Best Apple Pie

Apple pie is apple pie, right? Wrong. Not all pies are made the same, the Best Apple Pie recipe is out of this world.

pie server in pie with text overlay for facebook


 

A delicious fall dessert doesn’t get any better than a good old apple pie. After apple picking, I’m always on the hunt for the best apple recipes. But there’s something just so classic about a slice of warm apple pie.

The combination of apples, cinnamon and a buttery pie crust on a cool fall day just can’t be beat.

It’s a bold statement to say you have THE BEST of anything when it comes to recipes, but I’m pretty confident that this recipe is one of the best, if not #1. It was part of my “Friendsgiving” event about a month ago.

I asked my closest friends to bring me their star dish from the holidays. My neighbor Giovanna, a fellow foodie, brought over her classic Apple Pie. It was pretty amazing and darn pretty too!

pie server in apple pie

Why You’ll Love This Apple Pie Recipe

Soft apples combined with sweet pie filling and warm spices, encased in a flaky crust- what’s not to love!

  • No need to make pie dough – Although you can make a homemade crust, we aim for simple around here. Refrigerated crusts work just fine!
  • Great after a holiday meal – The warm spices and tart apples pair well with just about any meal, but especially around the holidays!
  • Warm flavors – With ingredients like apple pie spice and tart apples, the warm flavors of this pie are sure to warm you to the core.
overhead shot of apple pie

Types of Apple Pie

What are the keys to a magnificent apple pie? Well, first of all, let’s clarify this one is traditional, not Amish or sour cream or any of the other varieties. It is absolutely a classic take on apple pie.

Of course you can use any variety of apple that you choose, but it’s best to use tart apples. For me, I like something that is a little sweet and a little tart. Kinda sticky, but not too thick.

I prefer to use fresh apples rather than a store bought apple pie filling. We’re already taking a shortcut with the flaky crust, and a homemade filling doesn’t take a long time to make. It does, however, make the perfect apple pie.

I do have a recipe for apple pie filling, but that would also be homemade, wouldn’t it be?

overhead shot of slice of apple pie with vanilla ice cream

Pie Crust

Pie Crust is one of the few things I feel is better bought than made from scratch. Although easy enough, it can be very challenging to get the right pliability and consistency to create a beautiful crust.

Now, you can choose to make your own if you are feeling adventurous, but if not, it is just as easy to get a frozen pie crust from your local grocery store and sometimes even your local bakery.

The presentation is the last element to the BEST Apple Pie. Use a small leaf cookie cutter and layer over the top as the top crust. A light egg wash will create dimension and color to really make your pie pop.

If you don’t have a cutter like that, you can certainly make a lattice crust instead. Cut the flaky pie crust into strips and place on top of your pie in an alternating pattern making a lattice top.

overhead shot of slice of apple pie

Apple Pie Ingredients

No need for a homemade pie crust- these simple ingredients are all you need to make this easy recipe.

  • Pie crusts – We need two crusts for this recipe. One for the bottom crust and one for the top of the pie. If you’re making a lattice pie crust, you will cut the second one into strips. If decorating with pie crust leaves, you will use a cutter. It’s easiest to do this on a lightly floured surface.
  • Sugar – Because we are using tart apples for this homemade apple pie recipe, we need an element of sweet. Granulated white sugar will work perfectly.
  • Flour– All purpose flour is perfect. This helps to hold the pie filling together.
  • Apple pie spice – Using apple pie spice envelops all the warm spices of your favorite apple pie while only having to use one
  • Apples – We need these cored, peeled and thinly sliced. Granny smith apples are the best apples to use for this apple pie filling. They’re perfectly tart and not too sweet. Although you can use any kind of apples you want like pink lady, honey crisp, golden delicious or red delicious apples. Just be aware you won’t get that tart flavor.
  • Butter – Not only do we have a buttery crust, but we also add a little bit of cubed butter on top of the pie filling to
  • Egg – Brushing an egg wash over the top pie crust is the best way to get that perfectly golden-brown crust.
  • Vanilla Bean Ice Cream – You can’t enjoy a classic apple pie recipe without topping it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. You could also add a drizzle of caramel sauce over the whole thing to really complement the sweet apples.
straight on shot of slice of apple pie topped with ice cream

How to Make Easy Apple Pie Recipe

If you’re a first time pie maker, no worries! You’re going to love how easy it is to make this baked pie.

  1. Prepare oven and pie pan. Preheat oven and line a 9-inch pie plate with one of the prepared pie crusts. Press on the bottom and sides of crust with a fork to remove any air bubbles.
  2. Make pie filling. Add apple slices to a large bowl. Mix sugar, flour and apple pie spice in a small bowl, then sprinkle over sliced apples and toss to coat well. Some like to add 1-2 teaspoons of fresh lemon juice to prevent browning, but if you are working quickly enough, this is not necessary. Pour the apple mixture into the prepared pie plate, then dot with butter.
  3. Top with perfect pie crust. Using pie crust cutters, cut a variety of different size leaves out of the remaining pie crust. I took my leaves and lined them around the top in a circle, spiraling in towards the center, but feel free to be creative and place them as you like! The most important thing is to cover the entire top of the apples with pie crust leaves. Once the leaves are in place, brush with a beaten egg and sprinkle with additional sugar, if desired.
  4. Bake. Bake until crust leaves are golden brown and the filling is bubbling. Allow pie cool to room temperature before serving as is or with vanilla ice cream.
collage of how to make apple pie

