Sour Cream Apple Pie: A PA Dutch Recipe

I cannot believe it’s been 7 months since my last blog post.  Yikes.

Not much of a post here, but I did want to get the recipe down quickly for a friend who requested it.  If you love apple pie, I would highly encourage you to try this recipe.  It’s an adaptation of a Pennsylvania Dutch recipe and the sour cream makes it irresistible.  I doubt I will ever make a “plain” apple pie again.  It’s that good.  I added cranberries because husband likes sour, and you could easily add raisins or other berries or just use straight up apples.  I used half Granny Smith and half Hidden Rose apples.  Since we moved to Washington in August, it’s been Appletopia.  I’ve never seen so many varieties and so readily available . . . meaning even on the side of the road.


Here’s the recipe:


I almost always use the a recipe for my pie crusts I adapted from Allison Kave’s  book “First Prize Pies.”  The crust tastes so good sometimes I’ll underbake it and make a double or 1.5 batch to have a thicker chewier crust.  Not normal or traditional, but tasty.  For one double-crust 9 – inch (23 cm) pie, use 225 g unsalted COLD COLD COLD butter , 1/2 cup COLD buttermilk (you can use milk plus 1 Tbsp cider vinegar and let milk sit for half an hour), 340 g all purpose CHILLED flour, 1 Tbsp. cornstarch, 2 Tbsp sugar, 1 1/2 tsp salt.

  • Cut your butter up into small 1/2 inch cubes, and return to freezer or fridge.
  • Toss flour, cornstarch, sugar and salt together.  Cut in butter with tool of choice but try not to use hands as they will heat up the butter.  But you can also use a Cuisinart.  Just don’t overmix.  You want small, pea-sized chunks.  Be light and quick.
  • Spread mixture out onto a flat COLD surface (such as a chilled cutting board).  You want a lot of surface area.  Then drizzle half of your liquid over the flour mixture , lightly toss with bench scraper or fork, and repeat with second half of liquid.  When dough will come together with still visible little pieces of butter against the side of a bowl, gather into a ball and chill in fridge for at least 1 hour.


You’ll need 5 cups sliced apples.  I don’t peel any more, mostly out of laziness.  But I do core them.  I also added 1/2 cup stewed cranberries that I sweetened with orange zest & juice and about 1/4 cup sugar.  Also 2 Tbsp apple cider, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 2 Tbsp all purpose flour, 1/4 tsp salt, 1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk, 1 cup sour cream, 1/3 cup half and half or heavy whipping cream, and 2 tsp vanilla extract.

  • First you want to steam the apples in the cider vinegar over medium heat, just for a few minutes.  You may have to do in batches.  You don’t want applesauce, you just want to remove the rawness of the apples and prevent undercooked apples in your pie.  Let them cool after steaming.  I do this because I like bigger chunks of apples instead of thin slices, but I don’t like them undercooked.
  • In a bowl, combine sugar, flour and salt.  Whisk.  Add egg and yolk, sour cream, half and half or cream, and vanilla.  Stir in apples.  Pour mix into chilled pie shell.
  • Bake pie at 400 degrees for 15 minutes.
  • Reduce temperature to 350 degrees for 15 minutes while you make the crumb topping.


  • For crumb topping, combine 1 cup flour, 1/2 cup sugar, 1/3 cup packed brown sugar, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp salt, 3/4 cup chopped pecans or walnuts (optional), and 6 tablespoons unsalted chilled butter cut into chunks.  Mix together with fork or hands.
  • After the pie has baked 30 minutes, remove it from the oven and spread topping over pie.  Return pie to oven for 20 – 25 minutes. Cool and serve!img_2399Also submitted in eager anticipation of Fiesta Friday #147.




Heirloom Cottage Cheese Pie

“This is the worst pie I’ve ever tasted.”  -my Dad.

How’s that for an enticement?  Do keep in mind that my Dad said this after eating a bite of my mother’s pumpkin pie which is always sublime, and keep in mind that my Dad is a little bit set in his ways.  I’m thinking if he sees a white pie, he’s thinking cheesecake, and that’s not what he got here.

My husband, however, ate his whole piece and proclaimed it delicious.  He is the best Santa’s elf ever!  Always such a good sport, will try any crazy thing I cook up.

This pie is an heirloom Pennsylvania Dutch recipe, with German, Quaker and Mennonite roots.  It is a very simple recipe and, I think, makes for a very delicious pie.  It sort of reminds me of a ricotta cheesecake but with more texture and without the graham crust.  You have to be prepared to taste a little bit of savory/sour, along with the sweet, and I think it’s best eaten on its own and not after a bite of pumpkin pie.

I made this pie for Christmas Eve dinner, and also to bring to Fiesta Friday #100.  Stay tuned because I’ll be bringing more!  Happy Anniversary to everybody who’s been a part of Fiesta Friday and as always I send my gratitude and thanks to Angie for making this all possible.

christmas eve (3 of 5)

christmas eve (4 of 5)

christmas eve 2 (3 of 3)

christmas eve 2 (2 of 3)

christmas eve 4 (3 of 7)

christmas eve 4 (4 of 7)

christmas eve 4 (6 of 7)

christmas eve 4 (7 of 7)

Pie Filling: Adapted from Shockingly Delicious

  • 1.5 cartons cottage cheese (1 16-ounce regular size carton and half of another 16 oz carton)
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • ¾-1 cup sugar
  • 2 well beaten eggs
  • Grated rind and juice of one lemon
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • Unbaked pie crust (see recipe below)
  • pinch nutmeg, either freshly grated or prepared ground

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