Rock Of Ages Hide Thou Me - 50 Years Ago
Thankful November

Applepeel Pie

Applepeel Pie McDowell County NC

"Apples was scarce one year. Real scarce. My grandmother had a half bushel of apples. She canned the apples, and then she taken the peelings and canned those. Washed 'em real clean and canned 'em. My mother said, at the time, "I'll never eat those." But then later on, she was down in the hayfield, and when she came in, my grandmother had baked two wonderful pies from those peelings. And my mother ate three pieces. They used so many things that we throw away. I remember Grandmother peeled the potatoes real deep and planted the peelings. Raised our potatoes that way!"

Winnie Biggerstaff, 1904 McDowell County - Snowbird Gravy and Dishpan Pie by Patsy Moore Ginns.


I've never had applepeel pie but I'm betting it would be pretty tasty after a long hard day of working in the hayfield. 


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Our Grandmothers were VERY frugal, but I've never heard such as these.
The other day, however, I was watching some cooking show (can't remember the name) and they were making Scuppernong Pie almost the same way. The pinched the peeling off the grapes and set them aside. Then they cooked the inside for a bit, put them in a strainer and strained as much of the juice they could out of the innards and seeds.
Then they took that straining, added the peelings and cooked them for a long while. Then they put that in a blender, whizzed it up, added a few things to it, put it in a pie shell and cooked it up.
It resembled mince pie and looked so tasty.
We could all learn quite a bit about frugality from our elders. I wish I'd listened far more than I talked before they passed away.
God bless.

I have never heard of this but am glad to know it can be done. Not crazy about eating apple peels, they seem waxed or something. Granny washed all fruit before peeing and then used them to make 'wine' in a crock, which, she wouldn't let anyone drink. After a while it turned to vinegar.

I saved the seed from the two antique apple trees at the 'home place' before I sold it but of course they didn't sprout. Wishful thinking.

I enjoyed the apple peeling story and I suspect old timey methods are the best. I think my daddy was the smartest man in the world, cause he'd have us boys to cover lots of different apple piles up and he'd put tarpaper on top. When we'd be posseum hunting at the upper end of a large field, daddy would uncover the snow and let us dip our hands in and get a fresh apple. We ate the whole thing! Never knew about vitamins, but daddy and mama taught us how to be survivors. ...Ken

My mother used her apple peelings for jelly cause that's where the pectin is. She didn't need Sure-Jell. The bruised spots when to apple butter. The clear flesh became applesauce. The cores went to the hogs for applesauce is a whole lot better with a piece of fried hog. I say applesauce because most people nowdays wouldn't get the meaning if I had said fruit. To me applesauce comes from a store in a tin can, whereas fruit comes from a basement or can house in a mason jar.
My mother's fruit (applesauce) was the purest white and a little bit chunky sometimes. She didn't run it through a sieve or strainer because she didn't want to give it time to start turning brown. She only cooked it long enough on the stove to get it in the jars. It finished cooking inside the jars in a water bath.
The name Biggerstaff is familiar but I can't recall from whence. I've known several Grindstaffs though. I tend to get the names Grindstaff and Pendergrass mixed up. Don't ask me why.

In fact, Shirl, I do indeed eat the entire apple, not stopping for any change in texture, not stopping for any part of it. Of course that includes the seeds and seed envelope as I encounter it and, yes, I slowly chew the stem until its soft and palatable, for its fiber. While to most my habit may seem extreme, I consider it an extreme waste when I see a person leave and throw away more apple on the core and stem than they have eaten from the fruit.

My Mother always made jelly out of apple peelings until her later years...She claimed that the modern age orchards sprayed apples and poisoned the peel. If she knew where her apples came from, or she gathered them herself from the old trees at the old home place, she would use them. She said a good apple should have a sign of a tiny worm hole, that way you know it hasn't been poisoned by spray! I asked her one time why she would use a peel if it had a hole in it. I know how to peel around those and laugh! And she did!
I'd say a Apple Peel Pie would contain all the fiber one would need for a few days if you ate three pieces...Now then, the lard in the shell of that pie would be something else to deal with! Ha
Thanks Tipper,
PS...Yes we had peeling competitions to see who would have the longest peel...I always tried to pick a apple without a blemish, dimple or tiny worm spot...for that would nip your peel in the bud!

Holly-thank you for the comment! Im so glad you liked the applepeel pie post! Yes you may use the text on your facebook page-giving her credit and if you could give me a shout out that would be even better! I have a facebook page so you can tag the Blind Pig and The Acorn. Have a great day : )

Every time I peel an apple for frying or stewing, I remember my mother saving apple peelings and making apple jelly from them. And, I feel guilty throwing them away. Lord, I miss her biscuits and fried apples.

I have heard of Apple Peel Pie, I always thought it was a name for something other than real apple peel in the pie. It really never occured to me that they really used the peel. Talk about zero waste, Something we can all use today!

Is it OK with you if I copy the story about the apples and apple peels and put it on my FB with credit to Ms Biggerstaff? I just really like it because it reminds me of my grandma--but she was way up north.

Wonderful POST! I have never hear the name Biggerstaff! I wonder if it is of Cherokee origin!
I'll bet that Don Casada would eat those apples as fast as his 'server' could dole them out!
Hope your WINTER is warm and sunny!
Eva Nell Mull Wike

Our health and safety guy at work had a degree in nutrition and would stand before a class and tell the employees that you should never peel an apple when you eat it. He said that's where all the vitamins are. That information would make eating three pieces of apple peeling pie sound a whole lot healthier.

The best apple flavor is in the peel anyway. They just don't cook up well and the great difference in texture is a bit off putting.

About apple peels, who has heard of the folkway of not breaking the peel then throwing it over the right shoulder and it would make the initial of your future spouse? Works especially well for "S".

There is a place in Tazewell County, Virginia called Burke's Garden. The story of its name is that a party of hunters were camped there way back in the 1700's. A fella named Burke peeled potatoes and threw the scraps away. The next year someone discovered the potatoes had grown and made another crop so they named it Burke's Garden.

A prime example of the traditional mountain ethic of making do with what you've got.

Speaking of peelings, or in this case hulls, if you've never eaten a "hull pie" (made from the hulls of scuppernongs or muscadines), you still have a landmark culinary experience ahead of you.

Jim Casada

My grandmother lived through the depression and knew what it was to be hungry. For the remainder of her life she was very careful with food. I don't know is she made an apple peel pie but I saw her make apple peal jelly.
She kept an excessive, to my mind, amount of canned food in the cellar and her big freezer was always full. She made use of everything.
That was a different time with a different value system and here's a truth for you.....those people who know how to make use of everything are the ones that survive when times get hard! It's not just a physical thing, it's a state of mind and a way of thinking.

I remember thinking it was a treat to eat the apple peelings from pie-baking when I was little. These days, my goats and chickens always get whatever peelings are available. Last week I had microwaved sweet potatoes in their jackets, and after I scooped out the cooked potato, I cut up the soft skins in little pieces for the hens. Never got that far! One of the goats spotted me coming and stuck her nose through the fence...I showed her what I had in my hands and she ate all that soft sweet potato skin in about 10 seconds!

Three decades ago, I worked for a fellow engineer named Bob Biggerstaff at the Shearon Harris Nuclear Power Plant, a little ways south of Raleigh. Bet he was kin to Winnie.

When I peel apples, I like to see how long a peel I can make, and am dissatisfied if I don't get one that is at least two feet long.

We need folks who make pies out of apple peelings today. There will always be a need for folks like that.

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