I make this apple pie because it is good, because it is not too sweet to eat for breakfast, and because Olivia declares it the best.
When your daughter, who doesn't like apples, begs you to make your apple pie, you make a promise and put it on your to-do list. You don't mess with the recipe too much, once you've tweaked it to her satisfaction. You ditch that once tried notion of making it "healthy", when you experimented with a whole wheat crust and swapped whole wheat pastry flour for the all-purpose in the crumble topping.
Once you've settled on the amount of spice and lemon juice and the preferred crust, you claim it as yours, and leave it be. For what honestly can be healthier than the most delicious local apples you can find and some straight-from-the heart craft?
I pretty much make this pie for a holiday or weekend breakfast. When you are allowed to eat pie for breakfast in your house, it means that you can still have cookies for dessert in the afternoon (as long as it is before 4:30), which is when Olivia chooses to have her sweets.
It's just our way, as much as this pie has become our apple pie. We always tell her, every family has their own rules, and she nods in understanding.
Olivia's Apple Pie
adapted from my summer fruit pie recipe, where you will find it's origins
I used Stayman Winesap apples here, as our apple grower says it's the best they have for pies. You may have your own opinion about that, however.
1 9-inch pie crust (I've been using the recipe from Rustic Fruit Desserts for a while now)
2 lbs. apples, peeled and thickly sliced
juice of half a lemon
1 tsp. cinnamon
4 oz. (1 stick) unsalted butter
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Roll out the pie dough and fit it into a 9-inch pie pan. Place the pie pan in the freezer while you make the filling.
Peel and slice apples, place in a medium-sized bowl. Toss them with the lemon juice and cinnamon. Set aside while you make the topping.
In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Stir in the sugar, and turn the flame down to low. Add the flour and the nutmeg, and stir until the mixture becomes a smooth paste. Remove from the heat.
Place the apples into the unbaked pie crust. Spoon the topping to cover the apples, pressing the crumble down a bit to spread it out. You'll still have some fruit slices peeking out.
Bake in the center of the oven for 10 minutes. Turn the oven down to 350 degrees, and bake for 35 minutes or more, until the top is crusty and brown.
Let the pie cool a bit on a rack before serving.