Bugga’s Apple Pie

Apple Pie is a well-loved dessert, and Bugga’s Apple Pie is a family favorite. The pie is filled with tart Granny Smith apples that are tossed in lemon juice, flour, sugar, cinnamon and butter, then bakes until golden brown and delicious. Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, and this pie is perfection.

A slice of pie on a white plate

I’m sharing this recipe and these photos with y’all today because this pie could not have been made without the help of my mother, whose birthday is today. Happy Birthday, Mom!

Pie making is a big deal in my family. My grandmothers all baked pies when I was growing up, and it is still considered a time-honored tradition on both my mom’s side and my dad’s side of the fam. When I was a kid, I spent a lot of time in the kitchen marveling over my grandmothers’ skills, especially when they were baking, and that love has carried over into my adulthood.

However, no matter how much I love baking and baked goods, I generally don’t make pies.

Call me high-maintenance, but I find pies take a lot of time to pull together, and most of the time, this is too much for me, and I’ll bake up a batch of cookies or brownies or maybe a cake instead. However, if I do indeed decide I am going to make a pie, I want an additional pair of hands in the kitchen helping me out.

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    This lovely Apple Pie, a riff on my Bugga’s classic, was whipped up during one of those times when I had some extra hands in the kitchen… specifically hands that know how my Bugga’s pie is made.

    A woman mixing ingredients in an orange bowl

    My mom visited Dallas back in July, and for the Fourth of July, we decided it would be appropriate to make a rendition of Bugga’s Apple Pie, a pie of my grandmother’s that I have always loved and attempted to recreate without much success.

    A blond woman and a brunette woman stand together in front of an orange bowl holding pie crust ingredients as they make a pieI made the pie crust, something that has taken me more time than I would care to admit to perfect, and while I was doing that, my mom made the apple filling.

    And it was there that I learned why my apple pies had been less delicious than I remember.

    According to my mom (and her mom, as Bugga knew these things and passed on the knowledge), for an apple pie to have full-out flavor and for the filling to be wonderful, you’ve gotta mix in the ingredients bit by bit. As in my mother was sprinkling in a little sugar, a little cinnamon, a little butter over the apples and mixing the ingredients with her hands until the filling was deemed the right texture.

    She measured out the ingredients so we could know for sure. And I’m SO thankful for this because I’ll have a guide to go off of for the rest of time and will hopefully be able to recreate this decadent, traditional pie.

    After I was done with the crust, we popped it in the fridge for about an hour, then we set to rolling it out.

    Well, Mom rolled it while I photographed. Because, again, four hands in the kitchen makes it SO much easier… especially when you’re photographing something as you’re making it.
    A collage of six images showing a woman working in a kitchen to roll out, prepare and fill a pie crust with apple slices

    So my mom rolled out the pie crust, poured the apple filling mixture in, then proceeded to roll out the top of the pie crust.

    She even crimped the edges of the pie while I photographed.

    Yes, we were totally fancy.

    A collage of four images showing how to crimp, decorate and prepare a homemade pie

    And once she’d topped the pie with a little half-and-half (“to help make it golden brown,” she says,) sugar and cinnamon, we popped this pie in the oven and let it do its thing.

    Here’s how you make it:

    A slice of pie on a white plate
    Yield: 8 slices

    Bugga's Apple Pie

    Prep Time: 30 minutes
    Cook Time: 40 minutes
    Cooling Time: 1 hour
    Total Time: 2 hours 10 minutes

    Apple Pie is a well-loved dessert, and Bugga's Apple Pie is a family favorite. The pie is filled with tart Granny Smith apples that are tossed in lemon juice, flour, sugar, cinnamon and butter, then bakes until golden brown and delicious. Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, and this pie is perfection.


    • 1 pie crust, homemade or storebought


    • 4 large Granny Smith Apples, finely sliced
    • ¼ teaspoon lemon juice
    • 1 tablespoon unbleached all-purpose flour
    • ¼ cup granulated sugar
    • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
    • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled


    • 2 tablespoons half and half
    • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar


    1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
    2. Slice up the apples, and put them in a bowl.
    3. Slowly, add in the sugar, cinnamon, butter and lemon juice, stirring occasionally so the ingredients are evenly dispersed, and set aside.
    4. Roll out half of your pie crust and carefully place in the bottom of your pie dish. Using a fork, poke a few holes in the bottom to let moisture escape as the pie bakes.
    5. Pour the apple filling into the crust, then roll out the other half of the pie crust, carefully placing on top of the pie and poking a few holes in this, as well.
    6. Top the pie crust with the half and half, cinnamon and granulated sugar.
    7. Bake the pie for 40-45 minutes or until the top is golden brown.
    8. Enjoy warm or at room temperature with a scoop of vanilla ice cream!

