New York is a big dose of humble pie.

Everyone seemingly has more, more– more talent, money, power-  and you scramble for a forkful of the yummy bits while you’re still young enough with that energy in reserve.

Manhattan is 8 (million) pieces- where’s my sliver?!

And are someone else’s accomplishments my failures?

I slice the red apple and I think and I know that I don’t like my outlook. It’s not about taking from what already exists, but about creating my own.

And so I press the dough into the bottom of my pan, 10 inches wide 3 inches deep, and hope that I’m cooking up enough for me, my husband and our daughter and all the New Yorkers that came to the city with a dream…

New York humbles you, but she also empowers.

*Cook’s Note- This recipe was passed on to me by our amazing Gilt City client, Morgan Parkes. Through years of trial (probably with very few errors, knowing Morgan), she’s created a totally unique, cinnamon-scented wonder of an apple pie. In the fall, when there are more apples than taxis in the city, try this amazing, homey dessert.

Morgan’s Apple Crumble Pie


5 apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
Juice of lemon
1 cup sour cream
1 cup small curd ricotta
3 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 table spoon vanilla extract

Crumble Topping:

2 ½ cups walnuts, coarsely chopped
¼ cup cake flour or regular flour, sifted
¼ cup (1/2 stick) butter, room temperature
2 teaspoons cinnamon
½ cup dark brown sugar


1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 cup whole-wheat flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter 
1/4th cup ice-water, approximately

For the Crust

1. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the flour, salt and baking soda
2. In a separate, large bowl with electric beaters, whip together the sugar and butter until creamy
3. Quickly incorporate the flour mixture into the butter/sugar mixture with electric beaters until crumbly. Make sure not to overmix.
4. Drizzle about 1/4th cup water into the crust, working the mixture with your hands until the crust holds together. Form into a ball and lightly press into a disk form.
5. Cover the disk in plastic wrap and place in the freezer while you begin to prepare the filling
6. Preheat oven to 375-degrees

For the Filling
1. Mix apples and lemon juice to prevent browning. 
2. In a bowl, blend sour cream, ricotta, eggs, and sugar, and pour over the apples to completely cover them.
3. Pull crust out of the freezer and knead it into a pretty oven-safe dish – bake for ~20 minutes (I usually place spoons on top of the dough to prevent it from bubbling up while baking)
4. Pour entire apple/sour cream/ricotta mixture into the baked pie shell
5. Crank up the oven to 400 degrees – place the pie in the oven until pie filling rises and apples brown.  Remove from oven. Trim overhang.

Prepare Topping:

1. While filling is baking, place the chopped walnuts, flour, butter, cinnamon, and brown sugar in a mixing bowl  Mix well until all ingredients have a crumb like texture and there are no large lumps.
2. Place the crumb topping over the baked filling and crust.
3. Beat the yolk and water to make an egg wash and brush the crimped rim of the pie crust with the egg wash.
4. Set pie on the middle rack of the oven and bake for 20 to 30 minutes at 350 degrees.  Pie is done when juices are bubbling through the topping and the apples are tender.
5. Serve warm or cool, topped with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.