Thursday, October 6, 2011

One-Apple Apple Crumble Pie

Did you know that there is a right and a wrong way to pick an apple?  My mother, of course, knows.  When we went apple picking over the weekend, the orchard guide asked who knew how to pick an apple, and my mother, naturally, instantly quipped, "I do!"  He did not question her expertise, perhaps because he still remembers when she was there a few years ago asking him all kinds of questions about the "grannies" (aka Granny Smith apples) that were in season.

There were no "grannies" in season this time, but we did pick Jonagold apples, which, according to the apple expert, are "like Golden Delicious apples if not better!"  You can use almost any kind of apple for this recipe, but the Jonagold apple I used indeed made very good apple pie.

This recipe is (very loosely) based off an old Joy of Cooking recipe for Apple Crumble Pie.  Even though it looks like there are a lot of instructions below, the most complicated part is making the pie crust.  You can completely avoid that by buying frozen pie crusts, though. So, there you have it:  not only an apple-pie-for-one, but an incredibly simple pie at that!

For the Pie Crust
*You can use part of a frozen pie crust from the grocery store if you do not want to make a pie crust*
I again used Martha Stewart's basic pie crust recipe, which makes a 9-inch pie crust.  I used a different technique from that listed in her recipe, and I divided the final pie crust up into 5 small crusts.  For this pie, I actually used one of the pie crusts that I had from the quiche that I made because can individually freeze them small pie crusts that last for up to 3 months.  Make sure all your butter and your ice water are both very cold to make the crust flakier!

1 ¼ cup all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
½ teaspoon sugar
½ teaspoon salt
1 stick butter, cut into pieces
2 to 4 tablespoons ice water

1.  Combine flour, sugar, and salt in a mixing bowl.
2.  Add the stick of butter, cut into pieces.  Using a pastry blender, blend the butter in with the flour mixture until a coarse meal forms.
3.  Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of water, and continue to blend to with the pastry blender until the dough is somewhat crumbly but still sticks together.  You may have to add up to two more tablespoons of ice water.  I had to add about two and a half tablespoons of water to mine.
4.  Place dough in plastic wrap, shape into a disc that is about 1 inch thick, and refrigerate for at least an hour.
5.  Take dough out of refrigerator and divide up into 5 equal sized pieces.
6.  Use one piece of dough and push it into a greased custard cup.

For the Apple Filling
1 apple
1 tablespoon sugar
½ teaspoon lemon juice (can probably omit if you don't have it)
½ teaspoon flour

1.  Thinly slice the apple:  slice enough fill your baking dish (a custard cup).
2.  Combine with lemon juice.  Stir in flour and sugar.
3.  Layer apple mixture in pie crust.

For the Crumble Topping
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon sugar
½ tablespoon flour
½ teaspoon cinnamon

1.  Stir together flour, sugar, and cinnamon in a small bowl.
2.  Using a fork, combine with butter until crumbly.
3.  Sprinkle over the apple mixture in the pie crust.

For the pie

Bake assembled pie for 25 to 30 minutes at 375 until the edges begin to brown and the middle is bubbling.

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