"You can't go wrong with apple pie," says the singer of her crumb-topped creation

By People Staff
December 10, 2009 06:00 PM
Rob Howard

“I love crumb-topping pies,” Branch says of the dish. “So I just saw the recipe and tried it one year and from then on it just became the staple holiday pie.”

Just how much does the singer adore it?

“I was thinking of tattooing the crust recipe on my arm,” she says, laughing. The final product is a combination of a Gourmet crust recipe and a filling from New York’s Buttercup Bake Shop. “You can’t go wrong with apple pie,” Branch says. “If you eat it for breakfast with ice cream, you’ve got fruit and dairy for the day!”

Makes: 8 servings
Hands-on time: 35 min.
Total time: 2 hrs., 10 min.

• ½ cup sugar
• 1 ½ tablespoons all-purpose flour
• ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
• Pinch of ground nutmeg
• 4 ½ cups peeled and sliced Granny
• Smith apples (about 4 large apples)
• ¼ cup apple butter
• 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
• Vanilla ice cream (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 425º.
2. Combine first 4 ingredients; sprinkle over apples and toss gently. Stir in apple butter and lemon juice.
3. Spoon apple mixture into prepared pastry. Sprinkle Crumb Topping over apple mixture, covering completely.
4. Bake 10 minutes at 425º. Reduce temperature to 350º and bake 25 to 35 minutes or until golden and bubbly. Cool on a wire rack 30 minutes. Serve with vanilla ice cream, if desired.

Rob Howard

Pastry for 9-inch pie:
• 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
• 1 ½ teaspoons sugar
• ½ teaspoon salt
• ½ cup unsalted butter, chilled
• 2 ½ to 3 tablespoons ice water

1. Pulse first 3 ingredients in a food processor 3 or 4 times or until combined.
2. Add butter, and pulse 5 or 6 times or until crumbly. With processor running, gradually add water 1 tablespoon at a time and process until dough forms a ball and leaves sides of bowl, adding more water if necessary. Cover and chill 30 minutes.
3. Roll pastry to ½-inch thickness on a lightly floured surface. Place in a 9-inch pie plate; trim off excess pastry along edges. Fold edges under, and crimp.

Crumb Topping:
• 1 cup all-purpose flour
• 1 cup uncooked regular oats
• ½ cup light brown sugar
• ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 10 tablespoons unsalted butter

1. Pulse all ingredients in a food processor 3 or 4 times or just until crumbly.