Homemade Apple Pie

Desserts, Holiday, Pie, Thanksgiving
Homemade Apple Pie

Welcome to an entire post about my favorite autumnal topic: Homemade Apple Pie. This pie is PERFECTION. Simple and classic; it’s the apple pie version of the perfect white t-shirt we spend years searching for.

This is of course an updated blog post; I wrote a post all about Classic Apple Pie years ago and it was made over and over and I have some new thoughts on execution.

Homemade Apple Pie

What Are the Best Apples for Apple Pie?

There are apples that are AWFUL for apple pie and GREAT for apple pie. Some apples are best for eating raw. Others are best for cooking on the stove-top for hours and hours that will give you the most delicious apple sauce. This is not an attack on any apple varietal what-so-ever. I am for all apples. But here are my favorites for apple pie that will keep their integrity/shape even when baked for an hour:

– Honey crisp: The pie pictured uses ALL honey crisp apples. I don’t always do this but honey crisp apples are delicious and if you’re going to go with a very simple, one varietal type of pie, I say you can’t lose with honey crisp.
– Granny smith: This variety is incredibly tart so definitely use it with that in mind. Granny smith is great to pair with a sweeter more mild apple.
– Northern Spy: This type of apple grows in the Northeast of the United States and may be difficult to find in the midwest and on the west coast, but if you do have Northern Spy apples around, use them. They’re delicious. They have a cider-like quality to them when cooked.
– Golden Delicious: People love to hate on golden delicious apples because they’re sort of basic. But if that’s all you have in your grocery store, pair them with a granny smith apple. It’ll result in a great pie.
– Pink Lady: If you’re looking for an apple with a great balance of sweet and tart, look no further. Pink lady does a great job at doing this.
– Braeburn: A super crisp apple that has notes of spices, pear and nutmeg.

How to Make Pie Crust

I have a full flushed out blog post for that, so definitely go there for a step-by-step. I will say that there is ZERO shame in buying a store-bought pie crust. If you can, look for an all-butter pie crust. All butter is a game changer for me. Nothing tastes better than all butter in a pie crust.

Homemade Apple Pie

To make a homemade pie crust, here are some things that really change the game in executing this with ease:

– Make sure you have ice cold water
– Use your box grater to shred the cold butter
– No need to use frozen butter, just use it straight from the fridge
– Chill the butter as it sits on top of the flour in the freezer
– It’ll be super easy to break it up and mix it throughout the flour

Homemade Apple Pie

Best Vessel to Bake a Homemade Apple Pie In

I will always be a fan of these glass Pyrex pie dishes. They bake up an incredibly even pie. The bottom is never soggy and gross. And I love that you can see through the sides and bottom to check on the pie’s doneness and color.

Another thing I love about these Pyrex pie dishes is that they’re incredibly affordable. But I am not at all against vintage pie tins. Just keep in mind that they’re usually smaller so you may end up with extra filling and pie crust.

How to Make Apple Pie Filling for the Best Homemade Apple Pie

Apple pie filling is supposed to be simple. I like to add a few extra things to make it extra special, but here is usually what it should consist of:

– Apples: I like to peel the apples and to slice them thinly. Extra points if you use a mandolin.
– Thickener: For berry pies, corn starch or tapioca starch is needed because berries very juicy. But with apples, they don’t release a ton of juices so I add a few tablespoons of all-purpose flour. I find that corn starch or tapioca starch makes it a bit too gummy for me.
– Acid: I like to use fresh lemon juice. It adds a lovely tartness.
– Sweetener: For this pie, I add all brown sugar. I love the molasses, caramel notes it provides. But feel free to use cane sugar, maple syrup or honey.

Additions to Filling

I like to add a few other things to my filling. I love adding a dollop of creme fraiche or sour cream. This creates a caramel when the apples and brown sugar are all cooked together. It’s glorious. It transforms any normal apple pie into a caramel apple pie and it is SO delicious. I also love adding a bit of vanilla paste. It feels indulgent and what better place to put some vanilla.

How to Bake an Apple Pie

In my honest opinion, people under bake their apple pies. Apple pie should not be pale golden brown. It should be deep, golden brown. When the pie bubbles, it means the thickener (in this case all-purpose flour) has been activated. If you’re using a glass vessel (like I suggested above), it will take a bit longer than if you’re baking it in a tin baking dish.

I like to bake my apple pie for an hour MINIMUM. I check on it regularly.

If any part of the pie crust begins to burn or get a bit too dark, you can cover that part with a sheet of foil.

