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A Winning Apple Pie from Blue Duck Tavern Recipe

A Winning Apple Pie from Blue Duck Tavern Recipe

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Courtesy of Arthur Bovino

Slice of Apple Pie

In 2006, this classic American apple pie recipe was selected as one of the top 25 dishes of the year by USA Today. It's as scrumptious as promised, and even more so with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt on top of a warm, buttery slice.

From Chef Brian McBride of Blue Duck Tavern


For pie dough:

  • 1 pound cold butter, chopped into small pieces
  • 1 pound all-purpose flour
  • 4 ounces cake flour
  • 1 ounce sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 cup heavy cream

For the pie:

  • 2 ounces butter
  • ½ cup brown sugar, plus more for sprinkling
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 5 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and cut into 8 wedges (preferably chilled)
  • 2 ounces apple sauce
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • ½ cup brown sugar, for sprinkling


For pie dough:

In a mixer with a paddle, mix butter, flours, sugar, and salt just until combined (make sure not to overmix). In a bowl, mix egg yolks and cream together. Add to the flour mixture. Mix very quickly, just until everything comes together. Chill dough before using.

For the pie:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a sauté pan, melt the butter. Add the brown sugar and cinnamon sticks. Cook until caramelized, and then add the apples. Cook until they are just soft but retain their firmness (chilling the apples before cooking helps this process).

Roll pie dough out until 1/8-inch thick and line the pie tin with it. Add apple sauce to the bottom, spreading it out with a spatula, and then fill the pie tin with the cooked apples. Cut out one round piece of pie dough and place on top. Whisk together egg and milk to create egg wash and brush it over the pie. Sprinkle some brown sugar on top. Bake for about 30-35 minutes or until golden brown.

Click here to see more apple recipes

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Touring St. Louis: Levee High Apple Pie, The Blue Owl Restaurant and Bakery, Kimmswick

On a recent trip to St. Louis, Pie Pal Jan and I had an opportunity to have lunch at The Blue Owl, a well-known restaurant in Kimmswick, Missouri a small town just south of St. Louis on the Mississippi. The town is a day trip destination point. It is the headquarters of the Delta Queen Steamboat Company and home to the 95 year old Anheuser Estate, which is now open to the public. The town also has many opportunities for shopping! The town is most known, however, for The Blue Owl Restaurant and Bakery with its famous Levee High Apple Pie, which was the reason for our visit to this historic town.

After a quick walk around the town, we had lunch. The quiche was a preview of the dessert pie to come. We ordered the Levee High Apple Pie with caramel pecan topping which symbolizes the rocks and murky water of the overflowing Mississippi river. We could not imagine how the pie could be cut into serving size pieces, but we soon found out. On the plate, the apples, stacked inside the crust, resemble the levee. After lunch we drove to the levee and saw firsthand how easily the river could come out of its banks and cause flooding.

People: Mary Hostetter is the owner, hostess, and baker at The Blue Owl Restaurant and Bakery. Mary purchased the restaurant in 1985 after owning a business making cookies, cakes, and pies in her home. Mary has received national recognition for her pies such as the Women of Achievement award and Restaurateur of the Year. The Levee High Apple Pie has been featured on the Food Network’s “Road Tasted”, the Travel Channel’s “Pie Paradise”, and was designated ad one of Oprah’s “Top Favorite Things for the Holidays” in 2011. Mary welcomes each guest as they enter the restaurant. She exudes the joy of being a successful woman entrepreneur.

Places: The Blue Owl Restaurant and Bakery, Kimmswick, MO. The restaurant was formerly a tea room and rooms have been added on to accommodate a growing number of guests. The restaurant now serves more than 300 customers a day.

Pies: Mile High Levee Pie was created to honor the “Great Flood of 1993.” The Mississippi River was cresting, and citizens and the National Guard frantically placed sandbags on the levee. Kimmswick was ordered to be evacuated. Fortunately, the town was spared extensive damage, and to celebrate, Mary developed The Blue Owl’s signature pie. Pies are available for shipping at

Stevia Apple Pie

After years of working around the world, from the Savoy in London to Hotel Cipriani in Venice, Katherine Clapner, has launched her own company, Dude Sweet Chocolate, to make a name for herself.

