The best apple pie ever

for The Brooklyn Paper
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Each year, my family insists I bring one of each pie that we offer on Sweet Melissa’s Thanksgiving menu to our holiday meal. Our table is usually feeding no more than 15 guests, and with at least seven pies on the menu, there is inevitably a lot of pie left over.

Last year, in the interest of moderating the excess, I made my family choose only five. But which five?

“We have to have the Pear Cranberry with Gingersnap Crumble … and the Apple,” my mom said.

My brother Jim opined, “We need the Chocolate Bourbon Pecan … and the Apple.”

My little sister Erin, said, “It’s no contest — we gotta have Pumpkin … and the Apple!”

My stepdad Mel chimed in, “I need Coconut Custard … and the Apple!”

Clearly, we had a consensus. Here’s hoping that your family enjoys it as much as mine.

Apple Pie

with Buttery Cinnamon Crumble

(serves one Murphy family)

For the filling:

8 Granny Smith apples, peeled and sliced to 1/4-inch slices

Zest of 1/2 lemon, finely grated

Juice of one lemon

1 cup sugar

1-1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

For the Crumble Topping:

1 cup all-purpose flour

3/4 cup light brown sugar

1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted, cooled slightly

Center a rack in the bottom-third of your oven. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil (to catch drips), and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the apples with lemon zest and juice. Sprinkle the sugar, flour and salt over the apples and combine well. Pour the apples into a nine- or 10-inch unbaked pie shell, and spread evenly.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt with your fingers, rubbing the mixture between your hands so that there are no lumps. Add the melted butter and mix with your fingers until combined. Crumble the topping over the apples.

Place the pie on the lined cookie sheet and place in the preheated oven. Bake for 55–60 minutes or until the juices are bubbling thick and a toothpick inserted into the apples offers little resistance. Serve warm with whipped cream or ice cream.

Melissa Murphy is the chef/owner of Sweet Melissa Patisserie [175 Seventh Ave., between First and Second streets in Park Slope, (718) 502-9153; 276 Court St., between Butler and Douglass streets in Cobble Hill, (718) 855-3410]. If you don’t want to make the pie yourself, you must order it by Sunday, Nov. 23 to get it by Thanksgiving. All major credit cards accepted. Full menu at

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