Very American Layered Apple Pie

When I Eat Soup

When I read about White House prosecutors creating a Mccarthyism-style list of Trump opponents, it frightened me. I was scared for a second—then I had a hot-flash.  More of a warm-flash. I’m not quite there yet—still winding up for The Blaze. Here’s the thing: that warm flush feels like the onset of a superpower. It happens when I’m irritated, like The Hulk—or when I eat soup.
Make A List
When the hot, tingling began at the nape of my neck, I pictured Jeff Sessions and whatever lyme-tick intern was willingly working on his Nazi-mode Resister Registry. Bring it Bitchachos. Make that list. You won’t find a hard drive that can hold it. Better get busy Mr. Sesh, building the super-computer that can quantify Oppositional Disgust Emissions brought on by every utterance of your witless, pustulent boss—you know, that guy who hates your guts.

My Humble Opinion

I still suffer the monthly, Maiden’s Curse. I’m not a Period-Denier/Goddesss-Moon-Ceremony type. I’ve seen enough women go through massive hell with their periods—that I don’t feel like singing. The movement to make a festival centered around the painful bleeding from one’s vagina, in my humble opinion, is the epitome of female bullshit-denial. If you like gore, and I do, that first period could be interesting, but it’s not worth repeating.


Nope. Period on-set festivals are not my bag. When my daughters were approaching adolescence, some of their friend’s moms staged Moon Ceremonies—a welcoming into Womanhood. Hm. Welcoming? More of a warning, marking the death of your care-free childhood. If we were honest we would say:

“Welcome to your period. You will be receiving none of the rights of adulthood but all the discomfort and inconvenience of fertility. You shall have zero access to quality pain relief . . . and PE. PE will automatically synch to your menstrual cycle requiring you to change into a swim suit at peak flow. Good luck.


The menstrual era is a preparation featuring decades of blood trials—a lengthy rite. Menopause is a season marked by a dramatic decrease in giving a f*ck. This is a power not to waste. That first period is not a call to celebrate, it’s the shrill alert that Evolution has some sloppy work to explain for. Be patient, celebrate menopause.

Delicious Raw

Back to Evolution having some explaining to do: Jeff Sessions, make your list. Just don’t act surprised when someone’s grandma (like Maxine Waters) slaps you alongside your racist, sugar-cookie shaped head. You are an un-American bigot. Remember what decreases dramatically after menopause?

Obviously, this is a post for Very American Apple Pie. Graventeins are in season where I live and they should be deemed a National Treasure (like Maxine Waters). The Gravenstein is a special apple that artfully balances sour, sweet, and crispness. It’s a shame to use them for pie when they are so delicious raw. But these are dangerous times—time for pie.

Very American Layered Apple Pie

  • Yield: 8 big slices
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25-30 minutes


  • 2 1/2 pounds apples, 6-8 medium size
  • 3 store bought pie crusts (frozen) or make your own. Pie is usually enough of an emergency that I don't have time to make pie crust.
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour (or whatever flour you want to roll out crust with)
  • 3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 3 lemons, juiced (about 5 tablespoons juice).
  • 1-2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • OPTIONAL: INSTEAD of plain cinnamon, make a mix with ground cinnamon, allspice, clove, nutmeg and cardamom
  • 1-2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 teaspoon water


  1. Set frozen pie crusts out to thaw while you prep your ingredients. Remove frozen crusts from bags and separate. They often come in packs of 2. If you have leftover crust, make apple turnovers and freeze for someone's school or work lunch.

  2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

  3. Juice your lemons.

  4. Combine softened pie crusts, kneading minimally. When you have them in a clump, begin to add bits of cold butter and sprinkles of flour. Roll out. Ideally the butter bits are scattered around and not fully incorporated. Add icy water as needed. I didn't need any.

  5. Roll out and fit the bottom crust into your pan. Be generous with the edges. Set remaining crust in the fridge or freezer, covered or wrapped in plastic.

  6. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon brown sugar onto bottom of pie crust. Dot with a few bits of butter.

  7. Slice 3-4 apples for first layer. I cored my apples and sliced them into rounds. Layer the slices until pan is about 3/4 filled---maybe 2 layers.

  8. Sprinkle 1-2 tablespoons lemon juice over apples as you arrange them to avoid oxidation and browning.

  9. Sprinkle apples with 1 teaspoon cinnamon or your OPTIONAL seasoning mix.

  10. Sprinkle vanilla over apples.

  11. Dot apples with bits of cold butter, about 1/4 cup.

  12. sprinkle 1-2 teaspoons water over apples.

  13. Sprinkle apples with about 1/3 cup sugar.

  14. Roll out a thin layer of crust and cut into a round that JUST covers the first layer of apples but does not quite reach the edges. Think of this layer as a little, floating cap, not a sealant. Set crust on first layer of apples.

  15. Sprinkle crust with a bit of cinnamon or seasoning and about 1 teaspoon brown sugar.

  16. Knead and shape remaining crust into a tube, like a long salami. Put it in a plastic bag or wrap and place in freezer.

  17. Place pie in 375 degree oven for 5 minutes to barely brown/dry out top crust.

  18. Remove pie from oven.

  19. Lower oven temp. to 350 degrees.

  20. Slice remaining apples for top layer of pie. I slice mine from the side to avoid the hole in the middle and get pretty rounds. I wasted a lot of apple this way/had to eat a lot of leftover fresh Gravensteins.

  21. Sprinkle lemon juice over apples as you slice to keep them fresh and pretty.

  22. Remove tube of pie crust from freezer. Slice pieces about 1/8 inch thick, slightly on the diagonal to create ovals.

  23. Starting at the outer edge, layer apple rounds and crust ovals in an EVERY OTHER pattern. Do this artistically---not with frantic precision---all the way to the center. Jam the last little oval in tight to create a flower affect. Start with largest rounds and ovals at the edge. Save the smaller rounds/ovals for the center. See, pretty.

  24. Sprinkle with remaining cinnamon/seasoning, sugar and blips of butter.

  25. Bake pie in the center of the oven for 20-25 minutes or until crust has browned and apples are nicely softened. It should be bubbling away.

  26. SERVE plain, with vanilla ice cream, creme fresh, sour cream or coconut cream.


Although Gravensteins are a superstar, this is a crust centered pie. People will love it. The lasagna-like mid-crust is a fun surprise. It typically does not get soggy and weird like you'd think. Try it.

* My 2 cents about pie crust. I've made lots of pie crusts. I can't make a better crust than the one that I doctor from pre-made. In other words: The best pie crust I have made has been a store-bought frozen one that I have kneaded some butter, flour and ice water into. Maybe you're different. Sell me your pie crusts.

















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