This recipe is from Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook, it is the first recipe I've tried from this book, although I've been drooling over many since I purchased this book last fall. I think working through Baking from My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan with the Tuesdays with Dorie group made me really want to try some recipes from my vast cookbook collection, oven the years I've gotten into the bad habbit of buying books, looking though them, picking delicious looking recipes to try, then putting the books on a shelf...where they sit and sit and sit, then when I want a recipe to make something where do I look? More often than not I go straight to the internet, usually because I want to make a specific recipe and typing an idea of what I want to make in google is so easy.
I knew I wanted to make an apple pie since my husband loves apple pie and I wanted to make a dessert for him to enjoy, I was still feeling guilty about TWD's blueberry pie that was delicious -- but the poor guy does't like blueberries so while the rest of the family enjoyed all of that double crusted blueberry goodness he was stuck snacking on Snickers ice cream bars.
I deicded to pull Martha's book off my shelf since it had sat there for so long and I had not tried any recipes from it even though many sounded good. I looked for an apple pie and there were a couple, but as I scanned the ingredients for Apple Crumb Pie I was happy to see that this pie would NOT require an extra trip to the grocery store (which is about 45 minutes away). Apple Crumb Pie is it!
The crust is an almond crumb crust, now my sweet husband is not a nut fan, almonds included, but he loves windmill cookies, with those little flecks of almonds, and I thought that this crust would be reminiscent of a windmill cookie with the finely ground almonds and all. To grind the almonds I used my little bity 4 cup food processor. This was my first time using it to do nuts, usually I used use my hand nut chopper -- the little glass cup with and spring loaded 'x' blade. Happy to say using the food processor worked just fine for the nuts, much easier that the chopper cup. Yay! I found a new use for my little bity processor!
The crust came together easily, it was a 'pat in pan' style crust, which Martha says makes this a great pie for beginning bakers. The filling calls for 3 1/2 lbs of assorted apples peeled, cored, and cut into 1/4 inch slices. I had a 3 pound bag of red delicious apples, that would have to work. I was actually expecting the pie to be a little flat since I was 1/2 pounds short but what I got was a HUGE mound of apples in my pie crust, and yes, I used a 9 inch glass pie plate as instructed, not sure how I would have been able to fit another 1/2 pound of apples on there, glad I didn't have to try :) Because my apples were so high I could not just crumble the crumb topping on, it would have all fallen off the sides so I had to toss a little on and then quickly pat it down, my crumb crust didn't look very crumby, but the directions say to cover the apples completely so that's what I did.
Look at that mountain of apples dotted with butter!
Pie before baking, I was worried the crust wouldn't look 'crumb' enough, but that's the best I could do, it was so tall I had to take a picture, messy counter and all :)
You bake the pie for an hour, rotating at the half way mark, my crust didn't brown very much at all so I broiled it for the last minute or so just to give it a touch of color. After it was cooled and cut I must say my slice looked almost identical to the slice in the book, yay! Although it was a beautiful pie, red delicious apples must not be great for baking, because after an hour in the oven they were still very crisp. That was fine with me, I like an apple just about any way you serve it, but my husband prefers his apples in apple pie soft -- soft but not mushy -- these were not soft, sorry honey, I tired. He wasn't crazy about the crust either, it did NOT remind him of a windmill cookie. And here I was being so thoughtful, ugh.
I thought it was a great pie, kids loved it, my mom -- who was over for a visit -- loved it, I thought it was wonderful...would I make it again? Maybe, it was easy, delicious, and beautiful, but probably not, just because my husband didn't love it, and I always try to please him with cookin'. And if I was making a pie for *myself* it would be blueberry, or key lime, or coconut cream, all of which picky husband doesn't like either. I think I've said it before but I'll say it again, I married boring food man.