Apple Pie – Ries Family Recipe

Apple Pie - Ries Family Recipe

As part of the Willow House newsletter we are featuring recipes that are treasured by Willow House families. Food can play a huge role in remembering our loved ones and honoring their memory. This month, I had the pleasure of speaking with Betsy Ries about the apple pie that her husband, Jack, loved to make after a day of apple picking. Thank you Betsy for sharing your story and this delicious recipe with all of us.

What recipe did you/your family choose? (Marissa)
I chose an apple pie recipe. It was Jack’s actual favorite. We would go apple picking and make home made apple pie with the apples. (Betsy)

Why did you chose this particular recipe?
It was his favorite thing, he just loved homemade apple pie. Apple pie just helps us remember Jack.

What memories does this recipe bring back?
Apple pie brings back memories of apple picking and when my oldest daughter, who is now 13, was little, we would make it a whole extended family affair; my daughter’s cousins, my siblings, my cousins. We would all get together and do fun things like that. We would take a hay-ride out to the orchard and watch the kids go pick the apples. When my daughter was really little, my husband would get on the ladder and hand apples down to me and my little one. The first year we went was with my daughter when she was baby.

When would your loved one enjoy this food? Was there any specific occassion?
Definitely for Thanksgiving. We would always make sure we had apple pie. We also had it a lot for Christmas. His favorite apple pies were made with granny smith apples, so around Easter we would get granny smith apples to make apple pie.

Do you have a specific story that you would like to share about your loved one as it relates to this recipe?
It was just so much fun when our daughter Erica was young and she realized that we were going apple picking. She would get so excited to pick apples from her daddy’s shoulders. She would pick an apple, give it to her dad to wipe off on his shirt, and he would hand it back to her to eat and then they would share the apple.

Do you/your family continue to make this food? Are there any specific occasions?
We make apple pie for his birthday and we have a little celebration. For the holidays we have apple pie and when we go out to restaurants we all usually order apple pie for dessert.

Is there anything else you would like to add?
He was a great great loving man. We used to carry on conversations ranging from politics to every day things. We never ran out of things to talk about. I’m just sorry he never got to see his youngest daughter. I see Jack in both of my daughters, like little things that they do and how they react to things. My daughters love puzzles and Jack loved puzzles. We are actually working on a 700 piece puzzle this summer!

Pastry for double-crust 9-inch pie
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 cup of sugar
3/4 teaspoon ground sinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 cups sliced, cored, peeled Granny Smith or other backing apples (about 8 medium)

Roll half the pastry on floured surface into circle 1-inch larger than inverted pie pan. Ease pastry into pan.
Combine cornstarch, sugar, cinnamon, and salt; sprinkle over apples in large bowl and toss. Arrange in pie crust.
Roll remaining pastry into circle large enough to fit top of pie. Cut slits in pastry, place on filling and seal.
Bake in preheated 425 F degree oven until pastry is golden and apples are tender, 40 to 50 minutes. Cool on wire rack.