A Bank Robber’s Apple Pie

Reflecting on Thanksgiving supper, I thought I would share a tried and true recipe from my best friend over in McMinnville, Oregon. She introduced me to this recipe a few years ago by telling me I was eating a pie made by a full-time mobster. Which is true.

The proper name of this dessert is Pretty Boy Floyd apple pie. The recipe was originally created by a man who lived his life robbing banks, jumping through windows, and out of speeding trains on his way to prison. I found out quite recently he was shot in a cornfield in Ohio by the FBI in 1934. Right in my home state.

On that note, he also happened to love helping his wife bake pies. Respect to a man who, unfortunately, sported a nickname he was not fond of.

I raise a slice of pie to him.

The following recipe is based on the original, but modified to be free of dairy and animal fats. I exchanged lard for both vegetable shortening and Smart Balance margarine, and used vanilla soymilk in place of cow’s milk.

I also found a few teaspoons of cornstarch in the filling to be a useful addition. Necessary after an incident last week during Friends-giving when my shirt, car, and hands got a bit too syrupy.

Pie Crust

  • 2 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 7 tablespoons cold water
  1. Create the crust by working the flour,  salt and shortening together in a bowl until a crumbly mixture is formed. Then, mix in cold water gradually until the dough holds together. Divide into two, roughly equal balls.
  2. On a floured surface, roll out one ball thin enough to line a nine-inch, greased pie pan. Roll out the second ball to form the top crust.
  3. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Pie Filling

  • 1 pound fresh Granny Smith apples, peeled and sliced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1⁄2 cup white sugar
  • 1⁄4 cup seedless raisins
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons Smart Balance
  • 1⁄2 cup shelled pecans
  • 1⁄4 cup soymilk

Hard Sauce

  • 1⁄2 cup Smart Balance
  • 11⁄2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon boiling water
  • 1 tablespoon moonshine (brandy or rum also works)
  1. Place the apples in the lined pan. Sprinkle with lemon juice, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Spread the white sugar and raisins evenly over the apples.
  2. Mix the brown sugar, flour, and margarine in a bowl. When well blended, spread over the apples and sprinkle with the pecans.
  3. Add most of the soymilk and cover with the top crust. Seal the edges and create a unique shape in the top crust with a fork. Brush the rest of the milk on the crust.
  4. Bake for 10 minutes at 450 degrees, then reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake another 35 minutes until the crust is golden.
  5. To make the hard sauce, cream the margarine until light. Beat in the sugar, add water, and then beat in the liquor. Serve sauce on each slice of pie.

I oftentimes find myself too lazy to prepare the hard sauce, but decided to include it here in case anyone else was feeling a little daring for the holidays. I often warm my pie slices up and top with drizzles of natural peanut butter. My classy rendition of apple slices with peanut butter.





2 thoughts on “A Bank Robber’s Apple Pie

    • withasideofburnttoast says:

      Thank you! I wanted to give a little insight on Pretty Boy Floyd. I had no idea who he was when I first tried this pie. I thought combining a bit of his narrative might be of interest to others. I’m glad the post was meaningful to you!


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