Easy French Apple Pie

by Ala
1 pie
55 min

The end of term was last week, and–as one of my graduating friends reminded me–nothing smells comfort-y quite like pie does. And nothing spells comfort when you’re tired and hungry and stressed like a 15-minute prep time!

Yes, none of my jokes here: this is quite possibly the easiest dump-it-all-in French apple pie recipe that I’ve ever made, and my summer-ready self is SO thankful for it.

In the past two weeks, I taught my (possibly last ever!!!) undergraduate English class and started kicking my butt back into full dissertation writing mode. Oh! And I haven’t shared the biggest news of all–I’ll be traveling to Europe!

I won’t be posting anything specific about my travel plans until later this year when they’re all done–as much as I love everyone here, the internet has too many eyes, not all of which are savory–but I’m super excited for this development. I’ll be traveling and staying with friends and simply cannot wait to soak in the beauty of these places! Totally worth the five days of throbbing headaches that I suffered in between…

Meanwhile, back on planet Reality, I’ve been moseying around in the kitchen a lot this week. In my last meeting with my advisor, he point blank asked me how baking was going and he sounded palpably disappointed when I told him–rather boringly–that I was focusing on my dissertation. His exact words were: “Oh, is that what you want to be doing right now? All right then.”

So. I’m baking again. Seriously though, I love my advisor. And productivity levels are up, because let’s be frank here–who wouldn’t be inspired to write with this easy-arse pie in one hand and a massive fork in the other?

Before I go, let me tell you a little about this pie. Unlike your standard apple lattice or baked top crust pie, this one has my favorite topping ever: cinnamon brown sugar streusel. If you’re the kind of person that picks all of the crumb topping off of the blueberry muffins before handing them off to your hapless significant other (sorry! I totally am), then this is the kind of pie for you. On the other hand, if you’re opposed to wonderful things in life like puppies or happiness or, heaven forbid, cinnamon brown sugar streusel topping, then you should skip this pie.

But if you’re a decent human bean like the rest of us, then this pie is for you. Plus it only takes 15 minutes to prep, so you’ll go from fork to finish in no time at all!

Recipe details
  • 1  pie
  • Prep time: 15 Minutes Cook time: 40 Minutes Total time: 55 min
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For the pie crust and filling:
  • 1 9-inch prepared pie crust
  • 5 Granny Smith (or your choice of) apples, peeled, cored, and sliced
  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
For the streusel topping:
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup cold butter, cubed
For the pie crust and filling:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Bake prepared pie crust according to directions, then set aside.
Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in flour to form a paste, then add water and both sugars. Bring mixture to a boil and allow to simmer over medium-low heat for at least 5 minutes, until mixture begins to congeal.
Meanwhile, make streusel (recipe below) and arrange apple slices in fully baked pie crust. Pour liquid mixture over apples, coating them thoroughly. Sprinkle streusel topping evenly on top.
Bake pie in preheated oven for 35 to 45 minutes, until apples are tender and topping is golden brown.
For the streusel topping:
In a medium bowl, combine flour, both sugars, and cinnamon. Use a fork to cut butter into sugar mixture until everything is evenly crumbly (like wet sand).
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  • Shar Shar on Aug 14, 2023

    Why bake the crust first & not just add the apple mixture uncooked into the pie, then add on the crumble topping? Build the pie all at once, then bake it!! It’s worked for me for 40 plus years!

    • Ala Ala on Aug 14, 2023

      Sure! Glad it works for you. I find that pre-baking the crust helps prevent it from getting soggy after the wet mixture is added.

  • Millie Millie on Sep 01, 2023

    I haven’t had French Apple Pie in many years. The French Apple Pie I had, had a smooth white layer that tasted like it was made of confectionery sugar. This topping on your pie is what I’ve had is called a crumb apple pie. I would love to have a recipe for the pie that I had years ago.