grandma’s french crust apple pie

“No one who cooks, cooks alone.  Even at her most solitary, a cook in the kitchen is surrounded by generations of cooks past…….”  Laurie Colwin

Family recipes connect us to a different time.  I wonder where Grandma got her recipe for French Crust Apple Pie?  I am thankful to have it, as it reminds me of the many years my large family of parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, and cousins gathered at our Grandparent’s house for Holiday meals.  She and Grandpa are gone now, and the big farm house belongs to someone else…..

I have a copy of the recipe in the family cookbook my aunt put together for us, and decided to make it for our Thanksgiving dessert.  When I tasted a warm bite of apple pie not long from the oven, I closed my eyes and smiled.  I was transported back to Grandma’s house, and missed her and her cooking, very much.  The same feeling came back to me, even as I ate it for days after, at room temperature.  It is perfectly seasoned, cuts wonderfully, and tastes better as it “sits” on the counter, making for days of yummy snacking, if it lasts that long.

The fact that this pie never gets boring, after all these years, speaks volumes of it’s deliciousness!

I began making my Thanksgiving pies when I put Seth and Sarah down for naps last Wednesday.  My plan was to have Jacob, Ethan, and Grace help me peel the apples.  However, they called from the school bus to ask if they could go to their friends’ house, and I was left to peel alone.  Let me assure you, my right hand was aching by the time I peeled, cored, and sliced enough apples for four pies. 

I don’t like making pie crust.  I haven’t mastered it even after 16 years of marriage.  So I had mercy on myself and bought frozen crusts at the grocery store. 

I filled each pan with lots of apples and there was about a cup or so of apples leftover, for a sweet little snack….

After filling, I added the french crust topping.  With one cup of flour and only half cup of sugar, it’s sweet but not too sweet.

I love how the filling becomes almost like a mild caramel around the edges from the brown sugar, baked to perfection.

By the time Sarah Joy woke up from her long nap, I had started to pull the pies from the oven.

Here is the little sleepy head.


Sarah and Seth each enjoyed a piece, warm from the oven.  Did they like it?  Yes!


French Crust Apple Pie

3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
dash of salt
6 cups sliced apples (or more, to fill to heaping)

Mix all dry ingredients together.  Combine with apples and place into pastry lined pie plate.

1 cup flour
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup cold butter

Combine all ingredients together with pastry blender until crumbly.  Sprinkle and pat on top of filling.

Bake for 50 minutes at 425 degrees.  Cover with foil for the last 10 minutes to prevent from over browning.


simple, and delicious, home cooking.  heart



ps.  it’s snowing this morning

0 thoughts on “grandma’s french crust apple pie

  1. I love your blog and recipes – this sounds amazing and I can only imagine how the house smelled! Thanks for sharing your lovely stories and family with us – I always look forward to your updates.

  2. hi shanda…….love the beginning quote!  i remember sitting in the stool chair in my grandma’s kitchen watching her cook and bake. i sure miss her, but glad i have so many fond memories of her, espeically in the kitchen where she spent so much time.  thanks for sharing and bringing those memories to mind today.

  3. Certain smells and recipes always remind me of my Grandmother’s house. Such wonderful memories! Your pies look scrumptious. We will definitely try these, as the gluten free flours do not hold together well, so the top crusts are very challenging. The crumble crust could be the solution! You are so wonderful about feeding your children yummy baked goods. I am sure they will always remember that. Imagine getting up from a nap to that smell and then getting to eat a piece! You do need an Apple/peeler/corer/slicer as they make the whole peeling chore so much easier! The pampered chef has a good one, it works better than the one we had before it.

  4. Hi Shanda, You expressed my thoughts exactly as I was cooking, alone but not alone, in my kitchen last week for Thanksgiving. I hope you won’t mind if I use your quote? The pie looks just like my mom and grandma’s apple pies. My only hangup right now is that I can’t get refrigerated pie crusts here, at least not the same kind as we are used to. That’s why I resorted to Danish Apple Bars instead. However I will definitely try this recipe at some stage. Hugs …

  5. Oh you bet I will be trying this!!!! This isngonna sound stupid but I love how your walls look worn in the background of one of your pictures… You have no idea how comforting that is to me… As I find fresh marks on my walls each day! Just today there is a new gash on the basement stairway wall… Noone knows who caused it of course:):) part of having a large family I know… Sarah looks so cute with her sleepy head:)

  6. Came on tonight to find this recipe to make for my family! It was delicious!!!! We made it with gluten free flour and coconut oil instead of butter for David and it tasted great. I am copying it to save it

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