As far back as I can remember, there was always a fresh baked pie at every family gathering compliments of Grandma Ruth. Just as iconic as the classic American apple pie, perfect in its simplicity of flavor pairings, was the braided wicker basket my grandmother happily carried to every event and cookout. You always knew you were in for a treat when you saw Grandma Ruth with that basket!
Some of my fondest memories were spent with my grandmother, learning her secrets of baking—which I now realize were a labor of love creating the background for lasting memories and traditions to be shared with family and friends.
Today, I am nostalgic and delighted to carry on the tradition of my grandmother’s famous apple pie, which I always proudly present in one of my colorful pottery bakers. I hope you will enjoy this recipe, and that you create treasured memories with your friends and family as well!
3 cups flour
1 ¼ cup shortening
½ teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon vinegar
6-7 large granny smith apples
¾ cup sugar
¼ cup flour
½ teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup flour
1 cup butter
½ cup packed brown sugar
In a large mixing bowl (I like to use our “batter” sized bowl, as it is the perfect size for mixing ingredients for most baking recipes), combine all ingredients until thoroughly mixed. Knead dough into ball. Sprinkle rolling pin and flat surface with flour to prevent sticking. Roll out pie crust and place into your favorite pie baker, pressing into shape. Use the extra dough to add to the sides, pinching around the perimeter of your crust to create higher sides to hold in all the apple-y goodness that is about to happen! (I LOVE my pie baker in the colorful Julie Stripe pattern with a fluted edge—the colorful pattern on the outside is beautiful for the initial presentation, and as the pie is served it reveals a fanciful pattern detail on the inside!)
Next peel, core, and slice your green apples—I like to slice apples into medium sized apple chunks, as thicker apple slices will add a little crispness into each bite. Any tart apples will work—I prefer Granny Smith. Combine apple slices with sugar, flour, and spices and mix until ingredients are evenly dispersed. Place apple mixture into pie crust.
Now for the magic…otherwise known as crumb topping! Mix flour and brown sugar. Section chilled butter into cubes and cut into dry mixture until mixture is crumbly. I like to use a potato masher, or a large fork, for cutting in the butter. Evenly sprinkle crumb topping over apple filling. Bake 40-50 minutes at 425 degrees. Enjoy!
Recipe credit: Ruth Marie Clark