The Dish

Easy as Pie

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When I was growing up my family had a large backyard, where we had glorious fruit trees, one granny smith apple and one apricot tree.  The trees were large and bloomed heavily in the spring… apple blossoms were white and the apricot was pretty in pink.  Luckily the fruit arrived at different times of the year.  The apricots were ripe around the Fourth of July and the apples were ready to pick in September.

When the fruit was ripe was when we got to work.  Some of the fruit we canned, some we made into jam and jelly, and the rest was made into pie.  You see, my Dad loved pie.  His happy dinner always ended with pie.

Mom and I would work together spending an entire weekend making pies for the freezer.  We had a large roomy chest freezer that sat in the kitchen between the stove and the refrigerator.  Its top made a great workspace for preparing food.  But its main purpose was storing food… lots of it.

We would start early, Mom and I…

and we formed an assembly line to make pie after pie that was carefully wrapped and frozen in our big deep freeze.  It was a lot of work, but so wonderful later to be able to take a pie from the freezer and bake it for dinner that night.  The cost of the fruit was free…so these were very economical to make.  As the pies were eaten we always saved the thin aluminum pans, washed them, and neatly stacked them in the garage for next year.

As I write this post, all these steps makes it sound like a lot of work.  But, it wasn’t… and looking back I see how smart it was.  We had homemade pie nearly every Sunday in the winter.  It was inexpensive to make because the fruit was free from our own trees… and we were green for reusing the pie tins over and over again.

But, let’s go back to my Dad.  After dinner, Mom would bring the pie and dessert plates to the dining table.  She would start to cut nice slices of pie for each of us, when Dad would say, “Oh, just give me a sliver”.   By the end of the meal Dad would have had three slivers… because the pie was so sweet and delicious it went down like… well, “easy as pie”.  By the time he’d ask for the fourth sliver, we’d all be laughing.  All these years later my brother, Steve, and I still laugh about Dad’s slivers.

So, today I’m sharing a recipe for apple pie.

My twist on this American classic is that I use less sugar in the filling and I top the pie with a Sweet Cookie Crust.  You get a little tartness of the apples balanced with the sweetness of the top crust.  To make this recipe quicker to make, I use a frozen pie shell for the botton crust.

Although, I still love the apples of my childhood, the apples in this recipe are not Granny Smith, only because they take a longer bake time.  So for this pie I like to use a Gala, Jonathan, or Honeycrisp apple because their bake time is about 15 minutes less than a harder and denser apple like the Granny Smith.  But, if you like a bit more tartness to the filling go ahead and use Grannies.  Just cook them a bit after peeling and cutting and before you make the filling.  Oh… I almost forgot.  I had about of cup of blackberries in the fridge that looked so good I added them to my filling… which is totally optional.

Lastly, please check out my last two charts, Pie Crusts and Washes for Baked Goods and you will see this recipe was built from those basics.  I hope you find this recipe, Easy as Pie and as delicious as I do!

Apple Pie on a White Plate

Today’s recipe is:  Apple Pie with Sweet Cookie Crust

Today’s charts are:  Pie Crusts and Washes for Baked Goods