Sweet Molasses Apple Pie aka Ugly Pie



For the Crust:

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup cold lard or vegetable shortening, cut into small pieces
  • 46 tablespoons ice water

For the Topping:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup cold lard or butter, cut into small pieces

For the Filling:

  • 2 1/2 pounds apples, peeled, cored, and chopped
  • 3/4 cup toasted walnuts, chopped
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins
  • 1/4 cup robust molasses
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice


  1. To make the crust, combine flour, sugar, and salt in a medium bowl. Add lard and toss to coat in flour, then using a pastry cutter or your fingers, cut the lard into the flour until it resembles coarse breadcrumbs.
  2. Add the water one tablespoon at a time, tossing the water into the flour mixture until the dough holds together when you squeeze a handful. Gather into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, or up to 1 hour.
  3. Once dough is chilled, roll out on a lightly floured work surface to about an 11-inch circle, about 1/8-inch thick. Line a 9 1/2-inch pie plate with the dough and press down into the bottom and sides. Trim any excess dough and pinch into a decorative edge. Return to the refrigerator until ready to use.
  4. Heat oven to 425°F and place a baking sheet on the bottom rack of the oven to heat. To make the topping combine the flour, oats, spice, salt, and brown sugar in a medium bowl. Add lard or butter and toss to coat in the mixture. Using your fingers or a pastry cutter, cut the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse bread crumbs. Set in the fridge until ready to use.
  5. To make the filling, combine all the ingredients in a large bowl and toss until apples are coated and the sugars and flour have been incorporated.
  6. Pour filling into the pie dish. Evenly sprinkle topping over the filling and place pie on top of the hot baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes, then reduce oven temperature to 350°F. Continue baking for 45-55 minutes or until topping is dark golden and filling is bubbling. Let cool 1 hour before serving.