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Classic Holiday Apple Pie (Mother-in-Law Approved Recipe!)

Victoria is a stay-at-home mom, author, educator, and blogger at Healthy at Home. She currently lives in Colorado with her family.

Classic apple pie

Classic apple pie

Thanksgiving Apple Pie

For the last eight years, we've lived in Arizona and have had to make a day's drive to another state, with our kids and dogs, to spend Thanksgiving with family. Every year I have wanted to help with the holiday cooking, but my husband's grandmother was pretty serious about her meal. She had a certain way of cooking it, with a plan and a menu, and she wanted to do it herself.

So, we would just cook our own Thanksgiving meal when we got back home so that we could have leftovers—and so that I would get to cook and enjoy my own dishes. But this year, having just moved to Colorado, we were finally near family for the big cooking holiday of the year, and I was actually assigned a number of dishes to make for the feast. It wasn't a problem, as the drive was just a short jaunt over to his parents' house.

My husband requested my apple pies, and my mother-in-law agreed, so I got to make these delicious pies for the whole family. You'll see from the pictures below that I had a hard time capturing images of the final product, as my husband pulled the pies out of the oven and packed them into the car while I was upstairs with the kids, and the family tore into them before I could get photos. I'll just take that as a huge compliment.

Thankfully, I got the great picture above before popping it into the oven so you could see how it was going to look. I hope you enjoy these pies as much as my family did over the holidays. Let me show you how I pulled them together! It's much easier than it appears.

Cook Time

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

30 min

45 min

1 hour 15 min

1 pie with 8 slices or so

Ingredients

For the crust:

  • 1 cup coconut oil
  • 2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon pink Himalayan salt
  • 1 teaspoon coconut sugar
  • 1/2 cup or so ice water

For the filling:

  • 5 baking apples (I like Fuji or Gala)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon cardamom (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F and grease you pie pan with some coconut oil. I greased two pie pans and doubled the recipe to make two apple pies.
  2. Now we're going to make the crust. Measure out your coconut oil onto a plate and smooth it out into a thin layer. You need your coconut oil super cold, and not just firm, for this crust recipe to truly work.
  3. Pop the plate of coconut oil into the freezer for a few minutes while we prepare your other ingredients.
  4. In your food processor, add your flour.
  5. On the side, cut up your cold butter into small squares and add that also to your food processor.
  6. Then pull the coconut oil back out of the freezer and chip it off of your plate into small chunks. Scrape these into your food processor.
  7. Blend your mixture just until it's crumbly and there's no more big chunks of butter or coconut oil.
  8. Pour your crust mixture into a mixing bowl and add your salt and sugar. Mix well.
  9. Now add a little bit of your ice water at a time until your dough comes together without being sticky.
  10. You'll want to dump it out on a clean surface and knead it with your hands to combine all ingredients thoroughly. You'll want a nice, soft dough.
  11. When mixed, split it in half for your two pie crusts, and roll out one side until it's just bigger than your pie pan.
  12. Transfer to your pie pan. I like to fold mine gently twice to get it off of the counter and into the pie pan without tearing. I then just unfold it over the pie pan and press it in place.
  13. Now it's time for your filling. Slice your apples in half and core them with a melon baller. Slice into small pieces and dump them into a large mixing bowl.
  14. Add your lemon juice, sugar and spices and mix well. Pour your pie filling into your crust. It will heap over the top, which is fine, as the apples will cook down in the oven.
  15. Finally, roll out your second crust, about 1/8–1/4 inch thick and as big as you can get it. If you want a solid pie crust for the top, you only need it bigger than the pie pan and then transfer over.
  16. For a basket-weave top, you'll want to cut it into long 1 inch thick strips. One at a time, lay them over your pie, spaced out about 1 inch apart. Just cut a little bigger than your pie.
  17. For the basket weave look, you'll want to do one more layer going the other direction, space out accordingly. I didn't weave mine together because I was a little preoccupied with two small kids and a deadline, so I skipped that part thinking it looked great already.
  18. Regardless of what type of crust you went with, roll the outside of your two crusts together all the way around your pie for a finished look. Cut vents in the top if you used a solid pie crust for the top.
  19. Sprinkle with sugar and bake for 45 minutes.

Step-by-Step Photo Guide

Start by smearing your coconut oil evenly out on a plate and popping it into the freezer. You want it to be super cold for this recipe.

