The BEST Crumb Apple Pie

This is the THIRD time I’ve posted this pie. I’m betting none of you have ever seen the other two so…third time’s the charm, I guess. Let me introduce you to the pie that started this blog, literally: Dorothy’s Famous Crumb Apple Pie.

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The BEST Crumb Apple Pie Recipe you'll ever eat! This is my signature recipe! EVERYONE loves this easy pie!

I can say it’s famous, right? If it’s been on the internet? And is the most requested pie in my entire family? And if MEL EATS IT?

Okay, so I first posted this pie in the early days of this blog. I’m not even gonna link it because, really. No one needs to see it. That was back when I thought “Hey, I’ll post all these recipes and magically everyone will start reading my blog!” which was what I thought a hot second after thinking “Hey, the Pioneer Woman is famous! I can do that!”

*snort laugh*

Anyway, post #2 was back in 2012. I joined forces with some of my BFF bloggers to on a “redo” post. That is, we picked an old post, reshot it and reposted it because our old photos sucked. And, well. LMAO, I actually thought it was a great photo. (See the bottom of this post for the original shot.)

So, third time is the charm. I mean, the pie that is the reason I started my blog deserves to be front and center. It deserves good photos and a good pin count (so pin it, pretty please?) and everyone needs to make this pie.

I realize it’s not “apple pie season” but really. Isn’t every day apple pie season? #ItShouldBe

The BEST Crumb Apple Pie Recipe you'll ever eat! This is my signature recipe - the crumble is super crunchy and thick. This easy pie is PERFECT!

Look at that crumb? You guys, I’m drooling, for real.

So how did this pie start it all? Well, I developed this recipe when I was in college. I loved the flavors of apple pie but I always thought the traditional two crust variety was missing something. I also hate chewy/crunchy apples in pie; I can’t even eat a pie if the apples bounce back at me. So I created this recipe and it became legendary (at least to me). I subsequently have made this pie for every holiday for 20 years. And, you guys: MEL EATS IT. It’s one of the only non-peanut butter, non-carrot cake desserts he eats!! And he can never resist it!

How did that turn into a blog? Well, Mel and I always joked that we should make this pie without the apples; just the crust and the crumb, because that was the best part. Then that turned into a business idea we had for a bakery (which is still on my mind)…and that turned into Crazy for Crust. And the rest is history!

So, what makes this pie so special? What makes it the BEST APPLE PIE out there? Well, let’s break down the only pie recipe you’ll ever need from now until infinity, shall we?

Crumb Apple Pie Recipe

1. The Crust. Now, when I first started making this pie I used a refrigerated pie crust (Pillsbury). When I’m not in the crust making mood, I still use that, but most of the time I make my favorite All Butter Pie Crust recipe. It’s easy and so, so good once it gets soaked with the filling. The butter makes it turn out perfect every time – no dry, burned crust here!

2. The Apples. As I said before, I hate crunchy apples in pie. My secret to the perfect apple filling? I cook the apples before adding them to the crust. YES! It’s genius, really. I peel, core, and slice my apples (using my handy dandy apple peeler, get one, it saves your sanity) then quarter the apple rings and boil them for just a few minutes in a pot with a bit of water. You don’t want them to get mushy and turn to apple sauce. You want them to just be turning opaque, then immediately strain them and let them cool a few minutes. This creates the PERFECT apple filling.

3. The Crumb. There is a LOT of crumb on this pie. It has a lot of butter and sugar. And it’s SO FREAKING GOOD. The crumb cooks together in the oven so it turns into a crunchy layer on top of the perfectly cooked apples. I don’t ever even want apple pie without crumb. Heck, I’d put this on a pudding pie, a lemon pie, ANY PIE. It’s that good.

Those three things, when added together, equal the BEST crumb apple pie recipe you’ve ever eaten.

The BEST Crumb Apple Pie Recipe you'll ever eat! This is my signature recipe! EVERYONE loves this easy pie!

The outer edges of the crust are perfectly cooked and not dry or burned, the crust gets crunchy, the apples are the perfect filling. The bottom crust isn’t crunchy but isn’t soggy either; the apple juices drain into it and make it almost taste like a soft cookie. You top this baby with ice cream and you’ve got yourself the perfect meal dessert for ANY day.

I knew the third time would be the charm. Isn’t she a beauty?

Did you make this recipe?

The BEST Crumb Apple Pie

This is my absolute FAVORITE pie recipe. It’s the reason I started this blog! A buttery crust filled with sweet apples and a crunchy sweet crumble on top. It’s the perfect WOW dessert, especially with ice cream!

