With all the snow blanketing New England, I felt the need for a warm, homey slice of apple pie. New Englanders will tell you that apples are “out of season”, but really, with produce shipped in from all over…you can get great quality apples no matter the time of year and, personally, I think a slightly more tart apple makes for a better pie. All the sugar and spices make it sweet enough as it is.
I still struggle with making a decent pie crust. I can’t seem to get two large enough pie crusts out of Betty Crocker’s two crust recipe…so I usually have to double the two crust recipe to make sure I can get two viable pieces. I mean, really…it’s THREE ingredients. Flour, fat and salt. Why can’t I get it just right?? The struggle is real, folks.
And while a good crust is appreciated, let’s face it. The buttery decadence that is the crumble topping…it’s just too good to pass up.
My Mom gifted me the 8th edition Betty Crocker cookbook years ago when I ventured off to live on my own and it’s a staple in my kitchen. Under the apple pie recipe, she has a couple variations – one being “French Apple Pie”. Really though, we all just call it Apple Crumble. I always wondered though – what is the difference? Apparently, if you compare Dutch Apple Pie to French Apple Pie, it’s really just a matter of sugar. There is less sugar in the crumble for French Apple Pie and in some cases (but not in the Betty Crocker cookbook) you’ll see recipes adding raisins in with the apples. I couldn’t find a link directly to Betty Crocker, but this blogger used the same cookbook I did (though she admits to using frozen pie crust for efficiency) so you can follow the recipe there. Fun fact, like the blogger in this link, I too skip peeling the apples. Not only does it save time, but like she indicates, the peels have additional nutrients and there is a lot less waste.
For a little Valentine’s Day inspiration, I used a little Lindzer press heart cookie cutter to stamp out heart shaped pieces of dough and wet the rim of the pie plate to adhere them in place.
Definitely hit the spot on a cold winter’s night. Happy Baking!