How to Make An Apple Pie Ahead

Let’s throw out a scenario: You have a Friendsgiving or autumnal get together and you are working all week long and know you won’t have time to make it the day of. Not a problem. Up to two weeks prior, make the crust, make the filling, assemble the entire pie and then FREEZE IT whole.

Yes, freeze the entire pie. In its dish and everything. If it’s for longer than a night, then I cover it with plastic wrap after it’s mostly frozen.

Then, brush it with egg wash, sprinkle it with turbinado sugar and then bake it frozen. It will take about 15 minutes longer but it will turn out gloriously.

I also love freezing my pies first because it ensures that the pie crust doesn’t shrink.

Cutting and Slicing an Apple Pie

I will never tell you what to do lol. But if you want your apple pie to be a cohesive, beautiful, Instagram-worthy slice of apple pie, you have to wait a few hours. Two at the very least.

I know it’s hard but it will allow the pie to set and make it sliceable. Now, if you want a warm apple pie with cold ice cream, then slice it up. Just know that it might make a bit of a mess. But is that really a bad thing? Nahhh.

If you end up making this Homemade Apple Pie, lemme know on the Instagram!

Homemade Apple Pie

Classic Apple Pie

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4.93 from 13 votes
This easy Apple Pie Recipe is the perfect classic apple pie. Balanced spices with apples, vanilla and brown sugar. Paired with a delicious flakey crust.
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Total Time: 5 hours 55 minutes
Serving Size: 1 (9-inch) pie
Calories: 298kcal

Ingredients

Double Pie Crust:

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon white granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter , cold and straight from the fridge
  • 3/4 cups very cold water, divided

Apple Pie Filling:

  • 1/2 whole lemon , juiced
  • 3 whole small apples, peeled, halved, cored and thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons crème fraîche or sour cream
  • 1 large egg, beaten (for egg wash)
  • 1 tablespoon turbinado sugar, for topping (optional)

Directions

To Make the Pie Crust:

  • In a large bowl, mix together the flour, sugar and salt. Using a box grater, grate the cold butter atop the flour mixture. Transfer to the freezer to chill for 10 minutes. Working quickly, and using your hands, break the butter bits into the flour until they’re evenly distributed and resemble the size of teeny, small peas. Add a 50% of the recommended water and mix.
  • The mixture will be shaggy at this point. From here, add 1 tablespoon of water at a time until the dough comes together. Flour your counter and dump the dough onto it. Knead a few times more until it comes together into one cohesive mass.
  • Divide the dough, forming two discs. Wrap the discs in plastic wrap and transfer to the refrigerator to chill for at least 1 hour, ideally overnight.

To Make the Apple Pie Filling:

  • You're welcome to peel your apples. This is optional. I personally like to peel the apples. Halve the apples, remove the core and then slice the apples into thin 1/4-inch pieces. OR, you can use a mandolin and slice them very thinly. Add the apple slices to a large bowl. Squeeze in the lemon juice, being sure to catch any seeds.
  • Next, add the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, vanilla extract and salt; toss until the apples are evenly coated.
  • Add the crème fraîche and toss until it's evenly distributed throughout.

To Assemble the Apple Pie:

  • Remove the first disc of dough from the refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature for about 5 minutes. Liberally flour your work surface and rolling pin. Begin to roll the dough, being sure to rotate it every so often to avoid sticking, to a 13-inch round. Wrap the dough around the rolling pin and unroll it over the pie dish. 
  • Gently fit the dough into the bottom and up the sides of the pie tin. Trim the dough around the pie tin, leaving about a 1/2-inch overhang. Recombine the scraps and set them aside. We’ll use them for the lattice. Transfer the pie shell to the refrigerator while you roll out the second disc.
  • Remove the second disc from the fridge and repeat the rolling process. Using a knife, cut the dough into 3-inch strips. 
  • I cut as many 3-inch strips as I can. Reroll the scraps you have set aside, too, you’ll need all of the pie dough. (If at any time your pie dough becomes too soft, transfer to a cutting board and put in the fridge to chill so it’s easier to work with.) Fill your pie shell with the apple filling. Lay out 5 strips of pie dough on top of the filling, leaving about 1/2-inch of space in between them. Lay the remainder of your strips running perpendicular. This will give you a good idea of how it will go. Next, fold back every strip. Start one at the top, running horizontally. and weave it under and over, rotating, each strip running vertically. Repeat this process until you’ve worked your way through every strip. If my directions are confusing, go to Youtube. The videos on there are super easy to follow. Much easier than written instructions! 
  • Trim the edges of the strips, being sure to leave about 1-inch overhand. Going all the way around, tuck the edges under. To make a pronounced crimp, like you see pictured, set your thumb on the outside edge of the crust. With your opposite pointer and thumb fingers, create a v, and push the two together. Repeat this process all the way around the pie crust. 
  • Transfer to the freezer to chill for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Brush the entire pie, liberally, with egg wash and sprinkle with turbinado sugar.
  • Transfer the pie to a baking sheet and place in the oven to for 20 to 25 minutes, until the edges are just lightly brown. Turn the heat down to 350 degrees F and bake for another 40 to 45 minutes, until the edges and top are deep golden brown. Be sure to check on it intermittently, if at any time the pie crust begins to turn too dark, use foil to cover those areas to stop browning. Allow to stand for at least two hours so it can firm up before slicing the pie. 
  • Serve with ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream.

