Back in 2010, when Dollywood celebrated its 25th season, the Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, amusement park looked for ways to mark its silver anniversary. That’s when the culinary team cooked up the idea for a 25-pound apple pie to coincide with the park’s 25th birthday.
But the gigantic pie became a hit with park-goers, earning its keep on the permanent menu. Marketing-wise, it probably helps that the pie is baked at Spotlight Bakery, which is located near the front of the park. Soon after guests walk into Dollywood, country musician Dolly Parton’s 160-acre amusement park, they’re greeted with the sweet aroma of apple pie swirling in the air.
Many guests take a pie to go when they’re leaving the park, ending their trips on a sweet note. If you develop a craving for the pie while visiting Dollywood, you can have it shipped, too. (There isn’t an online ordering option, but you can call 800-DOLLYWOOD — or 800-365-5996 — and ask to speak to the park’s culinary team.)
A slice costs $19.99 and the whole pie, with the cast-iron skillet included, will run you $229, according to a Dollywood fact sheet provided to Simplemost. But for some context, a single pie slice weighs 3 pounds and serves four, while an entire pie is enough for 32 people.
Dollywood’s pie recipe calls for 35 to 40 medium apples, a whole pound of butter, cinnamon, sugar and brown sugar. The filling is blended by hand and packed well so it stays together when cut. Pies are brushed with butter and sprinkled with sugar before going in the oven to bake for three hours in a cast iron pan, sending those sweet smells wafting through the park.
A lot of consideration goes into baking such a huge pie that’s not just tasty, but also structurally sound!
Not only is the pie’s lattice crust decorative, but it also serves a purpose by allowing steam to escape from the pie, yielding a perfectly flaky texture, Dollywood revealed in their fact sheet. The “roped” pie crust edges help keep the apples sealed inside.
While the pies are certainly a headliner at Spotlight Bakery, there are plenty of other treats in store, like lemon-glazed cookies, Ghirardelli brownies, apple butter bread and more.
If you’re a foodie who loves theme parks, Dollywood is hosting its annual Flower and Food Festival between April 21 and June 11. Save room (lots!) for the apple pie.