Do you love classic apple pie recipes? Yum! With flaky apple pie crust and cinnamon-spiked fruit, it can be a real treat. For those who want to get specific about the type of dessert they are celebrating, each May holds National Apple Pie Day – not to be confused with National Pie Day or National Pi Day. Whether you choose to make your grandmother’s easy apple pie recipe or head out for a slice, here are a few places around the country that serve up their sweets with style!
I adore traveling – that’s no secret – and along the way, I have encountered a few destinations that have perfected their apple pie filling recipe to improve upon a classic. Take a mini trip around the US to check out some of the places I’ve discovered. This is one of the national days I can definitely get behind celebrating each May 13th. Yum!
Celebrating National Apple Pie Day Around the US
Companion Bakeshop and Pie Ranch – California
How would you feel if you could eat delicious dessert and support a great cause at the same time? The two are possible with the long-standing partnership between Pie Ranch and Companion Bakeshop in California. One of the goals of Pie Ranch is to educate people about how their food originates. From tilling the soil to a finished, edible product, they have programs in place to teach and inform their guests.
Companion Bakeshop is conscious about its ingredients and makes bread, pastry, and – of course – pie using organic products and fresh fruit in season. Picking up a Companion Bakeshop apple pie at Pie Ranch’s on-site farmstand is a genuinely feel-good experience in so many ways.
Farm fresh fruit is an important addition to a quality apple pie recipe.
Emporium Pies – Texas
If I could place myself in a pie shop wonderland, Emporium Pies would definitely be it. Their website is adorable, their location is quaint, and their pies are ah-mazing. Plus, individual slices are served in tiny wooden fruit baskets and wrapped up like a gift – so there’s that. Those are all surefire ways to grab my heart.
Add in a dash of ingenious naming skills, and it’s a creative’s delight. Their apple pie is called Lord of the Pies if you aren’t convinced! They have three locations in Texas, and they are careful to incorporate quality ingredients into their selections of handmade pies.
Me proudly showing off the adorable packaging at Emporium Pies in Deep Ellum, Texas.
Miss Angel’s Heavenly Pies – North Carolina
With a name like Miss Angel’s Heavenly Pies, that should immediately tell you something about these delights. Part of the reason they are so yummy is that they use fruit that is freshly picked from their own orchard. They don’t include preservatives, so both the pies and the fruit they contain are as fresh as can be.
Their apple pie is a classic, and one of the best parts is that they can ship straight to your door. One perk is that for an extra fee, they can do letter art on your pie, which would make quite a fun gift for a loved one who is far away. Such a cute idea!
Miss Angel’s Heavenly Pies will craft a pie with letter art and ship it to friends and family as a special treat!
Peace Pie – Florida, New Jersey, and South Carolina
I visited the St. Augustine location of Peace Pie, and I was immediately in love with the concept! So much so that I wrote an article for Matador Network about these ice cream sandwiches based on pie. The apple pie filling recipe is top secret, but it’s widely known that these handheld treats are delicious!
Their twist on the classic is the Salted Caramel Apple, which consists of vanilla ice cream, apple pie filling, and caramel all sandwiched between cinnamon shortbread. Such a delight! They have a wide variety of flavors, and they can ship to select areas.
Peace Pie thrives on making ice cream sandwiches with their apple pie filling recipe.
Piefection – Arizona
Are you up for a good play on words? Then Piefection is piefect! With locations in both Mesa and Scottsdale, this adorable shop has a recycling program, which is genius. Each pie comes in a reusable tin for a $1 deposit. You can bring the tin back for a refund, or the better plan is to exchange it for another tin filled with pie. It’s a win-win!
With flavors like Country Apple, Country Apple French Crumb, and Caramel Apple on the menu, they are sure to please. If you are looking for a bit of a healthier treat, you can opt for one of their sugar-free pies to let the natural sugars work their magic. Delish!
Piefection serves up different styles of apple pie recipes, which include crumb, caramel, and sugar-free. Yum!
Woodruff’s Store Cafe & Pie Shop – Virginia
Although it’s slightly off the beaten path, heading to Monroe, Virginia for any pie made by Woodruff’s is a worthwhile journey. Al Roker and the Today Show even thought so! Often described as “a little slice of heaven,” the shop was opened 70 years ago by Mary Fannie Woodruff. As a centenarian, she is still at the helm, although her daughters are running the day to day operations of the store.
Other than apple, they make over two dozen different flavors of pie, although I dare say it’s their Dutch apple pie crumb topping that keeps everyone coming back. Woodruff’s is such a little gem in the heart of Virginia!
