The $1,000 Pie

By Charlotte Bruce Harvey '78 / May / June 2005
May 3rd, 2007


  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • large pinch of salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 12 tablespoons (1 ½ sticks) butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
  • 8 tablespoons vegetable shortening, chilled and cut into small pieces
  • 8–9 tablespoons ice water


  • 4 Granny Smith apples
  • 4 Gala apples
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • juice from ½ lemon
  • zest from 1 large lemon
  • pinch of salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
  • ¼ teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
  • 1 egg white, beaten with a tablespoon of water
  • 1 tablespoon sugar


  1. For the crust, mix flour, salt, and sugar in a large bowl. Add butter and shortening, mixing with a wooden spoon and then, working quickly, combine even further with the tips of your fingers until it looks like cornmeal with pea-sized chunks.
  2. Sprinkle all but 2 tablespoons of ice water over the mixture, gently stirring and pressing with a rubber spatula until the dough comes together into a cohesive mass. If still dry, add the last of the water. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and gently knead until the dough comes completely together (1 or 2 minutes). Divide dough in half, form into balls, and wrap each in plastic wrap. Refrigerate at least ½ hour.
  3. While dough is chilling, peel and slice apples into ½-inch pieces. In a large bowl combine apples, sugar, lemon juice, zest, salt, and the spices. Stir to coat.
  4. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Unwrap one of the dough balls and, on a floured surface, roll it out into a circle two or more inches wider than the diameter of your pie pan.
  5. Fold the dough circle in half and then in half again to make it easy to transport. Place it in a 9” pie pan, the point of the dough triangle in the center, and unfold to cover the entire pan, with excess hanging over the lip. Gently press the dough down to eliminate air pockets underneath.
  6. Put the fruit mixture into the pie pan.
  7. Roll out the other half of the dough into a large circle. Place on top of the pie (also using the folding technique to prevent ripping). Trim and tuck the excess dough around the pie rim underneath itself to form a lip. Using the tines of a fork, press down the edges of the crust to make indentations and seal in the juices. On the top of the pie, cut four slits to let steam escape while baking.
  8. Beat the egg white and water slightly and brush the mixture over the top crust. Sprinkle with sugar.
  9. Bake 20 minutes (crust will be golden); then reduce the temperature to 375 degrees and bake another 30–35 minutes. Check every so often, and if the edges appear to be getting too dark, take a long, narrow piece of foil and loosely cover them.
  10. Remove from the oven, put on a wire rack, and let cool at least 3 hours. Then, enjoy!
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Related Issue
May / June 2005