Great-Grandma’s Sour Cream Apple Pie

apple pie recipe, traditional canadian food, canadian cuisine, canada recipeAs many realize, a recipe can be a chronicle of a way of life.

My now 98 year-old mother wrote: “We always called this ‘Dutch-apple pie.’  It was quite a favourite in my growing-up years.  I recall vividly my grandmother making it.  She was from Prussia.  The sour cream came, of course, from the cream can in the cellar.  That cream can held the makings of our home-churned butter, sour cream for mother’s biscuits, etc.  What was left over was picked up by the creamery truck to be made into butter which eventually found its way into our local grocery stores.

Today I use Northern Spys which are often huge…and I just bought a basket of medium sized Greenings, one of the old fashioned apples of southern Ontario orchards.   If you’re using a smaller variety like Cortland or Gala, you will likely have to increase the number of apples to 4 or 6.   The only prerequisite is that the apples must be from a Canadian orchard.   I bake with lard pastry.  In my grandmother’s day, she would have rendered her own pigs to get the fat to make the pie shell so crisp and golden.   But access to good pork fat is rare these days so, like hundreds of community organizations, I use Tenderflake and the recipe on the package.

  • One unbaked 9”(23 cm) unbaked pie shell
  • 3 or 4 large tart apples, such as Northern Spys
  • 1 cup (250 mL) granulated sugar
  • 3 tbsps (45 mL) all purpose flour
  • ½ tsp ( 2 mL) salt
  • 1 cup (250 mL) sour cream
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) granulated sugar (second amount)

Peel and slice the apples into unbaked pie shell.  Reserve 1 tbsp (15 mL) of the sugar. Stir remaining sugar with the flour, salt and sour cream until smooth.  Spread over the apples.

Sprinkle with cinnamon and reserved sugar.

Bake in preheated 425’F( 220’C) oven for 10 minutes.  Reduce heat to 350’F (180’C) and continue baking until bubbling and lightly browned, about 35 – 40 minutes.  Let cool for 30 minutes to set before serving.

Makes 6 to 8 servings

Recipe from Anita Stewart’s CANADA: The Food, The Recipes, The Stories (HarperCollins Canada 2008).

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