An easy Apple Pie recipe with step-by-step photos and tips for making homemade apple pie filling and apple pie crust (either traditional or lattice).
There are tons of Pie Recipes that I love, but I’ve found I most often stick with my 3 favorites; Apple Pie, Lemon Sour Cream, and Triple Berry Pie. However, when it’s time for Thanksgiving, I’d just assume have ten different varieties of pie to go alongside my traditional Thanksgiving Menu.
I’m kind of an apple pie snob. Well, if you know me at all then you know I’m a “pie snob” in general. When it comes to apple pie though, there are three really important things that have to be going on: it has to be really flavorful, it has to hold together and not fall into a soupy puddle when you cut into it, and it has to have a great buttery, flakey crust!
I can confidently say that this amazing apple pie meets all three of my requirements and it’s a total winner!
Apple Pie filling in 5 easy steps:
- Melt butter in a large sauté pan set over medium-high heat
- Add apples to the pan. Stir to coat.
- Whisk dry ingredients. Combine spices, salt, and sugar and sprinkle over the apples. Stir.
- Add flour and cornstarch over the apples and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, another 3 to 5 minutes. Remove pan from heat and stir in lemon juice.
- Let cool while you prepare the crust.
Choosing the apples:
The rule of thumb when using apples for baking is to choose apples that are more tart than sweet. Whether you’re making apple crisp, caramel apples, or apple pie, tart apples are great because they cut down on the sweetness of the dessert. It’s also a great idea to use more than one type of apple because it will add a variety of flavor to the pie. The following are prefect apples for apple pie:
- Janagold: These are a cross between Jonathan and Golden Delicious and what I used most recently for fresh apple cake. I think they have the perfect tartness for baking.
- Granny Smith: firm, juicy, tart, and are best known for holding their shape well during baking. This is what I recommend for making apple crisp. For apple pie I love to use a mix of granny smith and honey crisp apples.
- Northern Spy: A red and green apple that has a very late season (October/November) and is thought of as the perfect Apple Pie apple.
Tips for perfect Apple Pie Crust:
- Use an unbaked crust – No need to blind bake this pie crust.
- Use two crusts– You’ll need two crusts, one for the bottom of the pie pan and one placed over the filling.
- My pie crust recipe usually makes 3 crusts, but for this recipe I use the whole recipe to make 2 crusts, to I ensure I have enough crust to work with to make a lattice topping. For the top crust, you can make a traditional pie crust (one that just covers the top of the pie) or a lattice crust (see picture below).
- Allow the hot apple filling to cool before adding it to the pie crust so that the fats in the pie crust stay cold, creating a flakey crust as it bakes.
- Two oven baking temperatures: We start with the pie at a high temperature to help set the crust. Then lower the temperature to continue cooking.
EASY Lattice Crust:
- I simplify my lattice crust by only cutting the top rolled out pie dough into 6 large strips, about 2.5-3 inches thick. That way I don’t have as many strips to pull back and weave to make it look pretty.
- Lay the first three strips across the pie, with the outer two strips touching the edges of the bottom pie crust. When laying the next three strips, pull back the current strips of crust, as needed, to create an over-under pattern.
- Brush lightly with an egg wash and sprinkle with sugar. Your pie is ready to bake!
Storing, freezing, and make ahead instructions:
To Store: store baked apple pie on the counter for 1-2 days or in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.
- Unbaked: Make the crust and filling and store them separately in the freezer for up to 3 months.
- Baked. Make the entire pie and allow it several hours to cool completely. Cover it well with plastic wrap as well as tinfoil. Store in the freezer for up to 3 months. To thaw, place it in the refrigerator for about 1 ½ days.
To make-ahead: There are a few options for preparing this apple pie in advance.
- Prepare the crust ahead of time. The dough can be prepared up to 5 days in advance and stored in the refrigerator for weeks before and stored in the freezer.
- Make pie 1 day ahead of time. This pie is great to make a day ahead of time. Once it’s cooled, cover it and store it on the counter at room temperature.
More Fresh Apple recipes:
Classic Apple Pie
- 6 large apples , peeled, cored, and cut into wedges , (3 honey crisp and 3 granny smith)
- 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¾ cup + 1 tablespoon sugar , divided
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 recipe homemade pie crust , unbaked
- Egg wash: 1 egg, lightly beaten with 1 Tablespoon of milk
- Peel, core, and cut apple slices. (I use a johnny apple peeler to make this process extra easy as it does it all in one). Make sure your apple slices are cut relatively thinly.
- Whisk together the cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, salt and ¾ cup sugar, and set aside.
- Melt butter in a large saute pan/skillet over medium-high heat. Once melted, add the apples to the skillet and stir them to coat them in butter. Immediately add the spice and sugar mixture, stirring to coat the apples.
- Lower to medium heat and cook the apple mixture for 2 minutes. Sprinkle the flour and cornstarch over the apples and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, another 3-5 minutes (3 minutes if your apples are sliced thin, a couple minutes longer for thicker apple slices).
- Remove the pan from heat and stir in lemon juice. Pour the mixture out onto a baking sheet to allow it to cool while you prepare the crust.**
- Place a large baking sheet on the middle rack of oven and preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. (We are heating the empty baking sheet while we prepare the pie crust).
- Remove one disc of dough from the refrigerator and roll it out to about 12 inches in diameter. Fit this crust into a 9-inch pie plate, trimming it to leave a .5-inch overhang. Place the pie plate, with the dough, in the fridge or freezer.
- Roll out the remaining dough on a lightly floured surface.
- Remove the pie crust from the fridge or freezer and pour the cooled pie filling into it.
- Cover with pie with the second, top layer of dough. You can either place the entire circle of pie dough over the filling and cut a few slits in it to allow the filling to vent, or you can make a simple lattice crust.
- Trim the extra dough from the edges and pinch the edges of the top and bottom pie crusts to seal them together. Crimp them, if desired.
- Lightly brush the top of the pie with egg wash and sprinkle with remaining tablespoon of sugar.
- Place pie in oven and bake on hot baking sheet for 20 minutes. Leave the pie in the oven and reduce temperature to 375 degrees F.
- Continue to cook until the filling is bubbling and the crust is golden brown, about 30 to 40 minutes more.***
- Remove the pie from the oven and allow it to cool completely, at least 2-3 hours. This allows the filling to set up so it wont fall apart when slicing.
- Prep the crust ahead of time. The dough can be prepared up to 5 days in advance and stored in the refrigerator or weeks before and stored in the freezer.
- Make pie 1 day ahead of time. This pie is great to make a day ahead of time. Once it's cooled, cover it and store it on the counter at room temperature.
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Recipe adapted from NY Times.