Apple Pie

Apple pie is mentioned often in accounts of frontier Army Christmas foods. Fresh fruits and vegetables were hard to come by on the frontier so this apple pie recipe, from An Army Wife's Cookbook by Alice Kirk Grierson, calls for dried apples instead of fresh. It also has a meringue topping instead of the cinnamon and brown sugar crumble topping commonly found on today's apple pies.

Mrs. Grierson was the wife of Col. Benjamin H. Grierson, commander of the 10th U.S. Cavalry. Co. A of the 10th Cavalry was stationed at Fort Larned from the summer of 1867 to January 2, 1869.

This is the modern translation of the original recipe.

Pinkie Platt's Apple Pie Receipt

9-inch unbaked pie shell 2 eggs, separated
2 cups dried apples (8 oz bag) 1/2 cup sugar
4 cups boiling water 1/2 cup milk
1/4 tsp salt 1 tsp cinnamon or allspice

Wash apples and place in boiling water with salt. Make sure apples are completely covered by water. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 – 20 minutes. Remove from heat and drain in a colander. Set aside.

Beat egg yolks and add sugar and spice. Mix thoroughly. Add milk and blend well. Stir in apples last.

Pour mixture into unbaked pie shell and bake in 425° oven for 30 minutes.


2 egg whites 1/4 tsp vanilla, almond or
1/4 tsp cream of tartar other flavoring
6 tbsp sugar 1/4 tsp salt

Place egg whites in bowl. Add cream of tartar, salt and flavoring. Beat with electric mixer until mixture is foamy.

Add sugar, 2 TBSP at a time, beating well after each addition. Continue beating until meringue is smooth.

Spread on hot or slightly cooled filling. Brown in 350° oven for 12-15 minutes.

Pie Crust

(From The Old West Baking Book by Lon Walters)

2 1/2 cups flour 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup sold shortening 1/4 cup butter or margarine
4 tbsp ice water

Blend flour and salt. Chill shortening and butter. Add to flour by cutting in with two knives or pastry knife. Keep cutting and slowly add ice water.

Chill thoroughly before rolling out to 1/4 inch thick.

Last updated: December 19, 2018

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