The only thing better than an old family recipe is an old family recipe served with a hefty side of drama.
After a member of the PostSecret community, a project where people mail postcards containing their secrets anonymously to have them posted on the internet, shared their grandmother's apple cream pie recipe, Redditor u/laniidae_ saw it and shared it with another online community, the r/Old_Recipes subreddit.
"A gift from Post Secret this week," they wrote in the post, which contains a handwritten recipe card for the apple cream pie, along with a note.
"This recipe has been a family secret for 100 years," it reads. "It's a great pie and deserves to be shared. My petty vindictive aunts don't deserve to keep it to themselves. I love and miss you, Grandma!"
The recipe quickly started receiving attention on Reddit, both for the funny story behind it and the amount of photos posted by users who made it. One clever user tried making the pie and posted a photo of the dessert with a scoop of ice cream on top, writing, "Revenge is a dish best served a la mode."
This is a sentiment I couldn't agree with more — so I couldn't wait to try this grandma's recipe, petty aunts be darned.
The apple cream pie recipe calls for a few simple ingredients: grated Granny Smith apples, eggs, a store-bought deep-dish pie crust and sugar, to name a few.
I had actually never grated an apple before, so it was a step I found especially intriguing.
After grating the apples and tossing them into the pie crust, I mixed the dry ingredients together, then combined the milk and eggs to create a sugary, cinnamon-y cream. The creamy concoction gets dumped on top of the apples and, just like that, the pie is ready for the oven, where it starts out baking for ten minutes at 400 F before baking at 350 F for another 30 to 40 minutes.
While baking, it smells like a traditional apple pie. My kitchen was filled with the fragrance of cinnamon and sugary apples.
Once it's out of the oven, however, the pie is its own unique item, flaky and light with a perfect balance of sour from the Granny Smith apples and sweet from the sugar.
Upon her first taste of the pie, my 10-year-old daughter asked if we could "just eat pie for dinner."
I was tempted to say yes.
As the evening went on and my family went back for extra slices, I offered some to an unexpected house guest: A slab leak technician who had been hard at work for hours trying to find the source of a leak in the pipes under my Florida home.
"What's that grated stuff on top?" he asked.
I explained that it wasn't just on top: The entire pie was made of grated apples and creamy filling. And then, of course, I gave him a slice.
"This is really good," he said. "Better than a normal apple pie because with apple pie, you have chunks of apple and the filling, but they feel separate. With the apple being grated, you get all of the filling mixed through it and it feels like the flavors are more even."
Perhaps this guy moonlights as a pastry chef. Who knows.
His comments, combined with my diffuser-obsessed daughter swooning that the filling "tastes like holiday essential oils smell," was enough for me to add a new go-to apple pie to my recipe box.
Those aunts may be vindictive, but this pie is sweet as can be.