This classic homemade apple pie recipe features a variety of apples combined with sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg for full flavor and texture, and baked in a flaky, all-butter pie crust.
You know you have a great dessert recipe when everyone requests you bring your homemade apple pie to a family gathering, work functions, or potluck meal. This is my go to recipe.
Tips for Making Apple Pie
When choosing apples for pies, you can mix and match varieties for both flavor and texture. I like using a mix of tart and sweet apples, such as Granny Smith and Cortland for texture, and Macintosh for flavor and a bit of soft juiciness.
Baking apples are often recommended for apple pie. They are tart, slightly acidic, but hold their shape during baking. Baking apple varieties include Cortland, Granny Smith, Jonathan, Northern Spy, Rome Beauty, Pink Lady, Winsap, or Gravenstein.
Using all baking apples for your filling results in a rather bland flavored and dry apple pie. So, I like to mix them with a sweet apple that breaks down when cooked to add a bit of moisture to the pie filling. Consider mixing in sweet apple varieties, such as Jonagolds, Macouns, Macintosh, Golden Delicious, or Red Delicious.
Look for apples that are firm with a fresh apple fragrance. The skins should be smooth and taut, have vivid color, and very few blemishes. Avoid apples with soft spots and bruises. Store apples in the refrigerator to keep them crisp. Here are other tips for making homemade apple pie:
Make Your Own Pie Crust
You can make your own pie pastry, or use one of the convenient ready-made crusts from the store. However, I do hope you consider trying to make your own. Homemade pie crusts are easier to make than you think.
Don’t Grease the Pie Plate
Don’t grease or flour your pie pans. The pie dough has enough butter to prevent sticking. Extra grease will change the texture of the crust.
Prevent Dark Edges
To prevent the edges of the pie crust from getting too dark, you can cover it with strips of aluminum foil or use a pie shield to slow the browning. Check the pie as it cooks, and cover the edges with foil or a pie shield if it is browning too much.
Let the Pie Cool After Baking
Allow the pie to cool for at least 30 minutes after baking. This gives the liquid inside a chance to gel and thicken so it won’t spill out when you cut into the pie. Place the pie on a cooling rack to let air circulate as it cools to prevent a soggy crust.
How to Make Apple Pie
This apple pie recipe uses a mix of sweet and tart apples tossed with the classic flavors of sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg, and baked in a flaky, golden all-butter pie pastry. The result is an apple pie that is filled with texture and balanced flavor.
A complete and printable recipe is at the bottom of this article, but here are the steps for making apple pie:
Step 1: Gather the Ingredients and Kitchen Gear
Wash the apples well under running water and air dry on clean kitchen towels. Remove the pie pastry from the refrigerator and let it warm before rolling.
You will need basic kitchen tools such as a large prep bowl, peeler, knife, spoon, rolling pin, pastry mat, pastry brush, 9-inch glass pie plate, and cooling rack.
Step 2: Combine the Pie Seasoning
Combine the sugars, flour, lemon zest, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a large bowl.
Lemon zest is optional but does brighten the flavor of the apples a bit without tasting lemony. Add it if you have it. You can also add a squeeze of fresh lemon instead of zest.
Step 3: Prepare the Apple Filling
Peel, core, and cut the apples into 1/4-inch slices. Add the slices to the sugar bowl as you work. Toss to coat and let the apples sit and begin to caramelize while you prepare the pie crust.
Step 4: Make and Bake the Pie
Flour the pastry mat or work surface with flour, and roll out the bottom pie crust. Place the pasty into the pie plate without stretching.
Spoon the apple pie filling into the prepared pie plate. Arrange the apples evenly around the edges and heap slightly in the middle. Don’t press on the filling or you may poke holes in the bottom pie crust that will leak and lead to a soggy crust. Brush the edges with the beaten egg to help create a good seal once the two crusts are crimped together.
Roll out the top pie crust and place on top of the filling. Fold the top crust under the bottom crust and seal the edges.
To glaze, brush the pie with the beaten egg and sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon. Cut steam vents and bake the pie in a preheated oven until golden and you can see the filling bubbling through the vents of the pie crust.
Cool on a wire rack for at least 30 minutes before cutting. Serve warm with a scoop of ice cream.
Homemade Apple Pie Recipe
For the filling:
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar
- 1/4 cup cane sugar
- 1 tablespoon unbleached all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest optional for flavor
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 2 pounds apples about 6 medium apples
For the pie crust:
- 1 prepared All-Butter Flaky Double Pie Crust pastry
- extra flour for rolling out pie crust
For the glaze:
- 1 beaten egg
- 1 teaspoon cane sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 425˚F. Remove the pie dough from the refrigerator to let it warm for 10 minutes.
- In a large bowl, combine the sugars, flour, lemon zest, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Set aside.
- Peel, core, and cut the apples into 1/4-inch slices. Add them to the sugar bowl as you work. Toss to coat and let the apples sit and begin to caramelize while you prepare the pie crust.
- On a lightly floured surface, flatten one ball of dough with your hands. Roll dough to about 12-inches in diameter, to fit a 9-inch pie pan.
- Place the pie crust pastry into the prepared pie plate and add the apple pie filling.
- Brush around the outer edge of the pastry with the beaten egg.
- Roll out the top pastry and place on top of the filling. Fold the top crust under the bottom crust and pinch or flute the edges.
- To glaze, brush the piecrust with beaten egg and sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon.
- Cut vent holes, and bake in a preheated over for 35 to 40 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown.
- Remove the apple pie from oven and let it cool at least 30 minutes before serving. Makes 1 pie, about 8 servings.
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