Chef Clapner served for many years as Executive Pastry Chef at Stephan Pyles restaurant, working directly with Chef/Owner Stephan Pyles on dessert menu development and execution. Clapner brings more than 20 years of experience teaching and working in the restaurant industry.

Since beginning her culinary career as a pastry cook at Sam's Caf in Dallas, Clapner has extended her training internationally and gained many years of?valuable experience at notable ?establishments? worldwide. She has? worked under the?instruction of recognized names ?such as Chef Charlie? Trotter and Chef? Kevin Graham, and? has trained and ?held Pastry Chef? positions at Charlie?Trotter's (Chicago), The Windsor Court Hotel (New Orleans), Hotel Cipriani (Venice, Italy), The Savoy Hotel (London, England), and in Austin, Texas, Mansion at Judges Hill, Ranch 616, and Liberty Tavern and Finn & Porter at the Hilton Hotel, Austin, Central Market (Dallas, Fort Worth, Plano and Houston as consulting chef).

A native of Texas, Clapner attended the University of Texas at Arlington. She later enrolled in the Culinary Institute of America in New York, where she earned an Associates Degree in baking and pastry.

Clapner has been a featured pastry chef in such prestigious publications as Bon Apptit, The Chicago Tribune, Gambit Weekly, The Times Picayune, Restaurants and Institutions, Sante Magazine, FD Luxe, Dessert Professional, Austin Monthly (top pastry chefs), Austin Women's Magazine (top women responsible for the Saveur Hill Country Wine and Food Festival), Austin Chronicle (top 10 food moments and one of four top women pastry chefs in Austin), 360 Magazine, D Magazine (best chocolatier 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012), Dallas Observer (best chocolatier 2010, 2011) and on local television shows in New Orleans, Dallas, and Austin. Clapner was also a contributing writer for Southwestern Vegetarian, the acclaimed cookbook by Chef Stephan Pyles and featured on the Cooking Channels Food Crafters program.

In 2009, Clapner opened the first of her three gourmet chocolate shops, Dude, Sweet Chocolate. The concept started with a phone call from Merrill Lynch, the financial management company. Looking for custom gifts for top customers and employees, the company asked Chef Clapner to craft some special chocolates for the holiday season.Both before and while with Dude, Sweet Clapner has consulted with several restaurant groups the likes of PF Changs, Blue Mesa, Coast, Bolla and Brookshires Grocery.

Dude, Sweet is a minority owned business, with solid ties to local vendors and a commitment to utilizing green products whenever possible. Local and regional products used in the creation of both the product and the packaging include Lucky Layla Butter and Cream, Tom Spicer fruits and vegetables, Acme Stamp (packaging), Shiner Bock Beer, Breckenridge Distillery, Del Maguey Mescal, Louisiana Parique Tobacco and Zip Code Honey and Pollen.

Chef Clapner has also been a participant of Texas Hill Country Wine and Food Festival, Sugar Land Food Festival, Aspen Food and Wine (Texas Outlaws) and Buffalo Gap Food Festival.

The Texas influence has colored my approach to the chocolate line, sums up Clapner. People dont realize that Texas cuisine is very global. These flavors have influenced my flavor profiles, as well as my sense of pride to be from Texas. And Dude, that is sweet.

Levee High Apple Pie Recipe

Is there a better combination than Mom and apple pie?

We’ve had a wet spring this year lately, wet enough for the forecasters to start comparing current river and levee levels to previous record-holding years. One community hard hit with flooding is Kimmswick, Mo., a self-made small tourist spot near St. Louis.

Typical of an adventure, what I thought I would enjoy turned out to be the least fascinating part about the visit, which included a stop at the Blue Owl Restaurant, known for its levee high apple pies.

Can you spot the levee high apple pie? (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

The apple pies were designed to celebrate the levee that keeps the town from getting flooded. The unique aspect of this well-known apple pie is the pie shape.

