Classic Apple Pie

Even though I haven't hosted Thanksgiving before, I like to be helpful to the host by bringing a dessert to share. I read something recently in Bon Appetit all about Thanksgiving etiquette. It was so elaborate that it was almost silly...

No scented candles! Roasting turkey and stuffing should be the only aromas.

Married and established couples should be split up. Consider placing newly formed couples opposite each other rather than side by side.

On no account should you ever consult Google to settle an argument; remember: a gentleman never resorts to fact.

There was a section in the issue about "suggested" desserts to serve. And, the interesting part was this: you don't have to have pumpkin pie on your Thanksgiving dessert table.

Say what? You're either thinking: I don't? But I love pumpkin pie; it's classic and a must. Or, you're all: Pumpkin isn't my family's thing; never has been, never will be - and you don't rock the orange pie this time of year.

It's a simple thought, often overlooked in the pumpkin-crazed world in which we live, but it's the truth. There are lots of seasonal desserts out there to choose from! If your heart isn't set on pumpkin this year but you feel at a loss for what to bake, I'm sharing two pie recipes this week in anticipation for next week's big meal.

First up is an all-American classic: Apple Pie.

Classic apple pie is homemade goodness at its very best. Apples are already a delicious snack alone, so you don't need me to tell you that they're best baked, in a caramel sauce, underneath flaky, golden crust, with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on the side.

Now my mouth is watering again...

This particular slice had just come out of the oven; I clearly couldn't wait very long to scoop it on my plate.

But before the above can happen, there's just a little bit of prep work that needs to be done. Apples must be sliced; caramel sauce must be made; and dough must be rolled.

This Apple Pie recipe calls for very thinly-sliced, peeled apples - cut to about ⅛-inch thick. It'll go by faster if someone peels, the other slices. Once finished, place the slices into a large bowl and mix with lemon juice (to prevent browning).

For the caramel sauce - which I wanted to chug directly from the pot - you'll need to gently melt butter in a saucepan at medium-low heat. Stir in flour to form a paste, then add white sugar, brown sugar, water, cinnamon, nutmeg, cornstarch, and vanilla. Bring all of that to a boil. Reduce temperature and simmer for about 5 minutes or once caramel coats the back of spoon.

The fruits of your labor!

Apple Pie

  • 1 9-inch double pie crust (recipe follows)
  • 6-8 Granny Smith apples—peeled, cored and sliced (about 3½-4 cups)
  • Juice of ½-1 lemon
  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • ½ cup packed brown sugar
  • 3⅔ tablespoons water
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Egg whites (to brush crust)

1. Peel, core, and very thinly slice the apples to about ⅛-inch thick slices. Place into a large bowl and mix with lemon juice (to prevent browning).

2. Melt butter in a sauce pan at medium-low heat. Stir in flour to form a paste. Add white sugar, brown sugar, water, cinnamon, nutmeg, cornstarch, and vanilla; bring to a boil. Reduce temperature, and simmer for 5 minutes or once caramel coats the back of spoon.

3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Meanwhile, place the bottom crust in a 9-inch glass pie pan and brush with egg whites to prevent it from becoming soggy. Place your pie on an aluminum-foil covered cookie sheet. 

4. Once butter mixture is caramelized, combine with apples, reserving ¼ of mixture.  Fill pie crust with apples, mounded slightly. Cover with a lattice work crust (or normal top crust if desired) and brush top with reserved butter mixture. Bake for one hour on the middle or bottom oven rack.

Note: If using a lattice crust, cut your slices before starting on the rest of the pie and save in refrigerator until ready.

Perfect Pie Crust

  • 1½ cup Crisco (vegetable shortening)
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 egg
  • 5 tablespoons cold water
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Salt

1. In a large bowl, with a pastry cutter, gradually work the Crisco into the flour for about 3 or 4 minutes until it resembles a coarse meal. In a small bowl, beat an egg with a fork and then pour it into the flour/shortening mixture. Add 5 tablespoons of cold water, 1 tablespoon of white vinegar and 1 teaspoon of salt. Stir together gently until all of the ingredients are incorporated.

2. Separate the dough into thirds*. Form three evenly sized balls of dough and place each into separate large Ziploc bags. Using a rolling pin, slightly flatten each ball of dough (about ½ inch thick) to make rolling easier later. Seal the bags and place them in the freezer until you need them. (If you will be using it immediately it’s still a good idea to put in the freezer for about 15 to 20 minutes to chill.)

3. When you are ready to use the dough to make a crust, remove from the freezer and allow to thaw for 15 minutes. On a floured surface roll the dough, starting at the center and working your way out. (Sprinkle some flour over top of the dough if it’s a bit too moist.) If the dough is sticking to the countertop use a metal spatula and carefully scrape it up and flip it over and continue rolling until it’s about ½ inch larger in diameter than your pie pan.

4. With a spatula, lift the dough carefully from the surface of the counter into the pie pan. Gently press the dough against the corner of the pan. Go around the pie pan pinching and tucking the dough to make a clean edge.

Note: Separating it into thirds will result in three thin crusts. If you prefer a more substantial crust, separate it in half.


  1. Great recipe! Love the picture! What restaurant have you had the best apple pie? Remember to add it to your Besty List!