This post may contain affiliate links.
My grandma's old fashioned apple pie recipe is one that never goes out of style. It features sweet apples coated in a sugary-cinnamon mix. The crust is made with shortening instead of butter, which really let's the apples shine. And it's all finished off with a crumble topping that is really unrivaled. Some things just don't need to be improved upon.
I don't know about you, but whenever a recipe starts with "Grandma's", I feel like I can automatically trust it, right? Has your grandma ever led you astray on dessert choices? Probably not.
Well, this one is no different, my friends. As I mentioned above, this apple pie is a staple in our family's household. It is featured at almost every family gathering, and rightfully so. The sweet apples tossed in cinnamon with the sweet and salty crumble topping is a pairing that you won't ever be able to get enough of.
Shortening: Shocker! You'll find shortening instead of butter used in the pie crust. I grew up like this, and TBH- I like it better than butter crust! The shortening gives the apples and dutch topping more of a canvas for standing out. Give it a shot!
Granny Smith Apples: Some people are surprised to see that I use granny smith apples in this recipe. Here's the deal- they stay nice and crisp when baking, rather than getting mushy, so they add a wonderful texture to the final product. The bit of sourness from the apples also contrasts wonderfully with the sweetness from the rest of the pie, so instead of a sickeningly sweet bite, you get the perfect amount of sweetness every time.
Dutch Topping: In my opinion, a dutch topping is the best way to top an apple pie. It gives an extra layer of crunch, along with a TON of flavor. I think this'll be your new fav!
Tips for Making a Perfect Pie Crust
Chilling the Shortening: If you can, you'll want to chill the shortening in the fridge for a bit before cutting it into the flour mixture. This will help to keep you from overworking the shortening into the dough, which will ultimately give you the flakiest crust! You can even just chill in the freezer for 10 minutes, if you're short on time.
Cutting in the Shortening: The step in the pie crust section that calls for cutting the shortening into the dough should be short and sweet! There should still be quite a few pea-size chunks leftover in the dough. This will help to create those yummy flakes we're going for!
Chill the Dough: Chill the dough for at least 30 minutes before you roll it out. This will help to keep the shortening from melting into the crust, which will ultimately lead to that flaky crust, just like the "Chilling the Shortening" step above!
Storage: Store covered on the counter for up to 3 days
Other recipes you might like:
- Strawberry Rhubarb Tartlets with Italian Meringue
- Blueberry Ginger Crisp
- Cranberry Vanilla Custard Pie
- Grandma's Cherry Crisp
Grandma's Dutch Apple Pie
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp salt
- ⅔ cup plus 2 tbsp shortening
- 4-6 tbsp ice cold water
- 10 medium granny smith apples
- ¾ cup sugar
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ½ cup packed brown sugar
- ½ cup butter, straight from the fridge
- Preheat oven to 400 fahrenheit.
Make the Pie Crust.
- Combine flour and salt in a bowl.
- Cut in shortening using a pastry blender, knife, or hands, until the largest pieces are about the size of hazelnuts.
- Sprinkle in water, 1 tablespoon at a time, moistening the flour with your hands or a fork. Gather into a ball. If the ball crumbles easily, continue adding 1 tbsp of water at a time and working into the dough until no longer crumbly.
- Refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes (you can prepare the filling during this time).
- Flour a large board or countertop. On the floured surface, roll dough out into about a 12 inch circle or until about ⅛ of an inch thick. Every so often, use a pastry scraper or a knife to lift up the dough and sprinkle flour underneath to keep the dough from sticking to the surface.
- Using the rolling pin, transfer the dough to the pie dish, either 8 or 9 inch will work. To transfer to the dish, roll the dough up onto the rolling pin, then move to the pan and unroll.
- Trim the crust at the top edge of the pan, and if desired, decorate edges of crust. I like to crimp the edges by pressing one side of the crust with my thumb and pointer finger, and the other with the thumb of my other hand. I work my way around the whole crust until it is all crimped.
- Put pan in refrigerator until ready.
Prepare the Filling.
- Peel and slice apples. This is easiest with an apple corer/peeler/slicer if you have one, but you can also do this by hand. There should be about 7 cups of apples for filling once peeled and sliced.
- Mix together sugar, flour, and cinnamon. Combine with the apple mixture and toss until apples are evenly coated.
- Fill prepared pie crust with the apple mixture. It will be mountainous- this is what you want.
Make the Topping.
- Combine the flour and brown sugar.
- Add butter, and incorporate into the flour mixture using a pastry blender or a knife and your hands.
- Spread topping onto the apple mixture.
- Bake at 400 for 15 minutes.
- Decrease the temperature to 375 and bake for 30 minutes, or until the topping is a dark golden brown.
- Allow to sit for at least 4 hours, then serve or store.
Did you make this old fashioned apple pie recipe? I want to know! Post it on social media, tag @battersandblessings, and add #battersandblessings so I can see your creation 🙂