Closer look at the shape of levee high apple pies. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

When I asked the waitress how they make it, she said it was a secret so I checked around to find the recipe.

Before trying to make it, though, I decided to taste test the real thing.

The caramel cover to levee high apple pie. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

The caramel coating was delicious but what fascinated me was how the apples were added as the pie filing.

How the applies are piled high for levee high apple pie. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

Levee High Apple Pie, The Blue Owl Restaurant Bakery, Kimmswick

Author: From Let’s Do Lunch, a cookbook from The Blue Owl Restaurant and Bakery

A storied and award-winning apple pie.


2 deep-dish unbaked pie crusts

12 cups (14-16 apples) of peeled and thinly sliced Granny Smith apples

1 ½ cups melted caramels (21 oz).


For the Filling

Combine apples, sugar, flour cinnamon, and salt. Mound filling by hand or use a small, deep mixing bowl for a mold. Invert the filling into the bottom crust and dot with butter. Cover mounded filling with top crust. Moisten, seal and flute edges tightly. Brush top crust with a small amount of milk and sugar mixed together. Prick crust to allow steam to vent. Bake at 450 degrees for 15 minutes, then reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake for 1 hour or until the crust is golden brown.

For the topping

Melt caramels in the microwave. Add evaporated milk and stir until smooth. Add chopped pecans and stir. Spread over pie starting at the base and working up.

The Blue Owl Restaurant sign at Kimmswick, Missouri. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

I tend to make pies without pie crusts but in this case, I think a pie crust will come in handy to hold all of those sliced apples together!


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Six Tips for Making the Best Ever Homemade Apple Pie.

Tip 1 for Making Apple Pie:

Both of the recipes, for the filling and the pastry, were adapted from a cookbook that is a bit dated, with a copyright date of 1987, but while it may be an oldie, it&rsquos a goodie: The Southern Living Cookbook . This Southern Living cookbook has a brown cover. The recipe for the pie filling is called Country Apple Pie, and really I can only think of one significant alteration that I&rsquove made to their recipe. Instead of &ldquoground nutmeg&rdquo which is what the original recipe called for, the recipe that I&rsquom sharing with you today calls for freshly ground nutmeg.

I&rsquove said this before, probably in my Peach Pie recipe, but it bears repeating: there is a WORLD of difference between the already ground nutmeg that you buy in a can or jar in the supermarket, and buying a whole nutmeg and grating it yourself. I used to hate nutmeg, or so I thought. And then, I tried grating my own, with a whole nutmeg that my sister brought to me from one of her Caribbean vacations. Man, oh, man! The flavor: she sings!

Tip 2 for Making Apple Pie:

The tool I use for the job is a Microplane Grater, and I use it to zest limes and lemons, grate chocolate and nutmeg, and most often to grate Parmesan cheese. It is absolutely indispensable in my kitchen. I probably use it 5 or 6 times a week, at least. You just need a fine rasp to scrape teeny bits off the side. When I&rsquove grated what I need, I put the nutmeg back in a plastic baggy till the next time I need some freshly grated nutmeg. No muss, no fuss. And they last forever. I put a link to the Microplane Grater, just below the recipe card, if you&rsquore thinking you might need one for your very own.

Tip 3 for Making Apple Pie:

The other note that I&rsquod give you for this recipe is that I prefer to use Granny Smith apples. Some cooks like the flavor of Golden Delicious variety, but I&rsquove tried both, and I find the Golden Delicious to be too sweet, and too mooshy. I like the tartness and the firmness of the Granny Smith.

Tip 4 for Making Apple Pie:

I also use one of these gizmos, an apple peeler/corer/slicer which saves me SO MUCH TIME! (They&rsquore also pretty entertaining for the kids to watch!) I bought mine probably 20 or so years ago from the Vermont Country Store, and it was one of my smarter purchases. It&rsquos kept my family in apple pie, year after year. They&rsquore available now on Amazon, and you&rsquoll find a link it, just below the recipe card.

