Features, Cooking Column, Homemade On The Heights

Homemade on the Heights: Apple Pie

The leaves are changing, the air is crisp, and I just went apple picking, which can only mean one thing: It is officially fall. Moving 3,000 miles away for college was the best decision I could’ve made because it led me to experience real seasons for the first time. I was born and raised in the perpetual sunshine of Los Angeles, making me oblivious to the euphoria that is New England fall foliage and quite literal farm-to-table apple pie. 

Apple picking has instantly become my favorite fall tradition, which is why it’s hard to believe I didn’t know it existed until I came to Boston. I went on my first apple picking adventure last fall and had immense culture shock. If there’s one thing I am not, it’s an outdoorsy person, so you can imagine the surprise I felt stepping off a tractor and into a seemingly never-ending orchard. Yet, before I knew it, I was on people’s shoulders, reaching through tree branches and grabbing the best apples I spotted. When I came home, I found there was no better way to use my buckets of apples than to make freshly baked apple pie. My rendition of the customary American dessert is the definition of homemade. You can use store-bought dough if that’s your prerogative, but making the crust from scratch is more fitting for the festive vibe. It may sound daunting, but I can assure you this apple pie will undoubtedly be the star of any Thanksgiving or Friendsgiving dinner. 

(Photo Courtesy of Jenny Fox)

DISH: Apple Pie 


Pie Crust:

  • 2 1/2 cups flour 
  • 1 tablespoon sugar 
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, chilled and cubed
  • 1/3 cup ice-cold water


  • Eight apples, peeled and sliced in quarter-inch slices
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • (Optional) a squeeze of lemon juice


  • In a large mixing bowl, combine apple slices with all filling ingredients. Mix until well combined and set aside. This gives the apple slices time to rest and release moisture. 

Pie Crust:

  • In a mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, and salt.
  • Add butter cubes and pinch to incorporate the butter into the dry ingredients.
  • Slowly add water until a flaky dough forms.
  • On a floured surface, knead the dough until a ball forms, then split the dough in half.
  • Tightly wrap one half in plastic wrap and place into the fridge. 
  • Roll out the remaining half until it’s a quarter-inch thick, and lay it into a deep dish pie pan. 

Assembling the Pie:

  • Stir the apple filling mixture once more now that the juices have been released.
  • Place apple filling into the pie pan, covering the base layer of the crust.
  • Remove the remaining pie crust from the fridge and roll it out on a floured surface. 
  • Place on top of filling in any desired pattern.
  • Place the apple pie in the fridge to rest and preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  • Place the pie on the bottom rack of the oven and bake for 20 minutes, then reduce heat to 350 degrees Fahrenheit to bake for a remaining 45 minutes.
  • Let cool, then serve!
October 31, 2023