Pies with lattice or Dutch apple pie crumb topping one can be found at Woodruff’s in Virginia.
Apple Pie Recipes for National Apple Pie Day
If you want to make your own pie, there are two recipes below that are sure to delight your tastebuds!
Have Apple and Country Ham Hand Pies on National Apple Pie Day
If you’ve never had a hand pie, they are exactly what they seem. A tidy, small pie that you can hold in your hand. This recipe is a bit heartier with the addition of ham, but if you prefer a meat-free version, feel free to omit the ham for your own handy treat. Vivian Howard of Chef & the Farmer and the Boiler Room Oyster Bar in North Carolina provided the recipe for these unique, delicious pies.
Apple Pie Filling Recipe
- 2 cups dried apple slices, roughly chopped
- 2 cups apple cider
- 2 cups of water
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 3 tbsp. lemon juice
- 12 thin slices of country ham or prosciutto, divided
Apple Pie Crust Recipe
- 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling out the dough
- 2 1/3 cups lard or shortening, divided
- 2/3 cup hot water
For the Apple Pie Filling
- In a 10-inch skillet, combine the first 6 ingredients over high heat. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium, and cook until the apples have soaked up all the liquid and the pan is nearly dry (about 15 minutes). Remove pan from heat, stir in lemon juice, cool to room temperature, then refrigerate. The filling can be made up to 5 days in advance.
- Brown ham in a skillet over medium-high heat (2–3 minutes per side); chop 6 slices into bite-size pieces and stir those into the filling just before assembling pies. Roughly chop the remaining slices, place in the bowl of a food processor, and pulverize to create powder (1–2 minutes).
For the Dough
- Mound the flour in a large bowl and make a well in the center. Drop ⅓ cup lard into the well, then pour about two-thirds of the hot water over it, using your hands to blend until the mixture becomes sludgy. Pour the remaining water into the lard and begin working in the flour to form the dough, adding a touch more hot water if needed. The dough will be quite pliable and tender but should not be sticky. Cover with a damp paper towel.
To Make the Pies
- Dust a golf-ball-size piece of dough, your work surface, and a rolling pin with flour. Roll the dough into a 5- to 6-inch circle so thin you can see through it. Trim the edges; place 2 tbsp. filling in the center. Flatten the filling slightly with the back of a spoon. With a pastry brush or your finger, dampen half the circle’s edge with water. Fold the dough to make a half-moon; crimp the edges with a fork. Repeat, rerolling scraps as needed. Place pies on a floured baking sheet; cover it with a damp paper towel until you’re ready to fry, or freeze them for up to a month in a sealed container.
- Place 2 cups lard into a skillet and heat on medium until lard melts (the fat should measure about a half-inch deep so it comes a little more than halfway up the sides of the pies as they fry). To make sure the fat is hot enough, toss a little flour into the pan. It should immediately sizzle.
- Slip 3 or 4 pies into the pan and adjust the heat to keep the fat hot. Cook till they are golden brown on one side (about 3 minutes); turn them over and brown the other side. Drain the pies on paper towels and sprinkle with the ham powder on both sides while they’re still hot. Serve warm or at room temperature.
The secret to a successful hand pie is perfecting the dough.
Atlantic Beach Pie for National Apple Pie Day
If the previous apple pie recipe seemed a little advanced, have no fear! The one below is perfect for National Apple Pie Day, and the crust is made of crackers for a sweet yet salty delight. Bill Smith of Crook’s Corner came up with this recipe, which has been said to elicit an “oh my God” response. Make it and see for yourself!
Apple Pie Crust Recipe
- 1 1/2 sleeves Saltine crackers
- 1/3 to 1/2 cup softened, unsalted butter
- 3 tbsp. sugar
Apple Pie Filling Recipe
- 1 can (14 oz) sweetened, condensed milk
- 4 egg yolks
- 1/2 cup lemon or lime juice (or a mix of the two)
- Fresh whipped cream and coarse sea salt for garnish
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Crush the crackers finely, but not to dust. You can use a food processor or your hands. Add the sugar, then knead in the butter until the crumbs hold together like dough. Press into an 8-inch pie pan. Chill for 15 minutes, then bake for 18 minutes or until the crust colors a little.
- While the crust is cooling (it doesn’t need to be cold), beat the egg yolks into the milk, then beat in the citrus juice. It is important to completely combine these ingredients. Pour into the shell and bake for 16 minutes until the filling has set. The pie needs to be completely cold to be sliced. Serve with fresh whipped cream and a sprinkling of sea salt.