I really enjoyed my last apple pie, so today I decided to try another one and use up the rest of the Granny Smith’s I had around. But this time I tried a new kind of top.
The lattice-top cherry pie was a bit of a disappointment. Not that it didn’t taste wonderful (hard to go wrong with canned filling), and the lattice itself looked quite nice. But the edging collapsed and I just wasn’t ready to move off of my current pie-run yet. So the next logical choice was a Dutch top.
I made my bottom crust using Alton Brown’s recipe and method of rolling the dough out inside a Ziplock bag, but I skipped his technique of double pie pans to press the bottom crust since the last time I tried, the dough stick to the top pan. Not good. For the rest of the pie, including the filling, I used the Dutch Apple Pie recipe from AllRecipes.com, which is here. It’s interesting to note that in this recipe, you take the plain apples (peeled, cored, and sliced) and drop them directly into the uncooked pie crust. You then sprinkle the sugar, cinnamon, and flour mixture right on top, followed by a sprinkling of lemon juice. No mixing. And frankly, it doesn’t need it.
Things were fine until I actually made the streusel, which calls for .5 cups flour, .5 cups sugar, and .5 cups butter all cut together. As far as I can tell, this is far too much butter for that amount of flour. By the time the butter is anywhere near cut in, it has softened enough to start binding with the flour and sugar so that you end up with a loose dough instead of a nice gravel-like topping. I did the best I could with what I had, but coming out of the oven the topping had obviously just melted together to form what almost looked like another crust. Bummer. So much for a Dutch topping. AllRecipes used an interesting technique I wanted to try, that of placing the whole pie for baking within two sheets of parchment paper which has been closed off (I used staples) to form a paper bag of sorts while in the oven.
After the fact, I checked my Baking Illustrated cookbook and found that they used much more flour compared to fat, and then also pre-baked the topping (and the shell for that matter) a bit before applying it to the top of the pie. Live and learn I guess.
Anyway, it tastes very yummy despite being something that does not look like a Dutch Apple Pie. The filling is top class and perfectly tender. And despite the fact that the streusel top looks like a failed top crust, it still has a wonderful crunch and sweetness that makes this a real treat.
Here it is: