Home Italy Revisited Bookshelf Plays About Mary Melfi Contact Us
Pies and Tarts
Mary's Apple Pie
Mary's Italian Apple Pie (Double crust apple pie, flavored with cinnamon, almond extract and lemon juice)
Originated from: Italy
Occasion: Any time & special times
Contributed by: Mary Melfi

Printer Friendly Version


For pie crust (Pasta Frolla)
2 1/2 cups flour
1 cup Tenderflake
1 teaspoon salt
1 (large) egg yolk
2/3 cup milk

For filling
6 cups peeled, cored and sliced red apples (about 7 medium apples)
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 tablespoons sweet almond extract
1 1/4 tablespoons freshly-squeezed lemon juice
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon powder

1/3 cup breadcrumbs (Spread on top of the bottom half of the pie crust, helps usurp liquid)

1 egg white for brushing top of pie crust
about 1 teaspoon table sugar to sprinkle on pie crust (optional)
about 1 tablespoon lard to grease pie dish

Equipment needed
Deep 9-inch pie baking dish, preferably made out of porcelain or glass, greased


For pie crust

Stir flour and salt together, cut in shortening until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

In a separate bowl mix egg yolk and milk together.

Add the egg and milk mixture to the dry ingredients and work into a soft pastry dough -- the faster the better; kneading is Not required.

Shape the dough into two balls, one larger than the other.

Wrap the dough in clear plastic wrap and refrigerate 30 minutes (N.B. While the dough is resting, the filling can be made).

Flour a wooden board and using a rolling pin, roll out the larger portion of the dough to about 1/8 inch thick.

Place the rolled out dough on a greased pie dish.

Spread out the breadcrumbs on the rolled out bottom pie crust (The breadcrumbs will usurp some of the liquid that comes out of the apples.).

Flour the wooden board again, and using a rolling pin, roll out the second dough ball to about 1/8 of an inch. Keep aside.

To make the filling

Peel, core and slice the apples.

Toss the apples with the almond extract.

Toss the apples with the vanilla extract.

Toss the apples with the lemon juice.

In a separate bowl mix brown and white sugar together.

Add the sugar mixture to the sliced apples and toss well.

To make the pie

Add the flavored apples to the pie dish lined with the rolled out dough (topped with bread crumbs).

Add the flavored apples.

Top with the rolled out pie crust; seal.

Make a small hole in the center of the top pie crust, or make decorative slits (This will help the steam come out and ensure even baking.).

Brush the top pie crust with beaten egg white.

Spring about a teaspoon of sugar on the top pie crust (optional).

Place a thin layer of aluminium foil around the rim of the pie dish (to prevent the edges of the crust from burning).

Bake in a preheated 350 F degrees oven until the pie crust is golden -- about 40 to 50 minutes.

Serve warm or at room temperature.


There are more recipes for apple pie than the world presently needs. There was and is no reason whatsoever to add yet another recipe to the list. Actually, I am not a fan of apple pies -- either home-made varieties or store-bought ones (Hearty dislike store-bought ones!). The famous American-style flaky pie crust doesn't appeal to me; I prefer tarts made with pasta frolla. Not surprisingly, the recipe in this entry uses pasta frolla -- the Italian-style crusts are definitely not flaky but they do have flavor.... I have always avoided making apple pies. Still, in the fall, when the apples are real cheap, and I end up going apple picking with someone or other, I have lots of apples and I have to use them up. I came up with this recipe for my own pleasure. I guess it is a kind of fusion between a traditional American apple pie and an Italian lattice-topped tart. Italians often flavor apple pies with almond extract and that's what I went with. For what it is worth those who tried my apple pie liked it. I doubt that this recipe will appeal to everyone, but those who enjoy an almond-lemon flavor in their desserts might consider doing their own version of this pie. In cooking it's never about "doing the right thing" but always about "doing your thing," whatever and however that might be.... Personal comments and photo: Mary Melfi.

Back to main list