Apple Pie

It is Thanksgiving 2016. Even in this insane year there is much to be thankful for. Keeping it simple, let’s be thankful that Ellen discovered this Crunch-top Apple Pie who knows how many years ago. She usually insists on making it. Then she insists on serving it, and sometimes she even insists on deciding which guest gets to eat it (Susan…. remember that Thanksgiving?).

This year we had a talk and she agreed that I could give it a go on my own. Here’s a photo of the Sunset cookbook with the recipe (on short-term loan to me), my gorgeous new rolling pin (works like a dream), and the PIE (not as pretty as Ellen Neiman’s but then it only took me 40 minutes start to finish and dollars to donuts it tastes the same as hers).

Apple Pie Recipe:



Pie Crust: (Recipe from the NYT, Melissa Clark and Mark Bittman and a million others) For one 9” pie crust.


1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour (150 grams)

¼ tsp fine sea salt

10 Tbsp unsalted butter, cold and cut into cubes (I cube and then freeze)

2 to 4 Tbsp ice water, as needed (I needed 3 Tbsp)

In a food processor, pulse the flour and salt. Add butter and pulse until the mixture forms lima bean size pieces. Slowly add ice water, 1 Tbsp at a time and pulse until the dough just barely comes together. Moist but not wet.

Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface or a piece of parchment and gather into a ball and then flatten. Cover tightly with plastic wrap or parchment and refrigerate for an hour or up to 2 days. Ok to Freeze for 3 months.

Roll the pie dough out to fit a 9” or 10” pie pan. Line the pie pan with the crust, flute the edges of the crust and refrigerate while you cut up the apples.

Crunch-top Apple Pie (Recipe from “The Best of Sunset”) Preheat oven to 350°


2 ½ to 3 pounds of any variety of apples (About 6 or 7 medium apples). I bought one of each from the Farmer’s Market .

One unbaked 10-inch pastry shell

1 cup sugar

1 cup graham cracker crumbs (you can buy the crumbs now or if you’d like you can put the graham crackers between two pieces of wax paper and use a rolling pin to smash the graham crackers until you’ve got crumbs)

½ cup all-purpose flour

½ cup chopped walnuts

½ tsp ground cinnamon

½ cup butter (1 cube) butter, melted

Arrange apples evenly in the unbaked pastry shell. You should have enough sliced apples to peek over the top of the pie shell.

Mix sugar, graham cracker crumbs, flour, walnuts, and cinnamon in a bowl.

Sprinkle the mixture over the apples.

Drizzle the melted butter over the topping. My mom taught me to spoon it slowly over the top. It runs down in rivulets. Take your time.

Put the pie on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for about an hour. Serve warm or at room temperature. It’s so delicious.

*To print or email this recipe, please click on the print or email icon on the bottom left side of the page.