Everyone has their favorite recipe for apple pie, I know. But I had to jazz my regular recipe up. Don't get me wrong, I love a traditional autumn fruit pie with crust on top and bottom but, why not add some crunch? The results were outstanding!
Mr. Wonderful's favorite sweet treat is a fruit crisp/crumble (still unsure of the difference- I use the terms interchangeably) with pie coming in at a close second. I combined the two and the results were mind blowing. In the summer, peach crisp is a must but come autumn, we are bound to have extra pears and apples in the kitchen after a trip to our favorite orchard.
This pie is so easy and rewarding. And looks quite impressive. I guess you can consider it deep dish. The crust stayed crisp, as did the fruit inside and crumble-y oat topping. We were eating leftovers all week. I like the filling to be slightly sweet, with a hint of cinnamon, and never ooey-gooey and wet. Save that goo for the store bought varieties.
But I can't take all the credit- as the pie crust and crumble are both beloved recipes from my hero, Ina Garten. They never fail me. Thanks, Ina! You can find the crust recipe here.
Introducing the best pear and apple (or all apple or all pear- whatever floats your boat!) pie (but I secretly love the combo of the two fruits!) So good, I named it Millionaire's Pear and Apple Pie. Why? I don't really know. Because it's so freaking good? I think Ina would like it and she's a millionaire.
I digress... check out the recipe below!
Millionaire's Pear and Apple Pie
half of Ina's pie crust recipe
Ina's crumble topping
2 sticks cold butter, cubed
1 1/2 cups flour
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup oats
2 large apples, peeled and chopped
3 pears, peeled and chopped
zest of a lemon
squeeze of lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch of nutmeg
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons tapioca flour
First make your pie dough. Ina's recipe makes enough for two crusts. I made mine the week before, put it in the freezer, then placed it in the fridge the night before assembling.
Now make your filling. Peel your fruit and cut in large slices. I used about 5 cups of fruit all said and done. Place them in a large mixing bowl with the lemon zest, lemon juice, sugar, tapioca flour, cinnamon and nutmeg. Toss to combine and let sit while you make the crumble.
The crumble can be made in a stand mixer or by hand with some (and I mean a lot of) elbow grease. You want the butter to be very well integrated.
Roll out your dough to an 11 inch circle- you will need enough to cover your deep pie dish of choice. I am partial to my Emile Henry (pictured) because it rocks- no really, it does. Place in the pie pan and trim the edges to avoid tragedy in the oven (aka burnt crust.)
Important step! Spoon the fruit into the pie pan. Do not dump it along with the juices that have accumulated in the bowl. Trust me, your pie will be fine, perfectly moist but not wet.
Top with your crumble- really pack it on.
Bake in a 350 degree oven for one hour.
A few notes from the cook (aka moi.)
This pie is not heavy on the cinnamon. Just a personal preference. You can totally add other spices to your liking (ginger, cloves, etc.) Keep the fruit slices large. This ensures they will be tender but crisp after baking. I love tapioca flour as the thickening agent. My father-in-law uses tapioca and his pies are amazing. Flour doesn't enhance the taste of the pie- it just tastes flour-y to me. If you don't have tapioca flour, try cornstarch or arrowroot. And flour as a last resort. For the crumble, Ina says no quick cooking oats but I've had great crumbles with quick cooking and thick cut oats.
And now a word on not dumping the juices in. I've studied (and by studied I mean watched) this technique from the girls at Pies 'n' Thighs. These chicks know how to cook. So what they say, Kira does. Your pie filling will be perfectly thick and scrumptious. This technique also ensures the pie crust underneath is still crisp, never mushy, and the filling doesn't run everywhere when you cut a slice. Crucial.
Also, I always and I mean always use White Lily Flour. Crust, crumble, and all. It's the best. I have to special order it but if you live south of the mason dixon, I'm sure you'd be able find it no problem. For the pie pan- I don't have anything against the standard disposable aluminum pan. In fact I use them a lot- especially when giving someone a pie (who wants a pie?) But the porcelain Emile Henry pan really produces fantastic results. Worth the investment if you enjoy making pies at home.
Just in time for those chilly nights. I dare you to add some vanilla ice cream.
P.S. your house will be filled with an intoxicating aroma upon baking this bad boy. Beware!