National Pie Day

It’s time to bust out those rolling pins, America!

I just love living in a country that sets aside a day each year to celebrate my favorite dessert.

What could possibly be better than pie? Not that I don’t love cake, cookies, cupcakes, candy, and sugar in all its many wondrous forms, but there’s something special about pie.  For one thing, it’s, well, baked into our history. Humans were making pies as early as 9500 B.C., when those clever Egyptians wrapped honey in an oatmeal crust.

Pie is baked into my family’s history, too.  I come from a long line of great pie bakers — and pie eaters.  I remember my mother telling me of the day she left Canada for “the Boston States,” as Nova Scotians used to call New England.  It was a big step for a small-town girl fresh out of nursing school, and as she boarded the train in Halifax that would carry her into her future, she was filled with mixed emotions: excitement, trepidation, self-doubt.  My grandmother saw her off at the station with homemade goodies to keep her well-fortified until she reached her destination:  a Thermos of beef stew, oatmeal bread, and apple pie, her favorite dessert.

I don’t know if the apple pie had anything to do with it, but my mother survived the journey and flourished in her new job in Connecticut.  On her days off, she’d board another train — this one bound for New York City, where she’d shop a little, explore a little, buy herself a ticket to a Broadway play, and then take herself out to lunch someplace fancy — I remember her mentioning Sardi’s as being one of her favorite spots.  And yes, she’d have pie for dessert.

Marie MacDougall Vogel (left) in Times Square, circa 1955

Isn’t she something?

Gotta love those white gloves.

And so, in honor of National Pie Day, and in honor of my darling mother, here’s the Frederick family’s favorite recipe for apple pie!


Unbaked pie shell

6-7 cups tart apples (we use Granny Smith’s), peeled, cored, and sliced paper thin

1 c. sugar

1 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. nutmeg

A little extra butter for dotting on the apples


½ c. butter

½ c. brown sugar

1 c. flour

Preheat oven to 425.  Roll out pie crust and pat it into pie plate.  Crimp edge.

In a large bowl, mix sliced apples with sugar and spices.  Pile into prepared crust and dot with half a dozen or so thin slices of butter.

In a separate bowl, cream butter and brown sugar, then add flour, working it in until the mixture begins to come together and the crumbles are about the size of peas.  Sprinkle over pie.  Cover loosely with tinfoil (this prevents the crust from burning) and bake at 425 degrees for 1-1/2 hours.  (Yes, it needs to bake that long!)  It’s a good idea to either cover the rack you’re baking it on with foil, or place the pie plate onto a cookie sheet or something to catch any drips.

Remove foil.  If topping is golden brown, pie is done.  If not, let it cook without the foil for another five minutes or so.

Cool and serve with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.  Yum!

25 thoughts on “National Pie Day”

  1. Happy pie day, everyone! That recipe looks really good, Heather. You should put it in the back of one of the MDBC books like you did in the first one.

  2. Heather, what is your favorite MDBC book?

    I really enjoyed the 4th one because I got to see each character develope into their own self. 🙂

    • Well, I don’t really have a favorite — I absolutely LOVED writing them all. But I loved the research for PIES & PREJUDICE best of all because I got to travel to England!

      • No way! That’s really cool. I guess that is one of the perks of being a writer because you get to travel to different places.

        I can’t pick a favorite, but I like the part in Dear Pen Pal when thet go to Wyoming and the fashion show. And I esspecially love when the MDBC gang goes to England in the 4th!

  3. That sounds sooooooo goooooood! My mom makes the best apple pies, pumpkin pies, cherry pies, and just pies in general!

    • I love coconut cream pie the best. And strawberry rhubarb. And apple… I pretty much like pie in any way, shape, or form! 🙂

  4. Hey-Pies and Prejudice inspired me so much!!
    BTW-it is my fav MDBC book as well 🙂
    Yesterday I made a French Silk Chocolate Pie and today…. Lemon Meringue!!

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