While apple pie is my favorite dessert, crumble toppings are my favorite.
Of everything. Ever.
Apple pie knows no seasons and that is exactly why I don’t wait around for Fall every year to enjoy it. I wanted to share something a little different that still embodies everything I love about traditional apple pie and definitely deserves a spot in your favorite Thanksgiving pie recipes. Today’s apple crumble pie:
√ Has a buttery, flaky crust.
√ Has a rich apple filling that’s juicy, compact, sweet, and cinnamon-spiced.
√ Is topped with a brown-sugary, buttery, toasty walnut crumble.
√ Is the perfect spot for vanilla ice cream.
√ Is the purpose of life.
Preparing it? Well, that’s a piece of
Start with my go-to pie crust. ← Pie crust recipe, video, step-by-step photos, and tips included! The apple filling is nothing out of the ordinary. Very, very simple. Fresh lemon juice, apples, flour, spices, and sugar. For a more complex, interesting flavor– I suggest using a variety of apples. I always use a sweeter apple like Fuji, Pink Lady, or Honeycrisp and a tart variety like Granny Smith.
- My #1 tip? Make sure your apple slices are around the same thickness. You don’t want some super thick apples (that won’t really cook) and some super thin apples (that will become mushy). Aim for around 1/4-inch thickness.
The crumble topping is a bunch of ordinary ingredients like brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, and butter that, when combined, make something extraordinary. The whole truly is greater than the sum of its parts.
Baking = chemistry.
And now apparently, philosophy too.
The crumble topping complements the apple filling perfectly. What really makes it stand out are all of the toasty walnuts. I’ve been using Diamond of California walnuts since I was little. It’s all my mom kept in the pantry to throw into her oatmeal raisin walnut cookies. Though I much preferred chocolate chips in my oatmeal cookies when I was 10, I’m all about nuts in desserts now. And you’ll LOVE what the toasted walnuts* add to this pie.
*They toast as the pie bakes!
I do not skimp on the crumble topping. This is serious.
The more buttery, crisp, sweet topping = the more you have to enjoy with melty vanilla ice cream. This crumble topping also makes a wonderful substitute to streusel toppings made with oats, you can cut this topping recipe in half to use on caramel apple cheesecake pie!
Something you’ll notice about most pie recipes. Not all, but most. Most pies begin at a higher oven temperature. Putting a pie into a very, very hot oven helps the crust brown. After 20 minutes or so, reduce the temperature. This helps allow the pie’s filling to cook thoroughly before the crust burns. Cool, huh?
Deep dish apple crumble pie is heavy on the crumble topping!
- Homemade Pie Crust (recipe makes 2 crusts; you can halve or freeze the 2nd half)
- 8–10 cups apple slices (1/4-inch slices, see note)
- 2 Tablespoons (30ml) lemon juice
- 1/4 cup (31g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup (100g) packed light or dark brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 3/4 cup (94g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
- 3/4 cup (95g) chopped walnuts
- 1/3 (75g) cup unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
- The crust: Prepare my pie crust recipe through step 5.
- Make the filling: In a large bowl using a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, stir the apples, lemon juice, flour, cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, sugar, and vanilla extract together until thoroughly combined. Set filling aside as the oven preheats; this time allows the apples to begin letting off their juice.
- Preheat oven to 400°F (204°C).
- Roll out the chilled pie dough: On a floured work surface, roll out one of the discs of chilled dough (if you made the entire pie dough recipe– you can freeze the other half of the dough at this time). Turn the dough about a quarter turn after every few rolls until you have a circle 12 inches in diameter. Carefully place the dough into a 9×2 inch pie dish. Tuck it in with your fingers, making sure it is smooth. Spoon the apple filling into the crust, leaving some of the liquid in the bowl– don’t want all that in the pie. Use a small paring knife to trim excess dough off the edges. Flute the edges.
- Make the crumble topping: In a medium bowl, combine the brown sugar, cinnamon, flour, and walnuts. Using a rubber spatula, stir in the butter. The crumble topping will be thick and crumbly. Sprinkle over apples.
- Place the pie onto a large baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes. Keeping the pie in the oven, turn the temperature down to 375°F (190°C) and bake for an additional 30-35 minutes. After the first 20 minutes of bake time, I place a pie crust shield on top of the pie to prevent the edges from browning too quickly.
- Allow the pie to cool for 3 full hours at room temperature before serving. This time allows the filling to thicken up. Serve with vanilla ice cream if desired. Cover pie leftovers tightly and store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
- Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: This a great pie to make 1 day in advance– after it cools, cover tightly and keep at room temperature. The pie crust dough can also be prepared ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Baked and cooled pie freezes well for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature before serving. Prepared filling can be frozen up to 3 months, thaw overnight in the refrigerator before using.
- Special Tools: Pastry Blender, Rolling Pin, Pie Dish, Pastry Brush, Pie Crust Shield
- Apples: You need about 5-6 large peeled apples. Peel then slice apples in a uniform thickness, about 1/4 inch thick. You don’t want some solid apples and some thin, mushy apples. For best flavor, use a variety of apples such as Granny Smith, Honey Crisp, Fuji, and/or Pink Lady.
- Adapted from Salted Caramel Apple Pie.
Keywords: apple crumble pie