Homemade Apple Pie

Desserts, Holiday, Pie, Thanksgiving

This Homemade Apple Pie is a fall classic. Honey crisp and braeburn apples are combined with flour, sugar and spices. This pie crust is flakey, butter, perfection. This pie is simple, classic; the ideal apple pie.

Homemade Apple Pie

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 this recipe 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 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 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


Tips to Making Homemade Pie Dough:

  • 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. The perfect pie plate!

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

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 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 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.

Tips and Tricks for our Apple Pie Recipe

Use a good pie crust recipe (cough, cough). A delicious crust recipe should have a healthy amount of salt in it. Yes, you want the balance of salty and sweet in your top crust.

Bake the pie until bubbling and a deep golden brown. You don’t want to overcook your pie (aka burn it) but you do want the crust golden brown. This also ensures that the bottom crust is fully cooked.

Should I Cook the Apples Before Baking

This is a personal decision. Lol. I personally don’t want to do ANOTHER step so I avoid it. But I will say that apples will cook down a bit and if you cook them prior to baking, you do keep A LOT of the same volume. I also love that the apples have texture to them. When you cook them prior to baking the pie, you literally end up with zero apple texture.

How to Avoid a Soggy Pie

I think this has a lot to do with the length of baking time. A lot of people don’t bake their pie enough. The pie should be bubbling (this indicates that the flour has been activated and the pie filling will be thickening) and the crust should be a deep golden brown.

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.

Homemade Apple Pie

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

Looking for more recipes like this Homemade Apple Pie? Here are some other favorites:

Classic Apple Pie Recipe

4.92 from 24 votes
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Total Time: 5 hours 55 minutes
Serving Size: 1 (9-inch) pie
Calories: 298kcal
This Homemade Apple Pie is a fall classic. Honey crisp and braeburn apples are combined with flour, sugar and spices. This pie crust is flakey, butter, perfection. This pie is simple, classic; the ideal apple pie. 


Double Pie Crust:

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

Apple Pie Filling:

  • 1/2 small lemon , juiced (about 1 1/2 tablespoons)
  • 3-4 whole medium to large apples (pink lady, gala and honeycrisp are my favorites), peeled, halved, cored and thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract or 1/2 teaspoon vanilla paste
  • 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)


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.


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. 
Pyrex Pie Dish | Stainless Steel Bowls | Liquid Measuring Cup | French Rolling Pin | Box Grater
CuisineAmerican, Thanksgiving
Keywordapple pie, apple pie filling, easy apple pie, easy apple pie recipe, easy homemade apple pie, easy pie recipe
Serving: 8g | Calories: 298kcal
Did you make this Recipe? Tag me Today!Tag @acozykitchen on Instagram and hashtag it #acozykitchen


Homemade Apple Pie

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Recipe Rating

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • 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?

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

    Looks incredible. Delicious. Love the dough stripes.

  • 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 :))))))

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

    Great recipe for this classic dish!

  • 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!

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

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

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

    There’s nothing quite like a classic apple pie!

  • 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 🙂

  • 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 🙂

  • 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.

  • 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 Adrianna Adarme October 17, 2014 at 5:44 pm

      Yes cotton branches! LOVE THEM x a million.

    • Reply Nadja December 25, 2019 at 4:30 pm

      5 stars
      This is the best apple pie filling! Why haven’t I ever used vanilla before?!

      Very good advice to bake for longer, I realize that was what was going wrong with some other pies. I went about 1.5 hours, and at the end I even moved it to a lower rack to get the bottom browned a bit more.

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

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

  • 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!

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