While my husband was in the military, we lived at Fort Riley, Kansas for a while. Each year they host an “Apple Days” festival where they open up the Army post and have a huge community event. Usually around 7,000 people show up and there are vendors, people dressed up in historic costumes, activities and games for kids, but the main draw is the fabulous apple pies that they sell to raise money for their Historical Society. Now, I’m typically not big on apple pie, but I was there and thought I would see what all the hype was about and WOW, it really was amazing! There’s something about the crumbly topping that really takes it up a notch. Now, their recipe is top secret. They reportedly use a 150 year old recipe from Libby Custer, General Custer’s wife who lived at Fort Riley and used apples from apple trees on post to make pies for here husband and his soldiers. Each year one or two “Pie Queens” are picked and they are the only ones allowed to see the full recipe. So, since there is no way to make know their exact recipe, I took to the interwebs to see if I could find something similar. I came across this recipe on Pinterest, it looked similar and was also from a “secret recipe” so I thought I would give it a try. Now, I’ve since moved a half dozen times and haven’t had one of the famous pies in a while but I have to say, this recipe is as good as I remember theirs being. I hope you guys love it as much as we do!
Recipe Adapted from “Mom’s Crazy Cooking” blog found here
You will need the following:
1 refrigerated pie crust (I used Pillsbury)
4 to 8 apples (I used 4 large Pink Ladies)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
Pinch of salt
2 tbsp butter
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1-1/4 cups plain flour
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
6 tbsp butter, melted
Roll out your refrigerated pie crust, adjust it to fit in your pie dish, pinch the edges to create a design if you like.
Peel and core the apples, cut into small slices. I used a handy dandy apple slicer I got from Amazon. Place sliced apples in a mixing bowl or large ziplock bag and add the brown sugar, cinnamon and salt to the apples, stir or shake bag to coat the apples with the yummy mix and set aside.
Heat the 2 tbsp of butter in a large saucepan until bubbling. Add the apples and cook at medium high heat for about 10 minutes until they begin to soften (yet still hold some shape). Your kitchen will smell amazing! Then, using a colander over a bowl, drain all the butter juice from the apples, transfer the apples and shake to drain the excess juices into the bowl.
Transfer the juices back into the sauce pan and add the heavy whipping cream. Cook this mixture, stirring occasionally until it thickens, about 6 – 10 minutes.
While the sauce is cooking, add in the apples to the pie shell. When the sauce is finished, pour the hot syrup over the apples.
Lastly, combine all the crumble ingredients (the flour and both sugars). Drizzle your melted butter into the mixture and crumble with a fork until it’s well combined and the mixture resembles crumbs. Sprinkle this crumble over the apple mixture.
Cook at 375 degrees in pre-heated oven for about 40 minutes. You want the apple pie to be hot and bubbly and the crumble mixture to be crispy on top.
Remove from the oven and cool for at least 30 minutes before serving. Do not be impatient (like me) and dig in almost immediately. The pie will not be set and all the juices will run out. You can also cool completely and freeze. If you plan on doing this, it’s best too cook it in an aluminum pie plate.
Why not make your own crust you say? Well… I have done that in the past. The original pie recipe I found calls for it but honestly it is such a pain, and mine always shrinks or looks wonky. Feel free to make your own pie crust if you wish, I prefer to use the refrigerated ones.
Do not forget to buy the heavy cream at the store! I forgot this time around and had to use a substitute that wasn’t very successful.
Really do let the pie cool completely before serving if you want it to slice properly and be pretty.
The pie crust I bought comes with two. While your making it anyway, why not double the recipe and make and extra to freeze and use later or give as gift.
If you’d like to buy the same apple slicer I have, you can find it on Amazon here: http://amzn.to/2hrms7R
* this is an affiliate link and I do receive a small commission (at no cost to you)
This is what the pie looks like when you have to scoop it out instead of slicing it (oops!) I added French Vanilla ice cream on the side, yum!