My family love a Traditional Apple Pie, and after much experimenting with the apple pie filling, I’ve created the Best Homemade Apple Pie recipe. A buttery pie crust, filled with a delicious combination of sweet apples and warming spices, baked to golden brown perfection in the oven. Serve with a scoop of your favorite vanilla ice cream.
Homemade Apple Pie
My crew loves a delicious Homemade Apple Pie. After many experiments and tweaking, they have declared this recipe to be the BEST Apple Pie recipe around.
I used to be hesitant about making my crust from scratch, and there are some good pre-made crusts available, but my family really prefers me to make the homemade pie crust. They feel like it comes out flakier, and melds better with the apple pie filling.
I like to make my apple pie filling with a selection of different apples and I give you some useful hints and tips on what type of apples to chose later in this post.
One great thing about Homemade Apple Pie is that it’s the ideal dessert for all occasions!
How to make Apple Pie Filling
- First, peel and core all the apples.
- Apple peels get mushy when cooked, and it isn’t a great texture in a baked pie.
- Once peeled, remove the apple core, then slice thinly. I slice them between 1/4″-1/8″ thick.
- Thinner slices cook faster and soften more. They’ll just melt in your mouth after they’re baked.
- Combine apple slices with remaining apple pie filling ingredients in a medium sized mixing bowl.
- Using a small amount of flour in the mixture will help absorb the liquids that the apples release when they bake, and prevent from making the crust soft and mushy.
- Make your pie crust, then pour the filling into the prepared crust.
How to make Apple Pie Crust
- MIX WITH YOUR HANDS. Stir the flour and salt together. Slowly add and begin to mix the shortening into the flour mixture with your hands or a pastry cutter until the mixture is crumbly and chunky.
- FORM DOUGH. Still using your hands, mix until a soft dough forms. If it is still too crumbly to become firm up into a dough, add an additional 1-3 tablespoons of cold water.
- CHECK FOR CRISCO MARBLING. You want to form the dough JUST until it firms up. If you mix too much it’ll be tough. If you add too much cold water it’ll be too sticky. Practice makes perfect! You’ll know it’s JUST RIGHT when you can see that your Crisco (shortening) is marbling in the dough, and it’ll bake into a deliciously flaky crust.
- SPLIT INTO TWO CRUSTS. Divide the dough in half with the edge of your hand and pull it apart into two pieces. Shape them into two circles to fit the pies. I use a pastry mat with measurements to get the right size for the dish I’m using. Lightly flour the pastry mat so the crust doesn’t stick. Roll the dough out until it’s about 3/8″ thick, and let the edge of the bottom crust go about an inch over the measurement so you have extra to crimp. I place one crust circle into the bottom of the dish and leave the other on the pastry mat. Press the dough firmly into the pie dish so there aren’t any air pockets. I place both in the refrigerator while I’m working on my apple pie filling.
- ADD PIE FILLING TO CRUST. Carefully pour apple pie filling into the crust until it’s evenly distributed. Make sure the top is as flat as possible so you can place the top crust without anything poking through.
- FANCY DESIGN IN PIE TOP. When preparing the top pie crust, you can use pie crust cutters to remove a section of crust OR to cut out special shapes to place on top, creating a fancy design in the top of your pie. It’s SO EASY to do!
What kind of apples are best for making apple pie?
When you decide to make a Homemade Apple Pie, the first thing you need to do is select the apples you are going to use. Some varieties are available pretty universally, others are more region specific. We LOVE to visit Pick Your Own Apple Farms and the Farmers Market the get the freshest fruit available, and to support local apple farmers!
For apple pies, you want to select apples that tart, sweet, and firm. Apples should be strong enough to hold their shape and not to break down completely while the pie is baking. Also light enough that they are soft when they bake.
How to select the perfect apples for apple pie
- When selecting apples, pick them up and choose the apples that feel heavy as they will be full of juice.
- Apples should feel firm when you squeeze them, never mushy! Firm apples hold up well when baked.
- Double check to ensure there aren’t any bad spots, as bad apples are mushy and lack flavor when baked.
Best apples to use in an apple pie
The best apple pies are typically made up of a variety of apple types. You want a mixture of sweet and tart apples to yield the best flavor, selecting an equal amount of each type. I use approximately 8 apples in my pies, depending on their size. Try a combination of these apples:
- Granny Smith
- Northern Spy
- Pink Lady
Ultimately, it takes trial and error to determine YOUR favorite combination of apples for apple pie. Different regions tend to have different preferences, often dependent on what type of apples are available locally.
My winning combination of apples is 2 Granny Smith, 2 Cortland, 2 Pink Ladies, and 2 MacIntosh.
- I add both ground cinnamon and nutmeg to the pie filling, but you could also add a touch of ground ginger or an apple pie or mixed spice blend.
