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Old Fashion Apple Pie - Recipe for an American Icon

Updated on July 31, 2017
Phyllis Doyle profile image

Phyllis loves to share recipes from her 'Down Home Recipes Box', which has recipes handed down from three or more generations ago.

Old Fashion Apple pie is an American Icon

Apple pie
Apple pie | Source

On The Front Porch With Family

A favorite dessert of country folks, and all folks, is old fashion apple pie. It is a down home comfort food that just makes everyone feel good. So, come on along and sit on the front porch with family and enjoy the company and the pie.

One of the best things about autumn is sitting on the front porch with family and waiting for those fresh apple pies to come out of the oven. The aroma of apples and cinnamon drifting out of Grandma's kitchen is heavenly. There is nothing better than to sit on the front porch with family and friends on an autumn evening and pass out plates of warm apple pie with vanilla ice cream melting slowly and dripping off the edges of the flaky and delicate pastry.

Old Fashion Apple Pie

Prep time: 1 hour
Cook time: 1 hour
Ready in: 2 hours
Yields: Serves six to eight people.


  • 6 to 7 cups Apples, peeled and sliced not too thin
  • 3/4 to 1 cup Sugar, depends on sweetness of apples
  • 2 Tablespoons Flour
  • 1 Teaspoon Cinnamon, I prefer a little more cinnamon
  • 1/8 Teaspoon Nutmeg, ground
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Salt
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter


  1. Mix together in large bowl the sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Add the apple slices and gently mix till all pieces are coated with the dry mix.
  2. Heap the apple mixture in a 9" pastry lined pie pan. Dot the butter on top of the apples. Place the top crust on and very gently press down a little with hands. Seal and crimp the edge of pastry with a fork or make a nice fluted edge like my Grandma taught me: Push knuckle of index finger against pastry edge as you pinch the sides of the pastry around the sides of your knuckle. Once you get the hang of this it goes pretty fast. Pierce top crust in several places with fork.
  3. Bake in hot oven at 425 degrees 50 to 60 minutes, till crust is browned slightly and apples are tender. Let cool till just warm to touch and serve with vanilla ice cream.
  4. If you like getting fancy, you can cut leaf shaped pastry pieces and place them in a design on top crust. Another nice touch is to moisten the top crust and sprinkle a little sugar over it before placing in oven.
Cast your vote for Old Fashion Apple Pie

Make it Your own Signature Apple pie

The apple pie recipe given is very basic and traditional. You can make it a pie that everyone associates with you - your own signature apple pie.

Variations in the ingredients can be to add chopped nuts, like walnut, hazelnut, pecan, or almond. Use light brown sugar or honey instead of white granulated sugar. Before baking the pie, brush the top crust with sweet cream and sprinkle a little sugar over it - maybe even some sliced almonds or crushed walnuts.

Or try a Dutch style apple pie which is similar to the traditional apple pie that is an American icon.

Make a fresh pot of coffee and enjoy your pie with your family and friends.

Granny Smith Apples are Great for Pies

Granny Smith apples
Granny Smith apples | Source

Choosing the Best pie Apples

Choosing the right kind of apples is key to making a delicious apple pie or dumpling. Granny Smith or Pippin apples will make the best tasting pies if mixed with Golden Delicious apples.

If the apples are really juicy, add a little corn starch to the mixing bowl.

Another tip for the best apples to choose is to use locally grown apples that were picked when ripe.

So Many Varieties of Apples

Apple varieties
Apple varieties | Source

My Favorite pie Crust Recipe

My favorite pie crust is quick and easy to make. The pastry is blended with an electric mixer rather than the traditional method of using two knives or a pastry blender till the mixture is broken up to the size of small peas. This pastry should have a texture like coarse cornmeal before adding the water.

Ingredients for a two crust, 9" pie

2/3 cup vegetable shortening
1 3/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup cold water

In mixing bowl blend at low speed the shortening, flour and salt for about 30 seconds. Texture should be like coarse cornmeal. Add the 1/4 cup water all at once and mix on low speed for about 15 seconds or until dough is moistened and holds together.

Shape dough into a ball. It should be moist. Divide ball in half. Place one half on floured surface, flatten down a little and sprinkle with a little flour. Roll into a circle that will fit your pie pan.

Tips for Working With pie Dough

I used to always have so much trouble getting the pie dough rolled out to the right size and transfer it from the bread board to the pie pan. I usually ended up piecing pastry into the pan and pressing it together with my fingers - hoping it would turn out okay.

Over the years I learned a few tricks. First of all, as one elderly neighbor lady told me, my hands are too warm. "Warm hands", she said, "make the dough tough and hard to work with." She told me to handle the dough as little as possible. Also, I never seemed to have enough dough to fill the pan, cover the top and still have enough to make a pretty fluted edge.

Now, I barely touch the dough and make twice as much as I need for the pie. Before I roll out the dough, I lightly spray cold water on my counter and place a thin cotton towel down. I sprinkle flour on the towel and my rolling pin then with wooden spoons gather a little more dough than I need, pat it together with the spoons and roll it out, sprinkling more flour on as needed.When the circle is large enough I put more flour on the rolling pin and place it at the edge of the dough nearest me. Taking the edge of the towel and gently pulling it up and away from me it makes the rolling pin roll up inside the dough.I keep pulling till the entire circle of dough is rolled up, lay the towel down and pick up the rolling pin and unroll the dough loosely over the pie pan.

It takes just a little pat here and there to make sure the dough fits nicely inside the pan. With a sharp knife I cut off the edge of the dough, leaving just a slight extra overlap all around.

The pie filling is added then the top crust is put in place. The top crust is rolled out and transferred to the pie in the same manner as the bottom crust, with at least 1/4 inch overlap around the edge. Tuck the top crust edging underneath the bottom crust edging all around and flute the edges with fingers.

Roll out any extra pie dough and transfer it to a cookie sheet. Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar and bake till done. The kids will love it. I like it with a cup of hot tea.

Homemade pie Crust

Dutch Apple pie

Dutch apple pie is similar to old fashion apple pie with the exception of the top crust. Rather than a full crust there is a lattice work top or a crumb topping. Raisins and about 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice are sometimes added to the apple filling.

The crumb topping in quite simple to make. The ingredients are flour, sugar, cinnamon, and butter.

  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar (I prefer to use a light brown sugar)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • finely chopped walnuts (optional)

Combine all ingredients and blend thoroughly. Sprinkle on top of pie before baking. This gives a nice delicate crunchy texture in every bite and is delicious.

Dutch Apple pie With Lattice top Shows off the Delicious Filling

Apple pie with latice work or a crumb crust is typical of the Dutch apple pie recipe.
Apple pie with latice work or a crumb crust is typical of the Dutch apple pie recipe. | Source

© 2010 Phyllis Doyle Burns


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