Apple Pie

When assembling an apple pie, it's best to shape the filling in a mound to prevent a concave pie.  In a pie with a top crust, forming the filling into a mound will help prevent a gap or bubble between the filling and top crust.  When fruit is baked, steam is released, which rises and expands from the center beneath the top crust.  Meanwhile, the fruit inside has collapsed to form the gooey filling.  But the most important first step in avoiding a hollow concave pie is to select the right kind of apple.


Golden Delicious (one of the best cooking apples, sweet, rich, and mellow) work very well, or you can also use Granny Smith (very crisp and tart, best when paired with a sweeter apple), Cortland (juicy and slightly tart), Empire (slightly tart), Mutsu/Crispin (juicy, crisp, and sweet), Honey Crisp (crisp, juicy, and honey sweet), Jonagold (tangy-sweet), and Winesap (sweet and firm)


Red Delicious, McIntosh, Rome Beauty, Macoun, Jonathan, Fuji, and Gala, as they break down quickly when baked and become mealy or mushy.

Apple-Raisin Sour Cream Pie  

1 Graham Cracker Crust

1/4 cup graham cracker crumbs

1 tbsp margarine, melted

1/2 tsp sugar substitute

4 cups apples, sliced, cored, and peeled

2 tsp lemon juice

1/4 cup dark raisins

1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream

1 egg white, beaten

3 1/2 tsp sugar substitute

1 tbsp flour

1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

1/8 tsp ground nutmeg


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine graham cracker crumbs, margarine, and sugar substitute, and set aside.

Toss apples with lemon juice in large bowl.

Add raisins.

Combine sour cream and remaining ingredients, and spoon mixture over apples, mixing until apples are coated.

Spoon apple mixture into crust.

Sprinkle with reserved crumb mixture.

Bake until apples are tender, about 55 minutes.

Cool on wire rack.

Mock Apple Pie  

(Click here for information about Mock Apple Pie)

1 Basic 9" Double Pie Crust (unbaked)

Ritz Crackers, Saltines, or soda crackers, coarsely broken - about 1 3/4 cups crumbs

1 3/4 cups water

2 cups sugar

2 tsp cream of tartar

2 tbsp lemon juice

Grated peel of one lemon

2 tbsp butter

1/2 tsp cinnamon


Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Place cracker crumbs in pie crust and set aside.

Heat water, sugar, and cream of tartar to a boil in a saucepan over high heat.  Simmer 15 minutes, creating a syrup.

Add lemon juice and lemon peel.


Pour syrup over cracker crumbs.

Dot with butter and sprinkle with cinnamon.

Place the top crust and cut slits to vent steam and crimp the edges sealed.

Bake 30-35 minutes until crust is crisp and golden.

Cool completely before serving.

Old-Fashioned Apple Pie


(This pie was so tasty, by the time a camera was at hand, this sad little piece was all that was left.)

1 Basic 9" Double Pie Crust (unbaked)

2/3 cup sugar

3 tbsp flour

1/4 tsp ground allspice

1/8 tsp nutmeg

1/2 tsp cinnamon

3 pounds of apples (peeled, cored, and thinly sliced)

1 tsp vanilla extract

Egg wash


Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Combine sugar, flour and spices in large bowl.

Mix in the apples so they are well coated.

Add the vanilla extract.

Place apple filling into pie crust, forming a slight mound.

Place the top crust and cut slits to vent steam (or use a lattice top) and crimp the edges sealed.

Apply egg wash.

Bake for 30 minutes, then reduce heat to 350 and bake an additional 30-45 minutes, until the crust is golden and the juices are bubbling.

Apple Crumble Pie  

1 Basic 9" Pie Crust (unbaked)

5 cups apples (peeled, cored, and thinly sliced)

1/2 cup white sugar

For the topping:

3/4 tsp cinnamon

1/3 cup white sugar

3/4 cup flour

1/4 cup + 2 tbsp butter


Preheat oven to 400 degrees

Arrange apples in unbaked crust

Mix 1/2 cup sugar and cinnamon.  Sprinkle over apples.

Mix 1/3 cup sugar with flour and cut in butter until crumbly.  Spoon mixture over apples.

Bake in preheated oven for 35-40 minutes, or until apples are soft and top is lightly browned.

Fred's Famous Apple Pie  

Crust: 2 cups flour

2/3 cup vegetable oil

1/4 tsp salt

1/3 cup milk

Filling: 3 cups peeled and sliced apples (about 2 pounds worth)

1/2 cup sugar

3 tbsp butter

1/8 tsp nutmeg

Assemble in 9" pie pan and bake at 375 for about 50 minutes or until crust is golden brown - YUMMY

submitted by Rosemary

“Pessimism is as American as apple pie-frozen apple pie with a slice of processed cheese.”

George F. Will

Pies to use in baking:

One of the most common questions is “what kind of apples should I use in my apple pie?”  As a general rule, apples that are good for eating are not good for baking.  Dry, tart apples work best and are most resistant to shrinkage.  For best results, try mixing 2-3 varieties (some tart, some sweet) in the same pie.

Or you can avoid such weighty decisions altogether and try a

mock apple pie.


During World War II, apples were expensive due to short supply.  But apple pie remained the quintessential dessert.  Mock Apple Pie became a popular substitute when the recipe was printed on the back of the Ritz Crackers box.  Many believe this was the origin of Mock Apple Pie, but it actually traces back to at least 1852, invented by pioneer women as a treat for their children who missed the apple pie they had back east.  The recipe is included in Mrs. B.C. Whiting's How We Cook in Los Angeles (1894).  Civil War soldiers even used their hardtack rations to simulate apple pies.

The basic recipe is an amazing feat of molecular gastronomy, especially considering the relatively primitive circumstances in which it was invented:  The addition of cream of tartar (an acidic compound often used in baking) helps the crackers hold their shape and prevents the syrup from crystallizing.  The cream of tartar also breaks down the sucrose in the syrup into glucose and fructose - resembling the sugar content in apples.  Also, since Americans associate cinnamon (and lemon to a lesser extent) with apple desserts, the use of both in this recipe tricks the brain into filling in the blank - there's cinnamon and lemon, therefore there must be apples!  

Mock Apple Pie Baking tips:

Different crackers will yield different results:  The high fat content in Ritz crackers makes a dense, buttery filling.  Soda crackers hold their shape well, making a striated filling resembling actual apple pie.  Saltines yield a light, airy filling.

Before adding the syrup to the crackers, taste it first.  If you don't like the syrup, you won't like the pie.  Serving Mock Apple Pie a la mode improves the results dramatically (especially if the pie is too sweet for your taste).  Finally, make sure to form the crackers into a mound.  A flat pie looks suspiciously fake.

Mock Apple Pie recipe