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Julia's Rustic Cinnamon Apple Pie Recipe

Golden Delicious Apple Tree. Photographer Julia Hanna.

Golden Delicious Apple Tree. Photographer Julia Hanna.

Back in the 1980’s when I was growing up in the San Bernardino Mountains, my mom decided she wanted to plant a few apple trees so that we would always have fresh fruit in the fall and winter months.  My mom planted  a yellow delicious and two northern spy apples, and these trees are still going strong over twenty-five years later.  Certain years the apple crop is more bountiful than others, but with three apple trees you are bound to get more than enough apples, and usually have a few to share.  Around this time of year my mom used to love making apple pies, and that is one tradition I have continued as an adult.  There is just something very homey about the smell of a cinnamon-infused apple pie baking on a crisp autumn day, which conjures up memories of the mountains and the leaves changing colors.  

Rustic Apple Pie. Photographer Julia Hanna.

Rustic Apple Pie. Photographer Julia Hanna.

Rustic homemade pie cannot be replicated with store bought pies, which are usually bland and overpriced in comparison.

I like to make my apple pies a bit rustic looking and simple by sprinkling cinnamon and sugar on top, but you can always make ornate designs on your apple pie with left-over dough from when you cut off the excess.  

Even though I get my organic apples from my mom’s apple tree, if you have a enough land to plant one, I guarantee you can save a great deal of money by picking the organic apples each fall.  The apples from your own trees more healthful and tasty from the grocery store, and you can take pride in witnessing the life-cycle of the apples forming from blossoms to fully grown fruit.  

The apples from my mom’s trees are not as large as the apples you buy at the store, but I actually prefer smaller apples because these are perfect for snacks, and easier to cut up for apple pies.  Of course this means that you have to cut a few more apples than you would with the larger variety, but I assure you the taste and the crispness of the organic apples is well worth the effort.  Besides, your family will have many fond memories of picking their own apples and making a pie, which are memories a store bought pie will never create.  


Between 10 and 15 dollars, depending on how many of the supplies you already have in your pantry. If you have an apple tree, then you can easily make several apple pies for under 5 dollars.


  • 2 large mixing bowls

  • 2 large mixing spoons

  • 1 cutting board

  • Wax paper

  • 1 rolling pin

  • 1 large re-sealable plastic bag

  • 1 small knife for cutting apples

  • 1 nine-inch pie pan

Ingredients for Pie Dough:

  • 4 cups of flour

  • 1 cup of oil

  • 1 cup of milk

  • 2 teaspoons of sugar

  • 2 teaspoons of cinnamon

NOTE:  The above ingredients will be divided in half for making the bottom and top halves of the pie crust.

Ingredients for the Pie Filling:

  • 8 large organic apples (I used about 16 small organic apples for my pie)

  • 2 tablespoons of flour

  • ½ cup of room temperature and cubed butter, preferable unsalted

  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon

  • 1 teaspoon of nutmeg

  • 1 cup of sugar

Instructions for the Pie Dough:

1. Pour the milk and oil into a large bowl and mix the liquids together with a spoon.

2.  Slowly add the flour , sugar, and cinnamon to the bowl, and stir the dough into a ball with a large wooden spoon.  Using a food processor will eliminate the elbow grease needed for stirring the dough by hand, but there is just something stimulating about doing it yourself.  It is easier to make two separate batches for the pie dough, so I mix together ½ cup milk, ½ cup oil, 1 teaspoon sugar, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, and 2 cups of flour together to make the bottom crust of the pie, and then I repeat the process to make the top crust of the pie.  

3. Form the fully stirred dough into two balls with your hands, and put these in a large re-sealable plastic bag.  Allow the dough balls to refrigerate for an hour.

Rustic Apple Pie Dough. Photographer Julia Hanna

Rustic Apple Pie Dough. Photographer Julia Hanna

Instructions for the Pie Filling:

1. Rinse and chop the apples into small pieces to put in a large mixing bowl.  Many people prefer to peal the skin off the apples, but I cut this up whole because there is great deal of flavor and nutrients to be found in the skin of organic apples.  Simply make sure to discard the cores and seeds when cutting up the apples.

2. Add the sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cubed butter to the cut up apples, and thoroughly mix all the ingredients together with a large spoon.

Instructions for Assembling the Pie:

1. Place one of the chilled dough balls between two sheets of wax paper and roll it out with a rolling pin.  Save the wax paper for rolling out the other dough ball.

2. Lightly oil the pie pan and place the rolled out dough inside.  Cut off the excess dough from around the edges of the pie pan.

3. Pour the apple filling into the pie pan while making sure to evenly distribute the apples.

4. Roll out the second dough ball between the two sheet of wax paper.

5.Put the rolled out dough over the pie, and cut off the excess with a knife.  Use your fingers or a fork to crimp the edges of the pie.

6. Cut vent holes on the top of the pie so heat and moisture can escape, and use extra dough to make pretty designs on top of the pie crust, if desired.

7. Lightly sprinkled the top of your pie with a bit of cinnamon and sugar to give it a rustic look.

8. Place the pie pan in an oven preheated oven at 425 degrees for about twenty minutes.  After  about twenty minutes, reduce the heat to 350 degree Fahrenheit, and bake for another twenty minutes, or until the crust begins to brown and the apple mixture is bubbling out of the vents on the time of the pie crust.  Times may vary according to your oven.

9. Carefully take the pie out of the oven with mitts, and place on a cooling rack for about an hour.

NOTE: Apple pie tastes delightful when served with a bit of vanilla ice cream, which is something I need to purchase the next time I make apple pie.

Nutrition Facts

User Entered Recipe

16 Servings

Amount Per Serving

Calories 389.2 Total Fat 20.5 g Saturated Fat 4.8 g Polyunsaturated Fat 4.3 g Monounsaturated Fat 9.8 g Cholesterol 16.8 mg Sodium 7.2 mg Potassium 69.7 mg Total Carbohydrate 52.1 g Dietary Fiber 4.3 g Sugars 26.0 g Protein 3.6 g
Vitamin A 4.9 % Vitamin B-12 0.2 % Vitamin B-6 0.1 % Vitamin C 4.8 % Vitamin D 1.6 % Vitamin E 14.8 % Calcium 2.5 % Copper 0.2 % Folate 0.1 % Iron 7.0 % Magnesium 0.2 % Manganese 3.8 % Niacin 8.1 % Pantothenic Acid 0.1 % Phosphorus 0.2 % Riboflavin 6.3 % Selenium 0.2 % Thiamin 10.1 % Zinc 0.1 %

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.