Apple Pie with Crisp Topping,
Apple Crisp, & Apple Pie


     

I have three variations here.  All are delicious!


 
Heat a small skillet over low/medium heat.  Add nuts and toast until fragrant.  You can also toast them in the oven.

Crush in a food processor or with a rolling pin until finely ground.  Measure 1/4 c and set aside.  

 1/3 c whole pecans or walnuts
Peel and quarter each apple.  Core each section.  Cut into thin slices.  Place in a large mixing bowl.  Add the sugar, ground nuts, syrup, flour, cinnamon, and salt. 

 2 lbs Granny Smith Apples
1/2 c brown sugar
2 T real maple syrup
2 T flour
1 t cinnamon
1/8 t kosher salt

Mix well and set aside. To make a crust shiled, place a piece of foil that's a little bigger than the pie pan under the pan.  Trace the foil an inch or so wider than the top of the pan.  Trace another circle along the bottom of the pan.  Cut out the larger circle then carefully cut the center out.  Set aside. 

Heat oven to 425.  Make a half recipe of the pie crust.  Follow the pie crust instructions. Fill with the apple mixture.  Place the foil shield on the top and gently fold the edges around the side.  Bake 20 minutes. While the pie is baking, make the crisp topping by following the crisp instructions.  Remove pie from oven and top with crisp mixture.  Keep the foil edge shield on.  Bake another 10 minutes and remove the shield.   

If the crisp mixture is added at the beginning, it will burn.
   
Bake until the crisp and edge are evenly browned, the apple mixture is bubbly, and the apples are softened.    

Problems

baking times
these are hard to estimate, use the following tips

-if the edge is browning too quickly keep the foil shield on longer
-if the crisp is browning too quickly, reduce the oven temperature or add it later in the process
-if the apples aren't softening and the crisp and edges are done- reduce the oven temperature and cover the top with foil.
Try with
         
Caramel Sauce Creamy Vanilla
Ice Cream
         

Apple Pie & Crisp
pie- makes a 9" pie
crisp- makes a 8" square pan

Apple Filling
1/3 c whole pecans or walnuts
2 lbs Granny Smith Apples
1/2 c brown sugar
2 T real maple syrup
2 T flour
1 t cinnamon
1/8 t kosher salt

Perfect Pie Crust
makes a double crust
2 cups minus 2 T (9.5 oz) all purpose flour (if you sift the flour, measure 2 cups plus 2 T)
1 t salt
½ c (4 oz) unsalted butter 
½ c (4 oz) Crisco (butter flavored or original) 
¼ c (2 oz) cold water

Crisp Topping
1 1/3 c (4.5 oz) old-fashioned oats
2/3 c (3.3 oz) all purpose flour
2/3 c (5.3 oz) unsalted butter
1 c (6.5 oz) light brown sugar
1/4 t kosher salt


1.  Heat a small skillet over low/medium heat.  Add nuts and toast until fragrant.  Crush in a food processor or with a rolling pin until finely ground.  Measure 1/4 c and set aside.  

2.  Peel and quarter each apple.  Core each section.  Cut into thin slices.  Place in a large mixing bowl.  Add the sugar, ground nuts, syrup, flour, cinnamon, and salt.  Mix well and set aside.

For a Pie with a Crisp Topping
1.  To make a crust shiled, place a piece of foil that's a little bigger than the pie pan under the pan.  Trace the foil an inch or so wider than the top of the pan.  Trace another circle along the bottom of the pan.  Cut out the larger circle then carefully cut the center out.  Set aside. 

2
.  Heat oven to 425.  Make a half recipe of the pie crust.  Follow the instructions below and form only the bottom piece.  Fill with the apple mixture.  Place the foil shield on the top and gently fold the edges around the side.  Bake 20 minutes.

3.   While the pie is baking, make the crisp topping by following the instructions below.  Remove pie from oven and top with (1)crisp mixture.  Keep the foil edge shield on.  Bake another 10 minutes and remove the shield.  Bake until the crisp and edge are evenly browned, the apple mixture is bubbly, and the apples are softened. 

