Last winter, I wrote an article about pie and pleasing my man.


It came from a story I stumbled upon in an old Betty Crocker cookbook from my mother’s era. In it read this quote:

“What’s the American man’s favorite dessert? Most people would agree, it’s pie. And heading the list is apple pie, followed closely by cherry pie and peach pie and lemon meringue and a lot of others. If you care about pleasing a man, bake a pie. But make sure it’s a perfect pie. How? Simple. Spend a little time with this chapter; pick up our sure-fire tips for flaky pastry. Then try one of our recipes — family-tested and guaranteed to satisfy. What more could you ask of a dessert?”

My column that week set out to prove I had other ways to please my man.

And I do.

Ahem, again.

However – every once in a while you got-a-give Betty props. She does know how to bake a mean pie. And usually, that will make any guy happy.

Since it’s back to school week in my neck of the woods and because I have a very kind co-worker with two apple trees and plenty of apples, I decided Sunday afternoon was the perfect day to bake a pie.

An apple pie. With a heavy dose of tasty crunch stuff on top.

Did I mention my fantastic co-worker? She let me do this last year, too. I gather my girls and we spend an early afternoon searching for the perfect apple. Since Nebraska’s weather was strangely warm this year, the apples are ready to be picked early.

And I’m good with that – cause I like fall. A lot. We’ve established that a few times. I wanted to try something new but keep bits and pieces of old, too. Like my mom’s incredible crust recipe, a combination of a proven favorite from Betty Crocker and a tasty online find from Midwest Living Magazine.

The result? I decided it was the best apple pie I’ve ever made.

Um, I’ve only made two – counting this one.

Still it was good.

Like, maybe one of the best apple pies I’ve eaten. That’s saying a lot for something I baked.

I think it’s the crunchy part, the fresh apples and mom’s crust that make it so tasty. Whatever the combo is – it definitely got the job done. AKA – my man was pleased and so was my stomach. Like, too much. I need to hit the gym. Ugh.

Brown Sugar Crunch Apple Pie (slightly adapted from here)

For the filling you will need:

  • 5 cups peeled, cored, and thinly sliced apple of choice
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 -3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • teaspoon lime juice
  • Walnut Crumb Topping (recipe follows)
  • Crust recipe of choice
  • Vanilla Ice Cream


  1. Make the pie crust. (See below for instructions)
  2. For filling: In a large bowl, combine the apples with lime juice. In a small bowl, stir together sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Sprinkle sugar mixture over the fruit. Toss to combine. Let stand for 10 minutes. Transfer apple filling to pastry-lined pie plate. Mound the Walnut Crumb Topping over filling.
  3. To prevent overbrowning, cover edge of pie with foil. Place the pie on the center rack of a 375 degree F. oven. Place a large baking sheet covered with foil on a rack under the pie. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes more or until apples are tender, filling is bubbly and topping is golden. (If necessary, loosely cover top of pie with foil the last 30 to 40 minutes.) Cool on a wire rack. Serve pie slightly warm with ice cream. Makes 8 servings.

Walnut Crumb Topping


  • 3/4 cup walnuts (I actually eliminated this as Kyle isn’t a fan)
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 6 tablespoons cold butter, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices


  1. In a food processor combine walnuts, sugar, and brown sugar. Cover and process to grind the walnuts. Remove the lid; add flour, oats, salt and cinnamon. Cover and process until combined. Remove the lid; scatter butter over the flour mixture. Cover and process until mixture resembles coarse crumbs; transfer to a large bowl; rub the crumbs between your fingers to make large, buttery crumbs.

Mom’s Pie Crust – (makes 2 crusts)


  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 1/4 cup lard or shortening
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teasoon vinegar
  • 5-6 tablespoons water


Cut shortening/lard into flour and salt until resembles small peas. Mix egg, vinegar and water together. Add to the flour, salt and shortening mixture.Mix the wet ingredients gently into the dry ingredients using a fork to stir. Over-mixing causes a tough crust. Roll out dough on a floured surface (the shape of your pie pan).


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Leslie Means

Leslie is the founder and owner of Her View From She is also a former news anchor, published children’s book author, weekly columnist, and has several published short stories as well. She is married to a very patient man. Together they have three fantastic kids.  When she’s not sharing too much personal information online and in the newspaper – you’ll find Leslie somewhere in Nebraska hanging out with family and friends. There’s also a 75% chance at any given time, you’ll spot her in the aisles at Target.

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