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The minute the calendar says September and there is that distinctive chill in the morning air (never mind that it is still 85° by noon), we start to look at the calendar for available days to head up to Warwick, New York for a little apple picking at Ochs Orchard!  After a lovely afternoon in the orchard, which typically culminates in a picnic with some good food and great friends under the shady canopy of the apple trees, I go straight to the kitchen to make the quintessential fall dessert, apple pie!  We tend to prefer a crumb top over the traditional two crust or lattice top pie here at Plain Jane in a Party Dress.  What about you?  Traditional, lattice or crumb?

If you’re like us and prefer the crumb top on your pie, try our favorite recipe!

6 Cups Peeled cored and thinly sliced apples (Cortland, Rome and Crispins are our favorite varieties!)

Mix together the following ingredients and then lightly toss with the sliced apples:

1/2 – 1 Cup Sugar

2 Tbsp All Purpose Flour

3/4 Tsp Ground Cinnamon

1/4 Tsp Ground Nutmeg

1/8 Tap Ground Ginger

Set apples aside and prepare your crust – this is the part that usually freaks people out about pies.  If you’re not into making your own crust, NEWS FLASH – that is perfectly acceptable!  Try the Pillsbury pie crust in the refrigerated section of the grocery store.  It is delicious and you can easily put it into your favorite  pie plate (this is mine) and honestly, no one needs to know!  😉  If you’re feeling adventurous, I use the single pastry pie recipe from an ancient edition of the Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book (glad to see it hasn’t changed) when I make the crust from scratch, which is not too often.  Either way, once the crust is rolled out evenly to the right size for the pie plate, I use my two sided baker’s roller from the Pampered Chef to aid in a perfect fit between the pie crust and the pie plate.  The large side of the roller fits nicely in the bottom of the pie plate and the smaller side is perfect to smooth the sides of the pie shell and to create the raised edge of the pie that can then be pinched to create a fluted edge.

Fill the crust up with the apples so that it is slightly mounded higher than the edge of the pie plate.  The fruit filling will shrink down a bit while it cooks and then cools. (I do not add the extra juices from the bottom of the bowl for my crumb pies, they are usually juicy enough and the extra juice will often bubble out and make a big old messy mess of the oven!)

Top the apple filling with the crumb topping:

Again I use a tool from the Pampered Chef called the pastry blender to crumble the topping together, but your hands will work just as well if you don’t have a pastry blender.  This is my all time favorite crumb topping.  I use this on so many different desserts and admit I often double the recipe!

2/3 Cup All Purpose Flour

1/2 Cup Packed Light Brown Sugar

1/2 Tsp Ground Cinnamon

1/3 Cup Salted Butter

1/2 Cup Chopped Pecans (OPTIONAL)

Once the pie is fully assembled, bake it in a preheated 375° oven for 30 minutes.  Then cover with foil and bake for another 30 minutes.

Enjoy it warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or have a slice for breakfast in the morning!  Yes, it is tradition around here to have pie for breakfast to celebrate the start of Fall (and yet some reason we draw the line at ice cream for breakfast…go figure!).

Happy Fall everyone!