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The Best Traditional Apple Pie Recipe

This is the apple pie recipe that my family has been making for Thanksgiving for as long as I can remember.  It comes from the 1962 edition of the Joy of Cooking cookbook.  Apple pie is always my favorite Thanksgiving dessert, and I have such fond memories learning how to make it with my grandmother.  Read on for the recipe!

Apple Pie

Yields: a 9-inch pie

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Line a 9-inch pie pan with:

     Pie crust or cheese pie crust (my family likes

     to use the Pillsbury pre-made dough, but if we

     have time we make our own)

Peel, core and cut into very thin pieces:

     5-6 cups of apples

Combine and sift over apples:

     ½ to ⅔ cup brown sugar

     ⅛ teaspoon salt

     1 tablespoon to 1 ½ tablespoons


     ½ teaspoon cinnamon

     ¼ teaspoon nutmeg

*Only add larger amount of sugar if your apples are very tart

*Only add larger amount of cornstarch if your apples are very juicy

Stir the apples gently until they are well coated.  Place them in layers in the pie shell.  For them with:

     1 ½ tablespoons butter

     1 tablespoon lemon juice

     ½ teaspoon grated lemon rind

     2 teaspoons vanilla (or more if you’re feeling


Cover the pie with a pricked upper crust.  Brush the crust with milk and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar before baking in a 450 degree oven for 10 minutes.  After 10 minutes, reduce the heat to 350 degrees.  Bake the pie until done, anywhere from 45 minutes to 1 hour, depending on the type of apple.  Serve warm with vanilla ice cream, if you want apple pie à la mode.  Or, my personal favorite, serve with a slice of cheddar cheese melted on top.  It sounds weird, I know, but don’t knock it until you’ve tried it!

My family always starts baking pies at least the day before Thanksgiving, if not earlier.  Then, on Thanksgiving Day, we start cooking at 6 a.m. and eat by noon.  After our big meal at noon, we sit around and play games for a few hours before eating dessert.  It’s always one of the most fun times I get to spend with my family.  This is one of my favorite recipes that my grandmother has handed down to me and my sister, and I really hope you’ll try it – or consider adding it to your Friendsgiving or Thanksgiving feast this year (or keep it all for yourself – we don’t judge)!

Rebecca Geiser is a junior at The University of Akron. She is currently majoring in Media Studies with a minor in Popular Literature and Film and a certificate in Social Media Marketing. Rebecca is passionate about musical theatre, learning random history facts, and trying new kinds of Starbucks coffee.
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