Everyday Gourmet10/02/08

Oct. 2, 2008

By Kim Dannies

Apple crumble rumble

It’s autumn, and local orchards are busy harvesting a rumble of ruby Delicious, McIntosh, Empire and Cortland apples. Crisp weather is the perfect time to get the gang out for a picking party, warm up the oven and treat everybody to a fragrant, freshly baked pie. The easy apple crumble pie topping makes for extra special eye appeal and texture. The pie requires only a bottom crust, which can be prepped a day ahead to save time. Serve slices of warm pie with generous chunks of Vermont cheddar cheese and maple walnut ice cream. Yummm — autumn never tasted so good!

Apple crumble pie

In a prep bowl combine 1 1/2 cups white flour and a large pinch of salt. Add 1/2 cup Crisco shortening and blend with a fork until mixture is crumbly. Add 2 tablespoons of water and bind the mixture. If more water is needed, add slowly, in very light dribbles. Gather dough into a ball and wrap in plastic wrap, flatten into a disk, chill one hour. Roll out dough between 2 sheets of plastic wrap into a 14” round. Transfer dough to a 10” glass pie dish, fold overhang under. Crimp edges decoratively. Pierce bottom of crust all over with fork. Freeze crust 15 minutes (or up to 24 hours). Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line crust with aluminum foil. Bake until golden and set 10 minutes. Cool.

Apple filling

Peel, core and thickly slice 5 pounds of any combination of McIntosh, Cortland, Empire and Delicious apples. Place apples in prep bowl and sprinkle 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice over the apples. Melt 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter in non-stick pan over medium high heat. Stir in 1/2 cup of sugar, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon and a pinch of clove. Add apples and sauté until coated and crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Whisk together 2 tablespoons of apple cider and 1 tablespoon of cornstarch; add to apples and bring mixture to a boil, stirring constantly for 1 minute. Cool completely.

Crumble topping

In a prep bowl combine 3/4 cup of white flour with 1/2 cup of sugar, 1/4 cup packed brown sugar, 6 tablespoons unsalted butter cut into small pieces and a pinch of salt. Using clean fingertips, rub all ingredients together until moist clumps form. Place filling in pre-baked crust, sprinkle topping over apples. Bake at 375 degrees until topping is golden brown, approximately 40 to 45 minutes.

Kim Dannies is a graduate of La Varenne Cooking School in France. She lives in Williston with her husband, Jeff; they have three college-aged daughters. For archived Everyday Gourmet columns go to kimdannies.com.