Mary Spellman's Apple Pie

This delicious recipe is sure to be a favorite among the pie lovers in your family.

Posted in , Jun 28, 2012

Mary Spellman's Apple Pie

This is a recipe that Beth first made when she was working at Mary Spellman's Malibu Kitchen. Beth still uses Mary's recipe for the filling, along with her own crust recipe, in the pies she sells at her Pitchfork Pie Stand.

Beth's Pie Crust


2 ½ c. flour (but have at least 3 ½ cups on hand, as you'll need extra flour to roll dough and thicken filling)
½ c. vegetable shortening
½ c. butter
Dash of salt
Ice water (fill one cup, but use only enough to moisten dough)


1. In a large bowl, work the butter and shortening into the flour with your hands until you see marble-size lumps form.

2. Pour in ice water a little at a time, sort of “fluffing” the flour to mix in liquid. When the dough feels moist, do a “squeeze test” and if it holds together you’re done. Your dough should feel tacky, but not wet. (Do not overwork the dough! It takes very little time and you’ll be tempted to keep touching it, but don’t!)

3. Divide the dough in 2 balls. Form each ball into a disk shape. Roll flat and thin to fit your pie dish.

4. Sprinkle flour under and on top of your dough to keep it from sticking to your rolling surface.

5. Trim excess dough around the edges with scissors so that it is about 1 inch wider than the dish edge.

Makes a double crust.

Mary's Pie Filling


7 large Granny Smith apples*, depending on size
of apples and size of pie dish
2 tsp cinnamon (or more, depending on how much you like)
¾ c. sugar 1 Tbsp butter (to put on top of apples before covering with top crust)
4 Tbsp flour 1 beaten egg (to brush top crust before putting in oven)

Dash of salt

*It’s also okay to use a combination of apples, try Braeburn and Royal Gala. Do not use Fuji or Red Delicious—they lack tartness. Also note, the approximate rule of thumb is three pounds of fruit per pie.


1. Lay the prepared bottom crust into the pie dish. Slice half of the peeled apples directly into the pie, arranging and pressing them into the dish to remove extra space between slices.

2. Cover with half of your other ingredients (sugar, flour, cinnamon, salt), then slice the remaining apples and cover with second half of ingredients. Add dollop of butter.

3. Cover with top crust and crimp edges, then brush with the beaten egg (this gives the pie a nice golden brown shine). Use a knife to poke vent holes in the top crust (get creative here with a unique pattern if you want).

4. Bake at 425 degrees for 20 minutes. Turn oven down to 375 degrees and bake for another 30 to 40 minutes or so, until juice bubbles. Poke with a knife to make sure apples have softened. Do not overbake or apples will turn mushy.

Serves 8.

Nutritional Information:  Calories: 550; Fat: 27g; Cholestrol: 55mg; Sodium: 130mg; Total Carbohydrates: 77g; Dietary Fiber: 6g; Sugars: 36g; Protein: 6g.

Don't miss Beth's inspiring story about opening her own pie stand on the grounds of the American Gothic House historical site. And be sure to try out her delicious recipe for Banana Cream Pie!

For more inspiring stories, subscribe to Guideposts magazine.

Book cover -- Making PieceThis recipe is excerpted from Making Piece: A Memoir of Love, Loss and Pie (Harlequin Nonfiction). Learn more about her book and keep up with the rest of her pie-related activities on her website,


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