ApplesA friend from church used to bring the most amazing apple crumb pies to potluck dinners. I took pride in my homemade pie crust and had to confess, her’s was better. Not to mention those melting apple slices and sweet sugar topping!

So I broke down and asked Marilyn what her secret was. She looked me in the eye and whispered, “the red box in the dairy case.”

Yup. Pillsbury. Turns out she’d done the same thing with her mother-in-law. Finally broke down and asked for the secret to her fabulous pie crust. Pillsbury.

I looked at the ingredients on the box the next time I was at the store and was happy to see that it includes lard. As all good pie crusts should. I haven’t labored over a homemade crust since.

Here’s Marilyn’s Apple Crumb Pie, which she dubbed, “The Family Recipe.”
Crust: Pillsbury crust, red box, dairy aisle. Use single crust–put in pie plate, trim, flute.
Filling: Apples–cut, pared, sliced (Granny Smith is the best)
Sprinkle: 1/2 cup sugar mixed with 1 tsp. cinnamon
Topping: 1/2 cup sugar, 3/4 cup flour, 1/3 cup butter
Bake: 400 degrees F–40 minutes (sometimes longer)

There’s some room for interpretation in the recipe, but that’s Marilyn. She’d never try to impose her own ways on you. Fiddle with it until it’s exactly the way YOU like.

October in a pie tin.