Grandma’s Apple Pie Filling

This week when I turned to my favorite craft column in our Sunday newspaper, I saw a headline that I think all of us DIY crafty types need to hear once in awhile.  It said “Dear Crafters, it’s OK to not make everything this Halloween”.  She went on to say that for years she felt she had to always sew her kids’ costumes and make treats from scratch and would end up running a marathon to get everything done on time, leaving her tired and exhausted.  This year she gave herself permission to take a break and just buy the costumes.  And that’s OK too.

So what does this have to do with apple pie filling?  Well I debated on sharing this recipe because when I recently made this apple pie I cheated.  Yup, I unfurled a storebought pie crust and plopped it in the pan and then proceeded onward with the rest of my Grandma’s apple pie recipe.

It’s never been my intention on this blog to create guilt about homemade having to be an “Everything – All The Time” lifestyle.  Just as crafters might need to give themselves permission to skip a homemade costume for the kids once in awhile, I think us DIY types can also give ourselves permission to take shortcuts when needed as well.  Like when you want to use up those extra apples around the house for a pie – But really don’t feel like you have time to make a pie – So you pick up a ready-made pie crust the next time you’re at the store  – And you don’t beat yourself up about it.

Yeah, that’s how it happens around here sometimes.

In fact I’ve been laying awake in bed some nights wondering if I should change the name of this blog to better reflect this sentiment.  It’s always been my hope to give you options and resourceful ideas that you can integrate into your lifestyle as it works for you, and not to lay a burden of guilt on you that things must always be homemade all the time.   I’ve written before about those times when you feel too buy for homemade, and some of the strategies I use along with remembering that it’s always good to stay flexible.

homemade apple pie filling

So with that in mind, here’s how apple pie making happened at our house recently.  Even though there are times when I’ve used my Grandma’s depression-era pie crust recipe, last week was not one of those times.  (That double crust recipe is 1-1/2 cups flour, 6 Tbl shortening, a pinch of salt, and a 1/4 cup of water if any of you are curious).   The apples need to be peeled and cut and that’s the longest part of the process depending on how skilled you are with a paring knife or if you have one of those handy gadgets for coring and slicing apples.  But once that’s done, all the other ingredients for this filling simply get layered or sprinkled over the apples.

Here’s how to do it:

Grandma’s Apple Pie Filling


  • Apples (I usually use about 8 apples)
  • 1/2 cup Sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon Nutmeg
  • 1 or 2 tablespoons Butter

You will also need a double pie crust (a crust for the bottom, and a crust for the top)

1.  Peel and slice the apples, also removing the cores as you slice them up.

2.  Place one of the unbaked pie crusts in a 9″ pie pan.

3.  Place the sliced apples in the pie crust.  You want enough sliced apples so that they are mounded up a little bit in the pan as they will soften and sink down slightly as they bake.

4.  Sprinkle each of the dry ingredients over the sliced apples in the pie pan.

homemade apple pie filling

5.  Cut small slices off of a stick of butter and dot them around over the apples.

homemade apple pie filling

6.  Finish by covering with the second pie crust and cut slits in the top crust to vent.

7.  Bake at 400 degrees for 40 minutes.

making an apple pie with aluminum pie crust protectors

Many times I’ve found it helpful to cover the edges of my pie crusts with a piece of tin foil to keep the edges from burning before the rest of the pie is done.  But this time I used these handy pie-crust-edge-protector things that I found at my mother-in-law’s house when everything had to be cleaned out for a move.  Has anyone else seen these things before? They work great!

I thought maybe these were something old that couldn’t be bought anymore but guess what?  Here they are on Amazon: Aluminum Pie Crust Shields.  They work soooo much better than fiddling with those little strips of tin foil like I used to do.


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  1. The other day I apologized to my daughter whose family had joined my husband and me for dinner as we were serving up helpings of strawberry shortcake. I’d used a boxed pound cake mix, something I’ve not done in 20 years. She scoffed at my silliness reminding me that she’d once apologized to my mother for using a purchased cake mix. She said Mom had looked surprised and responded, “Well why on earth wouldn’t you?” There’s a time for everything.