Best Apple(sauce) pie EVER

There is more than one way to skin a cat. Or so I'm told.

There is also more than one way to make an apple pie.

The classic American apple pie--you know, the one you get at a diner or in the frozen food section--typically consists of large chunks or slices of apple in a very sweet, thick sauce, all contained under and in a thick crust. And I don't like it. Something about the texture of the gooey sauce and the lackluster apple flavor... This just isn't my thing.

I grew up with a very different apple pie. Instead of slicing or dicing, the apples were shredded (using a food processor), then mixed with sugar and cinnamon (possible another spice or two), plopped in pie crust and baked (without a top crust). Something about the intense apple flavor and the homogeneity of each bite. This is better.

However, I recently discovered my favorite apple pie in my own kitchen. Applesauce pie presents this paradox of simplicity of ingredients and complexity of flavors. The texture is distinct from either of the two I described. It melts in your mouth. It pleases the tongue. This is a new favorite for Paramed and me.

The lab manual for this experiment was The All-New Ultimate Southern Living Cookbook--not one I use frequently but general execution of recipes are deemed successes. An advantage to this particular recipe is that it is best once it has cooled completely, so you can make it a day or two in advance of serving it without a problem--provided you have a safe with biometric scanners in which to store it.

So, just in time for the holidays:

Applesauce pie


  • 10 large Granny Smith apples, peeled and chopped
  • 1 large lemon, sliced and seeded
  • 2-1/2 cups of sugar
  • 3 tablespoons butter (or margarine)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 (15-ounce) package refrigerated piecrusts (don't forget to bring to room temperature before use)
  • Cook the apples, lemon, and sugar in a Dutch oven (or a very large skillet or pot) over medium heat, stirring often, until thickened (~35 to 40 min). Remove from heat. Discard lemon. Add butter and vanilla. Allow to cool.
  • Fit 1 pie crust to a 9-inch pie plate. Pour applesauce filling into crust.
  • Unroll, cut remaining pie crust into 1/2-inch wide strips, and arrange in lattice pattern over filling. Other top crust options would probably work and be less complicated to execute. As you can see in the pic, I opted to leave the top crust off altogether on another occasion.
  • Bake on lowest rack in over at 425 F for 30 to 35 min or until golden. Cool on a wire rack.
  • Try to keep your spouse from eating it all before serving it.

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