When we were at Steve and Marie’s yesterday, there was a lot of talk about food – naturally.  Everyone’s a cook or a baker or a consumer, and we all have our likes, dislikes, and opinions about things.

Marie’s mom, JoAnn, was being overly critical about some confections she had made (lord knows I never am!) and Victor mentioned her Apple Pie.  JoAnn makes a really good apple pie. She’s brought several over to our house for various gatherings and they are something I always look forward to.

We had LOTS of desserts, yesterday – we had lots of FOOD yesterday – but no apple pie.

I was still thinking about apple pie when I went to the produce store this morning, That’s how six granny smith apples ended up in the cart.  I knew a pie was going to happen, but I wasn’t looking for a purely traditional pie.  I started thinking about a sour cream apple pie I had many moons ago and went digging for the recipe.

The Silver Palate Cookbook came out in the early ’80’s and it was based upon recipes used at the Silver Palate in NYC that had opened circa 1977.  It’s a bit Moosewood meets Julia Child and while the book seems a bit dated today, let’s face it, 35 years ago, balsamic vinegar was almost unheard of and so was extra virgin olive oil.  On a really positive note, virtually every chicken recipe starts with a WHOLE chicken!  What a concept!  Boneless, skinless (tasteless) breasts hadn’t been invented, yet.

It’s a really easy recipe to make and the pie crust really is worth making!  It’s juuuuust different enough to get that “WOW!  reaction!

Silver Palate Sour Cream Apple Pie


  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 5 tablespoons sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
  • 6 tablespoons cold shortening
  • 4 to 6 tablespoons apple juice


  • 2/3 cup sour cream
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 5 or 6 tart apples, peeled and sliced


  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts


1. Prepare crust: Sift flour, sugar, salt, and cinnamon into a bowl. Cut in the butter and shortening with a fork until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Moisten with just enough apple juice, tossing ingredients lightly with a fork. Form dough into a ball. Wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours.

2. Cut off 1/3 of the dough and return it to the refrigerator. Roll out the other 2/3 between 2 sheets of wax paper. Line a greased 9-inch pie pan with the dough. Trim overhang and crimp decoratively. Preheat oven to 350°F.

3. Whisk all filling ingredients, except apples, in a bowl. Add apples, then spoon into the pastry-lined pie pan. Combine topping ingredients and sprinkle over filling.

4. Roll out the remaining dough between wax paper to form a circle 10 inches in diameter. Cut into strips 1/2-inch wide and arrange lattice-fashion over apples; trim ends of strips and crimp edges decoratively.

5. Bake pie in the center of the oven until the juices are bubbling and the apples are tender, about 55-60 minutes. (Cover loosely with foil if the crust browns too quickly.) Serve warm or cooled.