Do you hate scrolling thru long, wordy recipe posts giving you a play by play of every little detail about every single ingredient in the recipe and every thought that crossed that person’s mind while making it, when all you want to do is get to the good stuff, the food!?! So do I, which is why, I’m skipping all the lengthy descriptions and how this may or may not have brought back childhood memories of my mom peeling apples and giving us wedges to snack on sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon while we anxiously awaited the finished product and how surreal it was to share that same moment but this time I’m the mom, all grown up with a little boy of all my own. No, there will be none of that here!
Here is all you need to know: Thru trial and error and searching countless recipes online I have taken the very best bits of the very best recipes and brought them together to create one delicious apple pie with the butteriest, yummiest and crunchiest crumb topping ever! Without further ado, I give you:
The Absolute Best Apple (Cranberry) Pie… Ever (at least the best I’ve ever made anyway)
3-4 Granny Smith Apples
6 ounces fresh or frozen cranberries (optional)
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons maple syrup (honey or agave)
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon cardamom
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
4 tablespoons (1/2 of a stick) of butter, sliced
All-Butter Pie Crust:
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling
1 cup unsalted butter
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
6 to 8 tablespoons ice water
1/3 cup sugar
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
To make the crust: Cube the butter into 1/2 inch pieces. Place them on a freezer-safe plate or cutting board and freeze until very firm, approximately 30 minutes.
Sift together the flour, salt, and sugar. Add the flour mixture to a food processor (10 to 12 cup size) along with the butter. Pulse the ingredients until the butter is cut into coarse crumbs.
Add the ice cold water 2 tablespoons at a time while pulsing the food processor until the mixture becomes a crumbly dough and forms together.
On an un-floured surface, turn the dough out and shape into two circles, approximately 6″ in diameter, kneading as little as possible (pockets of butter are what keep the crust flaky and tender).
Dust both sides of each circle with a bit of flour and wrap in plastic wrap. Freeze for 30 minutes or refrigerate for an hour.
Remove one dough circle from the refrigerator or freezer, keeping the other once frozen for next time. (Trust me, there will be a next time) Set it aside while you dust the work surface and rolling pin with flour. Unwrap one dough circle and roll with a rolling pin until the dough has formed a circle about 12″ in diameter and slightly thicker than 1/8 inch.
When the dough is the proper size, wrap it gently around the rolling pin to transfer to the pie pan. Press the dough into the 9″ pie plate and shape the edges according to your desired design.
To make the filling: Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F with the rack in the lower third. Peel, core and slice the apples. In a large bowl, combine the apples, cranberries (if desired), brown sugar, maple syrup, flour, cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, salt, and lemon juice. Place the filling inside your prepared prepared pie shell.
To top: Pulse all ingredients for the crumb topping in a food processor until they have formed a crumb mixture. Evening sprinkle your pie with the mixture and lightly press into place when finished.
To bake: Cover the edges of the pie loosely using foil. Bake at 400 degrees F for about 20 minutes. Remove the pie from the oven. Discard the foil and bake for another 20-30 minutes until the crumb topping is browned and the apples are tender. Allow to cool for about an hour and dig in!