12 Weeks of Christmas Treats ~ Week 9 ~ Apple Pie with Crumb Topping

Apple Crumb Pie by Bakewell Junction

Apple Crumb Pie by Bakewell Junction

It’s the ninth week of the 12 Weeks of Christmas Treats blog hop hosted by Brenda Thompson from MealPlanningMagic.com.  If you’d like to join us, please fill out the form on Brenda’s blog.

Today I’m sharing an Apple Pie recipe that I’ve been trying to perfect for a while.  I like to use Honeycrisp apples because they have a lot of flavor, are very juicy and give the pie an awesome aroma. Once I attempted a pie recipe that said it was the best apple pie but I was disappointed because there were too many apples for each slice.  The recipe called for 4 1/2 pounds of apples sliced in thin slivers which made the pie very dry as there was no room for the pie juices.

One of the problems I’ve had with my current apple pie recipe is that apples take a long time to become fork tender, so I’ve modified the recipe to incorporate the Honeycrisp apples.  Another issue I’ve had is with pie crusts, so I’ve taken to only having a bottom crust and crumbs for the topping.  The crumb topping is very tasty but I still need a good crust for the bottom.  I happened to see a tutorial to make flaky pie crust on Annalise’s site Completely Delicious.  This is the first time I used the recipe and I’m confident that it will be a hit.  Annalise’s tutorial is detailed and very helpful to those of us who are pie crust challenged.  You should check it out on her site.  I was debating whether to share this recipe with you because my crust shrunk a little during baking, although this doesn’t affect the delicious flavor and aroma.  I thought the shrinking wouldn’t happen this time but I figured out that it was because the crust warmed up when I rolled it and pie was sitting on the counter while the oven was heating up, so I added some additional chilling/resting time before and after filling the pie this way you won’t have the same thing happen to you.

This pie will be for Thanksgiving but I think it’s a great addition to any Christmas treat table.  Since this post is published before Thanksgiving, I’ll have to update it later with a single slice of the pie after we dig in on Thursday.

Dig in.

Apple Crumb Pie by Bakewell Junction


Apple Pie with Crumb Topping

Yield:  1 9 inch pie                  Cook Time:  100 minutes


  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cold and cut into cubes
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk, cold (substituted 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice and enough milk to come up to 1/2 cup)
  • 1-2 tablespoons vodka or water, cold (substituted rum because I was out of vodka)
  • 1 egg (I use extra large)


  • 1 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon peel (substitution 2 teaspoon lemon juice)
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 3/4 pounds Honeycrisp apples (about 6 medium), peeled, halved cored, cut into 1/4 inch thick slices and then 1/3 inch chunks (about 8 cups) (can use yellow-skinned ripe Golden Delicious)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Crumb Topping

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt (I used Kosher salt)
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes


  • Whipped Cream (optional)
  • Vanilla Ice Cream (optional)


Step 1:  For the crust, use 1/2 the recipe stated for one bottom pie crust.  Add flour, sugar, and salt in a medium bowl.  Add butter and coat with the flour mixture.  Pour the mixture onto a work surface.  Using a rolling pin, roll the flour and butter mixture into thin sheets until the butter is combined with the flour.  Gather the mixture back into a pile and scrape the rolling pin as necessary.  When done the mixture will look flaky.  Move the mixture to the bowl and freeze for 15 minutes.

Step 2:  After the mixture is chilled, add the buttermilk.  Stir mixture with a spoon until it forms a ball.  You may need to do some of the stirring by hand.  Shape dough into a flat disc.  Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour or overnight (will keep for up to three days).

Step 3:  To roll out the refrigerated dough, let it sit for five minutes in your workspace.  Place the chilled dough onto a lightly floured surface and roll to 1/4 inch thick with a floured rolling pin.  The rolled dough should be about 13 inches in diameter.  Use your rolling pin to lift and move the pie crust to your 9 inch deep dish pie plate.  Cut off any excess dough.  Fold under any extra dough and crimp to have a nice finish.  Place the pie plate in the refrigerator for at least an hour until the filling is ready.

Step 4:  For the filling, mix brown sugar, flour, lemon peel, and cinnamon in large bowl.  Add apple slices, and vanilla.  Mix until well coated.  Move the mixture to a stock pot and begin heating on medium for about 10 minutes.  When the mixture begins bubbling, turn it down to low and cook for another 20 to 30 minutes until the apples are fork tender.  Let the mixture cool to about room temperature.

Step 5:  Transfer filling to unbaked crust but remove about 1 cup of filling juices and let filling mound slightly in the middle.  Place the filled pie in the refrigerator for at least an hour.  Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Bake for 40 minutes with aluminum underneath to catch drippings.

Step 6:  In the interim, prepare the topping.  Mix flour, sugar, cinnamon and salt in a bowl.  Mix butter into the flour mixture with finger until clumps begin to form.

Step 7:  Remove pie from the oven and sprinkle topping on the pie.  Return pie to the oven and bake for another 20 minutes.

Step 8:  Remove pie from oven and let cool on rack for at least two hours.

Tips:  To make flaky pie crusts it helps to chill butter and flour before using.  Follow Annalise’s tutorial on Completely Delish.

Storing:  Store baked pie in sealed plastic wrap.  You can freeze the unbaked pie and put it directly into the oven provided it isn’t in a glass or ceramic pie plate.


Filling and crumb recipe adapted from Bonappetit posted by Chris Hall.
Crust recipe from Completely Delish

Have a look at the other great cookies in the blog hop by clicking on the Linky Tools link below.  Sorry my blog doesn’t support the blog hop participant icons directly.

12 Weeks of Christmas Treats Blog Hop

Week 9, November 21, 2012

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I’ve seen some of the other bloggers that participate in the 12 Weeks of Christmas Treats listing their submissions from the prior weeks.  I like this idea, so I’ve incorporated it into this week’s post.  If you’ve missed my posts for the prior weeks, here’s a reminder:

This post was also entered in the following linky party.  Click the button below to see the other great posts in the blog hop.

Sweet 2 Eat Baking

12 thoughts on “12 Weeks of Christmas Treats ~ Week 9 ~ Apple Pie with Crumb Topping

  1. Oh, how I love apple pie…and it’s even better with a crumb topping! I just popped my pumpkin pie in the oven and am making a chocolate pie…but wishing I had planned for an apple one, too!

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