4.  Remove from oven and place on a cooling rack.  Wait ten minutes and serve hot.  To reheat, place crisp in oven or heat individual pieces.  Serve with vanilla ice cream and warmed caramel sauce.


Pie Crust
1. Measure the water and set aside.  In a large bowl measure the (2)flour and salt.  Stir well to break up any flour lumps.  Set aside.  Measure the shortening and place on top of the flour.  Cut the butter into 1-2 T pieces on top of the flour. 

2.  Using a pastry cutter, cut the shortening and butter into the flour mixture until (3)pea-sized.  Do not (4)over or under-mix this.  Pour the cold water evenly on top of the mixture.  Stir gently until just moistened. 

3.  Divide dough in half.  Set the first half on the work surface and push gently together to form a rough ball.  It will be a little crumbly, but this is how you want it for a flaky crust.  Roll out to desired size.   Use a pizza cutter to cut off excess and form a circle.  Slide a spatula under all sides of the dough to make sure it isn’t sticking. 

4.  Place the rolling pin a few inches into it and gently lift the dough with a spatula onto the rolling pin.  Roll the pin until all of the dough is around it.  Lift and place on the side of the pie pan.  Gently unroll into the pan.   Fit the dough in the pan while patching up any holes or weak spots.  You can add extra pieces or coat the thin spots with flour.  Trim the excess or leave some hanging for a decorative look when you add the top.  (5)Touch the dough as little as possible.  The heat from your hands will melt the butter. Repeat by forming a large circle with the second half.  Fill crust with the apple mixture.  Top the pie with the second crust piece.  Follow one of the two steps to form the edge. 

for a decorative look
Place your thumb on the top piece of dough.  Place the first two finger of your other hand on the bottom piece of dough.  Push the top piece between your two fingers all around the edge of the dough.
for a basic look
Push the bottom and top pieces together all the way around the edge.  Cut off any excess.

5.  Place the foil shield on top of the pie.  Gently fold the edges down on the sides.  Bake for 35 minutes or until the top starts to brown.  Remove the foil shield and bake another 10 minutes until the top and edge are (5)evenly browned.  Remove from oven and set on a cooling rack.

6.  If you plan to serve it hot, wait at least ten minutes before slicing.  To serve hot several hours later, reheat pie in a 350 degree oven or slice and heat individual slices.  Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and hot caramel sauce.

Crisp
1.  Heat oven to 425.  In a large mixing bowl, combine the oats, flour, brown sugar, and salt.  Cut the butter into 1 inch pieces and place on top of the mixture.  Using a pastry cutter or two knives, cut in the butter until (3)pea size pieces form. 

2.  Place the apple mixture in a 8 x 8 inch pan.  Top with the crisp mixture.  Bake 35-45 minutes until the apple mixture is bubbly, the apples are softened, and the crisp is browned.

3.  Remove from oven and place on a cooling rack.  Wait ten minutes and serve hot.  To reheat, place crisp in oven or heat individual pieces.  Serve with vanilla ice cream and warmed caramel sauce.

Notes
1.  If the crisp mixture is added at the beginning, it will burn.

2
.  Flour can pack down a lot making it hard to measure it accurately.  A good scale solves this problem, but if you don't have one, sifting helps with accuracy.  One cup of sifted flour usually weighs 4.5 oz.  An average cup of flour weighs 5 oz.  Add 2 T of sifted flour to 1 c sifted flour for a fairly accurate 5 oz flour.

3.  When I started making pies, I was confused about what pea-sized pieces meant and erred on the under-mixing side.  Pea-sized pieces form after the butter is thouroughly incorporated, but before it begins to come together in large pieces.

4.  Under-mixed pie crust will not be flaky and consistent.  Over-mixed pie crust will be tough and flat.

5.  If the dough is handled too much, the butter will melt and the crust will not be as light and flaky.

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