My Grandma’s apple pie recipe is highly coveted. There are hundreds of old southern church ladies who would have given their left foot to get their hands on this recipe.
Consider yourselves very lucky that I am sharing her secret recipe with you, free of charge!
In all seriousness, this recipe truly is a gem – it utilizes an extremely simple method for the filling, accompanied by the flakiest, most delicious crust.
My sweet grandma used to bake pies almost daily, especially during the summer. The crust was always the same, but she would fill it with whatever fruit was in season – blueberries, blackberries, peaches, etc. By far, though, her apple pie was the most beloved, made with “crisp June apples.”
I have never been able to find June apples in the grocery store, but Granny Smith works just fine. Once you’ve mastered the pie crust, you can replace the filling with any fruit you desire!
The crust is what really makes this recipe shine. It is sooooo flaky and buttery, but not too labor-intensive. There is no freezing or grating your butter, no food processor involved, and no chilling time. The only tools you will need are a large bowl and an old-fashioned pastry cutter.
This is not a healthy recipe. In true southern fashion, it used lots and lots of Crisco. The ingredient list is very short – flour, butter-flavored Crisco, water, and salt. Basically, the method for making the crust is cutting the Crisco into the flour, adding water until the mixture forms a dough, then rolling it out.
My mother was determined to recreate my Grandma’s apple pie exactly, so she convinced her to write out extremely detailed instructions for the crust. Unfortunately, my mom never did get around to making Grandma’s apple pie. But fortunately for you, she saved those painstakingly handwritten instructions all these years, and I now get to share these instructions for a fool-proof flaky crust.
I know my Grandma’s handwriting isn’t the best, so never fear, I have deciphered it all for you. Please enjoy my Grandma’s southern casualness (like when she says “pretty fine”) as much as I do!
My Grandma’s pie crust recipe in her own words:
Sift flour and salt into dough bowl.
Work in Crisco pretty fine.
Add water a little at a time, until dough is moistened and holds together in a ball. This will not be real stiff dough. All of the water may not be needed.
Roll out a little more than half the dough on the floured board (or whatever). Flatten it a little when you push it down.
Roll your rolling pin in flour and start rolling dough into a circle big enough to cover and hang over pie plate. Put crust in plate, fill pie, then roll out top crust. This can be thinner than the bottom crust and doesn’t have to be so big, but it should cover the edge of the pie plate and works best to hang over it a little.
After you put the top crust on, prick it all over with a fork.
I find if you roll out the bottom crust and let it sit about five minutes before you put it in the plate, it is a little easier to handle without breaking. If it does break it can be rolled up and done over, but it’s better if you don’t have to do this.
If you follow my Grandma’s instructions, you should be golden! Cut in the Crisco, add water, shape the dough, roll it out, let it rest, then move on to the filling!
Grandma’s Apple Pie Filling
The ease of this pie filling is why someone could justify making my Grandma’s Apple Pie Recipe on a daily basis.
Of course, with an apple pie recipe, you still have to go through the effort of peeling and slicing the apples.
But, that is all you have to do for the filling. There is no pre-cooking the apples on the stovetop, and no making a sugary syrup.
I was skeptical that the apples would be cooked all the way when I first made this recipe, because every other recipe I’d seen involved pre-making the filling to some extent before putting it in the crust.
But, my Grandma is no liar – it really is as easy as putting the peeled apples in the crust, dumping sugar and cinnamon on top, dotting with butter, and baking.
Grandma’s Apple Pie Recipe Printable
Well, you’re off to the races – I hope you enjoy making my Grandma’s apple pie recipe. May your dough not stick to your cutting board and may your apples be juicy – best of luck!
Grandma’s Apple Pie
- 2 heaping cups all-purpose flour
- 1 scant cup butter-flavored Crisco
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup (or less) water
- 6 or 7 large June apples, peeled and sliced any tart apple will work, such as Granny Smith
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 tbsp flour
- 1 dash of salt
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 stick butter
- Measure flour and salt into mixing bowl. Cut in shortening thoroughly.
- Sprinkle in water 1 tablespoon at a time, mixing with fork until all flour is moistened and dough almost cleans side of bowl.
- Gather dough into ball; divide in half, shape into flattened rounds on lightly floured board.
- Using floured rolling pin, roll dough 2 inches larger than inverted pie pan.
- Let dough rest for 5 minutes, then transfer to pie plate.
- After filling the dough, place the second round of dough onto the pie.
- Seal the edges of the pie, either by fluting or by pressing the edges together with a fork. Trim the excess crust if necessary.
- Place sliced apples into pastry-lined pie pan.
- Combine dry ingredients. Spread over apples.
- Dot the apple mixture generously with butter.
- Bake at 400 for 25 minutes, then reduce heat to 375 and cook 10 minutes longer.
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