slice of brown sugar apple pie

Brown Sugar Apple Pie

November 9, 2021

slice of brown sugar apple pie

We say the phrase ” as American as apple pie” when we want to convey authenticity. What does this mean to you and your family? Slab pie, double crust, streusel-topped? I love apple pie any old way, especially if topped with a nice scoop of creamy vanilla ice cream.

Let’s call this Brown Sugar Apple Pie the lazy cook’s American dessert. A cinnamon scented pie with all the right flavors and textures and little of the work involved in rolling dough or precooking fruits. Your food processor does all the work of making the crust and filling. Pat the crust into a dish, and finely chop the apple without even cleaning out the processor bowl. Easy, right?

apples for brown sugar apple pie

fragrant and crisp Virginia mutsu apples for this autumn dessert

crust for brown sugar apple pie

the food processor makes a crumbly crust with a few pulses – pat this into the dish and use the same bowl to chop the apples, adding them to a brown sugar egg mixture

Will Apple Pie Happily Share Space with Pumpkin at the Holiday Table?

Since apple pie is so unabashedly American, and our Thanksgiving holiday is even more so, let’s have both. This dessert has become symbolic of the American bounty; however, neither the fruit itself nor the pie has origins on these shores. Surprised? Apples are of Asian descent and apple pie was consumed with aromatic spices in merry old England. No matter—it’s ours now.

More Apple Dessert Ideas

Apple desserts shine here at River City Good Eats. Here are a few worth exploring for the holiday:

There is one important direction for making this pie work : chill overnight in the fridge for setting the crust and ease of cutting slices the next day. The pie also freezes well and that’s always a plus for holiday prep. Happy Thanksgiving to all, with kitchen blessings all season long.

who brown sugar apple pie

slice of brown sugar apple pie

a scoop of vanilla ice cream enhances the nutritional profile of this cinnamon apple dessert

Brown Sugar Apple Pie

recipe by Michele Humlan, The Good Eats Company

makes eight servings


¾ cup all purpose gluten free flour (I like King Arthur measure-for-measure)*
¼ cup powdered sugar
¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
1 tablespoon cornstarch
6 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 large eggs at room temperature
1 tablespoon molasses
1 ½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
4 tablespoons melted unsalted butter, cooled to room temperature
1 pound apples, peeled and cut in large chunks
* regular all purpose wheat flour also works well


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Add flour, powdered sugar, salt and cornstarch to large bowl of food processor and whirl to blend.
  3. Scatter bits of cold butter across flour mix and pulse several times until butter is the size of small peas.
  4. Pat this mixture onto the bottom and a little up the sides of a greased heavy pie dish.
  5. Bake 20 minutes until golden.
  6. Without cleaning bowl of processor, pulse apple chunks until finely chopped.
  7. In mixing bowl whisk together brown sugar, baking powder and cinnamon.
  8. Add eggs one at a time, whisking well; add molasses, vanilla and melted butter.
  9. Add finely chopped apple and pour this mixture onto the prebaked crust (no need to cool crust).
  10. Bake pie about 45 minutes or until brown at edges and center has very little jiggle.
  11. Cool to room temperature and chill overnight —this is important to set the crust for ease of cutting; skipping this step may make it harder to cut uniform slices because of sticking.
  12. After chilling, either freeze for later or allow to sit at room temperature and cut into slices.
  13. If pie has been frozen, allow to settle at room temperature at least 4 hours.
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