Tip 5 for Making Apple Pie:

The lemon juice in the recipe gets sprinkled on the apples to keep them from turning brown. The Vitamin C in the lemon juice prevents oxidization, so after you&rsquove cut the apples, be sure to sprinkle them fairly soon afterward with the lemon juice.

Tip 6 for Making Apple Pie:

After you lay the top crust on top of the pie, and crimp or flute the edges to form the crust, paint the top of the crust with half & half or milk. It will give the top crust a gorgeous sheen.
Then, to gild that gorgeous lily, sprinkle about a teaspoon of sugar all over the top of the crust. It causes guests to DROOL.

You can DO this! Go forth, make one, eat, and enjoy!

It sure would help me out, if you&rsquod share this on Pinterest, or wherever you share recipes on social media.

Apple Pie

Con Poulos for The New York Times. Food Stylist: Simon Andrews.

In 2013, at least, one of the great pie makers in New York City was Kierin Baldwin, the pastry chef at The Dutch in the SoHo neighborhood. This recipe is adapted from hers, for a plain apple pie. It benefits from heeding her advice to pre-cook the filling before baking. “Apple pies that have crunchy, raw apples in them are a pet peeve of mine,” Ms. Baldwin said. Peel and core the fruit, cut it into slices, then macerate them in a plume of sugar. Cook these soft with a splash of acid (like lemon juice or cider vinegar) and a hint of cinnamon and allspice, then add some starch to thicken the whole. Allow the mixture to cool completely before using it in the pie. (For everything you need to know to make the perfect pie crust, visit our pie guide.) &mdashSam Sifton


As any of you know who&rsquove hung around this godforsaken place (or used my cookbook) for any length of time, for years I&rsquove used a no-fail (and so flaky you can&rsquot believe it) pie crust that was shared with me by a woman named Sylvia. And I firmly believe that when Sylvia appears before her maker one day, he will place his hand on her head and say &ldquoWell done, my child. Well done.&rdquo For Sylvia&rsquos pie crust recipe has made its mark on many a family&rsquos Thanksgiving table.

For the printable recipe for the pie crust, click here:

I&rsquove gotten a little lazy through the years, especially when I have a bunch of other cooking going on, and often whip up the pie crust in the food processor. Here&rsquos the flour and shortening.

I do about thirty very quick pulses. I don&rsquot want to just kill this stuff and process it to death the quality of the crust would be affected. Just go until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Ideally, you&rsquod do this with a pastry blender to avoid overdoing it.

Next, you add a little ice water&hellip

Stir it together gently, just long enough for the mixture to come together.

Next, split the dough in half, form each half into a rough ball, then place each ball into a separate ziploc bag. Slightly flatten each ball, seal the bags, then place &rsquoem into the freezer until you need them. (If you&rsquore using the pie dough right away, you still need to freeze it for a good 20 to 30 minutes, so it&rsquoll be firm enough to roll out and work with. (And this also somehow improves the flaky nature of the crust.)

Recipe Summary

  • 1 (9 inch) pie shell
  • 6 cups thinly sliced apples
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice (Optional)
  • ¾ cup white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ½ cup raisins (Optional)
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts (Optional)
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup packed brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons butter

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).

Place sliced apples in a large bowl sprinkle with lemon juice, if desired. In a small bowl, mix together white sugar, 2 tablespoons flour, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Sprinkle mixture over apples and toss until apple slices are evenly coated. Stir in raisins and walnuts (optional). Transfer mixture into pastry shell.

In a small bowl ,mix together 1/2 cup flour and brown sugar. Cut in butter or margarine until mixture is crumbly. Sprinkle mixture over apple filling. Cover top loosely with aluminum foil.

Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes. Remove foil and bake an additional 25 to 30 minutes, until top is golden brown and filling is bubbly. Cool on a wire rack.

Watch the video: How to make delicious apple pie (July 2022).


  1. Maduley

    There are many more options

  2. Cullo

    It really pleases me.

  3. Pomeroy

    I am final, I am sorry, but it not absolutely approaches me. Perhaps there are still variants?

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