crabtree’s kitchen swedish apple pie

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Who remembers Crabtree’s Kitchen located in Marine on St. Croix?

Originally this pioneer building was a general store, boat works, gas station and even a prohibition brewery! In 1949 Crabtree’s moved in as a convenient roadside cafe. A place where people who were enjoying a drive in the scenic St. Croix River valley could stop in and get something good to eat.

I remember their breakfasts at this sweet cafe, but even better than the breakfast was the pie!

Here’s a recipe I found online while looking for information on this little piece of culinary nostalgia. Jeff was so happy. He remembers going to Crabtree’s when he was growing up in Scandia. Guess what we’re having for dessert tonight…

~crabtree’s kitchen swedish apple pie~

preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

2 Tablespoons flour

3/4 cup sugar

pinch of salt

1 egg, beaten

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup sour cream

3 medium apples, peeled, cored, sliced

9 inch unbaked pie shell

for the topping:

1/3 cup sugar

1/3 cup flour

3/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 cup cold butter


To make the pie:

In a bowl, combine flour, sugar and salt.

Mix in egg, vanilla and sour cream

combine with sliced apples and pour into unbaked pie shell

combine topping ingredients with a pastry cutter or fork and set aside.

Bake untopped pie in preheated oven for 20 minutes.

Turn heat down to 350 degrees F.

Bake an additional 20 minutes.

Remove pie from oven. Top with the topping.

Return to oven to bake another 20 minutes

(60 minutes total baking time.)

Remove from oven. Cool a bit and serve warm.


I also found out that this (along with other yummy Minnesota recipes) are included in the book, “Minnesota Eats Out.” I just ordered a copy today!

“Let’s eat out ” Minnesotans have always loved to, in the opulent dining rooms of fancy hotels, in piney resort halls, or in standard around-the-corner cafes, where the food is hot and plentiful. And the best of these eateries inspire cherished memories of fabulous food and charming camaraderie. “Minnesota Eats Out” is a virtual romp through the state’s dining spots, from early health resorts to Prohibition-era speakeasies to A&W drive-ins, illustrated with nearly one thousand photographs, postcards, menus, matchbooks, and collectible dishes. Kathryn Strand Koutsky and Linda Koutsky narrate the history of dining in the North Star State, highlighting innovative foods, inspired restaurant architecture, and cutting-edge graphic design, along with anecdotes about beloved restaurants remembered through the decades. Accompanying this rich history is a priceless collection of recipes for dishes made famous through the years, like the pioneers’ Indian Pudding and old favorites from Eibner’s bakery in New Ulm or Ruttger’s Resort in Brainerd. Eleanor Ostman revised these recipes for preparation in modern kitchens. Embellished with photographs of historic restaurants, collectible tableware, and restaurant ephemera, the recipes invite today’s readers to re-create cherished food memories. “Minnesota Eats Out, a one-of-a-kind venture into the state’s history, serves up over a century of fine and fun Minnesota dining.” ~fromย  the ‘Better World Books’ website

Do you have a favorite recipe from a restaurant that is now closed?

Please share them at!


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  39 comments for “crabtree’s kitchen swedish apple pie

  1. June 21, 2011 at 10:48 pm

    The pie is amazing.
    One restaurant I miss is Sherlock’s Home.

    • Melissa
      June 21, 2011 at 10:51 pm

      mmmm….yes. That prime rib and Yorkshire pudding was unbeatable.

  2. November 21, 2011 at 5:30 pm

    The is nothing better than a fresh apple pie. WOW!

    • Melissa
      November 21, 2011 at 5:41 pm

      It’s the best of both worlds…super yummy and super easy. Enjoy!

      • May 13, 2015 at 10:36 pm

        how can I order this cook book? Can’t Waite to try this apple pie. Thanks

  3. Dale
    December 11, 2011 at 9:52 pm

    I learned about Crabtree’s Kitchen from Jane and Michael Stern’s Roadfood book. Although I live on the east coast, I had the opportunity to visit back in 1999 a few years before they closed.

    Everything I recall about my meal was superb, especially the Swedish Apple Pie

    • Melissa
      December 11, 2011 at 11:33 pm

      Glad to hear it, Dale! Enjoy the recipe ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. March 15, 2012 at 6:06 am

    I have never heard of sour cream in an apple pie. I have got to try this!

    • Melissa
      March 15, 2012 at 6:50 am

      Hi Jenni ๐Ÿ™‚ This is the easiest apple pie I’ve ever made, and the best! I think you’re going to love it. xo

  5. Carol
    September 21, 2012 at 12:57 pm

    I loved eating at Crabtreeโ€™s. They had wonderful homemade food, like this pie.

    • Melissa
      September 21, 2012 at 1:04 pm

      me too Carol ๐Ÿ™‚ wish they were still there.

  6. October 21, 2012 at 7:43 pm

    Looks fabulous Missy,I am baking your pie next week! Nettie

    • Melissa
      October 21, 2012 at 7:50 pm

      YAY! so glad you like it Nettie! xoxo ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. October 22, 2012 at 4:18 pm

    Yummm!! I bookmarked this recipe ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Melissa
      January 23, 2014 at 4:22 pm

      yay! enjoy, Tina ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. March 6, 2013 at 3:53 pm

    LOVE this, Melissa!!! It’s ver similar to my mother’s “French Apple Pie”! The primary difference is that she use sweet cream rather than sour and baked it in a double crust. It’s always been my family’s favorite apple pie, too. Every now and again I’d try a new recipe, “just for a change”. Theey would always reply, “Well, this is good, but not nearly as good as Gigi’s…” Thank you! xoxoxo ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Melissa
      March 6, 2013 at 11:35 pm

      OOHHH! I bet Gigi’s was awesome! If you ever get the hankerin’ for something similar, the up side to this one is it’s EASY peasy, especially if you buy a pre-made Pillsbury pie crust! xoxo

  9. August 15, 2013 at 12:03 pm

    What type of apples do you use? I haven’t baked a pie for a long time, but when I did, I used Granny Smith apples. I think they hold up better. What do you think?

