Grandma’s Apple Pie


Photo Provided

Me, at eight years old, picking apples in my great grandmas backyard in South Dakota.

Alanna LaDeaux, Howler Staff Writer

The soft crisp air of the South Dakota mountains bounces off the cheeks of my face as I stretch and reach for the ripe red apples to prepare for my great grandma Mary’s Apple Pie.

My great grandma Mary was born in 1930 in Manitoba, Canada. During the Great Depression, crops began to stop growing so she and her family moved to start a new colony in South Dakota in 1936, New Elm Springs Hutterite Colony. 

In the German colony, recipes and foods would be passed down for generations, but my grandma Mary somehow made each one her own.

My grandma was known for her food: her Sweet Rolls, her Baklava, her Borscht and so many more, but one food that I’ve found to be nostalgic is her apple pie.

I remember watching her slice the apples into perfectly un-perfect slices. The apples would lay under the lattice crust that would get bathed in a beautiful sweet butter mixture before putting it in the oven. 

But the absolute best part is taking the beautifully toasted pie out of the oven. The buttery crust would surround the soft-plump apples laced with sugar and vanilla bubbling and puffing together, as the smells of pie-crust and cinnamon would leap and skip through the three-story South Dakota house. 

She would get the sharpest knife to cut the freshly baked pie but would use the most gentle hand as she sliced it into even portions. As she cut the pie, the smells of apples and vanilla became stronger, moving and swaying through the kitchen. Placing a slice onto a plate you could see the layers of crust, apples and cinnamon fall upon each other.

Biting into the sweet and moist oven-roasted apple slices you can feel the warmth of the tender, flaky crust radiating off of the fork. The aroma of the pie overpowers your senses the closer it comes to your face.

The taste dances and twirls on your tongue. As you chew you can taste every layer: the baked apples, the sweet and smooth cinnamon filling and the crisp golden-brown crust.

This recipe is wonderful and one that everyone should have in their back pocket. It’s quick and easy and makes for a family favorite. The recipe for my grandma’s apple pie is no different from any other that you’ve probably seen, or made before. But, she has made it sensational. 

The cinnamon-apple scent rushing through the house, the gentle hands covered in flour and dough, the sweet and soft flavors filling my mouth, what a wonderful tribute to a lady I had the pleasure of calling Grandma.

My Great Grandma Mary c. 1980.