Apple Pie Amalgam

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(Original Post Date:  April 10, 2010)

On Easter Sunday, we decided to take a day trip out to the historic mountain town of Julian, about 1.5 hours East of San Diego and just West of the Anza Borrego Desert.  If you haven’t heard of Julian – well, they are pretty famous for their apple pie.

The Julian Pie Company’s Dutch Apple Pie is one of my favorites, and we never leave the town of Julian without purchasing one to take home.  Unfortunately, we arrived to find the Julian Pie Company closed for Easter.  Since I couldn’t have the real thing, I figured this would be the perfect opportunity to see if I could duplicate the recipe at home.

I found a recipe online for Julian Pie Company Apple Pie (not sure if it is the original, but you have to start somewhere…).  The recipe stated to just use a “pie crust”, but no specific mention of a pie crust recipe.  Hmm…

As a side note, my other favorite “apple pie” is an Alton Brown recipe (“Free-form apple pie”) from his book, “I’m just here for more food; food x mixing + heat = baking“.  It’s not really a “pie” – more of a galette, but it’s really good.  The texture of the crust is a little “toothy” – it’s tender with a little bit of “bite” to it.

I decided to use Alton Brown’s crust recipe (with a few modifications) with the Julian Pie Company’s crumb topping recipe, and make my own amalgam of Apple Pie.  I was very pleased with the results, and I think I now have my new favorite apple pie recipe…

Dutch Apple Pie:

Crust:

  • 1/2 c. unsalted butter
  • 1 c. flour
  • 1/4 c. whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 c. cornmeal
  • 3 T. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2-3 T. cold water

Filling:

  • 3 granny smith apples
  • 3 golden delicious apples
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 2 T. flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 T. lemon juice

Crumb Topping:

  • 3/4 c. unsalted butter
  • 1 1/4 c. flour
  • 1 1/4 c. sugar

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2.  Prepare the crust.  Pulse the butter and all dry ingredients in a food processor until the texture of coarse crumbs.  Add 2 T. of water and pulse a few times.  If the mixture is too dry, add an additional T. of water.  Pulse until a dough-like consistency.   Shape the dough into a flat disk, and put in a ziploc bag and refrigerate until ready to roll out.

3.  Peel the apples and core.  Cut the peeled apples into small slices, and combine with sugar, cinnamon, flour, salt, and lemon juice.  My recipe calls for 1/2 granny smith (tart), and 1/2 golden delicious (sweet) – but you can go with any apple that you prefer.

4.  Roll out the crust between 2 large pieces of waxed paper.

5.  Peel one side of the waxed paper off gently, and flip the pie crust down onto a 9 inch pie plate.  Gently peel off the other side of the waxed paper.

6.  Easy the sides of the pie crust into the pie pan, making sure the dough lies flat against the corners without any air space underneath.

7.  Roll and pinch the edges of the dough into pleats - work your way around the edge of the crust until you have a nice fluted edge.  It’s actually a lot easier to do this than it looks.

8.  Pour the apple mixture into the unbaked pie crust, and level the apples all the way out to the edges.  It’s ok if the apples are slightly mounded in the middle.

9.  Prepare the crumb topping.  Pulse all crumb topping ingredients in a food processor until the texture resembles very coarse crumbs, similar to couscous.  Don’t go overboard, otherwise the crumbs will form into a dough ball - and it’s the crumb texture that you want.

10.  Gently spread the crumb topping over the apples until well coated.  Place the pie pan on top of a cookie sheet lined with foil (this is to catch any juices that bubble up out of the pie while baking).

11.  Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour.

12.  Cool thoroughly before slicing, otherwise the juices will run out of the pie, and you will end up with soggy slices that don’t hold up.

13.  You can keep the pie stored at room temperature for a few days, covered with plastic wrap.

This is great served a la mode with a great big scoop of french vanilla ice cream.

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