Pies, pies and more pies

Pies on a counter
Pie shells and apple pie waiting to be baked

This morning I woke up with plenty of energy and in the Christmas spirit. Its been a hard year for so many and I find myself working constantly on keeping positive and looking for the blessings!

Today my blessings came through memories of my Mom as I was making our holiday pie shells. As I was rolling out the dough and listening to holiday music in the background my mind traveled back to when my mom and I would make the pie shells together in Brewster by the Sea’s kitchen. It was almost as she was standing next to me and I could hear her gentle words- “we have to make sure the dough has just the right amount of ice water to hold it together, we have to roll the dough gently and be patient to get it equally rolled out, and remember to place the rounds in the frig before we roll them” Oh Nanna I miss you so much and am so thankful of the memories you gave me over the years.

Pies are my absolute favorite dessert and to keep our middles in line, I only make pies for the holidays or when we entertain. This year we are having Nanny Huggin’s Apple pie, Byron’s Pecan Pie and a new recipe of Lemon Meringue- TBD. For those readers that don’t have our old inn’s cookbooks I thought I would share my mom’s pie shell recipe along with my grandmother’s recipe for Apple Pie. I still have the original paper where she told me the ingredients while she made a pie for the family over 50 years ago.

Nanna’s Pie Shell Recipe

Donna Cain
3 generations of pie makers, keeping the tradition alive.
Prep Time 1 hr 30 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American


  • 2 1/2 cups All Purpose Flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 16 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 6 Tablespoons ice water


  • In a medium bowl sift together the flour, salt and sugar. Add the cold butter which has been cut into small cubes. With a pastry blender or fork mix together until the dough resembles course corn meal. Add 5-6 Tablespoons of ice water to the flour mixture and mix until the dough holds together. (you may need to add more water) Divide dough in half and flatten into two even disks. Wrap with saran wrap and place in the frig for at least an hour. Lightly flour surface and rolling pin. Roll dough out and place in pie shells. This recipe makes one fruit pie with top or two pie shells. These shells freeze really well.


Cake Flour versus All Purpose flour

I always like to make things ahead and have my little tradition of getting up early on Christmas morning to get the pies in the oven before everyone awakes and then after we have opening presents and had our family breakfast the oven’s are free for turkey.

All of our family loves Apple Pie so we make this recipe every Christmas and Thanksgiving. My grandmother who I called Nanny was quite the cook too and it’s fun that her traditions are being carried down too.

Nanny’s Apple Pie

Prep Time 1 hr
Cook Time 1 hr
Course Dessert
Cuisine American


  • 6-8 tart green apples
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 unbaked pie shells


  • Preheat oven to 400. Core and slice 6-8 medium tart apples such as Granny Smith or Macintosh. Mix remaining ingredients together and add apples. Place apple mixture in a 9" pie shell and place slivers of butter on top of the apples. Cover with remaining pie shell. With a sharp knife make decorative cuts on top of pie. Rub a little milk on top and sprinkle with sugar. Bake at 400 for 15 minutes and then reduce oven to 350 and bake until top is golden brown and apples are tender (you can test with a knife in the center of the pie to make sure the apples are cooked through) It usually is another 40-45 minutes. We love to serve the pie warm with vanilla ice cream or whip cream.


Best Apples types for your pie 
Keyword Apple Pie

Merry Christmas and wishing everyone a healthy and happy holiday season.

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