How to Bake the Perfect Apple Pie in the History of Apple Pies!

Individual, Uplifting

wo Dominican Sisters of Mary, Sr. Rene Noel and Sr. Mary Avila of Heaven’s Kitchen take on this often overlooked opportunity to share with those loved ones the love, that only a perfectly baked pie could palatably articulate!

Welcome! Are you tired of not knowing what to cook on Epiphany? Are you tired of not knowing what Epiphany is? Well, you’ve come to the right place; wipe away those burnt Christmas-cookie tears and save that Easter lamb from another one-star review. Let us, help you, bake-away the mystery of liturgical cooking. Welcome to Heaven’s Kitchen; where we not only help you develop your better sense of taste, but we help you increase your faith; because it’s time all of us help each other obtain Heavenly greatness. So on your road to culinary holiness, make sure to stop by our kitchen and learn how to bake food for the soul. So that your meals taste straight from Heaven’s Kitchen!

Hello and welcome to Heaven’s Kitchen the newest podcast series at I am Sr. Mary Avila, and this is my co-host Sr. Rene Noel and for this podcast we’re going to give you a little glimpse into our traditions and how our liturgical life comes through our cooking. Of course, in the convent, everything brings us back to Jesus and everything leads us back to him. Even our food! Not to mention we are Dominicans and if you don’t know St. Dominic actually founded the Dominican order against the Albigensian heresy, which basically said that the body was evil; So, we love to remember that when we have a really good meal. We’re like, “well take that Albigensian heresy, the word became flesh, the word became flesh!”

Sr. Mary Avila and Sr. Rene Noel humbly acquiesce on the outcome of their culinary efforts.

Today we’re going to be talking about how to make the perfect apple pie. And you can listen to this podcast tonight, or tomorrow or whenever, that’s not our business. I guess that’s the beauty of the internet. You can listen to it anytime you want. So whenever you’re listening (or reading – for those serious intellectuals) to this at this moment, we have both a video and a podcast component of this wonderful CultureCast segment on So if you are listening to the podcast right now you’ll be listening to us kind of talking about the beauty of apple pie and we will be reminding you throughout the show to go visit our visual component of us preparing this gorgeous pie which is available at and there we will take you back to the Motherhouse and actually show you how to make it so you will be watching us in our Convent kitchen making the perfect apple pie.

Make sure to Preheat the oven to 375 before making the Filling. Peel and core the apples and slice into thin wedges. In a medium bowl, mix sugar, flour, apples, and spices. Spice amounts are suggestions; add more or less as desired. Set filling aside. In a separate bowl, mix flour and salt. Cut shortening into flour mixture until the lumps are about the size of green peas, or a bit smaller. Add cold water a few tablespoons at a time while tossing with a fork. Dough is ready when it leaves sides of bowl and stays together when pressed. However, it should not be sticky. Separate dough into two even-size balls. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface. Flour wooden or metal rolling pin so it does not stick to dough. Roll into a 10-12” circle. Gently fold into fourths, carefully lifting off counter, and position center point in center of pie tin. Unfold crust and adjust so crust is centered in tin. Cut excess crust leaving 1/4-1/2” overhang To watch this Apple Pie making process in its entirety click here.

 So Sister, why did we choose apple pie? We could have done anything. Why did we choose apple pie? You know when we were originally thinking of this podcast we were thinking of things that were maybe liturgically connected or had to do with a certain season. But with this one we kind of branched out. Apple pie is really a universal tradition. My grandma actually was an amazing pie maker because she and my grandfather had an orchard. So, my mom grew up on an orchard they had pears and apples and cherries and peaches. So, in other words a lot of Pies, um, yes and every time I would go visit my grandma up in Washington state, we would bake together; black berry pies or apple pies or whatever kind of pie was in season at the time. This connection, we all have to baking, is very similar to what living a liturgical life means – it connects us to that rhythm of life that keeps us rooted in the family of Christ; And so apple pie kind of reminds us of that. We all have traditions in our families and it’s important to go back to those to remember kind of where you’re from and remember those things that remind you of what you’ve experienced and who you are and the same is true in our faith. Every time when the Israelites were going through the desert God had to keep reminding them of who they are and what He had done in their lives. It’s remembering that helps us know that God loves us and remembering the things He has done in our life.

Fill bottom crust with apple filling. Shave cold butter into thin slices on top of the apple filling, using all of your butter. Roll out second lump of dough into the same size as the first lump. Fold into fourths and transfer onto pie. Trim overhang ¼-½” longer than bottom crust. Wet bottom crust by dipping finger in water and rubbing along edge. Gently press to seal. After crust is sealed, fold and tuck top crust under bottom crust all the way round. Using thumb and forefinger of one hand, and forefinger of the other hand, press crust into fluted edge design. You can also use a fork for a simpler method.To watch this Apple Pie making process in its entirety click here.

Similarly, with apple pie, we remember those traditions and remembering the love that I got to share with my Grandma; She’s since passed away. Remembering those moments really helped me stay rooted to her and also in the communion of saints; I feel there is a part of her that is with me whenever I make a pie. Additionally, my mom of course is not here in Michigan in the convent with me. She is in Arizona. So, baking is a way for me to feel connected to her around Thanksgiving, Christmas or special feast days. She is probably making a pie and so am I and when we do we are together in the kitchen.  Similarly, when I am in front of the Eucharist and she is as well – we are united together wherever in the world we may be and it is these rhythms of life that keep us all connected to the body of Christ!

When there is apple pie, everyone definitely comes together so without further ado we would like to introduce our special guest: the perfect Apple Pie. Everyone has the special version that they like to go to and this is the version that my mom taught me (with some of my own little variation to it); And this is the one I still cook for all sorts of liturgical feast days and holiday get togethers here at the Motherhouse! Let’s get right to it.

Once the above steps are taken, cover edges of crust with foil and put pie in the middle rack of oven (that has been preheated to 375) and bake for 30-minutes, take out, remove foo and allow to bake another 15-minutes or until top crust is golden brown. Remove from Oven and onto cooling rack, allow to cool so filling can set before cutting to serve. Enjoy! To watch this process in its entirety click here.

To view this show in its entirety, click here or in the above YouTube player and to listen to the audio podcast click in the above podcast player. The entire recipe cards for this dish are listed throughout this article and can be found in the video component to this article. God bless you and your families! Make sure to like and subscribe to our: YouTube, Twitter and Facebook pages. See you next time here on Heaven’s Kitchen!