In an effort to commemorate 25 years of Dollywood in a big way, their world-famous 25-Pound Apple Pie was born. Although it has been 10 whole years since then, the pie never made it back off the menu. It’s so good, in fact, that the cravings stick with you year-round after getting a taste, leaving you penning a return trip to the park ASAP. Fortunately, you can tide yourself over in-between trips by using this guide to whip up your very own 25-pound masterpiece.
Gather All Your Supplies
First things first, if you want to make a pie this big, you’re going to need the absolute biggest Lodge cast iron skillet. At 15 inches across, this skillet has enough room to roast a chicken – or hold up 25 pounds of apples, of course. Don’t forget to get huge mixing bowls well-suited for the job as well.
On top of that, you’ll need 40 to 50 apples, peeled and sliced, one pound of melted butter, plus
- White sugar
- Brown sugar
Now, to keep you coming back to Spotlight Bakery on Showstreet for yet another taste, the crew at Dollywood keeps their measurements close to the vest. So, get ready to experiment a bit to get the ratios just right.
After all that, you’ll need your pie dough of choice. Although it’s possible to use pre-made pie dough, it’s better to make your favorite recipe. That way, you can roll out the dough a little bit thick, so it will hold up to the tough task of supporting so many apples.
Put Your Pie Dough in the Cast Iron Skillet
Once you have your pie dough made – or purchased – use it to line the bottom and sides of the cast iron skillet. You want the dough to fold out over the outside, leaving a lot leftover for sealing up the pie. Gently press the edges of the dough pieces together along the inside of the skillet to create a sturdy base.
Mix Up the Apple Filling
With your dough ready to go, it’s time to mix up the apple filling. To do that, you’ll need to stir together the brown sugar, white sugar, cinnamon, and flour in a big mixing bowl. After that, add your apple slices to the dry ingredients and toss them by hand to fully cover the fruit with sweet, cinnamon-y goodness. Then, pour the melted butter over the top and toss it even more until all the apples are evenly coated.
Press the Apples onto the Bottom Dough
To create a pie that stays together when you cut each slice, press the apples down firmly as you add them to the dough-lined skillet. You’ll want to repeat this process with each handful of apples until you put them all in the pie. The apples should create a mounded top that pokes well above the edges of the skillet. As the pie bakes, the fruit filling will shrink down quite a bit, creating a perfectly flat surface for your ice cream if you’re a fan of pie ala mode.
Create Your Top Lattice
Using the rest of your pie dough, you’ll want to cut one-inch thick strips that are long enough to stretch across the full length of the pie. Lie the first set of strips across the pie with only about ¼ inch of space in between each one.
Then, come back and create a lattice by weaving the next set of strips through the first. You can work pretty quickly by folding back every other strip, and then lying your perpendicular strip down and folding the remainder back in place. Alternate this process until your lattice comes together.
Roll the Edges to Seal in the Goodness
With your beautiful lattice in place, you must roll up the edges to bring everything together and seal the pie. Pick your starting point and start rolling the upper and lower pie dough together using a twisting motion. As you go, it will create a rope pie crust edge that looks just as good as it tastes.
Put the Pie in the Oven for Three Hours
With 25 pounds of apples and all that dough to cook, this enormous pie takes three whole hours to bake. Like the ingredient ratios, their cooking temp is a closely kept secret, although you might get lucky by trying 350 degrees Fahrenheit to start. The pie is done when the crust is golden brown, the apples are tender, and the filling is bubbling away inside.
Let It Rest, and Then Serve It Up
Like any good pie, you need to give this monster time to rest before cutting that first slice. While the pie cools, the cinnamon-sugar sauce and apples come together even more, creating a filling that holds its shape. So, be sure to give it a few hours’ time before you dig in, although it’s best enjoyed while still a bit warm.
Ultra-sweet, 100% gorgeous, and larger than life, this pie is the perfect tribute to the park and its founder, Miss Dolly Parton herself. Each slice can feed a family of four, so you had better have plenty of hungry bellies around to help finish it off. If not, your neighbors will likely be happy to see you coming with a slice or two to share.
If you simply cannot swing the pie-making process, that’s okay. Just give Spotlight Bakery a call to order your pie and have it shipped to your home. They will package up a perfectly baked pie, skillet and all, and then ship it to your doorstep lickety-split. All you have to do is keep yourself occupied while you wait since it could take a bit for your pie to travel across the nation and onto your dessert plate.