Not Your Mom's Apple Crumb Pie

Mostly because your mom didn't bake this particular pie.. Maybe because your mom isn't vegan, or doesn't realize all the awesome...

Mostly because your mom didn't bake this particular pie.. Maybe because your mom isn't vegan, or doesn't realize all the awesome vegan pie she's missing out on.. But anyways, this pie is particularly awesome because it's my own recipe. Even though it was inspired by others, it came together in a free-form kind of way that made it my own. I know, it's an apple pie. Who doesn't have a grandma who made her own apple pie from her own kickass recipe? It's true, it isn't the most brilliant thing I've ever created but when you eat something that tastes really awesome, and you know that you're responsible for mostly all of that awesomeness, well, it's a good feeling. An awesome feeling.

The next best thing about this pie is clearly that it is a crumb pie. Really, a double crust pie is the past. The future is crumb pie. Understand this. A soft and sugary crumb crust is a total touchdown when you're eating your first apple pie of the fall season, getting amped up for the playoffs and knowing you're definitely going to bring it all home this year. You've got your secret weapon, and you're totally going to own all and blow these double-crusted schmucks out of the water. 

When you think you have it all, the doughy bottom crust comes out of right field and catches an interception. You're chewing even though the buttery flaky dough doesn't need chewing, and you think, "This can't be prebaked!" And who told you to prebake your crust anyway? William & Sonoma's all-purpose baking book? Ask yourself who you trust after you've skipped a time-consuming step and enjoyed a more delicious pie.

It's gonna be a good season.. I can feel it.

1 1/2 cups flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 stick chilled earth balance margarine
5-6 tablespoons ice water

5-6 apples, cored & cut into 1/4" wedges (use whichever kind of apples you like best, I use granny smith)
1 tablespoon tapioca or corn starch
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon clove
1/8 teaspoon allspice
the juice from half a lemon

Crumb topping:
1/2 cup of brown sugar (I like to use a combo of light & dark, but use what you've got on hand)
2 tablespoons white sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup flour
1/3 cup canola oil

To make crust, sift sugar, salt, and flour together in a large mixing bowl. Cut chilled margarine into cubes, and cut into flour mixture with a pastry cutter or fork. When mixture has crumbs that resemble large peas, add ice water one tablespoon at a time. When dough comes together, form into a ball, flatten into a disk, and refrigerate for at least an hour and up to a day.

Preheat oven to 375 ºF.

Make the filling by combining all of the ingredients in a large bowl. Set aside while you make the topping. Do so by mixing the brown sugar(s), white sugar, cinnamon, salt and flour together in a small bowl, slowly drizzle in the oil until you have nice sized crumbs. 

Roll out chilled dough to fit a 9" pie plate so that the dough is about 1/3 to 1/4" thick. I give mine a spray with nonstick oil before laying dough over it. Arrange edges of crust however you want, you can crimp to make the edges really pretty, or just stuff them inside the plate if you're too punk for crimping. There is definitely no need for prebaking the crust. We're going for a soft and doughy vibe. Fill the pie crust with filling and sprinkle over crumb topping. Carefully cover with foil and bake for about 1/2 an hour. The key is to cook the apples so that they become soft and make delicious little apple layers in your pie crust. Also, the longer you let them cook, they sweeter they get. Hell, you can let it cook all day, but when you're ready to finish it off, turn the heat down to 350ºF and let the crumbs and crust brown for about 15 minutes. Let cool so that when you slice into it, the apples don't go slipping out from their layers and make your pie into soup. I like to serve it while its still pretty warm, with a scoop of vanilla (vegan, obv) ice cream.

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