Friday, January 21, 2011

Rustic Apple Streusel Pie

This is my first pie ever from scratch, and damn was it good if I do say so myself.  Mike said so too.

Anyways, this is another one from Sarabeth Levine's cookbook.  I love Sarabeth.  Not only did she reply to my tweet which I think is really nice, but her cookbook is fantastic.  Her instructions are very detailed and there are lots of pictures to help you with your technique.  If you are looking to try some more challenging recipes but are a little hesitant this is the book for you.  This recipe and many others are on her website.

The pie dough is not the flaky kind, but a more dense and tender crust.  The apple filling was lightly spiced and pleasantly sweet.  And the streusel, mmmm, I love me some streusel.  I served it with some vanilla ice cream and it was simply delightful.

I did try to halve the pie dough recipe which I should know myself well enough by now to know that I shouldn't do this.  Something got lost in translation and my pie dough wasn't coming together so I had to add milk until it did.  Next time I'll just make the full recipe and freeze half the dough.  I mean who are we kidding, this isn't the last time I'm going to make pie.

Rustic Apple Streusel Pie
from Sarabeth's Bakery From My Hands To Yours

Makes Two 9-inch single-crust pies, one double-crust pie, or six individual deep-dish pies. You will be using 1/2 recipe to make this pie.
14 tablespoons (1 3/4 sticks) unsalted butter, at cool room temperature, cut into tablespoons
1/3 cup whole milk
2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon superfine sugar
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1. Beat the butter in the bowl of a heavy-duty stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment at high speed until the butter is smooth, about two minutes. With the mixer running, slowly dribble in the milk, occasionally stopping the mixer and scraping down the sides of the bowl with a silicone spatula. The butter mixture should be fluffy, smooth, and shiny, like a butter cream frosting.
2. Mix the flour, sugar, and salt together in a small bowl. With the mixer speed on low, gradually add the flour mixture and incorporate just until the dough forms a mass on the paddle and the sides of the bowl are clean. Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Knead a few times until it is smooth and supple. Divide the dough in half. Shape each portion into a disk, about one-inch thick. Wrap each disk in plastic wrap.
3. Refrigerate until chilled but not hard, 30 minutes to an hour. (The dough can be refrigerated up to one day, but it will be very hard, and should stand at room temperature for about 30 minutes before rolling out. The dough can also be frozen, double wrapped in plastic, for up to two weeks. Defrost in the refrigerator overnight.)
BAKER'S NOTE: Be sure to slice the apples thin so that they cook in the amount.of time needed to bake the crust — this isn’t a chunky filling. • Peel the apples, one at a time. Stand an apple on the work surface. Using a large knife, cut each apple in half. Place each half, flat side down, and slice lengthwise into 1/4-inch slices. Now trim the core of each slice. You will have perfect half-moons, without the ugly hole from the corer.
1/2 recipe Tender Pie Dough (see above)
Apple Filling
4 pounds Granny Smith apples, peeled, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices and trimmed (See Baker's Note)
2/3 cup superfine sugar
3 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling out the dough
2 teaspoons pure maple syrup, preferably Grade B
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Seeds from 3/4 vanilla bean or 3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 large egg, well beaten with a hand blender.
Streusel (see below)
1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350°F. Line a half-sheet pan with parchment paper.
2. To make the filling, gently toss the apples, sugar, flour, maple syrup, lemon juice, cinnamon, and vanilla in a medium bowl until well combined.
3. Lightly flour a work surface. Unwrap the dough and rap the entire circumference around its edge on the work surface. Dust the top of the dough with flour. Roll out into a 15-inch round. Transfer the dough to a 9-inch pie pan, centering it in the pan, and let the excess dough hang over the sides. Heap the apples in the crust, mounding them high in the center. Bring up the edges of the dough, pleating the dough as needed around the circumference of the dish — the center of the filling will be visible. Brush the exposed crust with the egg. Place the streusel over the exposed filling to cover it, then sprinkle any remaining streusel over the crust.
4. Place the pie on the half-sheet pan. Bake, rotating the pan halfway through, until the crust is golden brown and any juices that escape are thick, about 1 hour. If the crust is browning too quickly, tent it with parchment paper. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack for 1 hour. Serve warm or at room temperature.
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon superfine sugar
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/8 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Combine the flour, superfine sugar, brown sugar, and cinnamon in a small bowl. Stir the melted butter and vanilla together in another small bowl. Gradually stir the butter mixture into the flour mixture, just until evenly moistened (you may not need all of the butter). Squeeze the mixture in your hands until thoroughly combined. Crumble the mixture in the bowl to make fine crumbs with some small lumps.


  1. I really wish we still lived close to you! I have been craving pie almost every night and have not found anything to satisfy me. Maybe I'll follow your lead and start baking myself--this pie looks extraordinary!!

  2. Thanks Kim! If you were closer I would definitely bring you some. :) Speaking of which we should get together soon... I'll email

  3. Wow this pie looks really good! I love the side view.


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