Nancie McDermott’s Old Fashioned Apple Pie is an easy post-apple picking fall treat

Nancie McDermott
The American South
Nancie McDermott’s Old Fashioned Apple Pie

About the recipe

Homemade apple pie is a good thing, and we all get a blessing when somebody makes one and shares it with us. Make the crust or buy it at the store — either way, a homemade heavenly heartfelt apple pie is only a few steps and an hour of oven time away.

Serves: 8

Hands On Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 2 hours and 30 minutes


Pie dough for one double-crust deep-dish pie

3/4 cup sugar

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

A generous pinch kosher salt

About 3 pounds firm, flavorful apples (5 to 7 apples)

2 tablespoons cold butter, salted or unsalted, chopped into bits

A little cream or half-and-half for brushing on the unbaked pie crust (optional)


Heat oven to 400 degrees. Line a deep-dish pie pan with one sheet of pastry, leaving about 1 inch extended beyond the edge of the pie plate. Trim away excess and save for a future piecrust. Refrigerate the bottom crust while you prepare the apple filling.

Combine the sugar, flour, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and salt in a medium bowl and use a fork to mix them well.

Peel the apples and quarter them lengthwise to make fat wedges. Cut away the stems and cores, and then slice each chunk into bite-sized pieces, enough to make six generous cups of apples. Place in a large bowl, add the sugar-spice mixture and toss well.

Arrange sugared-and-spiced apples in the prepared pie crust, piling them high in the middle and thinner around the edges of the pie crust. Place the cold bits of butter all over the apples and then gently arrange the top crust over the fruit. Tuck the pastry snugly against the edges, and trim the overhanging crust to about 1 inch past the edge of the pie pan.

Press the edges of the bottom crust and the top crust together firmly, and trim again, so that you have about an inch of joined crusts extending up above the apple line. Fold in inward and press to make a nice thick crust edge all around the pie. Then press with a fork to make a design, or pinch with your fingers, all around the edges. Anything goes, as long as the edges know to stay together forever.

Use a sharp knife or the tines of a fork to poke holes in the top crust. Make small vents all around the top so steam can escape as the pie bakes. Brush the top of the pie evenly with cream or half-and-half; or leave it as is. Place on a baking sheet and put in the center of the 400-degree oven for 15 minutes.

Lower the heat to 350 and set a timer for 45 minutes. Check the pie, and expect it to need another 15 to 30 minutes to become bubbly, handsomely browned, fragrant, and done. If in doubt, bake a little longer. If it’s browned well but still not done, place a sheet of aluminum foil lightly over the top of the pie.

Remove from the oven when bubbling, juicy, and nicely browned. Set on a wire rack or folded kitchen towels to cool at least an hour, or to room temperature. Serve at room temperature or warm, with or without ice cream or whipped cream.