My Mom, My Dad, and the Great Pumpkin-Pie Debacle of the 1970s


  • 6 Granny Smith apples
  • 1 cup sugar
  • Cinnamon (welcome to my dad’s cooking – no actual measurements – spices are “to taste”)
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 pie crusts
  • (If Gram were here, she’d be appalled I’m not making my own crust. But to save on time and sanity, I confess I use store-bought crusts and hope for the best.)


  1. Peel and cut apples and put in a large bowl.
  2. Mix cinnamon, sugar, and flour together.
  3. Add dry mix to apples.
  4. Press one pie crust in greased pie pan (Dad diligently greases with a stick of butter, followed by a light dusting of flour – I use a spray can).
  5. Pour apple mixture into pie pan and form a hill with the apples.
  6. Cut off excess crust around edges of pie pan.
  7. Lightly pinch the crust edge to pan (this always trips me up – my crust usually looks a little haphazard).
  8. Put four slabs of butter on top of apple mixture.
  9. Place second crust on top of apple mixture, maintaining the shape of a hill (again, always trips me up since my hill turns into a plateau or bumpy drifts – as evidenced by the photo).
  10. Slice in bird feet in second crust.
  11. Repeat steps 6 and 7.
  12. Put foil around the edge of the pie pan.
  13. For the first 25 minutes of baking, keep the foil on.
  14. For the last 25-30 minutes of baking, remove the foil.
  15. Bake for a total of 50-55 minutes at 375 degrees.