Happy Endings

It's as American as apple pie. An oft-heard phrase, but in the end, isn't it about how delicious the flaky pastry, tart apples and blend of exquisite spices tastes? You won't be disappointed in this month's offering. Three pounds of tart apples are tossed with a combination of white and brown sugar and a great blend of spices that gives the final product a spiced caramel sauce beneath a flaky crust that's sure to impress.

I highly recommend serving this pie with a scoop of vanilla ice cream after a family dinner or special gathering. Cups of milk and mugs of coffee are the final touch. If it's a hot night, wander out to the deck and enjoy your dessert in the cool night air while watching fireflies dance along the edges of the yard. Summer is here. Enjoy it.

All-American Apple Pie


  • 3/4 c. butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 c. flour
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 3-5 T. milk


  • 3 lbs. tart apples, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 c. white sugar
  • 1/2 c. brown sugar
  • 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1 T. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp. ground mace
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp. ground allspice


  • 1 tsp. milk
  • 1 tsp. white sugar

To make the crust, using a fork or your fingers, mix the butter with the flour, sugar and salt until it looks likes peas and crumbles. Drizzle the milk in bit by bit, using the fork or a spoon to blend the crust until it just sticks together. Divide the dough in two pieces, one bigger than the other—roughly 2/3 and 1/3. The larger piece will be the bottom crust. Pat the pieces into disc shapes and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate at least 20 minutes.

Position the oven rack in the lowest third of the oven and preheat to 400°. In a large bowl, toss the apples with the sugars, flour, lemon juice and spices. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and roll out on a lightly floured surface. The larger round will be the bottom crust. Transfer the larger round to a 9-inch pie plate and trim the overhang to 1/2 inch. Brush the edge lightly with water. Transfer the apple mixture to the crust, mounding in the center. Top with the second crust. Trim the overhang to 1 inch, fold the top crust edge under the bottom crust edge and press to seal. Cut several slits in the top crust to allow steam to escape. For the topping, brush the crust with the milk and sprinkle with the sugar. Place the pie on a baking sheet. Bake at 400° for 10 minutes then reduce the heat to 375°. Cook until the crust is brown and the juice starts to bubble out, about 1 hour. You may want to cover the edges with foil as they tend to brown very quickly. Transfer pie to a rack and cool.

  • Yields: 8 servings
  • Preparation Time: 90 minutes