Apple Pie

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Our absolute favorite Apple Pie has a thick, buttery crust and sweetly spiced apple filling.

Serve with a scoop of fresh whipped cream (how to make whipped cream tutorial here) or vanilla bean ice cream and a drizzle of caramel sauce for the ultimate dessert.

 

Image of a slice of apple pie with ice cream and caramel sauce on top.

Apple Pie

While I have several variations of apple pie recipes on the site (like this Cinnamon Roll Apple Pie and this Apple Streusel Pie), I’ve never shared a from-scratch apple pie recipe. Apple pie is my husband’s all-time favorite dessert, so I’ve spent a lot of years tweaking it until I finally got his verdict of “the best apple pie ever.”

So here it is, in all its glory, along with my tips and tricks to perfecting an apple pie.

Process shots: peel apples, cut into small pieces; melt butter; add apples, sugar, seasonings and salt; cook to soften.

Let’s talk apples

I personally like a blend of those two apples best in this recipe, but if you only can grab one variety, I recommend Honeycrisp for a sweeter pie and Granny Smith for a tarter pie. 

A few tips:

  • Peel the apples. The skin doesn’t break down nicely during the baking, so start by peeling and coring the apples.
  • Dice the apples into even pieces. While most apple pie recipes call for sliced apples, I think one of the secrets to the best apple pie is diced apples. I dice the apples in this apple crumble recipe and once I tried it in a pie, I’ve never done it any other way. Try to cut the pieces as evenly as possible so your pie isn’t left with some crunchy/firm pieces and some soft ones.
  • Par-cook the apples. Instead of adding the apples straight to the crust, we cook them on the stovetop for a bit — they will hold their shape better when baked and retain a nice al dente bite. (Yes, this seems counterintuitive; read tip #8 in this article for the science behind this.)

QUICK TIP

If you don’t have Granny Smith or Honeycrisp apples, Gala, Golden Delicious, or any semi-tart apples will work. I don’t recommend Red Delicious apples, as they often end up mushy. The tarter the apple is, the more likely it is to hold its shape when baked.

Process shots: Combine the sugar and flour; mix into apples; cook to thicken; remove from heat and stir in vanilla and yogurt; roll out crust and fit into pan; add cooled apple filling; add crust to the top; crimp edges.

Crust Tips

  • Number 1 Tip: Keep everything as cold as possible. Use ingredients right out of the fridge, handle as little as possible, and get them back in the fridge as quickly as you can. 
  • Handle the dough as little as possible. I use cheap (not sticky) plastic wrap to help shape and knead the dough together into a ball. I like to actually roll the dough out in between two layers of plastic wrap so I don’t need to flour the surface, can handle it as little as possible, and the dough doesn’t stick to the table. The less you touch the dough, the flakier the crust will be and the less it will shrink as it bakes.
  • Brush the inside of the crust with the egg wash. Before adding the apple filling, brush some egg wash over the crust. This will create a protective layer that keeps the apple juices from softening the crust and making it soggy.
  • Rustic is in. Embrace mistakes or a less-than-perfect pie crust — it’s the style these days! It will still taste great. 

Lattice Pie Crust and Crimping Pie Crust Edges

If you’re feeling ambitious, Elise from Simply Recipes.com has broken down the process (with step-by-step photos) of making the perfect lattice crust  Otherwise, a regular pie crust topping with still look amazing and taste delicious!

There are many ways to finish the edges of an apple pie, but I like the look of crimped edges best. Crimping serves a purpose, too: it creates a seal that helps prevent leaking filling at the crust edges.

Here’s a quick breakdown: Cut off any large amounts of excess pie dough and then fold the remaining excess under the edge and seal together into a thick snake-like crust edge. Even out the thickness around the edge and make sure the dough is sitting on the rim of the pan. Use both index fingers and your thumb to press the dough into a crimping pattern. Make sure your fingernails are short for the best results!

You also might want a pie shield to keep the edges from getting too dark. You can make your own pie shield by following this tutorial.

Process shots: brush the crust with egg wash; sprinkle on sugar; bake and cool; slice and serve.

Apple Pie tips

  • Keep everything cold. Again, the colder everything is, the better it turns out. Often, pie crusts will brown quicker than the filling is done, but with a chilled pie you’ll avoid that. You’ll also get a flakier crust and a more evenly baked pie. I like to chill the pie crusts, the apple filling, and the assembled pie. It’s a lot of chilling, but it’s totally worth it for the end product!
  • Sprinkle with sugar before baking. To add some nice crunch and a pretty aesthetic to the pie, I like to sprinkle the top of the pie with Demerara Baking Sugar, Turbinado sugar, or white sparkling sugar after brushing on the egg wash.
  • Allow ample time for the pie to set up before slicing in. If you slice into the pie when its hot out of the oven, you’ll get a runny and wet pie. Let it stand until cooled fully to room temperature, so the filling has a chance to thicken and get juicy. The crust also tastes better at room temperature!

Apple Pie short-cut suggestions

  • Use store-bought pie crusts in place of homemade crusts for a quicker apple pie.
  • Use an apple peeler and corer for quick apple prep.
  • Replace the allspice, cloves and nutmeg with 1 teaspoon apple pie spice.

Overhead view of an uncut Apple Pie.