Notes

To make the pie dough ahead:
You can make your pie dough ahead of time and freeze it for up to 3 months.
To make the pie ahead:
You can assemble this entire pie and stick it in the freezer overnight and then bake it off the next day. It'll work very well. 
To store a baked pie: 
Cover lightly with a clean kitchen towel and store on the kitchen counter. I find that the fridge makes the dough soggy because of the moisture. 
CourseDessert
CuisineAmerican, Thanksgiving
Keywordapple pie, apple pie filling, easy apple pie, easy apple pie recipe, easy homemade apple pie, easy pie recipe
Did you make this recipe?Tag @acozykitchen on Instagram and hashtag it #acozykitchen

Are you in the mood for some apple pop tarts with a cheddar crust? Of course you are, click here! 

Homemade Apple Pie

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69 Comments

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  • Avatar
    Reply Medeja October 17, 2014 at 2:48 am

    You made me think..what would my legacy be.. Oh, I think I would like something similar like yours 🙂 and a slice of apple pie, please!

  • Avatar
    Reply Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar October 17, 2014 at 5:03 am

    Oh man…that crust! This pie looks beyond gorgeous.

  • Avatar
    Reply Abbie October 17, 2014 at 5:43 am

    #1 – YES. SUCH an emotional week. Between Isis and Ebola and the kids in Missouri, it is just non-stop pain from the news. AND everyone has a cold/flu.
    #2 – the cotton branches (right?) in the photos. STUNNING.
    #3 – you will be an outstanding Grandma. Old jewelry always just gets reset/melted down anyway.

  • Reply A Classic: Apple Pie - The Recipe Daily October 17, 2014 at 7:00 am

    […] (Read more… ) […]

  • Reply Five [Awesome] Things I Read This Week, 10.17.2014 | Pink-Briefcase October 17, 2014 at 7:38 am

    […] A Cozy Kitchen’s Classic Apple Pie.  But to be honest I do not enjoy apple […]

  • Avatar
    Reply Abby @ The Frosted Vegan October 17, 2014 at 7:53 am

    Um YES I want to be a pie baking grandma too, loveeee. Also, your styling is on POINT with this one, werk it girl.

  • Avatar
    Reply sharana @ Living The Sweet Life Blog October 17, 2014 at 10:13 am

    LOL I love your grandma legacy dream …. mine I’m sure will be similar — hopefully my grandchildren ( I don’t even have kids yet … by the way lol) will appreciate my recipes and their ‘treasure’ mehh – only time will tell.

    This honestly looks like the perfect pie 🙂

  • Avatar
    Reply Giselle @ the busy spatula October 17, 2014 at 11:00 am

    That apple pie looks amazing! I love that perfectly golden hue of the crust 🙂

  • Avatar
    Reply Jen @ Fresh from the... October 17, 2014 at 11:29 am

    There’s nothing quite like a classic apple pie!

  • Avatar
    Reply cynthia October 17, 2014 at 11:51 am

    Just awesome. I love this post and this pie — perfection. (And yesss for psychotic mandolining!)

  • Avatar
    Reply Ellie October 17, 2014 at 1:23 pm

    I’m not really a cake person (there, I said it!). I find cake is often too dry. But pie…just pie. It’s so good and the old classics are the ultimate treat. The photography in this post is so beautiful too! Great post!

  • Avatar
    Reply abby - little city adventures October 17, 2014 at 1:30 pm

    Great recipe for this classic dish!

  • Avatar
    Reply Susan October 17, 2014 at 1:41 pm

    Looks delicious…pinning it and will make for Thanksgiving….and yes we have lots of hills here in WI :))))))

  • Avatar
    Reply Honey, What's Cooking October 17, 2014 at 2:54 pm

    Looks incredible. Delicious. Love the dough stripes.

