Apple Sour Cream Crumb Pie


I’m not a math person, but I am a dessert person. So pi day becomes pie day, because any excuse to make pie is a good excuse.

Apple Sour Cream Crumb Pie is a mashup of apple pie, creamy cheesecake, and apple crisp. Apples are sliced and mixed with an entire 16-ounce container of sour cream, cinnamon and vanilla, plus eggs and flour for binding, then mounded into a pie crust and topped with a nut-studded pile of cinnamon crumbs.

This recipe makes a monstrous pie. The apple filling will need to be placed and poured carefully since it stands a good 4 inches above the rim of the pie dish. Maybe if you placed the apple slices more carefully instead of dumping them all in like I did, you can avoid stray slices falling on the floor. As it is, just do your best to arrange the apples so things aren’t sticking out, because those bits do get pretty dark in the oven. Because this pie is so dense, it needs almost 2 hours in the oven.

I used a frozen pie crust this time for two reasons: I had one in the freezer to use up from making quiche a couple weeks ago (Sunday mornings are no time for homemade pie crust), and because there’s so much going on in this pie, you really don’t notice the crust. Between the creamy apples that puff slightly over the edge of the dish to the copious crumbs, you don’t even notice the crust. In simpler pies, homemade is the way to go. 

Attaching the crumbs to the pie after it’s been in the oven for a while was a little difficult, since it’s shape was still quite conical and the sour cream custardy parts had already set. A couple tips: Squeeze the crumb mixture in your hand to make large pieces that hold together (if it doesn’t hold together, you need to incorporate the butter more evenly), and use one hand to sprinkle, one hand to pat the crumbs on while you’re sprinkling. Don’t be afraid to press the crumbs into the side of the pie.

Apple Sour Cream Crumb Pie
A delicious monster of a pie.
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
1 hr 45 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
1 hr 45 min
  1. 1 frozen pie crust, or your favorite recipe for a single crust pie
For the filling
  1. 1 c sugar
  2. 1/2 c flour
  3. 1 t cinnamon
  4. Pinch of salt
  5. 16 oz sour cream
  6. 2 eggs
  7. 2 t vanilla extract
  8. 6 Golden Delicious apples (about 2 1/2 pounds), peeled, cored, and sliced into 1/4-inch wedges
For the crumb
  1. 1/2 c packed brown sugar
  2. 1/2 c sugar
  3. 1/2 c flour
  4. 1 t cinnamon
  5. Pinch of salt
  6. 1 stick cold butter, cut into small pieces
  7. 1/2 c chopped pecans, walnuts or slivered almonds
For the filling
  1. Preheat oven to 450. Combine all filling ingredients except apples and whisk to combine. Add apples and mix until incorporated. Pour into frozen (or prepared, if making your own) pie crust and pour any excess sour cream mixture over the top. Bake on a rack in the lower half of the oven with a sheet pan underneath to catch drips for 10 minutes, then turn the oven temperature down to 350 and bake for about 45 more minutes. The crust will be golden, the sour cream mixture will be beginning to set, and some apples will have browned.
For the crumb topping
  1. While the pie is in the oven, make the crumb topping. Combine all ingredients except butter and nuts in a bowl. Add small pieces of butter and use a pastry cutter, two forks, or what I normally use, your fingers, to incorporate the butter. The mixture will look sandy and uniform, and will be able to hold its shape when squeezed.
  2. Crumble the crumbs over the pie, patting the crumbs to stick as best you can. It may help to put the pie on a sheet pan at this point because it's hard to handle while hot and trailing crumbs.
To finish
  1. Return to the oven and bake for about 50 minutes, until the crumbs and filling are set and golden brown. Let cool for at least 4 hours before cutting.
Adapted from Martha Stewart Living, November 2012
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