I absolutely love this time of the year in the Russian River Valley! The weather has chilled, the wine grapes are all harvested, and there are still a few apples clinging to the trees here and there. This recipe came together because I was recently visiting a dear friend with some amazing old heirloom Gravenstein apple trees in her yard! I came home with a big basket filled with fresh late-season fruit. This simple recipe does not require any fancy crust design skills, just a large spring-form pan to press the crust into. The added dates in the crumble topping provide a deep caramel flavor that simply can't be beat. One more thing, just in case I forgot to mention it: This pie is free of refined sugars! Simply sweet apples, local honey, and dates!
Rustic Deep Dish Honey Apple Pie with Date and Oat Crumble Topping
Basic Pie Crust
Yield 1 crust
1 cup flour
1 stick chilled butter
1 Tbsp cold water
Place the flour in the bowl of your mixer. Using the paddle attachment begin mixing the flour on medium-low speed. Dice the chilled butter and begin adding it to the flour as it continues to turn in the bowl. Gradually increase the speed on the mixer, and continue adding the butter until it is all in the bowl. The butter and flour will begin to combine into a crumbly texture. Add a bit of the cold water to the mixture as it is turning in the bowl. The mixture will begin to form a loose ball of dough. Shut off the mixer when this happens, and turn the dough out onto a floured work surface. Gather the dough into a ball and wrap the dough in plastic. Place it in the fridge to chill until you're ready to roll it!
Prepare the crumble topping and place in the fridge to keep chilled until ready for use...
Date and Oat Crumble Topping
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup diced and chilled butter
1/2 cup chopped dates
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup local honey
Combine all of the crumble topping ingredients in your stand mixer fitted with the paddle, and mix on high speed until the ingredients just start to come together. Be sure not to over-mix everything. You do not want the gluten in the flour to develop. A brief mixing period keeps your topping nice and crumbly!
Peel and slice enough apples to fill your spring-form pan.
Place them in a large mixing bowl. I used about 3 cups of peeled and sliced apples.
Add the freshly-ground cinnamon (I used about 2 tablespoons of freshly-ground cinnamon)
Toss the apples and cinnamon with some quality local honey and 1 Tbsp of tapioca starch or wheat flour for a bit of thickening.
*I added about 1/2 cup of honey to the apples. Your taste may vary, depending on the sweetness of the apples used. Feel free to adjust the sweetness to your liking.
Prepare the pie crust, roll it out and press it into a spring-form pan and place it in the fridge to chill.
Prepare the crumble topping and place in the fridge to keep chilled.
Prepare the apple filling.
Place the apple filling evenly into your chilled crust.
Spread the crumble topping evenly over the top of the pie.
Bake at 325 degrees for about 1 hour until everything is nice and bubbly. :)
Serve warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream for a real treat. Enjoy!