Beautiful Holiday Pie Every Time - See How

Who else is still figuring out their Thanksgiving menu?

Because folks, I still don’t know what I’m cooking. It’s been that kind of month….

I remember the days when I used to plan Thanksgiving weeks in advance

Then I had three kids. Planning incrementally decreased as family size increased.

Now I feel super accomplished if there's just food, on the table, at some point on or around Thanksgiving Day.

Bonus points if there’s no ring in the toilet when the guests arrive.

But here’s one thing I know without planning:

There will be pie.

Actually - at least 2 pies.

Maybe 3 if I'm feeling extra jazzy.

So, if you - like me - think that "Holi-days" are really just code for "Pie-days", this post is for you.

Because, let's be real - pie is fantastic. But who hasn’t struggled to get it just right?

So here are 3 resources to help you make your tastiest, flakiest pie ever:

1) A video mini-series with step-by-step instructions on making a killer pie crust

2) My favorite pie crust recipe

3) My Mom's Best-Ever Apple Pie Filling recipe

Armed with this info, I trust you'll sail through the pie-making season, wowing all your guests with your outstanding pie skills.

But if - by chance - you falter and need emergency help - we’re here to help. Post your pie fail in the comments and my mom and I will try to answer any questions you have.

Friends, the best of Thanksgiving to all of you.....

Want more recipes, stories and beautiful peony pictures from the Farm?

PArt 1

2 Crust Pie, 1 Step at a time

Making a 2 crust pie crust is a series of very independent steps. Each video illustrates one of these steps.

The videos are listed in order. But if you’re confident about some steps of the pie-making process but need help on others, just pick the videos that help you most.

Intro (aka why making good pie crust can cause anxiety)

Make The Dough

Roll Out Crust

Transfer Crust To Pie Plate

Fill Pie With Your Filling Of Choice

Obviously pies can be filled with just about anything, apples, berries, meat - you name it.

Just make whatever pie filling you prefer.

If you don’t have a preferred filling, then try my Mom’s Best-Ever Apple Pie Filling recipe below.

One tip - if you’re making your filling after you’ve already made the crust, be sure to keep the crust dough refrigerated while you complete the filling. Keeping the dough cold helps to ensure the flakiest possible crust.

Finish The Pie

Bake The Pie

Preheat the oven to 395.

Bake the pie at 395 for about 20 minutes or until the crust has set. All portions of the crust should look parbaked.

Once there are no “raw” looking sections of crust remaining, reduce the heat to 350 and bake until you see the juices gently bubbling up through the slits in the crust. This takes about 40 minutes but can vary depending on the filling.

If the pie is starting to brown too much, feel free to lower the oven temperature to 325. You might also tent thin pieces of tin foil over the edges of the crust to prevent the edges from over-browning.

Part 2

Cate’s Favorite Pie Crust

When I was very young, my mother made all her crusts from lard. But when lard went out of fashion, she switched to butter, which is how she taught me to make crust.

Now, with modern research pointing to the health benefits of lard from pastured pigs, we have started rendering the lard from our pigs and using it in pies.

Turns out, it makes the flakiest, tastiest crust I’ve ever had.


- 2 1/4 cups flour
- 9 TBSP high quality lard (chilled)
- 1/4 tsp sea salt (double that if using table salt)
- Approximately 1/2 cup very cold water


To mix the dough and roll out the pie crusts, please follow the instructions in the above video mini series.

Cook’s Notes:
This recipe is for a 2 crust pie. If you only need a single crust, just cut the recipe in half.

Part 3

Mom’s Best-Ever Apple Pie Filling

Mom’s filling is always more flavorful than mine. Here’s how she makes that happen.


- 9 cups of thinly sliced apples
- 1/2 cup sugar
- About 3 TBSP butter, broken into smallish chunks
- 1 TBSP flour
- 1 TBSP lemon juice
- 1 scant tsp cinnamon
- scant 1/4 tsp nutmeg (optional - leave this out or drastically reduce if you’re not a nutmeg fan)
- pinch of salt


- Combine all above ingredients in a large bowl and stir well to thoroughly combine

- After following the instructions in the “Roll Out Crust” and “Transfer Crust To Pie Plate” videos above, add the pie filling

- Cover with the top pie crust, cut slits and bake, using the above “Finish The Pie” video’s instructions for reference

- Bake the pie following instructions in the above “Bake The Pie” section.

holiday apple pie