This apple pie is the root of my greatest betrayal.
During my college years, some of my closest friends were the guys of N301, a neighboring apartment. One of these guys makes amazing chocolate fudge, and he and I ended up with this great arrangement where he would make me fudge and I would make him apple pie. I’m not much of a cook—honestly, the very sight of a stove gets my anxiety meter moving toward the red—but this apple pie is one of a small handful of recipes I actually enjoy making. I got fudge, he got pie, and everyone was happy.
After Fudge Man and his roommates helped me with a big project, I made an apple pie to say thank you. He was the only one home when I delivered the pie, but I made sure the remind him that this pie was meant for the whole apartment. He promised to share, and I (naively) believed him.
The next day, two of his roommates stopped in for a visit and I asked them if they’d gotten some pie. “You brought pie?!” they cried, then sprinted out the door and back to their own apartment. Not two minutes later, they came back, licking their forks clean, and said that Fudge Man had hidden the pie in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator. A few hours later, Fudge Man himself comes tearing into my apartment—throws open the door, finds me at the kitchen table, and wails, “What have you doooooonnnnnneeeee??!!!”
I might have felt a little guilty if I hadn’t been so busy laughing.
A Real Crowd Pleaser
Fudge Man’s appreciation for this pie was by no means exclusive. Whenever I made it, friends and roommates would rave. Self-declared pie haters wouldn’t just eat it, they’d return for seconds. I say none of this to brag about my own baking skills (which are paltry) but to testify of the power this recipe wields for winning over crowds and changing lives. In fact, the pie became so beloved among men, especially, that I started referring to it as the Husband-Gettin’ Apple Pie. I may not have much else going for me, but I had this pie recipe, and I just knew it would land me a man one day. (This was said with tongue planted firmly in cheek. I don’t actually think a woman needs to cook to be worthy of a husband—nor do I think her value correlates with her relationship status in general.)
Flash forward a few years, and this pie did, indeed, land me a man. I mean, the pie can’t take allllll the credit, but it sure played a role in winning Brett over. Now, he lovingly refers to it as the Husband-Keeping Apple Pie.
If you’re looking for a real showstopper for Thanksgiving dinner, Husband-Gettin’ Apple Pie is bound to satisfy. And if you’ve invited your handsome new beau to meet the family on the big day, this pie just might be the thing that gets him down on one knee.
A Few Tips for Making Husband-Gettin’ Apple Pie
You can use a variety of apples with this recipe. I always always always start with three Granny Smith apples, then make up the difference with a sweeter (but still crisp!) apple like Fujis or Galas. You need a total of 6 cups of chopped apples, so I usually end up using 3-4 of the sweeter apples, depending on how big they are. The secret to good apple pie is to not use cooked apples in your filling. Let them cook with the crust, and you won’t end up with apple mush.
It’s very important that you take your time with the crust. If you rush it, it will be a nightmare to work with. If you don’t use a metal spoon to mix it, it won’t even try to cooperate. If you give it the stink eye when you’re trying to get it into the pie pan, it will throw an absolute fit. But if you talk nice to it and give it time to think, it’ll be the lightest, flakiest, tastiest crust you’ve ever eaten. If it does fall apart when you’re lining the pie plate, you can just press pieces into place like a puzzle and it will be just fine. Honestly, that’s what I end up doing most of the time anyways. It’s a bit fiddly, but 100% worth the effort. You can thank my sweet grandmother for this part of the recipe.
The crust recipe makes enough to line a 9 1/2″ pie pan, bottom only. It can be doubled if you’d like to do a top crust. A lattice top works really well on this pie, too, but I’ve honestly never tried a full top crust, so I don’t know how it would affect baking time. (I’ve also read that pre-cooked apples are a must to avoid an unsightly gap between your apples and the top crust. As I’m not a fan of pre-cooked apple filling, I’d recommend sticking with the crumble top on this pie, personally…)
Assemble all of your pie components before you peel your apples. I always start with the crust, then mix up the crumb topping and the dry ingredients for the filling. If you mix the apples with the dry ingredients and let them sit while you make the crust or the crumb topping, they’ll get all syrupy and the pie will be soggy. Don’t mix the apples with the dry ingredients until you’re ready to put it right in the oven.
Also, you don’t have to arrange your apples all pretty in the dish. Just mix ’em up and dump ’em in. Easy as pie. (*snicker snicker snicker*)
The crust does tend to brown quickly in the oven, so I always pull the pie out about 10 minutes early to cover the edges with tin foil, shiny side out.
It’s tempting to cut into the pie right away, but it needs to cool for at least 30 minutes first. Even then, the pie might be a bit sloppy. But once it’s cool, cut yourself a slice of this delicious apple pie and top it with vanilla ice cream or whipped topping.
Husband-Gettin' Apple Pie
For the Crust
- 2 c flour
- Pinch Salt
- ½ c oil
- ¼ c milk
For the Filling
- 6 c apples (I use 3 Granny Smith and make up the rest with a sweeter apple like Fujis or Galas)
- ½ c sugar
- ¾ tsp cinnamon
- ⅛ tsp nutmeg
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp almond extract
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
For the Crumb Topping
- ½ c sugar
- ¾ c flour
- ⅓ c margarine or butter
- Preheat oven to 400° F.
Make the Crust
- Whisk oil and milk together in small bowl.
- Sift together flour and salt in a medium mixing bowl.
- Using a metal spoon, add the wet mixture to the dry mixture a few spoonfuls at a time and mix. Do not rush this step. The mixture will become crumbly and you may need to scrape dough off your spoon every so often. After all of the liquid has been added, use your hands to knead the dough until it all comes together. If the dough is too dry and crumbly, add a little more oil. If it's too wet or oily, add a bit of flour.
- Roll out the dough to 1/4" thick and line your pie dish. Cover and leave to rest in refrigerator until ready to use.
Make the Crumb Topping
- Sift together flour and sugar. Cut in margarine until crumbly. Set aside.
Make the Pie
- Sift together sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Set aside.
- Peel and core the apples, then cut into chunks about 1/4" thick. Toss with half the lemon juice about halfway through your apples to prevent browning, and add the rest of the lemon juice when all of the apples are peeled. Add almond extract and stir to combine.
- Combine apples with dry mixture and mix to coat. Pour apple mixture into prepared pie crust. Top with crumb topping, making sure to get topping evenly spread all the way out to the edges.
- Bake at 400° for 40 minutes. Remove pie from oven and cover the edges with aluminum foil to prevent burning. Return to the oven for another 10-15 minutes. Pie is ready when a knife inserted into the center cuts easily through the cooked apples.
- Allow to cool. Serve with vanilla ice cream or whipped topping.
What is your favorite thing to cook or bake? Mix some up for friends or family, or treat yourself! You can also write favorite recipes in your journal so that future generations can get a literal taste of what you like to make.