Apple pie is one of those desserts that can be made for just about any occasion. They make their appearance the most in our home around Christmas time. There’s just something about warm apple pie (hold the American Pie jokes 😉) with ice-cold vanilla ice cream that is simply euphoric. I adapted this recipe from my Gram’s. She got her recipe from her mother, and I’m sure her mother got it from hers. Gram tried this version, and I’m proud to report that she whole-heartedly approves.
- 3 pounds granny smith apples, cored, peeled, and sliced
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar, plus about 2 Tbsp for topping
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 1 Tbsp apple pie spice
- 1/2 stick butter
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 stick plus 1 Tbsp shortening (I use butter Crisco)
- 1/2 cup water
Egg wash for crust:
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 Tbsp water, milk, or cream
- Preheat your oven to 400F.
- Mix flour, salt, and shortening with your fingers until little pea-sized balls form.
- Add water and mix by hand until dough forms. Add flour 1 Tbsp at a time if needed to create a dough ball.
- Cut the dough ball in half, and wrap each half in plastic wrap.
- Place the dough in the freezer for about 15 minutes to chill. This makes the dough easier to roll.
- On a floured surface, roll the dough into a 9-inch diameter crust.
- Place the crust evenly in a pie plate.
- Mix apples, sugars, and apple pie spice in a large bowl until well coated.
- Add the apple mixture to the pie crust.
- Cut the butter into chunks and place all around the apples.
- Roll out the other dough ball for the top crust.
- Cut a design in the top crust if desired.
- Place the top crust, and pinch around all sides to close the pie.
- If you don’t want a design in the top crust, just cut 4 equal slits for ventilation.
- Mix the beaten egg with 1 Tbsp of water, milk, or cream to make an egg wash.
- Brush the top crust lightly and evenly with the egg wash.
- Sprinkle the top evenly with about 2 Tbsp of granulated sugar.
- Place the pie in oven and bake for 15 minutes at 400F.
- Turn the oven down to 350F and bake for 45 minutes longer or until the crust is golden brown.
As you can see, I carved a little Christmas tree into my top crust in honor of the season. Yes, I did this free-hand. With a steak knife. And it shows. However, I think it gives my pie character. My star on top went a little wonky in the baking process, and the tree may not be perfectly even, but it’s mine. Feel free to use a cookie cutter, or just cut slits in the top if you don’t want a design. I’ve also made little holly berries and leaves out of dough and placed them on top. You could also do a lattice crust if that’s your thing. This pie is fairly easy to make, and the fresh apples will blow any pre-made apple pie filling out of the water.
Thank you to my sweet Gram ❤️ for instilling in me the joy of baking. You’re the absolute best.