Apple pie is so synonymous with autumn that many of us automatically eat it and get burned out well before winter. Eagerness for apples is the part of the timeline we’re on now. One way to both stretch and satisfy that feeling is with innovative pies that mark the change of season from summer to fall.

Choice of ingredients, like accompanying fruits, vegetables and seasonings, make all the difference when it comes to adding a twist to your traditional pie recipe. Following are some ideas for use with your favorite apple pie recipe. All added ingredients are to taste.

–Razzle dazzle: Add fresh raspberry puree to apple pie filling. Before serving, top each slice with a dollop of whipped cream cheese and fresh raspberries.

–Tomatoes can be tops: Add one thick tomato slice for every five apple slices in the pie filling (which will add to the juiciness), as well as fresh mint leaves and lemon zest.

–Corny but true: Sprinkle sweet corn kernels over layer of apples and add a drizzle of orange juice.

–Citrus medley: Top apple layer with lemon, orange and lime zest.

–Taste of the tropics: In a bowl, before adding to pie, gently mix apple pie filling with shredded sweetened coconut and diced and drained pineapple. Before serving, top each slice with vanilla ice cream, dried banana chips and drained mandarin orange slices.

–Very berry: In a bowl, before adding to pie, gently mix apple pie filling with slices of strawberries and blueberries. Serve with strawberry and vanilla ice cream and whipped cream that’s had a tiny addition mixed in of fresh strawberry and blueberry coulis.

–Made with lemonade: Covered and refrigerated, soak apple slices in lemonade overnight before using in pie. Serve slices topped with lemon sorbet and dark chocolate raisins.

–Pulling a punch: Covered and refrigerated, soak apple slices in fruit punch overnight before using in pie and add a few dollops of cherry pie filling when arranging apples.

–A to Z pie: Peel zucchini and add one slice of zucchini for every five apple slices, as well as tarragon and cardamom.


If you don’t yet have a favorite apple pie recipe, an excellent source is Ken Haedrich’s “Apple Pie: 100 Delicious and Decidedly Different Recipes for America’s Favorite Pie.” In fact, his “Special Occasion Apple Pies” chapter alone is good reason to take a bite of the book. Bread pudding lover in your family? Serve up the pie that includes both. Want a pie all to yourself? Individual apple and plum pies are topped with streusel. Looking for a dinner idea? Sausages are added to the apple mix for a hearty potpie.

Lisa Messinger is a first-place winner in food writing from the Association of Food Journalists and the author of seven food books, including “Mrs. Cubbison’s Best Stuffing Cookbook” and “The Sourdough Bread Bowl Cookbook.”