Open-face apple pie

Rustic Apple Pie

The “rustic” in this recipe allows for “not perfect,” which is perfect for us these days. This recipe for a traditional free-form pie called a galette in France really invites you to relax into a baking project with your kids, knowing that no one is going to be disappointed with the results—how they taste or how they look. Everyone is going to nail it.

60 mins




1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons granulated sugar

8 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces

1/4 cup plain yogurt or sour cream

3 to 4 tablespoons ice water


4 cups apples peeled, cored, and diced (tart, firm apples are best)

1/2 a lemon, juiced

3 cups water

1 1/3 cups granulated sugar

1/3 cup cornstarch

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg


1. Make the pie dough:

Combine the flour, sugar, and salt in a large bowl.

Using your fingers, break butter in bits and work it into the flour until the mixture is pebbly.

Using a wooden spoon, mix in yogurt or sour cream and 3 tablespoons of water into the mixture to combine. The dough will start to come together. If it’s still a little dry add a little more ice water.

Use your hands to bring it together into a single ball. Transfer dough to a large square of parchment paper, patting it into a disk (or divide it into individual disks for each child), and wrap it tightly. Chill dough in the fridge or freezer while you make the filling.

2. While the dough chills, make the filling:

Toss apples in lemon juice in a large mixing bowl and set aside.

Combine water, sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, salt, and nutmeg in a medium saucepan and stir to combine.

Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring often.

Once the mixture boils, boil it for two minutes and then add the apples and cover with a lid.

Cook, stirring often, until the apples soften, about 5-8 minutes.

3. Assemble and bake:

Preheat the oven to 400°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

On a floured work surface, roll the dough out into a large round-ish shape, about 14 inches across or have each child/ family member roll out their own smaller pies. The dough should be about ⅛” thick no matter how large they are.

Gently transfer the dough to the parchment paper lined pan.

Spoon the apple filling into the center of each dough, leaving a 2- to 3-inch border uncovered. Fold this border over fruit, pleating the edge to make it fit. The center will be open.

For a shiny, crispier crust beat an egg with 1 teaspoon of water and brush it over the crust. Sprinkle it with coarse sugar.

Bake the pies for about 30 minutes, or until they are golden and bubbling. Cool for at least 20 minutes before serving.


Kids Can:

  • Peel and cut apples—taste them raw!
  • Juice the lemon
  • Measure and mix

Grown-ups Can:

  • Start a discussion about what grows in the fall. What does “seasonal” mean? What are some foods that grow in this season and how do we eat them?
  • Encourage kids to get their hands dirty. Some kids need encouragement with new textures and want to wash their hands right away. Help them relax but note when they may be overstimulated and help them be more comfortable. Comfort comes with practice.
A photo of Cheryl.

Cheryl Knecht Muñoz

Cheryl is the Founder and Owner of Sugar Beet Schoolhouse, a cooking school for kids and their families in River Forest, IL. As a chef, instructor, and working mom, she is passionate about growing, cooking, and sharing good food together.



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