Oh wait, I'm in Munich. Land of the two-week Fall. Damn. As long as I live here, I'll probably never lose my nostalgia for a good, American fall. It's just not the same here. It's hard to explain, but besides the fact that Fall in Munich only lasts for a couple of weeks - seriously, we go straight from summer to snow - there just isn't that "feeling" in the air. Maybe it's because I don't have the same associations here. For most of my life, Fall signified change and the beginning of an exciting, new school year. Then, in DC, it meant that the stifling humidity of summer was finally over. Here, it's the sad end of beer garden and hiking season, and there is no Indian summer or nice, slow transition into winter. I can't ride my bike around in cute Fall clothing, with pumpkins and baguettes in my bike basket, and beautiful leaves floating through the air.
Actually, I probably could have done that today. Doh. Opportunity wasted; it was so sunny, and I just sat on the couch!
To be more accurate, I sat on the couch and ate pie.
In honor of Fall and to bring to a girls' night dinner party, yesterday, I decided to bake an apple pie; but not just any apple pie, this Dutch apple pie with sour cream custard. This pie takes classic apple pie to a whole new level, and I heartily recommend it. The apples soften and cook in a rich sour cream custard, and the thick layer of walnut streusel puts the pie somewhere in a category between pie and crumble/crisp. Pretty much perfect when you're spending an afternoon sitting on the couch.
Dutch Apple Pie with Sour Cream Custard & Walnut Streusel
from Lottie & Doof (recipe originally by Paula Haney from The Hoosier Mama Book of Pie)
1 recipe All-Butter Pie Dough (follows)
3 medium-to-large sour apples, cored, and chopped into 1/2-inch pieces (Granny Smith or something similar)
1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp (120 g) granulated sugar
2 Tbsp white flour
pinch of salt
1 cup (240 g) sour cream
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 recipe Walnut Streusel (follows)
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F/175°C.
2. Prepare the pie dough. Roll out the dough and place it into a pie pan, trimming the edges and decorating the edges however you see fit. Lay a piece of foil on top of the raw crust in the pan, weighing it down with either pie weights, rice, or beans. This will keep the crust from developing air pockets when it bakes. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove crust from oven, and throw out foil. Leave the oven on.
3. While the crust was baking, peel and slice the apples, and prepare the custard: whisk together the sugar, flour, and salt in a small bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the sour cream, egg, and vanilla extract. Combine the ingredients of the two bowls to make the custard.
4. Spread the apple pieces over the bottom of the pie shell. Set aside.
5. Pour the custard into the prepared pie shell, over the apples.
6. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the edge of the filling is slightly puffed and the center is dry to the touch.
7. While the pie bakes, prepare the Walnut Streusel.
8. When the pie is ready, scatter the streusel over the top of the pie and bake for 10 to 15 minutes more, until the streusel is golden and crispy.
9 . Cool to room temperature, then chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour before slicing.
All-Butter Pie Dough (enough for one single crust)
I always use a food processor to make pie dough. It is just way, way easier. You can use a fork and do it by hand, but it takes a long time to incorporate the cold butter into the flour by hand. I recommend investing in a food processor, if only to make pie dough.
1 1/4 cup (160 g) white flour
1 Tbsp white sugar
1 pinch salt
1 stick (110 g) unsalted butter, cold
3 Tbsp cold water
1. Combine the flour, sugar, and salt in a food processor.
2. Cut the butter into small chunks, add to the food processor, and pulse.
3. Add the water, one tablespoon at a time, until the dough just comes together. Stop pulsing as soon as the dough comes together in a loose ball inside the food processor.
4. Roll the dough out immediately on a floured countertop.
Walnut Streusel (enough for one pie)
1 cup (125 g) white flour
3/4 cup (75 g) finely chopped walnuts
1/2 cup (100 g) white sugar
1/2 cup (100 g) firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
6 Tbsp (85 g) unsalted butter, melted
1. Combine the flour, walnuts, granulated sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt in a medium bowl.
2. Pour in the melted butter and mix until the mixture resembles coarse meal.