Holiday Cook-off

Grandma Julie’s French Apple Pie

I’m pretty sure I was born with a rolling pin in my hand… As far back as I can remember, baking has been at the heart of the holiday season. From Christmas cookies (8 different kinds) to Norwegian delicacies like lefse, we’ve always prided ourselves in our confections!

Every year, my Grandma Julie would come visit us at our home in Lake Tahoe for either Thanksgiving, Christmas or both holidays. She raised my mom to cherish holiday traditions and share our sweet creations with friends and neighbors.

The nostalgic recipe that reminds me most of my Grandma Julie is her French Apple Pie. I’ve helped make this for the family every year since I was 2! Now that I have children of my own, I get to share my love for baking and pass the torch on to them. From rolling the pie crust to patting the crumble topping, I can hear my grandma guiding me.

Four years ago my grandma passed away. The holidays aren’t the same without her, but I feel her close to me when I bake, especially during the holiday season. Her spirit and joy for the season lives on in her recipes and in our hearts. This year, it was exciting baking with my girls and letting them do almost all of the work!

Prep Time: 30 minutes | Bake Time: 1 hour | Total Time: 1 hour, 30 min


Filling Ingredients:

  • 1 Pillsbury Pie Crust
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ¾ cup white sugar
  • ¼ tsp. Nutmeg
  • 1.2 tsp. Cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp. All Purpose Flour
  • Dash of salt
  • 6-7 apples cored, peeled and sliced (look for them at the Channel Islands Farmer’s Market!)

Topping Ingredients:

  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 cube (½ cup) butter or margarine 
  • 1 cup all purpose flour

Special Materials needed:

  • 8-10” Pie Pan
  • Whisk or Pastry Cutter
  • Mixing Bowls
  • Apple corer or peeler


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees
  2. Take out pie crust and allow to warm to room temperature (10-15 minutes)
  3. Mix all dry ingredients for filling in a bowl, whisk until clumps are gone
  4. Roll pie crust out and place in pie pan, crimp edges (need inspo? click here!)
  5. Fill unbaked pie crust about ½ full of apple pieces
  6. Sprinkle a little less than ½ the dry ingredient mixture
  7. Fill pie crust evenly with remaining apple pieces, then the rest of the dry ingredients
  8. Dot with 2 tsp. Butter 
  9. For the topping, mix the brown sugar and cube of butter
  10. Blend in 1 cup flour until crumbly
  11. Press topping on pie, making sure crust is covered, punch air hole in center
  12. Bake at 425 for 15 minutes, then reduce to 350 degrees for 45 minutes (Cover pie edges with string of foil when reducing heat
  13. Remove from oven when golden brown and allow to cool
  14. Keep pie at room temperature until serving, refrigerate after cutting 
  15. Enjoy!

I hope you enjoy making this recipe as much as I do. Also, a word of caution…this recipe never has leftovers because everyone goes crazy for it! (I highly recommend making a second one to enjoy all to yourself!)

By Torrey Rodriguez

I'm a social media marketing manager, certified by the Ventura College Business School. I currently run 6 accounts, copywrite for a blog, and own a seasoning company with my husband. I have two beautiful daughters, so I'm grateful for a work schedule that allows me to always put them first!

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