I have to be honest and admit that the idea of making this pie was leaving me feeling a little bit underwhelmed. And I'd venture a guess that I'm not the only one, as it was one of the few recipes that didn't get picked from the Sweet Tarts and Pies section for The Modern Baker Challenge.
I'm pretty sure that, had it been regular Apple Pie, it would have been snatched up first. But something about the addition of sour cream was a little off-putting, for me anyway. So, why did I volunteer to make it? Because I felt like I needed to try something different, venture outside of my comfort-zone, however skeptical I was, because that's the only way you discover a new favorite.
The best way to describe this pie would be to say it's like apple crumble in a pie shell. All my reservations about the sour cream were completely unfounded. True, it does make the inside of the pie look a little different than a traditional apple pie(read: less appetizing), but it makes the filling deliciously rich.
There were a few places in the recipe where I had to fight my instinct to modify, as I wanted to keep this pie as close to Nick's version as possible. For instance, the crumble topping is made with regular white sugar, and every fibre of this apple-crumble-loving being says that that's just wrong. The crumble should be made with brown sugar. However, I went along with Nick's version and was surprised to find that the crumble was delicious and using the white sugar did not seem to make much of a difference.
I also found it odd that there was no cinnamon in the apple filling. I almost added some but again, I managed to stop myself. The only time I allowed myself a liberty with this recipe was when I saw how little cinnamon was in the crumble. A measly teaspoon. Given that there was no cinnamon in the apples, I felt obliged to double the cinnamon in the crumble layer to 2 teaspoons and I'm glad I did. It was not the least bit overwhelming and I felt like it tasted exactly as it should.
So, overall, I would have to say that this is yet another great recipe in Nick Malgieri's collection. I would absolutely make this pie again in lieu of apple crumble. But maybe not if I was craving the good old fashioned apple pie.
I would also add the pastry (Sweet Tart Dough) for the pie was very simple and easy to put together for this novice pastry maker. And though I wouldn't say that I have perfected my 'fluting' skills, I can definitely say they have improved significantly.
So, if you're like me, and it's the "Sour-Cream" part of this pie that is holding you back, rest assured, this pie is excellent. The sour-cream was actually a very nice addition. If you'd like to join the Modern Bakers bake their way through Nick Malgieri's book, you can go here.