At nine years old our daughter, Anna, took a simple apple pie recipe from a cookbook, a press-in crust with the crumble top still used today. Each January Anna made an apple pie for her uncle for his birthday to get his “expert” advice on the pie quality (we never heard him complain about his annual birthday gift!). From these and other taste tests, Anna slowly made changes to the recipe. The crust morphed into what it is today, a simple flour crust made with butter.
Anna made and sold baked crumb crust and double crust apple pies at the orchard and also for the cafeteria inside the Des Moines Capitol building to be enjoyed by staff and guests. Each crust was hand-rolled with a rolling pin, filled with Wills Family Orchard apples, and crimped her own way.
When Anna left for college out of state, our second daughter, Laura, took over the pie making (she’d been helping Anna for several years now). Due to the increasing popularity of the pies and both Anna and Laura leaving the nest, we’ve relied on the help of others to learn the recipe and the “look” of our apple pies so that we can continue offering them to all our wonderful customers!
In the last couple of years, we’ve begun using larger pie making equipment to increase the ease and speed of production, but the recipe remains the same one Anna created years ago. Our apple pies are sold frozen, “take and bake” style so you can enjoy not only the taste of our apple pies at your leisure but the smells too!
Just as we continue the tradition of our Wills Family Orchard apple pies, you too can carry on the tradition in your own homes. Buy frozen apple pies all throughout the season and enjoy “pie by the slice” during Apple Pumpkin Fest weekends (don’t forget to order the one with a scoop of ice cream!).