- Apples and blackberries are a great flavor pairing so stir a handful of blackberries through the apple pie filling.
- You can combine apples with pears to make an apple and pear pie.
- Add a handful of dried fruits like raisins, sultanas or cranberries to the apple pie filling.
Recipe tips to bake the Best Apple Pie
- When I bake pies, especially pies with a fruit filling, I ALWAYS place them on a baking sheet wrapped in aluminum foil. There is always the potential for boiling over, and if the pie is on a cookie sheet it’ll capture the run off. If not, it’ll leave a sticky mess to be scrubbed later.
- I bake my Homemade Apple Pies 425°F for approximately 45 minutes until the apples are tender and the pie crust is golden. If the outer ring of crust starts to over-brown, cover the edges with aluminum foil or a pie crust shield.
- Allow the pie to rest at least for an hour or two after coming out of the oven so the juices have time to thicken up. It’ll slice easier and won’t burn anyone’s mouth.
I love to serve apple pie after it’s had a change to rest, that way nobody burns their mouth with the apple juices. I like to add a scoop of our favorite vanilla ice cream, but you could also serve apple pie with custard, a drizzle of heavy cream or a spoon of whipped cream.
Yes! This dough can be frozen for up to 2 months before using. To freeze, wrap the ball of dough tightly in plastic wrap and place in the freezer. Thaw in refrigerator before you want to use it. Then proceed with rolling it out.
Yes! Leftovers should be stored in an airtight container, in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. When ready to enjoy you can either heat up in a warm oven or in the microwave.
Yes, apple pies can be frozen baked or unbaked:
To freeze an unbaked apple pie, Tightly wrap in 3 layers of plastic wrap, making sure all sides of pie are completely sealed and unexposed. Next, place pie in gallon-size freezer plastic bag; label with the following information: Apple Pie and expiration date of pie which is 2 months after pie is frozen. Remove when ready to bake. Heat oven to 450°F then place pie in oven, on a cookie sheet lined with aluminum foil approximately 45 minutes. If outer edge starts to over-brown, cover with a pie shield. Do not thaw pie, it will be soggy!
To freeze a baked apple pie, make sure it cools completely before putting it in the freezer. Tightly wrap in 3 layers of plastic wrap, making sure all sides of pie are completely sealed and unexposed. Next, place pie in gallon-size freezer plastic bag; label with the following information: Apple Pie and expiration date of pie which is 2 months after pie is frozen. Place pie in freezer. Remove when ready to bake. Heat oven to 450°F then place pie in oven, on a cookie sheet lined with aluminum foil approximately 45 minutes. If outer edge starts to over-brown, cover with a pie shield. Do not thaw pie, it will be soggy!
Don’t miss these additional delicious Pie Recipes here at When Is Dinner:
- Coconut Cream Pie
- Instant Pot Apple Pie Filling
- Chocolate Pie with Graham Cracker Crust
- Pumpkin Pie
- Patriotic Berry Pie
- No Bake Reese’s Pieces Pie
- Lemon Sugar Cookie Pie
- No Bake Salted Caramel Chocolate Pie
- Pie Crust:
- 2 2/3 cups All Purpose Flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 cup shortening (I used Crisco)
- 8 tbsp cold water
- Pie Filling:
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup All Purpose Flour
- 3/4 tsp Ground Cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp Ground Nutmeg
- Dash of Salt
- 8 Apples peeled and sliced – I used Granny Smith Apples
Preheat oven to 425.
To begin, make your crust first, it does better cold, so refrigerate as needed.
Mix flour and salt.
Slowly add in the Crisco, a bit at a time. I use a Dough Blender to cut it in, you want the pieces small and tiny, but a fork would work too.
Add in water slowly, about a tbsp at a time. Stir well when adding, you want it to moisten throughout.
When it’s all damp, there shouldn’t be any left “Sticking” to the sides.
Roll it into a ball, and I have a pastry mat that I use to roll it on.
Lightly flour your surface, so you can roll out the dough.
Cut it in half – bottom slightly larger – and re-roll flat.
You want the dough for the bottom to be about 2 in more than the desired size (12 for a 10 in pan, 11 for a 9 in pan, etc) so there is room for it to go up the sides and be sealed.
I make the top layer the exact size I need, with just a tad extra for sealing.
Place bottom layer in pan, I refrigerate it while making the filling.
Mix Sugar, Flour, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, and Salt well.
Add in peeled and sliced apples.
*Note: Thinner slices cook faster
Pour into the pie dish, over the crust
Add the top crust to cover, make sure you have plenty of slits in it.
Seal the two crusts together.
I use a pie to wrap around the edges so they don’t burn
Bake 40-45 minutes at 425 until crust is brown and pie cooked through.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 671Total Fat: 30gSaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 17gCholesterol: 14mgSodium: 377mgCarbohydrates: 98gFiber: 7gSugar: 50gProtein: 6g