This recipe has been on the back-burner for a while now and I’m so happy that I finally have a chance to share it with you. My inspiration for this dessert came to me as I was dreaming about my gran’s apple crumble. I used to have this a lot when I was still in primary school, on cold Sundays after eating way too many roasted potatoes and creamed spinach. My gran would always make two apple crumbles (because she knew that we’d all definitely be having seconds); then we would either dollop thick cream on top before we ate it or pour over a generous amount of warm custard.
This recipe is an ode to that apple crumble pie, with a twist. Although I adore my gran’s apple crumble recipe, there is something to be said for the sweet, crunchy, crumbly topping of the apple crisp. And so, to be able to enjoy the best of both desserts, I have combined the sweet short crust pastry of the apple crumble with the crisp golden topping of the apple crisp. The result is a delicious, warm, syrupy, sweet and crunchy apple pie that makes it impossible to stop eating. (I have first-hand experience of this). For this recipe, I decided to use fresh Granny Smith apples which give a much better flavour and sweetness than tinned apples, with the juices caramelising with the sugar to create a sticky syrup that oozes through the crunchy golden topping. Serve a slice with a dollop of vanilla ice cream, and you’ve successfully assembled heaven in a bowl.
But don’t take my word for it, you should definitely try it for yourself. It’s a lot of fun to prepare and so rewarding when you put that first delectable spoonful in your mouth… And when you do eventually try it, be sure to tell me what you think! We can gush over it’s baked perfection together.
1 1/2 cups cake flour
125g butter, chilled, chopped into cubes
1/3 cup caster sugar
1 egg yolk
1 tbsp chilled water
1 cup cake flour
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 cup butter
8 Granny Smith apples
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp lemon rind
1/3 cup brown sugar
3 tbsp cake flour
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
1. Preheat the oven to 230 degrees Celsius.
2. Combine the flour, butter, and sugar in a mixing bowl. Rub together with your fingertips until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. You can also do this using a food processor, but be sure not to over mix.
3. Add egg yolk and chilled water. Mix together until it forms a firm dough. If the mixture is too dry, add a dash more water until the mixture comes together. However, be careful not to create a wet, sticky dough as this will not work.
4. Turn the pastry out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead the dough until just smooth. Shape the pastry into a ball and press into a thick disc. Wrap in cling wrap and place in the fridge for 30 minutes.
5. Peel, core, and thinly slice the apples. Place the apple slices along with the sugar, raisins, lemon juice, lemon rind, cinnamon, nutmeg and flour into a large mixing bowl and toss together.
6. Take the pastry out of the fridge after 30 minutes and roll out on a floured surface. Grease a pie dish and gently place the rolled out pastry sheet in the pie dish. Trim off the excess pastry and poke the base a few times with a fork.
7. Next, layer the apple slices in the pie dish, making sure to pick up the raisins with the slices as you go. Pour over the leftover juices and any raisins over the layered apple slices.
8. Combine all the topping ingredients in a bowl and mix with a fork until well combined and crumbly. Carefully place the topping over the apples and pat down using your hands, making sure that it is firm and won’t fall off the top. (Note: be sure to keep an eye on the topping when baking as it tends to brown quite quickly, if it starts to burn place a piece of foil on top).
9. Place the pie dish on a flat tray and bake at 230 degrees Celsius for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, lower the heat to 180 degrees Celsius and bake for 45-50 minutes. Poke the pie’s centre with a knife to make sure that the apples are soft if you are unsure.
10. Carefully remove the pie from the oven and allow to cool a bit before serving. Cut generous slices of apple crisp pie and serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, or any other accompaniment you may like.
As one can see, the heat of the oven was too much for my thin pie crust I had pressed down on the edges and I had to remove it from the sides of the pie. In the future I’ll simply trim off the excess.