Apple Pie Recipe
This apple pie recipe is easy to make from scratch! With a flaky, buttery pie crust and a sweet homemade apple pie filling, this apple pie is guaranteed to be a favorite. It’s perfect for the holidays or a weekend dessert.
Homemade apple pie is a classic dessert that’s especially perfect for fall. But really, who wouldn’t love a slice of apple pie any time of year?
Making a pie from scratch can seem difficult, but it is actually really easy. If making pie dough from scratch intimidates you, don’t worry. I will walk you through the simple steps so that you can make your own scrumptious apple pie from scratch.
As I was testing this apple pie recipe, my whole family kept raving that it’s the best apple pie they’ve ever eaten. You’ll have to tell me which you like more, because I just can’t decide: the juicy cinnamon-spiced apple pie filling or the buttery, flaky pie crust.
Best Apples for Apple Pie
The best apple pie starts with good baking apples. You want to use apples that are firm enough to hold up to the heat of baking, so that they don’t cook down into mush.
I like to use a combination of sweet and tart apples in apple pie for the best flavor and texture. My favorite is a combination of Granny Smith and Honeycrisp apples. The Granny Smiths add tartness, and the Honeycrisps are on the sweeter side, so you get the perfect balance of sweet and tart flavors.
Tart varieties of apples that are best for pie include Granny Smith, Northern Spy and Cripps Pink. Sweeter varieties of apples that are best for pie include Honeycrisp, Jonagold, Golden Delicious, Braeburn, Pink Lady, Crispin (Mutsu), Jazz and Fuji. Learn more about apple types.
How to Make Apple Pie
Apple Pie Filling
This easy apple pie recipe starts with my easy homemade apple pie filling. The first step is to peel and slice your apples. You want the apple slices to be about 1/4-inch thick. You will need about 8 cups of sliced apples (6-8 apples) to fill a deep dish pie dish.
Place the sliced apples in a large bowl. To the bowl, add the rest of the apple pie filling ingredients:
- Vanilla Extract: A little bit of vanilla extract adds sweetness and flavor to the pie.
- All-Purpose Flour: The flour helps to thicken the pie filling.
- Granulated Sugar: You can adjust the amount of sugar depending on the sweetness of your apples and how sweet you like your pie.
- Brown Sugar: I like to use brown sugar as well as granulated sugar because it adds a richer flavor with caramel notes.
- Cinnamon: A little bit of cinnamon is essential for the best apple pie filling!
- Nutmeg: You’ll add just 1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg, for flavor.
- Salt: Salt is essential in baking to balance out the sweetness.
Stir to combine the ingredients. Then you’ll let the filling sit at room temperature while you make the pie crust. As the filling rests, the sugar will start to bring out the juices from the apples. You’ll stir the filling again after it sits to make sure everything is well combined.
Apple Pie Crust
For the pie crust, we are using my easy pie crust recipe – you don’t have to chill the dough before rolling it out, and it rolls out like a dream. The trick to the best flaky pie crust is to use very cold butter and ice cold water, and to work quickly to keep the butter cold. But don’t stress! You really can’t mess up pie crust.
I like to make pie dough in my food processor, because it is quick and easy. You can also make the pie crust by hand, using a pastry blender. The steps to making the pie crust are simple:
- Combine the dry ingredients: flour, granulated sugar and salt. You can use the pulse function of your food processor to mix them together.
- Cut in the butter: Make sure to use butter that is cold, straight from the refrigerator. You can even freeze your butter for a few minutes to make it colder. Cut the butter into cubes and add it to the food processor. Pulse about 10 times, until the largest pieces of butter are the size of peas.
- Add ice-cold water: Pulse until the dough begins to come together.
My recipe makes enough dough for a top and bottom pie crust. You’ll cut the dough in half and shape it into two disks. Refrigerate one disk for the top crust, and roll out the other for the bottom crust. Fit the bottom crust into your pie dish so it reaches all the way up the sides of the dish.
Give the apple filling a stir and transfer it to the bottom crust in the pie dish. If it seems like your apples won’t fit, use your fingers to arrange them a bit and help them better fill the space.
Roll out the second pie crust for the top of the pie. You can place it on the pie whole, you can make a lattice pie crust, or you can use a cookie cutter and arrange the dough shapes on top of the pie filling. If placing the dough round on the pie whole, be sure to cut a few slits in the top dough so that steam can escape as the pie bakes.
I like to sprinkle some coarse turbinado sugar on the top crust because it makes the pie look pretty. It also adds a delicious sweet crunch to the top crust. Before sprinkling on the sugar, lightly brush the crust with milk to help the sugar stick. The milk also helps the crust to brown nicely. (I use milk instead of an egg wash, which is a combination of an egg and milk or water, because I find it easier and just as effective).
While your oven preheats, chill the pie in your refrigerator to make sure the crust is cold. You’ll bake your apple pie for 20 minutes at 400° F and then another 40-50 minutes at 350° F. Check on the pie after it has baked for about 30-40 minutes total, and cover it loosely with foil to prevent the crust from browning too much. The pie is done when the filling is bubbly.
