Thursday, November 10, 2011

Sour Cream Apple Pie with Pecan Streusel

There are countless ways to make apple pie, from double-crust, to lattice-top, to deep-fried. I have 3 go-to pie crusts (one butter-based, one lard-based and one shortening-based), but this recipe works great with a refrigerated ready-to-roll piecrust. Instead of a double-crust, this pie is topped with a rich pecan streusel with a taste that screams "Autumn". The addition of sour cream adds a savory aspect and perfectly offsets the tart apples to make this pie absolutely irresistible.

I ALWAYS use Granny Smith apples for pies; they have the ideal texture, hold up well during baking without turning mushy, and are tart enough to keep the pie from being sickeningly sweet. A good substitute for Granny Smith apples include Jonathan, Braeburn and Fuji apples, as they are crisp and have a good sweet to sour ratio. Red/Golden Delicious apples and Gala apples should be avoided, as they tend to become mealy when baked. 

Ironically, where most people like apple pie to be eaten warm, perhaps with vanilla ice cream, this pie (to me) tastes better COLD. Try this recipe ONCE, and you'll never buy another frozen apple pie again.

Sour Cream Apple Pie with Pecan Streusel
adapted from Real Simple Magazine

1 ready-to-roll piecrust
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
3 lbs Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and cut into eighths
1 cup granulated sugar, divided
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/8 tsp salt
3/4 cup sour cream
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
1 cup chopped pecans
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp salt
6 Tbsp cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes

Roll out the pie crust on a floured surface and fit into a 9" deep dish pie plate. Flute edge and chill until needed.

Prepare pie filling: Melt the butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the apples and 1/2 cup sugar. Cook, stirring frequently, for 12-15 minutes or until barely tender. Remove from heat and let cool.

Once cooled, combine the remaining 1/2 cup sugar, flour and salt. Stir in the sour cream, vanilla, egg and nutmeg. Fold in the apples and transfer to prepared crust.

*Make sure the filling is room temperature and the pie crust is cold; otherwise the crust will get soggy.*

Prepare streusel: Combine the pecans, brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg & salt. Cut in the butter and rub into mixture until crumbly. Sprinkle atop pie.

Bake in a 375-degree oven for 30 minutes, then tent with foil. Bake another 30 minutes or until apples are tender. Cool for 4 hours before serving. 


  1. I'd like to put in a plug for Jonagolds, too. I use Jonagolds for almost everything because they're sweet-tart, firm, and have a strong flavor that holds up well when cooked.

    I'll have to try this: I made an apple bake a while back (no sour cream, just apples and seasoning) with a pecan/wheat germ/oatmeal streusel topping that was pretty awesome. I'm sold on pecans in topping for apple stuff.

  2. I've heard that about Jonagolds, but have never tried them! Thanks for the tip!

    Pecans and apples to me is THE perfect fall combo!

  3. A friend made this pie over the weekend, and it was absolutely delicious! The addition of sour cream is genius! The pecan topping is, likewise, sheer brilliance. Bravo for a new Autumn favorite. I think this pie will make it to the Thanksgiving table.

  4. Michael, glad you enjoyed it! The sour cream makes SUCH a difference, and though the streusel is sweet, it's not cloyingly so. I think this is gonna make my T'giving table too!