brown sugar
A handful of instant oats, optional but recommended for texture
2 tsps cinnamon powder or to taste
What to do:
1. First make the shortcrust base by rubbing the butter into the flour in a large bowl till the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. This will take about 10 minutes. Add the sugar and mix with your hands till a crumbly dough starts to form. A shapeless form is fine since the dough has no liquid to hold it together. Wrap the rest tightly in clingfilm and chill for 10 to 15 minutes. The cold dough will be harder to handle, but creates a soft and flaky base 🙂
2. Next, make the apple filling by combining all the ingredients in a bowl and mixing well. I added the lemon juice after tossing in the first apple, to keep it from going brown as I peeled the other two.
3. Make the crumble topping by rubbing butter into the flour till completely incorporated. It does not have to be as coarse as in step one. Toss in the sugar and cinnamon, mixing it all well. Set aside.
4. Preheat the oven to 180 C. Take the chilled shortcrust dough out of the fridge and press into a 24 or 25 cm greased pie pan. A loose-bottomed pan makes for easy removal and prettier edges 🙂 Flatten and smooth out the dough as you go, making sure you have an even base and edges, using your fingers and heel of your palm. This takes about 10 minutes since you’re working with cold dough. But work as fast as possible to avoid the dough getting too warm.
5. Once the base lines the pan evenly, toss in the apple filling and spread it out. Top with a couple of tablespoons of salted caramel. This is optional but recommended 🙂 Finally, spread the crumble topping evenly all over all the apples. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until the apples are soft when poked with a toothpick and the sides and topping are golden-brown.
6. Allow to cool for about 10 minutes before un-moulding, slicing, drenching with more salted caramel and descending into buttery apple heaven 🙂