Ingredients:

For the pie:

  • 1 recipe All Butter Pie Crust (or you can use a refrigerated pie crust)
  • 6-7 large Granny Smith apples (about 3 pounds)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

For the crumb:

  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, slightly softened

Directions:

  1. Roll out your pie crust according to recipe or package directions and place in your 9″ pie plate. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  2. Peel and core the apples, then slice into thin slices. I like using my apple peeler for this step. Place one inch of water in the bottom of a large pot. Add apples and cook, stirring occasionally, approximately 3-5 minutes after water boils, or just until the apples start to turn the slightest bit opaque.
  3. While apples are cooking, add the crumb ingredients to a large bowl. Using a fork or pastry cutter, cut the ingredients together until they form coarse crumbs, about the size of a pea.
  4. Drain apples very well. Let them sit in the strainer for a few minutes to cool, then place them in pie crust. Sprinkle 1/4 cup sugar and cinnamon over apples. Add your crumb mixture evenly on top. Place pie on a cookie sheet to avoid mess in the oven. Cover outer edge of crust with thin strips of foil or a pie crust shield.
  5. Bake at 375° for 35-45 minutes. Remove pie crust shield during the last 15 minutes of baking to ensure that the crust browns.
  6. Pie may be made a day in advance. Refrigerate overnight. Serve with whipped cream or ice cream.
All images and text ©. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe.

This is the “redo” photo I did back in the day, the one I thought was OMG SUCH A GOOD PHOTO!! I told myself it’s gonna go CRAZY it’s so good!! (Spoiler alert: it didn’t.)

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28 comments

  1. Your pie looks amazing!!! Wonderful pics! You are so funny. I would re-do a ton of moments. The crimping hair one made me laugh! Mine would be the Dorothy Hammel haircut in 6th grade. Hello! It didn’t even look good on here! What was I thinking??!!

    On another note =o) I made your S;more Cookie Tarts and they were AMAZING!!! But I failed at following your directions so they aren’t as cool looking as yours. But the taste? Fantastic! Thanks!

  2. Pingback: Apple Butter Pie Bars | Crazy for Crust

  3. Thank you so much for this recipe. I don’t like crunchy apples in my apple pie, so the cooking them a bit first does sound like the solution. I’m planning on making this for Thanksgiving using your all butter crust recipe. The crumb topping reminds me of what my mother uses on her cherry crumb pie, except she uses shortening instead of butter.

    • Crumble is the BEST! And cooked apples are the bees knees!

      • Dorothy, one last question: Can I use an assortment of apples instead of Granny Smith? I want to use what I have in my produce drawer in the fridge, if I can. I am so looking forward to this pie. Can you tell?

      • You can use whatever apples you like! I’ve never made them with anything but Granny Smith, and I know that other apples are less crisp, so you may need to precook them less. Enjoy!

      • The pie was excellent! I used the apple assortment and it turned out great–no crunchy apples, either. The crumb topping was so good. This recipe is a keeper. Thank you so much!

  4. That pie has me drooling.

  5. Amazing! Easy to make and amazingly good to eat!

  6. You have so many awesome pie recipes that they sort of blend together…:) They ALL look amazing and being that I am NOT a pie-maker, I just hope one day I can eat one of yours!

  7. Oh my!  That crumb looks amazing!  I love how thick it is!  #yum

  8. I mean, my photos are getting gradually better, but yep. I am always embarrassed by the stuff I’ve done before. It’s tough to put everything out there and then realize later it’s not so perfect. 
    But this pie is perfect, and these photos are super perfect. Third time is totally the charm. And I loved the photos on the second one, too! 🙂 And MEL ATE IT.

  9. OMG that CRUMB!! I’d be happy just eating that on its own!!

  10. There can never be too much pie! Love that this one has a crumb topping. It’s like a mix between apple crumble and apple pie. LOVE it!!

  11. Every day is pie season in my world! 🙂
    There’s an apple pie with a crumble topping at a diner that I really like. All hail crumble topping! I need to try this so I can get my fix at home.

  12. Looks great. Crumb pies are my favorite, thanks for sharing

  13. Sounds amazing! But I must stop reading your blog this time of day cuz now I want dessert again! Lol

  14. What a fun idea to re-do old recipes! My blog is so new and my pictures are still lacking, but someday I hope to do the same 😉

  15. Oh yes, that looks delicious! Many thanks for sharing 

  16. This pie was a disappointment.  The filling was mushy and the crust was not flakey.  It looked beautiful though.  

    • I’m sorry you didn’t like it! The filling is not as crisp as a “regular” apple pie by design, as I said because I don’t like crunchy apples. It shouldn’t have been mushy, there is a chance that the apples were pre-cooked too long or not drained well. As for the crust, all butter crusts are more shortbread-like than crunchy/flaky. If you like it more flaky you can use your favorite crust recipe – I just prefer the all butter crust.

  17. Hi! I hate crunchy apples too 😉 Do you think microwaving them for like 5 – 10 minutes would work as well? Love your blog as always!!!

  18. Just had to drop by and say this is literally the BEST apple pie we’ve ever had. I made it for Christmas last year because apple is my father-in-law’s favorite, and it was loved by all (even me, and I don’t like apple pie much). This will be my go-to apple pie recipe, and I’ve even made it a couple of times since just because I was craving it–it’s that good.

  19. I had pinned your previous post, then when that one disappeared, pinned this one. It is a delicious pie and is also the best pie crust EVER. (I’ve tried a lot of pie crust recipes and this has been my go-to for at least a few years). Thank you for sharing!

  20. Love all your recipes , what a talented lady you are. The pictures have me drooling, the ingredients have my mouth watering. Thanks so much for posting them. Because of all the info you give about yourself, I feel I know you. Thanks again, Carol Anne

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