*Spoon & Sweep method: Use a spoon to fill measuring cup with flour until required amount is obtained. Scooping measuring cup directly into flour bag will firmly pack flour resulting in too much flour required for recipe.
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- Prepare or thaw a 9-inch pie crust and place on an aluminum foil lined cookie tray for easy clean up after baking. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and flour.
- Peel and quarter apples and cut each quarter crosswise in 6 slices. Toss in sugar mixture to prevent browning of apples. Add vanilla.
- Arrange apple filling in pie crust. Melt butter and pour over apple filling. Prepare crumble by combining flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt in a bowl. Using a cheese grater, grate the very cold butter into small pieces directly onto flour mixture.
- Rub between your hands to turn streusel into small lumps and consequently into crumble.
- Sprinkle crumble topping generously over apples and place in oven. Bake for 30 minutes and then reduce oven temperature to 350°F. Keep in oven for about one hour or until apple filling makes thick bubbles (consistency of honey) which are visibly showing on top of pie. If the pie gets too dark during baking cover loosely with aluminum foil.
- Sprinkle with confectioner’s powdered sugar if desired and serve warm or cold.
When choosing apples for baking, stay away from Red Delicious, Golden Delicious or Macintosh. These tend to break down during the baking process, making your pie filling brown and mushy. Instead, go with Rome Beauty, Braeburn, Empire, Cortland or Granny Smith. These varieties will hold their apple flavor and firm texture.