Bloggggggggggggy THREE of pies!!! Sorry for the little turkey stock interruption. Thanks for taking this little journey with me! I hope you're having as much fun reading (and hopefully baking!) as I had writing these!
I wanted to save the best for last! About a month ago, my husband and I took an anniversary trip out of town for the night and stayed at the sweetest and loveliest little bed and breakfast (blog coming soon!). It was up in Oak Glen, CA which if you're familiar, is a wonderful place to go during September through November. It's during these few months that they specialize in apples, apple farms, apple pies, and basically apple anything and everything! It's a quaint little town hidden way off the major freeways. A nice place to relax.
So anyway, I don't want to give too much away because I'm saving that for the blog! So we stayed at this bed and breakfast- Serendipity Ranch Bed and Breakfast to be exact. The hosts, Bill and Nina, were amazing and just the nicest and warmest couple.
For our breakfast Nina made us one of the most delicious ones we've both had in a LONG time. I'm not joking. There was so much food too! Phew. Just thinking about it puts a smile on my face. Again, I won't go into too much detail yet- leaving that for the blog. But there was this one side dish that sticks out most in my mind. Her apple crisp.
Words don't do justice. It was so good. Residing in ...umm...apple land! they are surrounded by many wonderful little mom and pop apple farms. So it made perfect sense that there would be an apple-something for us to dive into! It was warm and gooey..buttery and sugary...hints of cinnamon and caramel and then out pops the best apple flavor I've ever had. It was just so darn delicious.
That little ramekin of fresh homemade apple crisp is what inspired this pie. I couldn't wait to make it. I worked on a few recipes until I had what I thought was the perfect interpretation of what I devoured that morning. It was pretty darn close (I didn't bother asking for her recipe- it's her thing that makes that place THAT much more special). My husband and I loved sharing it with family and then sneaking some back home to share with each other and sort of reminisce about our little get-a-way.
So, take a little trip with me, up to Oak Glen..and then down the little winding road to Serendipity Ranch where Bill and Nina await with a warm fire and this delicious apple delight!
APPLE PIE WITH CRUMB TOPPING
Makes a 9" pie
For the Crumb Topping
- 1/3 cup whole wheat flour (or all purpose flour)
- 1/3 cup oats
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons vanilla bean sugar
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 6 tablespoons cold sweet cream butter, cut into cubes
1. In a bowl, mix all ingredients together. Using your fingers, work quickly and press butter together with mixture until you make a sand like consistency with little pea sized butter clumps. Set aside in fridge.
For the Pie
- Prepared UNBAKED pie crust
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 7 small (2 1/2“ across) gala, Spartan, or Granny Smith apples (I brought some home from our trip and used a combo of Spartan and Arkansas Black), sort of peeled, then cored and sliced into 1/4" slices
- 1/3 cup vanilla sugar
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- Zest and juice of 1/2 a lemon
- 1 1/2 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice
- 1/8 teaspoons cardamom
- 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons brandy
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1. Preheat oven to 375*F.
2. Prepare your crust either according to your package's instructions or make a from-scratch-recipe like shown here. Make sure to use a 9" pie pan.
3. In a large bowl, combine apples, flour, sugars, lemon zest and juice, brandy, and spices. Toss well.
4. Spoon apples into crust. Dot with the 2 tablespoons of sweet cream butter.
5. Take crumb mix out of fridge and spoon (or use hands) mixture all over top and sides of pie. Press down gently to make sure crumb mix is really adhered to apples.
6. Place pie on a sheet pan lined with tin foil. Bake until crust and crumb topping is brown and juices are bubbling, about 45 min. Let cool on wire rack before serving.