Please forgive me - I never got a final photo of this pie. So you're getting the "raw" version - quite literally. I'm still trying to work out my blogging kinks. You'll see why... I have some ridiculously odd posts coming up.
Two ago, I had my family over to our previous apartment. The one with a stove that is the size of half of a stove, that was on a slant and whose temperature was at least 25 degrees higher than what I set it at... and I never quite knew what I set it at because the numbers on the dial were faded. But that is the beauty of living in Manhattan, right? Crappy rental kitchens?
Well, I wanted to make my family a delicious apple crumble for dessert. It is my father's favorite dessert, and I love it too. I make the crust from scratch and it turns out beautifully. The apples, cooked ever so nice and tender, nestled inside of the crust smelled sweet with brown sugar and cinnamon. I dusted the top with crumble. For some reason, I was never good at making crumble, and this time was no different. It glopped on top and didn't look right. But I forged ahead.
Fast forward to 40 minutes later, and the apartment reeked of burning sugar. I opened the stove only to see my apple crumble crumbled. The crumble somehow melted and crusted over, the crust burned. My father looked at it and laughed.
"That's apple pan doody!"
I looked at him - "What???"
"Apple pan doody! Haven't you ever heard of apple pan dowdy? Well, that's apple pan doody!" He said, his shoulders bouncing up and down as tears of laughter ran down his face as he cracked himself up (which he does often).
Well, I've never heard of Apple Pan Dowdy, but I got the point.
A few months later, I tried again, trying to prove myself to my father, with the SAME result. Burned crust, atrocious crumble.
He shook his head. "Apple Pan Doody", he said, smiling.
Well, Jack and I bought our first place back in August. A beautiful 2-bedroom apartment on the Upper West Side that has a full, albeit narrow, kitchen, with a full stove! A real, live full stove!!! That cooks at the right temperature! Glory of glories! With a timer on it! No more setting my iPhone timer! This stove has TWO different timers! HOLLA!
So I tried one last time. If I didn't get it this time, I didn't think I'd ever get it at all.
Well, the pie went in beautifully. And it came out, even more beautiful than when it went in. I never got an "after" photo... but WOW was this good. I decided to serve it with homemade vanilla ice cream.
But unfortunately, my ice cream never froze. There is something wrong with my ice cream maker - and I think because there is something wrong with my freezer (which froze itself shut for 3 weeks because the ice maker made too much ice, creating a glacier in my freezer - something I guess SubZero's do.). So I served my beautiful apple pie with vanilla... sauce?
I guess you can't win them all.
Brown Sugar Apple Crumble
For the crust - from Dorie Greenspan's - Baking: From My Home to Yours
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 T sugar
3/4 tsp salt
1 1/4 sticks (10 T) very cold (frozen is fine) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoon-size pieces
2 1/2 T very cold (frozen is even better) vegetable shortening, cut into 2 pieces
About 1/4 cup ice water
Put the flour, sugar and salt in a food processor fitted with a metal blade; pulse just to combine the ingredients. Drop in the butter and shortening and pulse only until the butter and shortening care cut into the flour. Don’t overdo the mixing — what you’re aiming for is to have some pieces the size of fat green peas and others the size of barley. Pulsing the machine on and off, gradually add about 3 tablespoons of the water — add a little water and pulse once, add some more water, pulse again and keep going that way. then use a few long pulses to get the water into the flour. If, after a dozen or so pulses, the dough doesn’t look evenly moistened or form soft curds, pulse in as much of the remaining water as necessary, or even a few drops more, to get a dough that will stick together when pinched. Big pieces of butter are fine. Scrape the dough out of the work bowl and onto a work surface.
Shape the dough into a disk and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate the dough for at least 1 hour before rolling. (If your ingredients were very cold and you worked quickly, though, you might be able to roll the dough immediately: the dough should be as cold as if it had just come out of the fridge.)
To roll out the dough: Have a buttered 9-inch pie plate at hand.
You can roll the dough out on a floured surface or between sheets of wax paper or plastic wrap or in a rolling slipcover. (I usually roll this dough out on the floured counter.) If you’re working on a counter, turn the dough over frequently and keep the counter floured. If you are rolling between paper, plastic or in a slipcover, make sure to turn the dough over often and to life the paper, plastic or cover frequently so that it doesn’t roll into the dough and form creases.
If you’ve got time, slide the rolled-out dough into the fridge for about 20 mins to rest and firm up.
Fit the dough into the pie plate and, using a pair of scissors, cut the excess dough to a 1/4- to 1/2-inch overhang. Fold the dough under itself, so that it hangs over the edge just a tad, and flute or pinch the crust to make a decorative edge. Alternatively, you can finish the crust by pressing it with the tines of a fork.
3 lbs granny smith apples, peeled and cored and cut into 1/4" slices
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
2 tbsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp cloves
1/4 tsp salt
Mix all ingredients in a bowl to coat fruit. Set aside until ready to use. (My apples got a little watery after setting it aside. This is where I'm supposed to give you blogger-ly advice that this is totally fine - I don't know if it is, but it didn't affect my apples that much. So I guess it's fine :)). When ready to use, toss filling in juices and drain before you put on crust.
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup oats (I used Quick Cooking Oats)
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp salt
6 tbsp unsalted butter, cold
Mix all ingredients in a bowl until topping becomes nice and crumbly.
Preheat oven to 400 F.
Pile apples in chilled pie crust. Top with crumbled topping. Bake in oven for 40 minutes. After 40 minutes, reduce heat to 350 F and bake for another 20 minutes.
If pie is browning too quickly, tent with aluminum foil.
Remove from rack and let cool. Serve warm or at room temperature with vanilla ice cream (in my opinon :))