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Apple Pie

5 from 3 votes
Our absolute favorite Apple Pie with a thick, buttery crust and sweetly spiced apple filling.
Print Recipe

Apple Pie

5 from 3 votes
Our absolute favorite Apple Pie with a thick, buttery crust and sweetly spiced apple filling.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American, thanksgiving, Vegetarian
Keyword apple pie
Prep Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Chilling Time 5 hours
Total Time 7 hours 30 minutes
Servings 10 -12 slices
Calories 434kcal
Cost $7.81

Ingredients

  • 2 pie crusts (See Note 1)
  • 7 cups (785g) peeled, cored, and diced apples (I recommend a mix; mostly Honeycrisp Apples and a couple of Granny Smith apples; about 7-8 apples)
  • 4 tablespoons (56.7g) unsalted butter
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon (1 teaspoon zest and 2 tablespoons juice)
  • 1 cup (220g) dark brown sugar lightly packed (light brown sugar will work)
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon EACH: ground allspice, ground cloves, and ground nutmeg
  • 3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/3 cup (65g) white, granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup (41g) white, all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup (85g) honey vanilla Greek yogurt (we love Greek Gods yogurt. Or use sour cream. don't use regular yogurt)
  • Egg wash: 1 large egg beaten and 1 tablespoon milk
  • Optional: Demerara Baking Sugar, Turbinado sugar, or white sparkling sugar for topping

Instructions

  • Number 1 tip for success: Keep everything as cold as possible! Chill the pie dough, chill the apple pie filling, and chill the pie before baking.
  • PIE CRUSTS: If making homemade pie crusts, start here. Follow Note 1 and chill the pie crusts (wrapped tightly in plastic wrap) for at least 30 minutes before rolling them out.
  • APPLES: Peel and core the apples. Dice into 1/2-inch cubes and set aside.
  • FILLING: Add the 4 tablespoons butter to a large pot over medium heat. Once the butter is melted, add in all the diced apples. Pour the lemon juice and zest on top. Add in the dark brown sugar, cinnamon, allspice, cloves, nutmeg, and salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 6-8 minutes or until juices have thickened and apples are starting to soften.
  • FILLING CONT.: In a separate small bowl, stir together the white sugar and white flour. Sprinkle this over the apple filling on the stovetop and stir to combine. Cook for another 4-5 minutes, stirring frequently until apple filling is thickened. Remove from heat and let stand for 5 minutes. Add in the vanilla extract and Greek yogurt (or sour cream); stir to combine. Refrigerate this apple filling mixture until chilled through, about 45 minutes.
  • EGG WASH: In a small bowl, whisk together the egg and milk with a fork until smooth. Set aside.
  • PIE: Add a bottom pie crust to a 9.5-inch pie pan. Brush very lightly with the egg wash. Add the completely cooled apple and press into one even layer with the back of a spoon. Add the top pie crust (See Note 2). Press all around the edges to seal the two pie doughs together (trim excess dough if needed). Tuck the excess dough under itself so it is flush with the rim of the pan. If desired, crimp the edges (See Note 3). Place the assembled pie in the fridge and chill for 30 minutes up to an hour. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  • BAKE: Remove the pie and brush all of the top pie crust with egg wash EXCEPT for the crimped edges (they already get plenty of browning!) Sprinkle pie evenly with optional sparkling sugar. Place pie on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper and bake for 55-65 minutes or until crust is a deep golden brown. If the crust is browning too quickly, add a pie shield (or tent those sections with a piece of foil). (See Note 4)
  • SERVE: Cool completely, at room temperature, before cutting into the pie and serving. If the pie is cut straight out of the oven it'll be runny and wet; it needs time for the filling to become juicy and thick. I typically wait 3-5 hours before cutting into the pie. If desired, serve with fresh whipped cream or vanilla bean ice cream.

Recipe Notes

Note 1: Use 2 store-bought pie crusts, or make them homemade. Here is my recipe for a homemade pie crust (this makes 1 crust, so prepare it twice for this apple pie recipe (I like to make one crust at a time since it requires less handling and more precision):
  • 1 and 1/3 cups (158g) all-purpose white flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon powdered sugar
  • 7 tablespoons (100g) unsalted butter, cubed and chilled
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 2-3 tablespoons (28g) ice water
  • In a large bowl, combine the flour, salt, and powdered sugar. Stir. Add in the butter and using a pastry cutter, cut it into the dry ingredients until the mixture resembles coarse bread crumbs. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg yolk and water until smooth. Pour egg yolk mixture into the center of the dry ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon until combined as much as possible. Gently knead with your hands to form a crust (add an extra tablespoon of water if needed). Handle the dough as little as possible and once it's formed into a dough, wrap it in plastic wrap and gently flatten into a small disc. Refrigerate for (at least) 30 minutes to allow the gluten to relax before rolling. You can make the crust ahead of time and refrigerate for 1-5 days.
Note 2: Elise from Simply Recipes.com has step-by-step process shots of creating a lattice crust. If you don't want to do a lattice crust, simply add the entire top crust on top of the apple filling. Make sure to cut some vents in the top of the crust with a sharp knife. 
Note 3: Here's a picture tutorial for crimping pie edges
Note 4: You also might want a pie shield to keep the edges from getting too dark. You can make your own pie shield by following this tutorial.
Nutritional information is calculated using two refrigerated crusts from the grocery store. 

Nutrition Facts

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 434kcal | Carbohydrates: 76g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 13mg | Sodium: 326mg | Potassium: 259mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 48g | Vitamin A: 237IU | Vitamin C: 8mg | Calcium: 49mg | Iron: 2mg

We do our best to provide accurate nutritional analysis for our recipes. Our nutritional data is calculated using a third-party algorithm and may vary, based on individual cooking styles, measurements, and ingredient sizes. Please use this information for comparison purposes and consult a health professional for nutrition guidance as needed.

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