  • Avatar
    Reply Karen October 17, 2014 at 2:58 pm

    This sounds really good, but I think the recipe ingredients are combined with what you need to make the pastry crust, which isn’t detailed unless you follow the Pie Crust 101 link? The pie filling would start with the lemon juice, yes?

  • Avatar
    Reply Heather @ Sarap Life October 17, 2014 at 3:45 pm

    Wow, combining honey crisp and Granny Smith? Never would have thought if that combination. Those are my two favorite kinds. Now I need to try it ASAP!

  • Avatar
    Reply Emily D. October 17, 2014 at 3:49 pm

    That is my exact ranking of apples too. I barely even mess with non-honey crisp apples anymore.

  • Avatar
    Reply Abby October 17, 2014 at 8:07 pm

    Have you ever tried buttermilk for your pie crusts? Joy (the Baker of course) is always replacing her water with buttermilk and it totally intrigues me!

  • Avatar
    Reply Laura (Tutti Dolci) October 17, 2014 at 8:22 pm

    So gorgeous, that lattice is perfection!

  • Avatar
    Reply jill October 18, 2014 at 12:59 am

    lovely looking pie! will be saving this recipe and your helpful dough tips

    another thing that is lovely though, is that cutlery (last 2 images)!!
    would you care to share the brand of it? would appreciate it very much!

  • Avatar
    Reply Lily October 18, 2014 at 11:49 am

    Looks amazing! I’ve never left the apple unpeeled before but would love to forgo that step if it doesn’t make a difference.

  • Avatar
    Reply Francesca October 19, 2014 at 1:03 am

    Your crust is gorgeous. Had no idea that layering the apples would make for such a beautiful slice.

  • Avatar
    Reply Jmcvl October 19, 2014 at 7:05 am

    This pie looks too good to eat! Delicious

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  • Avatar
    Reply Dani Meyer October 20, 2014 at 9:08 am

    So beautiful! You can’t beat pie!

  • Avatar
    Reply Heather October 20, 2014 at 10:56 am

    I am a huge pie lover and I’ve never even thought about what it looks like when you cut into it. I guess I’m just too focussed on shovelling it in to my mouth as quickly as possible ;). Yours has a major wow factor though and I love that!

  • Avatar
    Reply Laura (Blogging Over Thyme) October 20, 2014 at 7:40 pm

    I totally feel you on the legacy. I hope for much of the same!! I might need to brush up on my pie skillz though.

  • Avatar
    Reply Chineka @ Savor The Baking October 20, 2014 at 8:39 pm

    The lattice work of the pie crust is beautiful.

  • Avatar
    Reply Rebecca October 21, 2014 at 5:50 am

    5 stars
    Thank you for this recipe! I followed your steps closely, even mandolining the apples (and hence my index finger). Pink Lady for sweetness and Granny Smith for tartness was a great combination. The taste was absolutely classic apple pie, it was perfect :).

  • Avatar
    Reply Jenny @ The Peachy Pair October 22, 2014 at 7:25 am

    What an amazing legacy your apple pie will be! I am actually eating an apple (Ambrosia) while I read this! Would be much better in a pie….

  • Avatar
    Reply Maria October 24, 2014 at 7:08 am

    This pie looks amazing! One question: would I be able to make this pie and leave it in the freezer to bake the next day?

    • Adrianna Adarme
      Reply Adrianna Adarme October 26, 2014 at 10:10 am

      Yes! You can assemble this, cover with plastic wrap and put it in the oven the next day. You may need a bit longer on the lower temperature for the thawing of the apples but it should work just great!

  • Avatar
    Reply Sarah October 27, 2014 at 10:28 pm

    5 stars
    That lattice is gorgeous! I often make mine more loose so that you can see the filling, but now I want to make a closer knit version like this. We just went apple hunting, as the kids called it, this weekend. I see a pie or three in my very near future.

  • Avatar
    Reply Yuni November 2, 2014 at 6:31 am

    Adrianna I would love to be your grandchild. You have personality, style and definately big heart. Hugs.

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    Reply Marie Paul November 17, 2014 at 8:55 pm

    really amazing.. love this apple pie.. in a great way u tell every step …
    check this http://www.benefitsofyogurt.net/benefits-of-yogurt-on-hair

  • Avatar
    Reply Marisa November 26, 2014 at 11:24 am

    5 stars
    I notice when you layer the apples there’s an empty space in the middle of the pan. Is that correct? Should that be filled up or just left open? I’m making this pie tomorrow–can’t wait!

