A very American midnight Fika – Apple Pie a la Mode

July 30, 2012

in American,Pies & Tarts,Recipes

Apple Pie a la Mode

My Goddaughter’s parents (aka Compadres) have now hosted two exchange students over the past two years and every time the subject comes up, they always have great things to say about the program.

About a month ago my husband, sons, and I decided we also wanted to host an overseas student for the upcoming school year, we thought it would be a great experience for us all. We contacted our local coordinator and began receiving applications from students all over the world. We must have received between 8-10 applications, but ultimately we let our son Josh decide which student we would host since they would both be going into the same grade.

Once the paperwork and background checks were squared away we were able to make contact with our student and his family. We knew Josh had made an excellent choice right after our very first Skype chat with William.

Before his arrival we made a few preparations, we wanted him to feel as much at home as possible. So, we made him a welcome banner and I decided to bake him a very american, apple pie.


5.0 from 1 reviews
Apple Pie
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 10
  • 1 9-inch double piecrust (top and bottom)
  • 3 pounds whole apples, peeled, cored, and sliced (I used Envy apples, a new variety I found while grocery shopping)
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey bourbon
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1-2 tablespoons milk (for coating the piecrust)
  • 1 tablespoon turbinado, or granulated sugar (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. In a large enough bowl combine sliced apples, cider vinegar, bourbon, lemon juice, and vanilla extract.
  3. In a small bowl whisk together the remaining dry ingredients; cornstarch, salt, and spices. Pour over apples and toss to combine.
  4. Roll out ½ of the piecrust over a lightly floured surface, carefully roll it onto the rolling pin and place over a 9 inch pie dish or pie tin.
  5. With a pastry brush lightly coat the pie crust with a little milk. Transfer filling into the prepared piecrust.
  6. Roll out the remaining ½ of the piecrust and place over the filling, crimp the edges of the crust with your fingers or a fork. Brush the top crust with the remaining milk and sprinkle the turbinado sugar, if desired. With a knife make a few slashes over the top of the pie, this will allow the steam to escape.
  7. Bake the pie for 15 minutes at 425 degrees F, then decrease oven temperature to 375 and bake for 45-55 minutes or until the top is golden brown.

With the apple pie out of the oven, balloons, lights and banner all in place — we hopped in the car and drove to the airport to pick William up.

You can instantly see his great disposition! —I know for a fact I wouldn’t look nearly as cheery as he did after enduring three take-offs and landings, 28 hours of hardly any sleep, and no real food during the last few hours of his trek all the way from Umeå, Sweden to sunny Southern California.

No sooner did he mention he was hungry, when we decided we knew exactly the first place we would take him after being in this country for less than in hour. I’m sure you can agree we totally made the right call…

While we were all enjoying our In-N-Out burgers, William taught us our very first Swedish word —Fika.


Before and after…

Everyone incredibly managed to save room for a little midnight fika, so we took a quick family pic then we all sat down and enjoyed a slice of homemade apple pie a la mode, of course.

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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Theresa Materazzi July 30, 2012 at 5:59 am

Well, it looks like you all have done a fabulous job of welcoming William to his home away from home!
I hope it turns out to be all that and more for William and your family!

Have fun!


2 angela@spinachtiger July 30, 2012 at 6:32 am

He is blessed to be with you. Yes, you made the right call with In and Out. That’s the place we hit up as soon as we land in California. Yes on the apple pie (my favorite). What a fun time you will all have.
How wonderful for you to do this.


3 Laura Dembowski July 30, 2012 at 8:49 am

How nice of you to host a student. That is very cool and I’m sure it will be a great experience for everyone involved. And I must say that is just about the best looking pie I’ve ever seen. Wish I could taste it through the computer.


4 Dina July 30, 2012 at 12:12 pm

your pie crust is beautiful!


5 Anna Olofsson July 31, 2012 at 7:21 am

We are so glad that you chose William. He is a great guy and his year with you will be magical!
Wonderful to have a proper recepie for apple pie too. I was fourteen when I first visited the US and I still remember the taste of my first apple pie. For years afterwards me and my mum tried to find out the secrets. We never quite made it. Now I have a year to practise until William comes back. With you recepie I will get the “hang of it”.


6 Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar July 31, 2012 at 1:45 pm

This pie sounds heavenly!


7 DB-The Foodie Stuntman August 1, 2012 at 11:46 am

Welcome to the United States, William!


8 ally August 1, 2012 at 3:23 pm

how sweet are homecomings – especially when they involve pie!!


9 Gerry @ Foodness Gracious August 3, 2012 at 11:27 pm

What a welcome! We have thought about an exchange program in the past, I think it’s an awesome experience for our kids, and hello..In n Out William’s a lucky dude or sure :)


10 Andreja August 6, 2012 at 3:50 pm

The desert looks great


11 Christine August 14, 2012 at 4:18 pm

Sweet story :) Now I want pie!


12 Shelly August 21, 2012 at 11:14 am

How exciting! In our school we have an ROP Auto Shop that has an exchange program with Sweden! Two years ago we hosted a student for three weeks while he studied in our school and “worked” at various auto related businesses! In turn our son went to stay with him for three weeks and studied with him at his high school! I cooked both American favorites and some Swedish comfort food for him! Enjoy!


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