Apple Pie & the 4th of July

With the 4th of July just a couple days away, I thought I’d share with you one of my most favorite recipes – my homemade apple pie.  I started making this pie many years ago from a recipe shared with me by husband’s family, and over the years I’ve modified it to make it my own. In 2005, as some of you might remember, I turned my casual pie baking into an actual business with Mary Beth’s Apple Pie Co. I had no real business experience, so it was a whirlwind for me – selling more than 3,000 pies on QVC, finding my way through the trials and tribulations of shipping and eventually modifying the pie to little minis that sold on Williams Sonoma for several years. There were highs and lows, and more than a few points when I asked myself “what in the world am I doing,” but looking back it was an amazing experience that taught me so much.

While I’m not currently doing the pie business anymore, my apple pie is still one of my favorite things to bake and share. A couple of years ago, my sister invited me to teach a pie baking class at her cooking school, The Farm School on Los Rios (if you’re ever in the San Juan Capistrano area, I encourage you to take a class there!). We just so happened to video the whole thing, so I thought what better way to share the recipe with you!

Mary Beth's Apple Pie

Mary Beth's Apple Pie


  • 4 cups + 2 tbsp. flour (not sifted)
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1 cup + 2 tbsp. sugar
  • 2 cups Crisco/shortening (can use butter instead or butter/shortening combination)
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 6-8 ounces ice water
  • 10 Granny Smith apples
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 3-4 squares of butter
  • 1/4-cup milk or egg whites


  1. Peel and slice approx. 10 apples
  2. Combine 4 cups flour, a pinch of salt and 2 tbsp. of sugar
  3. Add in 2 cups of Crisco (or butter) and combine (mixtures should be lumpy, with pea sized pieces)
  4. Make a well in the middle and place 2 egg yolks
  5. Add 6 ounces ice water
  6. Gently fold flour/crisco mixture into egg and then combine thoroughly without over handling.
  7. Form combined dough into a ball and cover with wax or parchment paper.
  8. Refrigerate overnight.
  9. In a large bowl, combine apples with 2 tbsp. of flour, 1 tsp. of cinnamon and 1 cup of sugar. Mix until apples are thoroughly coated.
  10. Cut chilled dough into four even sections.
  11. On a dry, floured surface, roll out one section of dough starting from the middle and rolling out. If dough begins to stick, dust with flour. Try to keep dough thickness consistent without letting any section get too thin.
  12. Lift dough and transfer to your round pie dish. (You can use a rolling pin to help with the transport)
  13. Cover the bottom of the dish with the crust, trimming extra and patching any holes that might have formed.
  14. Place all apples in pie dish.
  15. Place 3-4 squares of butter on top of apples.
  16. Repeat dough rolling and place second piece on top of apples.
  17. Trim extra dough from the edges, fold up and pinch closed. (Be careful not to have too much dough around your edge or it won't cook thoroughly.)
  18. Poke a couple fork holes in the top, then brush the top of the pie with either milk or egg whites. (be careful not to let the liquid pool in the edges)
  19. Place pie dish on a pan or cookie sheet and cook on 450 for 10-15 min. (until pretty brown)
  20. Turn down over to 350 and cook for 50-60 min.
  21. Remove pie dish from pan and place on a cooling rack until thoroughly cooled.


  1. Mary Beth,
    I finally got over my pastry phobia and used your crust for my chocolate pie that I usually make with a frozen crust. It was wonderful…flaky and a little sweet.

    I also discovered, by mistake, that it can be transformed into a chocolate crust. I ended up with one broken, cooked crust while attempting a pan-less pie. Not wanting to re-bake another crust, I put the broken pieces into my Cuisinart with some cocoa powder and sugar….processed until smooth. Then, I pulsed in some melted butter until it was the same consistency as a graham cracker crust. I then pushed it back into the pan, filled and refrigerated. It turned out with the consistency of a graham cracker crust and a rich, chocolate flavor.

    I’m wondering now what would happen if you add the cocoa powder and a little more sugar at the beginning . What do you think?

  2. Stephanie

    Thanks! Sharing a beloved family recipe is indeed a generous gesture. The video is really helpful because I need to see the process in order to learn. My family loved ordering your pies and we are all watching the video and are going to try to make this together. We are very excited!

  3. I never thought I would watch a 15 + minute video about making a pie, but I was enthralled. Would love to taste those pies Ms. Mary Beth.

  4. Lois Vivien

    Please tell me what size baking dish you use

  5. Love your videos! Keep them coming. I make a variation on apple pie that my mom use to make. You put a thin layer of thinly sliced apples on the bottom of the crust. Then a thin layer of crust topped with a lemon pie filling and meringue.

  6. Ya know what makes you a mensch? Well, many things, but ya know one of the things, MB? You share. You could sit on this and keep it for yourself, but you don’t. You say, I love this, it was successful for me, and I’m gonna get joy out of sharing it with you. And you don’t just share the recipe, you give is a practical lesson. Most people wouldn’t do one of those, let alone both. So that’s what. Mensch.

  7. I’ve been wanting to make your apple pie for awhile now…loved the video! Thanks for sharing your apple pie recipe

    • There is a place in NorCal called “Apple Hill” where Reno people head on Fall weekends and buy amazing apples by the case. I’ve tried for years to make pies and it always ends badly. I’m hoping this recipe will finally help me make a decent pie. Thanks for sharing it and adding the video….that butter knife method is how I learned too!

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