At one point in time Friday afternoon this post was intended to be about strawberry rhubarb pie. But as I was foraging through the produce section of the grocery store alas, no rhubarb. I have 4 lbs of strawberries in my fridge, but no rhubarb. No rhubarb for about a month per Mr. Grocery Man. We’ll see. I have a lot of faith in my farmers market.
So here I am, standing, crestfallen amongst the swiss chard and parsley and I’ve got to come up with a new game plan because I promised some people a pie tonight and I will deliver. So I think it through. I love blackberry pie, but blackberry season is still a few months away and I’m not willing to fork out $15 for 3 pints of berries – not now at least. Apple pie always works but that’s such a fall dish, and there’s no doubt we’re in the full swing of spring around here. Except…except there was this idea I had for an apple pie this past fall. I wanted to combine a typical apple pie filling with a walnut-laced cobbler crust. Like a cross between the caramelized top of a pecan pie and your typical crumble topping. I had never fully hashed out the recipe’s details in my head but this was clearly fated to be the day I figured it out. When the stars align and you hear God sayeth, “Make apple pie,” well then you make apple pie!
look at all those flecks of butter!
And I’m totally content with the results. My friend Nick gave the pie a 14 out of 10. Not too shabby I guess. Plus Saturday is turning out to be a rainy day with no hope of getting out of the low 50s. Sounds like apple pie weather to me. Definitely not strawberry rhubarb pie weather.
APPLE COBBLER PIE
Crust (adapted from Tartine)
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- 1/3 cup ice cold water
- 1½ cups + 1 Tbsp all purpose flour
- 11 Tbsp cold unsalted butter (1 stick + 3 Tbsp) cut into 1″ thick chunks
- 2 lbs Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and cut into ¼” thick slices
- scant ½ cup sugar
- 2 Tbsp all purpose flour
- ¼ tsp ground allspice
- ¹/8 tsp ground nutmeg
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- ¾ tsp vanilla extract
- 2/3 cup brown sugar (loosely packed)
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- ¾ cup rolled oats
- ¾ cup chopped walnuts
- 4 Tbsp cold butter, in ½” dice
- In a small bowl, combine salt and cold water. Keep cold until ready to use. In food processor, add flour and cut butter and pulse until mixture looks sandy and butter pieces are no larger than pea sized. Slowly drizzle in the salt water as you continue to pulse the food processor. Continue to pulse until batter stays clumped together after pinching between fingers. You may need to add a more cold water if the dough is not sticking but take care to only add 1-2 tsp at a time; it should not feel wet.
- With your hands, form the dough into a disk about 6″ around and 2″ thick. Wrap in saran wrap and let chill for 2 hrs in fridge.
- While dough is chilling, work on peeling and cutting up apples. Then, in large bowl, combine apples, sugar, flour, spices and vanilla until apples are well coated. Set aside.
- In medium sized bowl, combine topping ingredients (brown sugar, cinnamon, oats, walnuts and diced butter). Use your hands to work the butter into the rest of the mix. Set aside.
- Preheat oven to 375°F and move rack to middle of oven.
- Retrieve dough from fridge. Lightly flour your countertop and rolling pin, remove dough from saran wrap and sprinkle flour on top. Roll out dough until it’s in a 12″ round, approximately 1/8″ thick. Check underneath of dough to make sure it hasn’t stuck to countertop. Transfer dough to pie pan. To do this I like to fold the dough in half gently, move it to the pie pan and unfold. Turn the excess crust down into the pan and crimp the edges with your fingers.
- Arrange the apple slices into the pie crust in concentric circles so that the apples lay tightly on top of each other and there are minimal gaps. Resist the urge to just dump the apples into the crust. Do not resist the urge to steal a couple of slices for yourself – for quality assurance. Make sure to leave about a centimeter of space between the top of the apples and the top of the fluted crust in order to contain the cobbler topping. You might have apple slices left over. If so, store them in an air tight container in your fridge and add them in with oatmeal or greek yogurt for a super yummy breakfast.
- Spread out cobbler topping over apples. Use your hands to gently press the topping together and into the apples, but don’t smush!
- Place pie on middle rack of oven and bake for 45 minutes, or until you can see apple filling bubbling along sides and topping is crispy, but not burnt. If the crust is browning too quickly, tent a piece of foil over the pie.
- Let pie cool for at least 45 minutes to allow juices to reabsorb a bit. Convince yourself that since it has fruit, nuts and oats it’s an appropriate breakfast choices for tomorrow morning.