    Nutrition Information:



    Serving Size:

    1 slice

    Amount Per Serving: Calories: 221Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 9mgSodium: 94mgCarbohydrates: 34gFiber: 4gSugar: 18gProtein: 2g

    Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate.

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    A light skinned woman with red fingernails serves a slice of pie on a white plate

    Does your family have any food traditions like mine does with pies?

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    1. Loved this post, Erin. Reminds me of me and my mom baking apple pies together when I was younger! It’s one of my favorite traditions and I’ve been carrying it on for years at Thanksgiving and Christmas. I’m already looking forward to spending fall afternoons baking in the kitchen.

      1. Thanks so much, Katherine! And isn’t it fun baking pies with your mother or grandmother? It makes me smile that you’ve carried on the pie baking tradition during the holidays, and I agree: I look forward to spending fall afternoons baking, too.

    2. My grandma is famous in small town, ND for her Green Tomato Pies, which incidentally taste a lot like apple pies. I am going to have to set up a time to learn from her (mostly, when do you pick those tomatoes out of the garden, exactly?). My mom has never been much a pie maker, and she has actually refused to TRY the green tomato pie all these years, which just blows my mind.

      My great grandma was also known for having a banana cream pie ready for my dad every time he stopped by, which was weekly when we all still lived in Montana.

      Yeah, there’s something sort of magical about pie. 🙂

      1. Interesting that your grandma’s famous Green Tomato Pies (which sound FABULOUS) taste a lot like apple pies! And I think you should definitely take the time to learn the art from her because that’s awesome, even if your mom refuses to try the pie.

        And I love that your great grandma is known for having a banana cream pie for your dad whenever he stopped by. Love that!

        And I totally agree: There IS something magical about a homemade pie.

    3. Homemade pie made with love by grandma is ALWAYS the best kind of pie. My grandma specialized in pumpkin chiffon and pecan. This apple pie looks fantastic–as it should be when it’s a grandma recipe. 🙂

      1. I completely agree with you, Eileen, and your grandma’s specialty pies sound absolutely wonderful! I hope she taught you how to make them, or you’ve learned through the grapevine like I have.

    4. No one in my family was much a pie maker (except my great-grandma, but she was too old to be making pies in my memorable lifetime) — we mostly just made paczkis in my house 🙂 I’m glad that you decided to share this so now I can have a tried and true recipe to make!

      1. I hope you like this recipe, Kelly. It’s a favorite, and it reminds me of my childhood, even if it’s not exactly the way my Bugga used to make it. 😉

        And that’s awesome that your family made paczkis in house! So cool!

    5. Hi cousin! Bug’s apple pie was the BEST. I totally forgot about the half and half on the crust. I remember grocery shopping with Bug and her only buying Rome apples for pies. She wouldn’t make apple pie without those apples … she’d make a lemon meringue instead (and I’d be disappointed … haha).

      1. Thanks for stopping by, cuz! And I agree — her apple pie was my FAVORITE. And while this isn’t Bug’s pie by any means, I’m so glad my mom showed me the way on this one because it tasted very similar. (True story: Mom wouldn’t let me call this Alice’s Apple Pie, even though this is her rendition on Bugga’s classic, and she said she thought it would be nice to call it Bugga’s instead.)

        I had NO idea she only used Rome apples for pies. Too funny… and I feel ya. I wish I liked Lemon Meringue when I was a kid because I’m sure hers was awesome.

    6. Naw, this is such a gorgeous post Erin! I love the photos of you and your mum together. Stunners! I’ve actually never baked with my mother. She’s not really into baking (she’s a savoury fiend; nuts, cheese, chips, olives, salami… a plate of that and she’ll be in heaven) so I mostly just whiz up a storm in my own little kitchen with some nice tunes and a glass of wine! Thanks for sharing your special family recipe with us. I will definitely be trying this during my next baking session! Hugs to you gorgeous! xx

      1. Aww, thank you, Laura. You’re too sweet, friend, and we had a lovely time together back in July. It’s hard to believe it’s already been a month and a half!

        It’s fun that your mom is into everything savory and that you cook up a storm in your own kitchen. 🙂 To each her own, I say!

        You’re welcome for sharing, and I’d love to know what you think. There is just something so lovely and elegant about a pie, and this one, to me, doesn’t disappoint. Hugs right back to you, lady!

      1. Thank you so much, Angie. I will pass along your well-wishes to her. 🙂

        And I agree: This pie really is a stunner, and it’s delicious, too! I’m glad my mom was around to make it look so fancy with that crust. Haha.

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