Apple Crisp


Chef Peter Davis goes back to basics for his apple pie recipe, served with a brown sugar crumb topping. His version features the fruit with cinnamon and sugar in a simple pie shell, bringing a staple of the American dessert canon to your holiday repertoire.


Yields: one pie


For the pie shell:
  • 2 1/4 cups pastry flour
  • 1 pound butter, chilled and diced
  • about 1/2 cup water
  • 3 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
For the crumb topping:
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 pound butter, chilled and diced
  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups light brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
For the filling:
  • 2 ounces butter
  • 1 pound apples (or 8-10 apples), peeled, cored and cut into chunks
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2/3 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon


For the pie shell:
  1. Mix the flour with the butter until it reaches a sandy texture.
  2. In a bowl, combine the water, sugar and salt until the dry ingredients are dissolved. Add three quarters of the liquid mixture to the flour and butter mix. Once dough comes together, add the rest of the water to the bowl and blend. Chill about 2 hours or overnight.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Roll out the dough to 1/4-thick and cut into a round. Form the pie shell in a pie tin and make a rimmed edge.
  4. Line the pie crust with a coffee filter or piece of wax paper and fill the lining with beans, rice or pennies. Back until the crust rims are golden brown, about 15 minutes.
  5. Remove the oven and remove the lining and filler. Let cool.
For the crumb topping:
  1. In a large bowl, rub the flour and cold butter together until they reach a sandy texture. Add the brown sugar and salt, careful not to overmix. (This topping should not come together, but remain sandy throughout). Set aside.
For the filling:
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Cook the butter on the stovetop in a saucepan, until it just reaches a light brown color. Be careful to remove from heat before it burns.
  2. Fold all the ingredients together in a bowl and let them sit for approximately 20 to 40 minutes in a warm area, stirring every few minutes until the sugar has dissolved.
  3. Fill the pie shell with the mixture and top with the crumb topping. Bake for 30 minutes.

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