This pie is sort of a cross between apple crisp and apple pie, which to me is like the meeting of the best of two worlds. When you take it out of the oven, the topping gets all golden brown — but you can see bubbling brown apple gooeyness in the crevices. It’s so tempting to cut into it right away, but if you do the whole thing just falls apart, so try and be patient!
Prep time: 30 minutes (not including chilling and rolling out the pie dough)
Bake time: About 1 hour and 10 minutes
For the pie crust
2½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 stick (½ cup) unsalted butter, cut into small cubes and rechilled until ready to use
½ cup frozen solid vegetable shortening, cut into ½ cubes (I used Crisco)
5 Tbsp ice water (maybe more)
For the filling
½ cup sugar
3 Tbsp unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tsp ground cinnamon
10-12 apples (I usually use Granny Smith, but often mix them with Honey Crisp or another firm, slightly tart variety), peeled, cored and thinly sliced
1½ tablespoons fresh lemon juice
For the streusel topping
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
2/3 cup sugar
1 stick unsalted butter, cut into small cubes and chilled
To make the pie crust
Using a food processor, blend flour, sugar, and salt. Add butter and shortening cubes and pulse until mixture looks like coarse meal.
Transfer to medium-sized bowl and add ice water, using a fork to mix until dough begins to come together. Add more water by the teaspoonful if it seems too dry.
Gather dough into a ball and turn out onto a flat surface. Divide in half and and flatten each into a disk. Wrap each disk in plastic and chill for at least 2 hours (preferably overnight).
Remove dough from refrigerator and let sit to soften if it seems too cold to roll out.
Lightly flour a board or work surface. With a lightly floured rolling pin, working from the center out, roll the dough into a 12-inch circle, lifting and rotating several times to make sure it’s not sticking.
Loosely roll dough around rolling pin to transfer, very carefully, over the pan. Unroll it, gently pressing dough down into a 9- or 10-inch extra-deep pie plate. Trim overhang and crimp edges using your thumb and finger to make the indentations. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 375ºF.
To make the filling
Place apples in a large bowl.
Combine sugar, flour, and cinnamon in a small bowl. Pour sugar mixture over apples and toss well to coat the slices.
Spoon apples into the pie pan. Sprinkle with lemon juice and place the pie on a cookie sheet. Set aside.
To make the topping and finish the pie
Mix the flour and sugar in a medium bowl. Add cubed butter and, using a pastry blender, mix until it resembles coarse meal.
Carefully place the mixture over the apples, pressing down so that the crumb adheres to the apples. If any falls over the side onto the cookie sheet, gather it together and press it on top.
Bake for about 1 hour and 10 minutes, until top is golden brown and you can see juices bubbling below.
Cool on a wire rack until firm enough to cut.
Pro tip: You can make this one day ahead and store at room temperature; reheat in a 300ºF oven for about 15-20 minutes before serving if you like. Enjoy on its own or with vanilla ice cream!
Note: Pie crust is adapted from Bon Appetit magazine. Filling and crumb are loosely based on Apple Crumb Pie from Kathleen’s Bake Shop Cookbook, by Kathleen King. Find the full version of this recipe, along with more photographs, here.
Felicia Levinson is the founder of Unwritten Recipes, a blog about her adventures in baking and cooking. She was a professional dancer, toured 42nd Street, and has taught at dance studios in New York and the tristate area. When not experimenting in the kitchen at her home in Larchmont, Levinson writes musicals, comedies, dramas, and revues with her partner of more than 20 years.