Start by smearing your coconut oil evenly out on a plate and popping it into the freezer. You want it to be super cold for this recipe.

Pour your flour into the food processor.

Pour your flour into the food processor.

Add your chilled, cut up butter.

Add your chilled, cut up butter.

Remove your coconut oil from the freezer. It only needs a few minutes. Chip it off of your plate into small chunks.

Remove your coconut oil from the freezer. It only needs a few minutes. Chip it off of your plate into small chunks.

Add that to your food processor as well.

Add that to your food processor as well.

Blend up until chunky.

Blend up until chunky.

Pour into a mixing bowl and add your seasonings. Mix well.

Pour into a mixing bowl and add your seasonings. Mix well.

Finally add your ice water a little at a time and mix until your dough comes together.

Finally add your ice water a little at a time and mix until your dough comes together.

clean-eating-classic-apple-pie
clean-eating-classic-apple-pie
When mixed pour it out onto a clean surface.

When mixed pour it out onto a clean surface.

Knead it together with your hands to combine all ingredients. You want a nice soft dough. Cut it into two pieces for your two pie crusts.

Knead it together with your hands to combine all ingredients. You want a nice soft dough. Cut it into two pieces for your two pie crusts.

Roll one out until just bigger than your pie pan.

Roll one out until just bigger than your pie pan.

Grease your pie dish with some more coconut oil. (I made two pies, and so just doubled the recipe.)

Grease your pie dish with some more coconut oil. (I made two pies, and so just doubled the recipe.)

And transfer your dough over. I do this by gently folding it twice to get it off of the counter without tearing, and then unfolding it in the pie dish.

And transfer your dough over. I do this by gently folding it twice to get it off of the counter without tearing, and then unfolding it in the pie dish.

Slice all of your apples in half.

Slice all of your apples in half.

And core them using a melon baller.

And core them using a melon baller.

Pour them into a large bowl for mixing.

Pour them into a large bowl for mixing.

Add your lemon juice and honey.

Add your lemon juice and honey.

And add your seasonings. Mix well.

And add your seasonings. Mix well.

Pour into your pie crust. They should almost overflow your pan. That's okay because they will cook down.

Pour into your pie crust. They should almost overflow your pan. That's okay because they will cook down.

Roll out your second crust and cut into 1 inch long slices. (If you'd rather have a solid top crust, don't slice them, just transfer the second crust over.)

Roll out your second crust and cut into 1 inch long slices. (If you'd rather have a solid top crust, don't slice them, just transfer the second crust over.)

I started my basket weave over the top by laying down the first layer of pieces.

I started my basket weave over the top by laying down the first layer of pieces.

I was tired trying to wrangle two small children while cooking and didn't weave the second layer in.

I was tired trying to wrangle two small children while cooking and didn't weave the second layer in.

I finished the pie by rolling the two crusts together around the outside. You could do the same with a solid top crust, but make sure to cut vents into the top if you choose not to basket weave. Sprinkle some sugar over the top and bake for 45 min.

I finished the pie by rolling the two crusts together around the outside. You could do the same with a solid top crust, but make sure to cut vents into the top if you choose not to basket weave. Sprinkle some sugar over the top and bake for 45 min.

I thought it turned out beautiful, but I hardly had time to get a picture before everyone grabbed some.

I thought it turned out beautiful, but I hardly had time to get a picture before everyone grabbed some.

clean-eating-classic-apple-pie

Suffice to say, the pies turned out great, and I was even asked to leave what remained behind for them to finish. We had seven pies at our meal, so I'm not worried about there being pie leftover. I do still need to get my pie dishes back, though!

This year, we have decided to keep our Thanksgiving tradition of making our own holiday meal again here at home—this time with our friends, for a Friendsgiving this weekend. My husband insisted that I go get more apples and make my apple pies again this weekend. I would say that these were a success.

Honestly, I really think they came out beautifully, and there's no reason to tell anyone that they were made with lots of wonderfully healthy ingredients, rather than the loads of sugar that apple pie is traditionally made with. And not only do I enjoy baking, but I don't mind having them around knowing that even with my homemade whipped cream or ice cream, my family is essentially getting a good meal in a yummy plate of pie.

Give it a try yourself. You won't regret it!

© 2018 Victoria Van Ness