I decided to make-up a recipe this year for our Thanksgiving Day apple pie. Betty Zing was very interested in the process, probably hoping that I would drop bits of dough or apple onto the floor (by accident, of course).
She did discover that she loves apple peels. This pie has a very crumbly crust, like an unsweetened vanilla butter cookie.
- Crust Ingredients
- 1¼ cups unsalted butter, softened
- 2½ cups flour
- 1¼ teaspoons salt
- 2-3 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Filling Ingredients
- 8 cups apple slices—I like to use a mixture, such as Granny Smith and Honey Crisp (sour and sweet apples)
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- Topping Ingredients
- 1 cup butter
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 2 cups flour
- Mix flour and salt in a bowl.
- Cut in the butter, until it becomes a crumbly/pebbly mixture.
- Add enough vanilla to help form a ball, but not so much that the dough becomes liquidy.
- The dough should form into a smooth ball, easily, and it should feel almost like pizza dough (but not sticky).
- Pinch off a handful of dough, form into ball, and set it aside for later.
- Roll out the remaining dough between two pieces of wax paper.
- Lay the dough into a pie pan.
- Shape the edge of the dough: in these illustrations, I shaped it as I would for a regular pie crust, but this crust is so crumbly that I suggest it be shaped more like one does for a cheesecake.
- Poke lots and lots of holes into the crust (with a fork), until the entire crust is filled with tiny little holes, enough to fill the Albert Hall.
- Set aside.
- Roll out the remaining dough and cut with a cookie cutter into shapes, such as basset hounds.
- Set carefully onto wax paper and put into the refrigerator (so they’ll hold their shapes while you work on other parts of the pie).
- Peel, core, and slice apples.
- Place the apple slices into a large bowl.
- Add the other ingredients.
- Mix well.
- Set aside.
- Cream butter and brown sugar together.
- Gradually add flour and mix until crumbly.
The Entire Pie Ensemble
- Pre-heat oven to 400° F.
- With a slotted spoon, scoop all the apples into the pie. Save the remaining “juice” for a later option.*
- Spread the topping evenly on top.
- Peel the cookie-cutter shapes off the wax paper and arrange them on top of the pie.
- Place the pie onto the center of the center rack.
- Bake for 40 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and there is slight bubbling from the filling.
* Option: mix the pie “juice” with one egg white. Approximately five minutes before the pie is done, pull it out and “paint” the cookie-cutter shapes with this mixture.
It is not safe to feed any of this to your dog (the spices and sugar are not good for dogs), so maybe save one or two or three or seven slices of apple for your puppy to eat while you enjoy your dessert.
— Carol Robinson