Fresh whipped cream or ice cream for serving(optional)
Arrange a rack in the lowest slot of the oven and preheat the to 375 degrees F and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
Dice the butter for the crumb topping into small pieces with a knife; place the diced butter back into the refrigerator to chill, until needed.
Prepare the pie crust:
Fit the pie crust into a Deep 9-inch pie plate and crimp edges. Refrigerate the pie shell, until you are ready to add filling.
Prepare the Crumb Topping**:
Combine flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, cloves and nutmeg in a medium bowl. Use a whisk to ensure there are no lumps. Add the chilled butter to the flour/spice mixture. Using your fingertips, begin to pinch the butter into the flour/spice mixture, until a crumbs form. It will take a minute or two. When the mixture looks like moist beach sand, you are done combining. Refrigerate, until needed.
Prepare the Apple Filling:
In a very large bowl, toss apples, brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg together. Ensure all of the apple slices are coated with the sugar mixture.
Put Together the Pie:
Remove the prepared pie crust from the refrigerator. Spoon the filling into crust, forming a mound towards the center. Remove the crumb topping from the refrigerator. Toss to loosen it up. Top the apple filling with the crumb topping. Place the pie on top of the foil-lined baking sheet and bake at 375 degrees F for 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes, reduce temperature to 350 degrees F. Bake for an additional 30 more minutes, or until fruit is tender. If the edges of the crust get too brown, tent the pie with aluminum foil. This may be needed during the last 15 minutes of baking.
Let the pie cool for at least 1 hour, before slicing.
When cool, dust with powdered sugar and serve with fresh whipped cream or ice cream (optional).
*This pie is best with a tart cooking apple. Greening, Granny Smith, Jonathan, Jonagold or McIntosh work best, but use golden delicious if desired.**When making the crumb mixture it is very important to not get the butter too warm by overworking it. Keep the butter chilled as much as possible and only use your fingertips when mixing it into the sugar and spices. You can use a fork, pastry cutter or even pulse in a food processor, but I found that my fingertips are perfect for getting the job done and with less mess! You want the texture of the crumb mixture to resemble moist beach sand. Refrigerate, until needed.Store at room temperature.
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