I loved the Andy Griffith TV show and when Sheriff Taylor talked about “good old apple crumb pie”, I longed to have a slice. Something about the way he said “pie” made it sound even more delicious. Remember, he thought maybe that was what Aunt Bee brought for lunch when instead she had brought some of her not-so-good pickles. And Helen Crump baked one for a picnic. In honor and in memory of Andy Taylor, Aunt Bee and Helen Crump, here’s my version:
MOM’S GOOD OLD APPLE CRUMB PIE
- Pastry for 9-inch single crust pie*
- 7 cups tart apples (Golden Delicious or Granny Smith)
- 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
- ¼ tsp. nutmeg
- 1/8 tsp. salt
- 2 Tblsp. all-purpose flour
- ½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup butter, cut into cubes
In a small bowl, mix together the sugar and flour. Using your fingers, mix in the butter until small crumbs are formed. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Peel, core and thinly slice apples. Place in a large bowl and add cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, flour and sugar. Mix together and set aside for 10-15 minutes.
Stir apple mixture and spoon into unbaked pie shell.
Top with sugar/flour/butter topping mixture, covering all of the apples.
Place on a flat pan to catch spills and bake @ 375 degrees F for 45 minutes. Remove to a wire rack to cool.
Actually, I baked two apple pies because the only kind of pie my son-in-law and two grandchildren will eat is my regular apple pie. Click here for the recipe.
*My favorite pie crust recipe.
This recipe comes from two sources – the fruit portion is from a Crisco flyer, American Pie Celebration, and the cobbler topping is my favorite from Farm Journal’s Complete Pie Cookbook. The Farm Journal stresses dropping the cobbler dough onto piping hot fruit.
CELEBRATION PEACH COBBLER
- 4 cups sliced fresh peaches
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup water
- 1 T cornstarch
- ¼ tsp. cinnamon
- Dash of nutmeg
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 Tblsp. granulated sugar
- 1-½ tsp. baking powder
- ½ tsp. salt
- ¼ cup vegetable shortening (Crisco)
- ½ cup milk
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F
Have a 9-inch square baking pan or 2-quart baking dish at hand.
To Make Fruit Mixture:
In a large saucepan, combine peaches, sugar, water and cornstarch. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until mixture comes to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and continue to cook, stirring constantly for one minute. Stir in cinnamon and nutmeg. Pour into a 9-inch square baking dish or a 2-quart baking dish.
To Make Cobbler Topping:
Sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Blend in the shortening until the mixture resembles coarse cornmeal. Stir in the milk to make a soft dough.
Drop tablespoons of cobbler topping over surface of piping hot fruit mixture.
Bake @ 400 degrees F for 20-30 minutes until fruit is bubbly and topping is golden brown.
6 servings. Serve in bowls with cobbler juices.
This is a wonderful cobbler served warm. I try to time it so it’s coming from the oven to cool for 20 minutes or so while we’re eating dinner. It’s a lovely dessert plain or topped with a little cream or whipped topping.
My first job in 1950 was as a secretary in Procter & Gamble’s corporate offices in downtown Cincinnati. As a new employee, I received a large picnic basket full of P&G products, a leatherette box with the P&G logo filled with chocolates and my favorite item of all, a Crisco cookbook – New Recipes for Good Eating, copyright 1948.
I first heard about Crisco in high school home ec classes. My mother, always on a strict budget, used lard (and made wonderful pies), margarine or bacon grease. Occasionally, she’d buy a tiny one-pound can of Crisco for me to make a special dessert. After I was married in 1952, also on a strict budget, I still managed to find the money for Crisco. I started cooking in earnest and literally wore out the cookbook. The pages are dog-eared and stained – and some of them are missing.
About 50 years later, I happened to find the same cookbook in pristine condition in an antique market. Apparently, its owner didn’t cook as much as I did, or she was neater.
My favorite recipe in the book was for “Crisco’s Sure Fire” two-crust 9″ pie. Over the years, I changed the ingredients a little bit and developed a technique that worked well for me, although it’s not the method that the cookbook or any home ec class ever recommended. I’ve won ribbons at countless pie contests with this crust, including the Ohio State Fair, plus pie has always been the dessert of choice for my family for the past 55 years. Here is my version of the recipe and the way I mix the ingredients.
MY SURE-FIRE PIE CRUST
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup Crisco vegetable shortening
- 1/3 cup ice water
In a medium size mixing bowl, place the flour and salt. Note: I measure the flour by dipping the cup into the canister and then leveling it off. Stir flour and salt with a fork to mix. Add 3/4 cup Crisco shortening and cut in. I use my hands so I can feel the texture and know by now when it’s just right. Pour the ice water (always use ice water) into a dry measure 1/3 cup to the top and pour into flour mixture (don’t use a liquid measuring cup). Using a fork, stir the mixture in circles until it forms a ball. Divide the dough in half and roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface with short, light strokes, rolling from the center to the edges to about 12″ diameter. To keep the dough from sticking, I pick it up, turn it over and reposition, dusting very lightly with flour when necessary. I also continually wipe the rolling pin of any dough that’s sticking. With everything you do, use the lightest touch possible. It’s also possible to roll out the dough between sheets of waxed paper.
Place the dough in a pie pan and trim the edges. Continue with the filling you choose and the top crust. Bake according to your recipe’s directions.
The recipe can be used for one two-crust 9″ pie or two one-crust 9″ pies. I never double the recipe and I never make half a recipe. If there’s any pastry left over, I put it in a plastic bag and keep it in the freezer until I’m ready to use it.