Heavenly Apple Pie Recipe From A Saint by Kevin O’Brien

Ever since I first saw North by Northwest on TV when I was a kid, I’ve had a crush on Eva Marie Saint. Back in 1995, I finally wrote her a fan letter—and to my surprise, she wrote back. When I mentioned in a follow up note that I had written a book (ONLY SON), Eva Marie Saint went out, bought it, read it and gave me an honest review (she wasn’t crazy for the main character, but really liked the writing). This was the start of a pen-pal relationship that continues to this day.

If you’ve read a number of my thrillers, you’ve probably caught on that Eva Marie Saint has a cameo in each one. She has become a good luck charm for me. I always have some character watching one of her movies on TV. It could be On the Waterfront (for which she won an Oscar) or Exodus, The Russians Are Coming or Grand Prix, Superman Returns or one of her other films. In my latest thriller, THEY WON’T BE HURT, my heroine is home alone, watching Raintree County, when someone breaks into her house.

If you watched the most recent Oscar telecast, you saw 93-year-old Eva Marie Saint get the first standing ovation of the night. What you might not know is that her apple pie recipe deserves a standing ovation, too!  Every time I make it (usually for Thanksgiving or Christmas), the pie is a big hit with everyone—and it’s pretty easy to make, because it has a shortbread crust instead of a traditional crust.  Here’s the Oscar-worthy recipe:


  • 1 & 1/2 pounds Granny Smith apples (about 4), peeled, quartered, seeded, very thinly sliced.
  • 1 cup cold water
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) diced unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon


  1. Butter a 9-inch glass pie plate. Pour water and lemon juice in a large bowl. Start peeling and cutting those apples. It’s important to slice the apples very thinly. Drop the thin slices in the water and lemon juice mixture.
  2. Meanwhile, place flour and butter in another large bowl.  Using the back of a fork, mash it all together until moist clumps form. Add sugar and keep working with the fork. The mixture will still be lumpy. Transfer about 1 and 1/2 cups of the dough into the buttered pie dish.  Press evenly over the bottom and up the sides of the dish. Drain the apple slices, and arrange in an even layer on the dough.  Top with the ground cinnamon.  Then sprinkle the remaining dough over the apples.
  3. Shove the pie into a preheated oven (350 F).  Bake for about an hour—until browned and the juices are bubbling.  Let it stand for about a half hour.  It can be served warm or at room temperature.

Once You Let Them In

The lights are on at the Singleton vacation home on Lopez Island, Washington, illuminating the horror within. Scott Singleton, former NFL star turned television evangelist, lies dead. The bodies of his wife and four of their five children are found on the second floor, bound, gagged, and stabbed repeatedly. The oldest daughter was shot downstairs. And the police’s main suspect—the property caretaker—has disappeared.

They Will Never

In her secluded vineyard home two hours away, Laura Gretchell is on edge. Her husband is out of town on business, and the children are understandably shaken. Laura tries to tell herself there’s no reason to fear. Then the door handle rattles, and the real terror begins.

Let You Go

They’re in her house, holding her children hostage, and Laura has only one option: do exactly what the intruders say. But as Laura races to find the information they seek, she realizes that the enemies within her own home are only part of the nightmare. Because someone wants to keep the truth hidden at any cost, no matter how many more must die . . .

Praise for Kevin O’Brien’s You’ll Miss Me When I’m Gone

“The suspense builds from page one and ends with a climax you won’t see coming.” —Suspense Magazine