Isn’t it amazing how you can always tell when fall has arrived? Even before the leaves start changing color, you can smell it in the air, and suddenly all you want is fuzzy sweaters and hot apple cider. I love VA in the fall. Summers here tend to be too hot/humid, and the winters have gotten a little too cold for my liking lately, but fall and spring are always wonderful. The air smells a little nicer, the colors of the local plant life become more vibrant, and the weather is almost always perfectly mild and comfortable. It’s definitely my favorite time of year.
Temperatures around here have been slowly and steadily cooling off lately, but today was the first day that I really needed a sweater to counter the brisk air on my balcony. Fall has officially arrived! Which means…apple season! Apple cider, candy apples, apple cobblers…so many delicious fall treats to be excited about. Like this Cinnamon Apple Crunch pie, for example, which actually started out as a recipe for apple crumb bars. But then I decided to bake it in a pie dish and serve the pieces in wedges, so…you know…now it’s a pie. A juicy, cinnamon-y, apple-packed pie with a buttery shortbread crust and sweet, crunchy topping. Call it what you want, it’s absolutely delicious, and the perfect treat to help you jump into the fall season.
Cinnamon Apple Crunch Pie
(Crust and Crumble Topping)
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 sticks cold unsalted butter or margarine, cut into pieces
- 1 large egg
(Apple Pie Filling)
- 8 gala apples, peeled, cored and chopped into small pieces
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 2 tbsp flour
- Preheat the oven to 375° F. Lightly grease a pie dish.
- In a medium bowl, combine sugar, baking powder and flour.
- Mix in the salt and lemon juice, and stir together with a fork.
- Cut in the butter pieces and egg with a pastry blender until the largest chunks are about pea-sized.
** The mixture should be crumbly without much loose flour.
- Spread about half of the dough mixture in an even layer over the bottom of the prepared pan and press down firmly to form the bottom crust. Set aside.
- In another bowl, stir together sugar, lemon juice, and cinnamon. Add apple pieces and flour and toss to coat.
- Spread apple mixture evenly over the crust.
- Crumble the remaining dough over the top of the apple filling, and gently press down.
- Bake for about 45 minutes or until the top is slightly golden brown.
- Cool completely before slicing.
- Serve warm plain or with drizzles of caramel sauce.