    • Adrianna Adarme
      Reply Adrianna Adarme November 26, 2014 at 11:27 am

      I actually put a few slices of apple in there. Like odds and end pieces! Let me add that little tidbit in the recipe itself.

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    Reply Jill Roberts @ WellnessGeeky January 4, 2018 at 10:04 am

    5 stars
    Definitely your classic apple pie are awesomeness! This is a great recipe, as you know I made it a short while ago and it was lovely, in fact have made it again since. Thanks for sharing!

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    Reply Yashar @ Review.org May 28, 2018 at 1:24 pm

    I bookmarked this for Thanksgiving. This with vanilla ice cream sounds heavenly right about now..

    Thanks for sharing Adrianna.

  • Avatar
    Reply Bella Hardy @ Healthnerdy July 2, 2018 at 2:07 am

    This classic apple pie just looks SO incredibly delicious and I am so craving a slice right now!

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  • Avatar
    Reply Christina October 2, 2018 at 6:57 pm

    Question: if you freeze and bake it off the next day, are the baking times and temps the same?

    • Adrianna Adarme
      Reply Adrianna Adarme October 3, 2018 at 9:21 am

      the baking temp is the same but the baking time would probably be about 10 minutes more. i would just keep an eye on it and see how long it takes.

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  • Avatar
    Reply Jazmine November 20, 2018 at 7:13 pm

    AMAZING! I’m trying this recipe out for this Thanksgiving – super excited!
    Just had two questions, sorry if there silly-
    Can I use earth balance (vegan) butter?
    Does Unbleached all purpose flour work the same as an regular all purpose flour?

    Thank you!

    • Adrianna Adarme
      Reply Adrianna Adarme November 22, 2018 at 8:16 am

      unfortunately you’ll have to use a vegan pie dough recipe. i didn’t test this with that type of butter, which is really just oil, so not sure. and yes that’s the same flour! 🙂

  • Avatar
    Reply Maria Taylor July 28, 2019 at 6:44 am

    5 stars
    Definitely your classic apple pie are awesome! This is a great recipe ever in my life, you know well, I made it . it was lovely, in fact i will make it again in future because this one is great. Thanks for sharing such good type of info!

  • Avatar
    Reply Amelia October 30, 2019 at 12:50 pm

    5 stars
    I made this recipe last week and it turned out so well! It was delicious 🙂 I’m making it again this week for some friends and since I won’t have time to bake the pie the day of, I plan to bake it the night before and let it sit in the fridge overnight, and then bring it with me the next day. Will it still taste just as good if the pie warms to room temperature before being eaten? Or should it be warmed up at all?

    • Adrianna Adarme
      Reply Adrianna Adarme October 30, 2019 at 1:14 pm

      I would store it at room temperature overnight. The fridge adds a weird moisture to the crust and can make it a bit soggier. I would warm it back up if you like. There’s nothing like warm apple pie. But room temp is delicious too. It’s a personal preference!

      • Avatar
        Reply Amelia October 30, 2019 at 1:31 pm

        Thanks for the fast response, Adrianna! That’s good to know. Because this event will start in the evening, I assume I should just keep it at room temperature the whole time until it’s ready to be eaten?

        I also have another question about the pie dough. It wasn’t coming together entirely with the 3/4 cup of water so I ended up adding an extra tablespoon of ice water. Is that okay or will that affect the dough later?

        • Adrianna Adarme
          Reply Adrianna Adarme October 31, 2019 at 1:20 pm

          Oh it should be totally fine. It sometimes has to do with the moisture in the air. So if it’s a particularly dry day, you may need an extra tablespoon of water. Let me know how it goes!

  • Avatar
    Reply Cindy November 7, 2019 at 6:31 am

    If you bake from frozen do you wait to put the pie in until it has preheated?

  • Avatar
    Reply Sarah White November 7, 2019 at 9:52 pm

    5 stars
    This looks great! Unlike other Apple pies I’ve made you don’t stovetop cook your apple filling first? Is that correct? Just want to make sure I’m not missing something 🙂

    • Adrianna Adarme
      Reply Adrianna Adarme November 8, 2019 at 9:30 am

      yep! no cooking on the stove-top for the apples. i find that it really doesn’t need it; i also like my apples to have a bit of texture.

  • Avatar
    Reply Katerina November 10, 2019 at 10:11 am

    5 stars
    This pie is truly delicious! Excellent recipe!