Saturday, September 20, 2014

Betty Crocker got it right again: Apple (Crumble) Pie

Our post about Betty Crocker  Brownies (the recipe, not the mix) has gotten many, many hits over the years.  I have other recipes, but I still make those too.  And Betty Crocker, the old reliable, helped out this week with an apple pie for a family party.

I have a particular limit on my pies, and that's that they have to have bottoms only.  I don't make rolled crusts, I just make pat-in ones, and that, obviously, curtails making any kind of a "lid" or top crust.  But we had a request for apple pie, and I decided to make what I call apple crisp pie" or, as Betty more elegantly puts it, "French crumb pie."  It turned out not as transparent as what I think of as regular old apple pie, more towards a Dutch Apple type, which might have been because I used brown sugar and whole wheat flour; but it was good that way, and it wasn't as overly sweet as some Dutch Apple or schnitz pie recipes.

Sorry I don't have a photo, but most of it is gone!

The following is my adaptation/corruption of the recipe for 10-inch Apple Pie, with the French Crumb topping variation, as it appears in Betty Crocker's Cookbook (the 1980's edition). (For a 9-inch pie, you cut down the filling ingredients slightly.) It's the filling part that really made it work, and that recipe is all over the Internet anyway with comments like "my mother has made this apple pie for thirty-eight years." There are also people out there, apparently, who leave out the nutmeg and have their own other mutations. (I say keep the nutmeg.) So I don't think the recipe is exactly a secret, but it is good to know about.

One Ten-Inch Apple Pie with Crumble Topping, Thanks to Betty Crocker

1 10-inch pie crust, traditional or press-in

8 medium-sized apples: I use 4 Paula Red (which, according to that link, aren't recommended for pies at all), and 4 Gala.  Which just goes to show you how much the apple-describers know.

1 cup sugar (I used brown sugar)
1/3 cup all-purpose flour (I used whole wheat because that's what I had, having used up the last of the white flour in the crust)
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 tsp ground cinnamon
Dash of salt

Ingredients for topping, your choice: flour, oats, oil or margarine, sugar, etc.  I used some frozen leftover crumble mixture from making date/raisin squares.  (Which was a very good idea, to freeze what I didn't need, and I'll probably do that again.  You can use it right from the freezer.)

Make your crust.  Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Mix the sugar, flour and spices together in a bowl.  Peel the apples.  Core and slice them thinly, or do what I did and just cut them into slices around the core.  Put about a third of the flour mixture into the pie crust, then start arranging the apple slices on top.  Partway through, add more flour mixture, and again near the top.  When the crust is full of apples, cover with a layer of crumble mixture; try to cover the apples as well as you can, because any that remain uncovered will tend to dry out.

Bake for about 45 minutes at 375 degrees; check to see that the apples are tender and the filling is cooked.  Don't slice right away unless you have to, because the filling will set a bit as it cools.

Serve with whipped cream or other pie accompaniments.

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