    • Melissa
      August 15, 2013 at 12:39 pm

      I use a combination of different apples. One of my favorites for baking are “Northern Lights” and “Golden Delicious.” “Honeycrisp and “Fuji” are also wonderful ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. Hugh Morgan
    September 11, 2013 at 9:22 pm

    Thanks for remembering! I was one of the family members of Crabtrees and yes it was a very special place. To bad my wife’s parents did not want to continue the tradition. Thanks for the memories.

    • Melissa
      September 11, 2013 at 9:36 pm

      Hi Hugh! ๐Ÿ™‚ WOW! SO wonderful of you to stop by. Thanks for commenting. If you have any other recipes from that wonderful place that you’d like to share with me I would be most grateful! ~Melissa

  11. Dale
    September 12, 2013 at 7:16 am

    Hi Hugh,

    It’s never to late to reopen some place else in the Twin Cities area…If you did, it would be my first “right off the flight” meal.

    • Melissa
      January 11, 2014 at 1:56 am

      Oh my gosh…Wouldn’t that be wonderful, Dale? ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. Joni
    November 7, 2013 at 3:42 pm

    My mother, Marlene Jarrett, was a waitress at Crabtree’s back in the 70s and one time “smuggled” the “secret” apple pie recipe out… only to find that years later it was so popular, they were printing it on the placemats! She also made a pair of reverseable gingham aprons modeled on the ones she wore there. I still have the aprons but not my mom. Thanks for bringing back wonderful memories…

    • Melissa
      November 7, 2013 at 10:01 pm

      oh my goodness, Joni, your beautiful story made me cry… Your mom is no longer with you? So sorry to hear that. What lovely memories. I am so happy that this post made you smile. I would love that apron pattern ๐Ÿ˜‰ XOXO ~Melissa

  13. January 9, 2014 at 2:02 pm

    Thank You, Thank You, Thank You! You just made my day! I made this pie years ago, when I was a Pastry Chef, at The Thousand Islands Club, and the local Ramada Inn. I have misplaced the recipe and couldn’t remember the amounts of the ingredients.

    When I came across the recipe it was called “Apple Cheesecake Pie”.
    The only thing I do differently is peel, core, and slice the apples into the filling mixture, as I peel each apple, and stir after each apple is added. This keeps the apples from turning brown.

    This is a family favorite recipe, and I’m so excited that I can make it again. I also used to make it for a dessert when I catered. Everyone loves it, especially my dad and son.

    • Melissa
      January 11, 2014 at 1:58 am

      Hi Bonny! YAY! I’m so glad you found the recipe here. Now you and your family can enjoy it again ๐Ÿ™‚ thanks for commenting and letting me know. XO

  14. Linda Jorgensen Kangas
    January 14, 2014 at 3:07 pm

    We used to stop by Crabtrees often on drives thru the area… Thought they had a specialty along with the pie..? Everything there was delicious and we were so sad when they closed!

    • Melissa
      January 23, 2014 at 4:24 pm

      I was sad when they closed too, Linda. Such a charming little spot to stop for lunch. Thanks for visiting and for commenting ๐Ÿ™‚

  15. DONN C
    August 31, 2014 at 3:31 am

    Once again, another yummy recipe! Thanks!

    • Melissa
      October 19, 2015 at 2:55 pm

      My pleasure! ๐Ÿ™‚

  16. Jessica
    December 2, 2014 at 6:10 pm

    I made this for Thanksgiving – even those who don’t usually like apple pie (admittedly I’m one of those) enjoyed it :). I used Granny Smith apples. The perfect combo of sweet and sour. Thanks for sharing!

    • Melissa
      October 19, 2015 at 2:56 pm

      Glad to hear it! Sorry about the delayed response. ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for visiting. ~M

  17. Barbara Marona
    January 23, 2015 at 11:21 am

    Just about to take this pie out of the oven. Hope it’s good. Looks awesome. Thanks for sharing.

    • Melissa
      October 19, 2015 at 2:57 pm

      My pleasure! Thanks for stopping by! ๐Ÿ™‚

  18. Tom B
    April 20, 2016 at 10:02 am

    I loved Crabtree’s. Everything I ever tried on the menu was fantastic! It was an EVENT.

    I loved their Apple Pie, and your recipe is great. It tasted just as I remember it.

    Another favorite was their Mud Pie. I’ve tried numerous recipes, trying to recreate it, but they have all missed the mark. Do you know of a recipe that closely duplicates it? I would be forever grateful. Thank you!

    • Melissa
      April 20, 2016 at 7:53 pm

      I haven’t been able to find it either ๐Ÿ™‚ But if I do, you’ll be the first to know! Thanks for stopping by, Tom.

    • Jill
      December 19, 2016 at 11:33 am

      I stumbled upon this post while googling “Crabtree’s Mudpie”, any luck finding the recipe? My very first job was working at Crabtrees (1993) in the kitchen, serving salads and desserts and I remember the mudpie well! Please share if you find the recipe!

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