Sunday, February 2, 2014

Dad's Apple Pie (for Stephen)

I have often said that my Dad's apple pie was the best I have ever had.  Now, part of my love for that pie could be because it was my Dad who made it.  But for the most part, it is seriously good pie.  Stephen from "Standing Outside Looking In" left a request in the comment sections of one of my posts.  He said he would like the recipe for Dad's apple pie.  So here it is.

This is the pie crust recipe that my family has used for well over 60 years.  Maybe longer.  It is the one I used when Mom first taught me how to make a pie and it is the one I still use.


3 cups flour
1 tsp. salt
1 cup lard
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 Tbsp. vinegar
3 Tbsp. water

Stir the salt into the flour.  Cut in the lard until the mixture resembles coarse cornmeal.  Combine the egg, vinegar and water and stir into the flour mixture.  Makes enough for 2 two-crust pies.

Dad's Apple Pie:

6-7 tart apples (Dad just kept peeling and slicing apples until he had enough to fill a pie pan to nearly overflowing.  Don't skimp on the apples.)

3/4 - 1 cup sugar
2 Tbsp. flour
1 tsp. cinnamon
dash nutmeg
dash salt

Stir the above ingredients to combine.  Pour over apples and stir just to coat them.  Fill a pie pan that holds the bottom crust.
Dot the apples with about 2 Tbsp. butter and add the top crust, cut vents and sprinkle with a little sugar.
Bake at 375 degrees for 50 - 60 minutes.

It took me a while to find the recipe.  It was in my parent's old recipe box, and you don't just find a recipe quickly in there.  You have to wade through handwritten recipe cards and typewritten recipe cards.  Recipes were jotted down on the backs of envelopes, on pieces of folded notebook paper or just on scraps of whatever paper was handy at the time.  There are pieces of plastic cut from coconut or chocolate chip bags, and one from a Butterball Turkey bag.  Then there are the newspaper clippings.  Lots of those.  It is a time capsule of sorts.  One of the envelopes was dated 1973 and another sometime in the 1960's.

It is sort of like looking at old photos of family and friends.  There is a recipe for something called a Campari Sandwich that I remember a neighbor girl making for a 4-H demonstration.  There is one for Christmas date cookies written by my Aunt Etta who departed this earth years ago.  There are several recipes from my Aunt Em, Mom's sister.  Everything she made was oh, so good.

There is one recipe that Dad would never show me.  He said I could have it after he died, because he had given his word that he wouldn't share it with anyone.  That was a donut recipe using a donut maker.  Dad was a grain sampler, which means that he spent his days climbing into boxcars at the railroad yard and taking samples of wheat, oats and barley to be tested.  He would go for coffee with the other fellows on his crew to the local donut shop, where he pestered the owner for her recipe - for years.  She finally gave it to him the day she closed up shop and retired.

One day when I am feeling ambitious, I need to type up all the recipes so I can find the one I need without going on a treasure hunt.  But I intend to leave the recipe box just as it is.  It just wouldn't be right if it was all neat and tidy.  The jumble is half the fun.


  1. On behalf of Sweet Wife and myself (she said, "That's so sweet of her.") thank you very much, dear Vicki. What a wonderful family history to inherit. A little box of history. It shall be printed and the next free afternoon I have open...into the oven.

  2. My pleasure. I hope you and Sweet Wife enjoy it as much as I do. When I go through that old recipe box, it is a toss-up as to whether I laugh at all those little bits and pieces that are so typical of my parents, or cry for missing them. Mostly, I just chuckle and remember good stuff.

  3. Rob, You are welcome. I know that the recipe is nothing special, but I think the reason it was so good is that Dad stuffed it as full of apples as possible. Enjoy.

  4. I believe I have the twin to that recipe box. lol Love it, old, stained recipes that turn out amazing dishes.

  5. JMD.....Isn't it just fun to go through an old recipe box? There are so many that I remember from my childhood. Even some that I gave to Mom and Dad years ago, that I had somehow lost over time. Everything was made from scratch and oh, so good. Old recipe boxes are a treasure. Thanks for visiting.

  6. Apple pie is my fav. With ice cream.

  7. Yeah, Rob. Me, too. All this talk of pie, I think I'm gonna have to get some apples and make one.