Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Sheet Apple Pie With Crumb Topping

This is what I call Pan Apple Pie - pie pastry rolled out onto a rectangular pan, sliced apples and a crumb topping - apple crisp set into pastry, really. It came about when I found myself on occasion with a bowlful of odd varieties and beat-up apples. They had become soft. They had traveled to work and back a few times. On occasion my tote gets dumped out et voila - a beater apple (better than a beater banana.) I also had been experimenting with Fruit Platz, a frugal way to make a small amount of a variety of fruits stretch and reasoned the same thing could be done with my pie pastry and oats for a topping (since I'm more Scot than German.)

I use pie pastry enough for one, double crusted 9-inch pie, rolled out to cover an 11 3/4 x 17 3/4 pan. If you don't have that exact pan size it doesn't matter. The crust will just be a little thicker. Originally, I used a little smaller, disposable aluminum pan, easily found in grocery stores. Over time I found tin pans through my thrift store travels and use one of those now, just because they support themselves beneath the weight of any food.

With the flexible aluminum pans, I placed the pastry onto the pan, slid the pan, into a milk bag which our 4 liters of milk are packaged into, here in Canada and then rolled out the pastry directly onto the pan. Pan - Pastry - Plastic - Roll. Now my pans are a tad bigger, so I slit the plastic bag open to make a nice sturdy sheet of plastic, lay the pastry down the center of the pan, cover with the plastic sheet and roll. I didn't take pictures of all that, but you can go to my pastry making post to see how to make pastry and how I roll out pie pastry for a round pie.
These apples have seen better days. Some are a little wrinkly and soft, dinged up with bad spots. There happen to be about three different varieties here; Golden Delicious, Red Delicious, Fuji. There might be a Gala in there too. Some apples cook down to mush and don't do well in pies. Others hold their shape well. I've found when doing them like this - it doesn't matter.

It may seem that there is a lot of fruit here for the pan, but some of the varieties will cook down, filling in around the spaces of others which hold their shape a bit better. I've made this recipe with as little as four cups of fruit, which is generally the amount needed to fill one 9-inch round pie. This time I had between 6 and 8 cups of sliced apples. I piled it on and it worked.

Apple Filling

  • 8 - 10 apples, any variety, peeled, cored and sliced
  • 3 Tbsp. flour
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon or 1/2 tsp. cinnamon and 1/2 nutmeg
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • lemon juice (optional)
Crumb Topping
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup quick-cook oatmeal
  • 2/3 cup butter
  • 1 1/2 cup brown sugar
Double Crust Pie Crust
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup vegetable shortening, rounded
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 7 Tbsps. cold water
Make the pastry. (Not shown in this post.) Cut shortening into the flour and salt. Mix in the water using a fork. Don't overwork it or you'll have a hard and tough pastry. Form a long log and roll it out directly onto the pan. Use a sheet of waxed paper or plastic to help with the rolling. Press the pastry out and up the pan edge. Flute the perimeter.

Make the crumb topping. Measure out and mix flour, oats, brown sugar and butter.Cut the butter in until it is a small crumb and set aside.
Prepare the apples last. Peel, core and slice up the apples. Work fast to keep the apples from browning or drizzle with a bit of lemon juice to keep this from happening. It also adds a nice flavour.
Mix the white sugar, flour and spices together with the apples.Dump the apple mix out onto the prepared pastry.
Cover the entire surface. I use my hands.
Cover completely with the crumb topping.
Bake in a preheated 375 F oven x 40 minutes or until the pastry begins to colour up a golden brown and pull away a bit from the pan edge.
Often I'll make this for company with kids, as I've noticed that children are more inclined to finish it all, unlike a wedge of "real" pie. But if they don't finish it all, they have wasted less. This takes less fruit, less time to prepare, feeds more people, is easier to cut and serve than a regular round pie and can be eaten out of hand like a brownie, which is something teens seem to do.


Leila said...


Adeena said...

Mmmm... well.. that looks yummy!! :)