How to Make a Lattice Pie Crust
A lattice-top pie crust is the name for the woven crust that you see on the top of this apple pie. It’s fun and pretty to make a lattice top crust for your pie.
To make a lattice pie crust, roll out the dough for the top of the pie into a 12-inch diameter circle. Use a sharp knife, pizza cutter or pastry wheel to cut the dough circle into ½-inch strips.
Using every other strip from the circle, arrange half of the dough strips going one direction across the pie. Leave a little bit of space in between each strip.
Weave the other half of the dough strips through the first set, over and under, pulling back the first set of strips as needed to weave. I find it easiest to start in the center of the pie when weaving, and pull back every other of the first set of dough strips.
Once you finish weaving in strips on one side of the pie, begin weaving the remaining strips of dough on the other side of the pie.
When you are finished weaving, trim off any excess dough from around the edges of the pie. Fold the edges under and crimp or flute as desired.
Make Ahead Instructions
If you want to make this apple pie ahead for your holiday meal, I recommend baking it the day before, letting it cool completely, and then storing it at room temperature, wrapped tightly with plastic wrap. To make two days ahead, cool completely, wrap tightly, and store in the refrigerator. Take the pie out of the refrigerator 1-2 hours before serving to let it come to room temperature.
To store apple pie: You can store your apple pie at room temperature for one day. This apple pie can be stored in the refrigerator for 4-5 days.
To freeze apple pie: Let the pie cool completely and then wrap it tightly. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw for 24 hours in the refrigerator before serving.
Baking Tips for Apple Pie
- You can substitute up to half of the all purpose flour with white whole wheat flour in the pie crust.
- You can use a store bought pie crust instead of homemade to save time.
- Be sure to check on the pie partway through the baking time and cover it with foil to keep the crust from over-browning.
- You’ll want to plan ahead so that you can let the pie cool for at least 2 hours before serving. As the pie cools, the filling will thicken up, making it easier to serve.
For the Apple Filling
- 8 cups peeled apples, sliced ¼-inch thick (6-8 apples, 3.5 pounds)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ cup all purpose flour
- ¼ cup to ½ cup granulated sugar (amount depending on how sweet you want your pie, see note)
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon salt
For the Pie Crust
- 2¼ cups all purpose flour (may substitute up to half of the flour with white whole wheat flour)
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes (16 tablespoons)
- 7 tablespoons ice-cold water
- 1 tablespoon milk
- coarse turbinado sugar (optional)
Make the Apple Filling
- Place the peeled, sliced apples in a large bowl.
- Add the vanilla, ¼ cup flour, granulated sugar and brown sugar to the bowl with the apples. Sprinkle the cinnamon, nutmeg and salt over the apples. Stir to combine. Set aside while you make the pie crust.
Make the Pie Crust
- Place the flour, sugar and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. (Alternatively, the pie crust dough can be made by hand in a large bowl using a pastry cutter or your fingers to cut in the butter.)
- Pulse to combine the dry ingredients. Add the cold butter cubes and pulse about 10 times, until the largest butter pieces are the size of small peas.
- Add the ice-cold water and pulse just until the dough comes together.
- Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and form it into a ball. Cut the ball in half and shape each half into a round disk. Wrap one of the disks in plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator.
- On a lightly floured work surface, roll the second disk out to a 12-inch round and transfer it to a deep-dish pie dish. (This is easily done by wrapping the dough round around your rolling pin to help move it.)
Assemble the Pie
- By this time, the apples should have released some of their juices. Stir the apple mixture to make sure everything is well combined and then pour the apples and their juices into the pie crust.
- Roll out the second pie dough disk to a 12-inch round. You can place the dough round on top of the pie as is, or you can make a lattice-top pie crust. If putting the full dough round on top of the pie, cut a few slits in the top crust to allow steam to escape as the pie bakes.
- To make a lattice top pie crust (see step-by-step photos in the post above): Cut the second dough round into ½-inch strips. Place the longest strip down the center of the pie. Reserving every other dough strip to go in the other direction on the pie, lay strips across the pie with just a little bit of space between. Then weave in strips going the opposite direction on the pie.
- Brush the pie crust with milk (to help with browning and to help the coarse sugar stick) and sprinkle with coarse sugar, if desired.
- Refrigerate pie for 30 minutes before baking.
- Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400° F with a rack in the lower third of the oven.
- Bake the pie at 400° for 20 minutes, then reduce oven temperature to 350° F. Continue baking the pie for 40-50 minutes more, until the filling is bubbly. Check on the pie partway through the baking time and tent it with foil as needed to prevent the crust from over-browning (to tent with foil means to loosely cover the pie by laying a sheet of foil over the top).
- Let the pie cool at room temperature for at least 2 hours before serving to allow the filling to thicken.
- Store pie at room temperature for up to one day, or in the refrigerator, covered with plastic wrap, for up to 5 days. Pie can also be frozen, wrapped tightly, for up to 3 months.
- I find that this pie is plenty sweet when made with 1/4 cup granulated sugar plus 1/4 cup brown sugar. Depending on the sweetness of your apples and how sweet you like your pie, you can adjust the amount of sugar.
- This recipe makes enough filling for a deep dish apple pie. If your pie plate is small, consider reducing the number of apples.
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