I tend to think of pies in terms of two totally different seasons. There is summer pie season, when blueberry pie, peach pie, strawberry pie, and every other berry pie you can imagine are all on display. Then, there’s fall pie season. Apple pies, pear pies, pecan pies, pumpkin pies, sweet potato pies, and a million variations thereof start showing up. Which do you prefer? Given my love for all things fall, it’s probably not a huge surprise that I get much more excited about fall pies than I do about summer pies.
I’ve made quite a few apple pies and have favorites for a classic apple pie and Dutch apple pie, but playing around with variations like salted caramel and this maple crumble apple pie make those classics a bit more exciting.
The filling for this pie is your basic apple pie filling with some sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg and lemon juice, with the added punch of some pure maple syrup. Instead of going for a traditional double crust, I opted to make a crumble topping that includes chopped walnuts.
One of my favorite fall breakfasts is a bowl of oatmeal with chopped apples and walnuts, drizzled with maple syrup and sprinkled with cinnamon. This pie is a perfect imitation of those wonderful flavors, and I think that means that I can eat it for breakfast without feeling guilty, right?!
If you’re a fellow fall pie lover, you’ll love this pie and you’ll love that it doesn’t take much time to assemble!
One year ago: Cinnamon Babka Two years ago: Moussaka Four years ago: Banana-Nut Bread
Make the Crust: Process ¾ cup of the flour, salt, and sugar together in food processor until combined, about 2 one-second pulses. Add butter and shortening and process for 10 seconds (dough will resemble cottage cheese curds with some very small pieces of butter remaining, but there should be no uncoated flour). Scrape down sides and bottom of bowl with a rubber spatula and redistribute dough evenly around processor blade. Add remaining ½ cup flour and pulse until mixture is evenly distributed around bowl and mass of dough has been broken up, 4 to 6 quick pulses. Empty mixture into medium bowl.
Sprinkle vodka and water over mixture. With rubber spatula, use folding motion to mix, pressing down on dough until dough is slightly tacky and sticks together. Flatten dough into 4-inch disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 45 minutes (or up to 2 days).
On a floured work surface, roll the dough into a 12-inch circle. Transfer the dough to a 9-inch pie plate and gently ease the dough into the pie plate. Leave any dough that overhangs the plate in place, wrap the dough-lined pie plate loosely in plastic wrap and refrigerate until the dough is firm, about 30 minutes.
Trim the overhang to ½-inch beyond the lip of the pie plate. Tuck the overhang under itself (the folded edge should be flush with the edge of the pie plate). Crimp the dough around the edges. Wrap the dough-lined pie plate loosely in the plastic and place in the freezer for at least 1 hour.
Meanwhile, Prepare the Filling: Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. In a small bowl, whisk together the sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. In a large bowl, toss the sliced apples with the lemon juice to coat. Add the sugar mixture and toss together until all of the apples are evenly coated with the mixture.
Make the Walnut Crumble Topping: In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugars, cinnamon and salt. Add chilled butter cubes; using a pastry blender or two knives, cut the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture resembles wet sand. Stir in the chopped walnuts.
Bake the Pie: Toss the apple mixture to redistribute juices and turn into the chilled pie crust. Drizzle with the maple syrup and dot with the butter. Cover the filling with the crumble mixture, gently pressing it into the filling.
Place the pie plate on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until the topping is golden, about 40 minutes (cover the top with foil if you find it is browning too quickly). Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F and continue to bake until the apples in the center are tender when pierced with a knife and the filling is bubbling thickly around the edges, about 45 minutes. Allow to cool until barely warm before, about 2 hours. The pie is best the same day it is made; leftovers can be covered tightly and kept at room temperature or in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
Note: The vodka in the pie crust evaporates and helps to create a light, flaky crust. If you are opposed to using alcohol, you can substitute the same amount of ice water.Nutritional values are based on one serving