What's in Season

Apple Pie

Made with Empire apples, this is a delicious take on the American classic

Illustration: John Burgoyne

Set up in a thrift shop storage space in 2009, the former Pie Lab in Greensboro, Alabama, churned out some of the South’s tastiest pies (while teaching area youths to bake). Among its best sellers was this pie made with Empire apples, which mature in September and October.


    • 1 large egg yolk

    • 1 tbsp. heavy cream

    • 2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice

    • 1/4 cup raw cane sugar, plus extra for sprinkling

    • 1/4 cup flour

    • 1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon

    • 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg

    • 1/4 tsp. salt

    • 3 lbs. Empire apples, peeled and sliced

    • 1 tbsp. unsalted butter

    • 1/2 cup toasted pecans

    • 2 9-inch pie shells


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

  2. In a small bowl, whisk egg yolk and cream and set aside.

  3. To make filling, mix lemon juice, sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt in a large bowl. Add in apple slices and toss to coat. Dot with butter. Fold in pecans.

  4. Place a pastry shell in a 9-inch pie dish. Add filling. Top with second shell and crimp edges to seal, removing excess dough. Brush top shell with egg wash, sprinkle with sugar, and cut several small slits to ventilate.

  5. Bake 35 to 45 minutes, or until crust is golden brown.

  6. Optional Topping: 
    Serve pie slices warm, and finish with a generous drizzle of heavy cream and a spoonful of whole cranberry sauce.

Recipe from Kelley and Seaborn Whatley of PieLab in Greensboro, Alabama