Nov 27 2012

Grandma’s Apple Pie with Oat Crumb Topping

Published by at 7:13 am under Food,Local food,Recipes

To be clear, this is not MY grandma’s apple pie recipe.  That was the title that drew me to this recipe over a decade ago when I was first learning how to cook.  My go-to website back then was Allrecipes and after Greg and I had our first round of apple picking, I was trolling the apple section pretty frequently in an effort to bake away a 20 pound of bag of Granny Smiths.  There are dozens of apple pie recipes posted there but how can you resist the one called “Grandma’s Apple Pie”?  It HAS to be good.

Well, I’ve now realized that Allrecipes has a lot of recipes with “Best Ever” and “World’s Best” and “Aunt Sandy’s Famous” labels slapped on them even though they are crap.  But whomever’s Grandma came up with this apple pie recipe did not fail to deliver.  I printed that recipe out on a sheet of paper that has traveled with me to three different apartments and houses and though I sometimes get tempted by other recipes, I always defer to Grandma’s.

This pie is really all about the filling–you can use whatever crust you like.  The filling is perfect–enough apples to fill the pie plate, the right blend of spices to complement them, the right amount of sugar to be sweet but allow the tartness of the fruit to shine through and enough flour to keep the whole thing from being a soupy mess.  It’s exactly what you want a classic apple pie to be.

Usually I use a double crust but this year I was yet again tempted by something different so I made just a minor modification to Grandma’s: I used a crumb topping instead of a second pie crust.  It makes for a crunchy texture with added flavor and lends a hint of apple crisp to apple pie.  And if you use a pastry recipe that makes 2 crusts, it leaves one for pumpkin pie (which is a leading reason why I used the crumble topping).

The piece of paper with this recipe on it is now folded in fourths, tattered at the corners and covered in years of filling splatter and a fine dust of flour and cinnamon and each year I dig it out because it makes the perfect apple pie thanks to (someone’s) Grandma.


Grandma’s Apple Pie with Oat Crumb Topping

Yield: Serves 8

Grandma’s Apple Pie with Oat Crumb Topping

Pie recipe adapted from Allrecipes (no longer available on site). Topping adapted from


    For the filling
  • 6 cups tart or tart-sweet baking apples such as Granny Smith or Braeburn, peeled, cored and sliced to about 1/4 inch thickness
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 unbaked pie crust, packaged or from your favorite recipe
  • For the topping
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 3/4 cup whole or quick oats (not instant)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter, cut into 1" pieces


For the filling

Place apple slices in a large bowl and toss with lemon juice. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine sugars, flour, cinnamon and nutmeg. Pour over apples and toss to evenly coat each slice.

Line an 8" or 9" pie plate with pie crust dough and evenly fill with apple mixture. From here, you can:

1) dot with a little butter, top with a second pie crust, crimp or flute edges, poke holes in the top crust to allow steam to escape and bake for 10 minutes at 450 degrees then an additional 40 minutes at 350 degrees, covering the edges with foil if needed to prevent browning or

2) top with crumb crust, pressing lightly to compact and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes, covering with foil when the top get brown and crispy, after about 15-20 minutes.

For the topping

In a large bowl, combine brown sugar, flour, oats, cinnamon and salt.

Add butter pieces and cut in using a pastry blender, two knives or a food processor until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Use this to top your pie as explained in #2 above.

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4 responses so far

4 Responses to “Grandma’s Apple Pie with Oat Crumb Topping”

  1. Steveon 16 Aug 2013 at 1:44 pm

    Made this with some fresh Granny Smith apples off our tree. Top three things I have ever baked! Of course the fresh apples help but this is a crowd pleaser for sure, served it at a BBQ for dessert with vanilla ice cream… To hell with the diet! GIVE ME MORE OF THIS PIE with the streusel topping!

    I highly recommend this.

  2. Steveon 16 Aug 2013 at 1:49 pm

    I also use homemade brown sugar which is so easy I never buy brown sugar anymore, by hand or with a mixer I just add little bits of molasses mild flavor to regular granulated sugar and mixed it until the right color and no molasses dots in white sugar. That is all that brown sugar is, never have to worry about my brown sugar getting hard or having light or dark on hand, molasses bottles lasts forever and it is easy to do if you cook, at all.

  3. […] Crumble Pie (Originally from Our Share of the […]

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