We have a restaurant near us that serves real food. It is such a blessing that when we do go out to eat (maybe once a month) we can know that the meat is not from a CAFO, the vegetables are locally grown, and the pie is really good. Last fall they had homemade apple pie on the menu, which caught our eye because they said their pie crust was made of lard. No hydrogenated shortening.

Sold at the word lard we ordered a piece to split and I have to tell you it was the best piece of pie I’d ever eaten. And I’ve eaten my fair share of Thanksgiving pie.

I know my husband really loved it because for the past year or so whenever the word lard came up, "pie" would soon follow. So for Thanksgiving this year I knew I wanted to make him an apple pie with a lard crust. The only problem was that every pie filling recipe contained sugar, which would certainly take the wind out of his sails when I told him.

Enter the rather large jar of local raw honey in our pantry.

I knew that apple and honey would be good, but I thought that the honey could overpower both the apple and the spices. So I took care to use as little honey as possible for flavor and health reasons. This was also my first time rendering lard and when the process was complete I was a little fearful of the "meaty" odor that the lard contained. Because of that I used Ann Marie’s pie crust recipe, which contains both butter (see sources) and lard. I made it using whole spelt flour, as I tolerate it a bit better than wheat, but sprouted flour would be even better.

In this day of low-fat everything I have never had such a rich pie crust. It was flaky and decadent – the best we’ve ever had. And apparently so was the pie filling because now when the word "pie" comes up it is directed at our homemade Thanksgiving pie of 2009.

Honey-Sweetened Apple Pie with Spelt Crust

Recipe Notes: This pie is not terribly sweet, which is part of the reason we loved it. Served with a dollop of fresh whipped cream sweetened with stevia (or maple syrup), it is just right, to my tastes. If you prefer a sweeter pie filling add a touch more honey and a touch more flour, to counteract the liquid. It’s also impossible to say exactly how many apples will fill your particular pie pan so I shoot for just a bit extra. It makes for a lovely little snack.


  • 1 pie crust recipe, using whole spelt or sprouted flour (see sources)
  • ~ 7 large granny smith or other baking apples, peeled, cored and sliced
  • 1/3 cup honey, heated until pourable
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • pinch each of cloves, nutmeg, and sea salt
  • 1/3 cup flour, preferably sprouted (see sources)


  1. Prepare pie crust. Roll out and fill 9" pie pan with bottom crust.
  2. Mix apple slices, honey, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, sea salt, and flour in a large bowl. Taste for sweetness and adjust if necessary.
  3. Carefully pour apple mixture into prepared pie crust, filling in gaps and holes along the way. Your pie filling will seem like way too much, creating a mountain of apples in the middle. Don’t worry, it cooks down a little bit and you want a higher pie filling.
  4. Roll out top crust. Create an egg wash with one egg white and a tablespoon of water. Brush the bottom crust edge with egg wash.
  5. To transfer crust to pie: Place rolling pin over one side of crust. Very carefully and loosely roll the crust around the rolling pin and bring the rolling pin to the pie. Carefully unroll the crust and drape over the pie filling. Don’t worry if tears appear, you can patch it up. A rustic pie lets everyone know it’s homemade.
  6. Trim the edge of the crust to about 1-inch over the rim. Tuck the edge of the top crust under the edge of the bottom crust and crimp the 2 together with your fingers. Brush the entire top crust with the egg wash and cut 4 or 5 slits for ventilation.
  7. Place the pie on a sheet pan and bake for 1 to 1 1/4 hours, until golden brown. If the edges start to brown too fast remove the pie and cover the edges in aluminum foil.

This recipe is a contribution to Stephanie’s Healthy Sweets Carnival.


10 Responses to Honey-Sweetened Apple Pie with Spelt Crust

  1. Denise says:

    it looks really good!


  2. Motherhen68 says:

    I am drooling over that photo! Goodness :)

    You know, people always talk about lard in their pie crusts, but like you said, my lard smells “meaty”. I’ve not made the crust because I’m afraid the crust will taste like pork!

    I would really like to try this recipe. Maybe for Christmas when I can “justify” eating the grains. Thanks for the recipe.


  3. [...] Honey-Sweetened Apple Pie with Spelt Crust @ Nourished Days [...]

  4. Cathy says:

    Looks really yummy!


  5. Sarah says:

    Oh that recipe sounds and looks delicious! I am not fond of overly sweet apple pies so I am happy to find a recipe that isn’t super sweet. Awesome!


  6. chana says:

    What temp?
    It’s in the oven now on 300F. Hope that’ll work.
    Thanks for the recipe!


    Shannon Reply:

    Chana – Yes, I think 300 or 350 is a good temp to get the crust cooked through.


  7. Debra says:

    Wait! Go back to the lard…I have been on the lookout for lard, non-hydrogenated lard. Where do you find it? That has been my question.

    Apparently, you don’t. You make it yourself.

    So more details on that? What do you render? Where do you get it? How do you render it?

    Next time you make it, would love to see pictures.

    Thanks and THANK YOU for the yogurt in the cooler recipe. Making it right now. My husband and I LOVE it…so good.

    God bless.


  8. Rachel says:

    Do you think I could substitute pears for the apples with similar success? We have a lot of pears to use up and my husband is hoping for a no-sugar pear pie. This might be just the recipe that I need!




  9. [...] and cut them up, then together make your family’s favorite apple treats or stock the freezer: apple pie, apple pie filling, apple crisp, apple “groaning” muffins, apple crumble bars, or even [...]

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