Friday, July 05, 2013

Apple Cherry Free Form Pie with Crumble Topping

I was a baking and cooking fool on the Fourth of July this year. Most years we gather with family and friends on Independence Day ... and everyone brings a dish to share.  This year was a little different.  Everyone was busy with other plans, so we had our own little cookout at home that included just our immediate family and my mother.  Steve took the kids to a little carnival thing a couple of towns over during the day, so I stayed home and spent several hours in the kitchen whipping up some fabulous summertime fare.

I started the morning making this yummy pie.  I ended with throwing chicken (stuffed with ham and cheese - post to come soon) and marinated pork chops on the grill.  And, in between, I made my Fresh Veggie Pizza Wonton Cups for appetizers later and a bunch of other sides to round out our meal.

This dessert will now be a staple in our house.  It was so simple and much quicker than making a traditional pie.  We're not typically big pie lovers, but a couple of us jokingly fought over the last piece.  (There may or may not have been mention of an arm wrestling contest for dibs on the lone, final slice.)  My husband loved, loved, loved it!  (I've just picked up the ingredients to make it again this weekend for him.)

He compared it to "something you'd get in a little French pastry shop."  (Um, I'm not quite sure when you traveled to France, honey ... but I would have liked to have gone.)

Any berry or fruit would work in this pie.  I wanted to go the apple pie route since it's kind of an "All-American" dessert staple.  Top this with some vanilla ice cream and you've got one heck of a end to any summertime meal.  It is delicate, flakey and not overly sweet (like so many apples pies).

Serves 6- 8.



1/4 cup flour
4 tablespoons cold butter, cut into small cubes
2 tablespoons brown sugar
Pinch of salt


3 apples (I prefer 2 tart and 1 sweet), peeled and cut into small chunks
10 sweet cherries, pitted and halved
2 tablespoons flour
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon allspice (optional)
1 lemon (zest and juice)
Pinch of salt


1 round pie crust (store-bought or follow THIS RECIPE, which will yield 2 crusts)
1 egg and 1 tablespoon water (whisked in a small bowl)
Sugar (for sprinkling on crust)
Salt (for sprinkling on crust)


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Line a large baking sheet pan with parchment paper.  Set aside.

Begin by making the crumble topping.  In a small mixing bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar and salt.  Cut in the butter cubes using your fingers, a pastry cutter or a fork.  You're looking for the butter to incorporate into crumbly, pea-size pieces.  Place the crumble mixture into the fridge while you make the filling and prep the pie dough.

Next, prepare the filling.  Combine the flour, sugars and spices in a large bowl. Add the apples, lemon zest, lemon juice, and salt.  Stir or toss to coat in the dry mixture. Set aside.

On a lightly floured surface, roll pie dough to 1/4-inch thickness. Using your rolling pin, roll up the dough loosely and transfer dough to the center of the parchment paper-lined sheet pan.

Pour the apple mixture into the center of the dough and allow to mound. Place the halved-cherries on top of the apple filling.  Sprinkle the crumble topping over the filling into an even layer. Fold the edges over the apples. Brush the pie dough with egg wash.  Sprinkle with sugar (course works best) and salt.

Bake for 25 - 35 minutes or until crust is browned and filling is bubbly.  (It is okay if some the juices run out.) 

Remove from oven and allow to cool to room temperature before serving.  Dust with confectioner's sugar, if desired.

Adapted from The Chew.

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