Big Island's Best: Holy's Buttered Apple Pie

In Hawaii, every island has that special place to buy omiyage, or “gift” – usually food – to bring back as a treat for family and friends as a taste of your travels. From the Big island of Hawaii, one of those places to go is Holy’s Bakery in the Kapa’au area of Kohala for their awesome pies.

Fortunately for us folks living on (or visiting) Oahu, our local Star Market continues to ship in and sell Holy’s pies, including peach, coconut, and the most popular: Buttered Apple. Each hand-made, then frozen with plenty of TLC and ready to bake.

Diner “E”, in his generous spirit, brought this Holy’s Buttered Apple Pie to the office for us to try, which he bought from the Star Market in Ewa Beach, Oahu. He said there were only 3 in stock, along with 5 coconut and 5 peach pies. All at $14.99 each.

What you say? $14.99 for an apple pie? That is relatively steep, but this isn’t any ordinary apple pie. This is THE apple pie!

Behold the Holy’s Pie box, which this is exactly how it will look in your local Star Market’s freezer section…

Notice there’s no fancy plastic vacuum sealed wrapper or other high tech packaging method. This is old school. I wonder if there could be a loco moco with 2 scoops rice and mac salad under the hood here? lol

Pop the hood, and you’re greeted with a raw, solid-frozen, unbaked pie…

And no it’s NOT microwaveable!

Notice the steam vent slit, which actually you can’t see a visible puka, just the shape of where it’s located.

So what did it say on the label?…

Ah. Bake 350 degrees for 1 hour. So Diner “E” fired up the oven on preheat at that temp’, then placed it in there on top of a baking pan to catch any drippings…

Exactly 1 hour later, it’s done!…

Whew. Thankfully that vent in the top crust functioned properly, or this could have been a mess! Not that the interior of our office lunchroom oven was exactly in showroom condition itself, either. lol

It was left to cool down for about 10 minutes then cut to serve…

Now. You do see it says BUTTERED Apple Pie, right? As in 1 whole stick! See that white goo in the center. That’s butter fat my friends, drippin’ ‘n oozin’ out. Paula Deen, if you’re lookin’ at this, you know what I’m talkin’ ’bout!

Here’s a slice…

What you CAN see is that flaky crust, that is entirely unique to Holy’s pie. What you CAN’T see is the BUTTERYNESS, which permeates throughout the crust and filling via shear heat melting that ingredient (dabs of butter) through and through. Diner “E” made a great observation by pointing out this crust was similar to that of the Manju from Maui. I agree, it’s quite similar.

What’s most incredible is how fresh it tastes after coming piping hot out of the oven, regardless of when the the actual date of production was, or the lack of sealed packaging involved. While I can’t say how one of these tastes fresh off Holy’s assembly line and out of the oven, I’m certainly not complaining with this shipped-frozen-then-baked version.

Now, you don’t think we’d eat this pie “plain” do you?…

Yes. that’s American Cheese added in and melted on, my friends. It may sound or even look gross, but this is THE way to eat an apple pie! You must try it like this. Especially with that extra butter in Holy’s pie. It’s like sensory overload in the way the creamy characteristic flavor of the American cheese enhances the cinnamon, apples, brown sugar, and buttery, delicately-textured crust. Mmm, mmm, mmm.

Everyone who had a slice couldn’t get over how simple, yet delicous this pie was. We all unanimously agreed, whether it was just $5 or $15, Holy’s Buttered Apple Pie is one of the best we’ve ever tasted.

Holy’s Bakery, Inc.
PO Box 132 Kapaau, HI 96755

*Also available at select Star Market locations on Oahu in the freezer section ($14.99 each for Buttered Apple, Peach or Coconut pies, each).

The Tasty Island rating:

(5) Superb. Worthy of repeat visits or purchases. (Broke Da’ Mout’!)

Related links:
Frozen Apple Pie is a Big Island Favorite – Honolulu Star Bulletin


16 thoughts on “Big Island's Best: Holy's Buttered Apple Pie

  1. Stop, you’re killing me with those ono-looking photos! I agree that $14.99 does seem steep for a store-bought frozen pie, but sometimes you get what you pay for. In this case, it appears that the extra bucks get you a much better quality and taste than the regular frozen stuff. I was impressed that apples were listed first for the ingredients!

  2. hey–I thought their store was in Manoa valley up near the cemetery (which shows you how long it’s been since I’ve been back). Apple? Nah–gotta have the coconut. It’s worth any price…even fourteen dollars.

  3. I love this pie !!! I remember when the Liberty House’s Garden Court used to serve it with your choice of accompaniment: cheese, cinnamon sauce and of course ice cream. The butter is what makes this melt in you mouth pie soooo ono!

  4. Kat, so next time I go to their bakery on the Big Island, I going tell them, “I know your cousin, Kat”, and ‘den they going give me discount, eh? lol

    Carol, yes indeed our lunchroom has a full-service kitchen. Come on now, how else are we going to heat up all the grinds for the office pot lucks?!

    Jodi, yeah I read they had a bakery outlet here, but consolidated back to the BI.

    Lisa, I think that’s a typo on the label. Butter should be more like the 3rd one listed, after Apples and flour; not the last! I actually didn’t find it all that sweet.. but more buttery. Yum yum.

    Lindy, that’s interesting to know. I most remember the “Liberty House Mushroom Burger”. To die for!

    Liz, yeah, tell someone who’s never tried it to put American Cheese on their apple pie, and they’d almost rather eat road kill. But honestly, if you like cheese, you’ll be HOOKED on this amazing combination of flavors. Especially with Holy’s pie, since it’s so buttery already.

    But really, American Cheese will enhance ANY apple pie. Even those “cheapo” ones that most supermarket bakeries pump out by the 100’s each day.

  5. Hi, I’m a Oahu born and I love your Holy Peach Pie. It’s been 10 years that I had one, and I want to know if there is a way to order from Hawaii to California. Please, Please anyone, let me know if there’s a way. Thank you.

  6. What an absolutely awesome review!!! Yoshio and Miyako Hori opened Holy’s Bakery in the 1930’s. The bakery became known as Holy’s Bakery when a signmaker in Waimea misspelled the Hori name. I have had the honor of meeting many members of the Hori family and the love and generosity they extend to their family and friends is the same love and generosity that goes into the making of their pies.

  7. If you spent summers in Kohala and were in some way related to the Hori family…you more than likely ‘worked’ in the bakery at one time or another! Hehehe. Really good memories…really good pie!!! Hi Uncle Yasu & Auntie Janet 🙂

  8. I LOOOOOOVE ANYTHING FROM HOLY’S – MY otha ‘ohana…. They are always there to help with fundraisers and just keeping the onolicious goodies that we all grew up with…now my girls are fortunate to enjoy the scrumptionalities of Hawaii Nei!!!!! ……MUCH LOVE – M

  9. Hello Uncle Yasu and Auntie Janet. I like the apple pie very much,
    however, Da Best is Holy’s Bakery “Egg Custard Pie!” I could
    kau kau one all by myself. Too bad, I can’t find pie in LV. Nato

  10. Wow apple pie with cheese is popular at one time which no more Zim Coffee Shop in San Francisco. It was a 24 hrs branches like Dennys. They serve apple pie with cheese sauce that heated along with the pie. It old English way to serve and eat apple pie.

  11. Tammy, glad you enjoyed the write-up.

    To everyone saying hello to Uncle Yasu and Auntie Janet, what I’d love to do is have an opportunity to visit them for a future write-up on this blog. That’d be very cool. My mom grew up in that area and remembers them from her childhood.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s