Variations

​There aren’t any substitutions you can make when baking because it is so precise, but here are a few options:

  • Pie crust – If you’d like to make your own, feel free to make a homemade pie crust. You could add some cinnamon to it for extra flavor. Use the excess dough to cut into shapes to add to the top of the pie.
  • Topping – Instead of a lattice top crust, make a Dutch apple pie. This simply replaces the top crust with a brown sugar cinnamon streusel instead.
  • Add ins – Believe it or not, a lot of people like cheese in their apple pie- cheddar cheese to be exact!
  • Toppings– I like mine with vanilla ice cream, caramel ice cream, a caramel sauce drizzle, bourbon sauce or whipped cream.

Best Apples for Apple Pie

Another variation can be to use different types of apples or a blend of different types of apples. The best apples for apple pie are those that hold their shape well during baking and offer a balanced combination of sweet and tart flavors. Here are some apple varieties commonly used for apple pie:

  1. Granny Smith: These green apples are known for their tartness and firm texture, which makes them an excellent choice for pies. They provide a nice contrast to the sweet filling.
  2. Honeycrisp: Honeycrisp apples are known for their crisp texture and sweet, juicy flesh. They add a pleasant sweetness and depth of flavor to apple pies.
  3. Jonagold: Jonagold apples are a hybrid of Jonathan and Golden Delicious apples. They have a good balance of sweet and tart flavors and hold up well in pies.
  4. Braeburn: Braeburn apples are sweet and tart with a firm texture, making them suitable for pies. They have a complex flavor profile that adds depth to your pie.
  5. Fuji: Fuji apples are sweet and crisp, and they can work well in apple pies if you like a sweeter filling. You may want to mix them with a tart apple variety to balance the flavors.
  6. Cortland: Cortland apples are mildly tart and have a tender texture. They are less likely to turn mushy when baked, making them a good choice for pies.
  7. Golden Delicious: These apples are sweet and have a smooth texture. While they lack the tartness of some other varieties, they can be used in combination with tart apples to create a well-balanced filling.

It’s often a good idea to use a combination of apple varieties in your pie to achieve a more complex flavor profile. For example, mixing tart and sweet apples can create a well-rounded and delicious filling.

overhead shot of slice taken out of pie
Best Apple Pie

Storage and Freezing

How do you store apple pie?

This You can leave it in the pie dish and cover with aluminum foil, or slice into individual slices, wrap in plastic wrap and keep in an airtight container. Fruit pies will last for up to three days in the refrigerator.

Can you freeze homemade apple pie?

You can also freeze this pie and bring it out for a special occasion. Just be sure to wrap it tightly with plastic wrap and it will last for three to four months.

straight on shot of slice of apple pie topped with ice cream

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it better to cook apples before making pie?

While there are several recipes that suggest cooking the pie filling first, this recipe doesn’t require you to, Easy, remember?

What is the secret to a good pie crust?

This specific recipe uses refrigerated crust. But the secret I’d say is cold butter. It allows the crust to become flaky when baked.

Is it better to use flour or cornstarch for apple pie?

I prefer to use flour because I always have it in the kitchen. Cornstarch can be used as well.

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overhead shot of slice of apple pie

The Best Apple Pie

4.72 from 14 votes
The Best Apple Pie Recipe is an all-American dessert recipe that pairs tart apples with the perfect amount of sugar and spice. 
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings: 8

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a 9-inch pie plate with one of the prepared pie crusts. Press on the bottom and sides of crust with a fork to remove any air bubbles.
  • Add the apples to a large bowl. Mix the sugar, flour and apple pie spice in a small bowl, then sprinkle over the apples and toss to coat well. Pour the mixture into the prepared pie plate, then dot with the butter.
  • Using the pie crust cutters, cut a variety of different size leaves out of the remaining pie crust. I took my leaves and lined them around the top in a circle, spiraling in towards the center, but feel free to be creative and place them as you like! The most important thing is to cover the entire top of the apples with pie crust leaves. Once the leaves are in place, brush with a beaten egg and sprinkle with additional sugar, if desired.
  • Bake the pie for 45 minutes or until crust leaves are golden brown and the filling is bubbling. Cool before serving as is or with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a caramel sauce drizzle.
  • If you've tried this recipe, come back and let us know how it was in the comments or star ratings.

Nutrition

Calories: 318 kcal, Carbohydrates: 62 g, Protein: 2 g, Fat: 7 g, Saturated Fat: 2 g, Cholesterol: 24 mg, Sodium: 109 mg, Potassium: 210 mg, Fiber: 4 g, Sugar: 42 g, Vitamin A: 165 IU, Vitamin C: 7.8 mg, Calcium: 20 mg, Iron: 1.1 mg
Author: Jessica Formicola
Calories: 318
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: best apple pie, homemade apple pie recipe
Did you make this recipe?I’d love to see your recipes – snap a picture and mention @savoryexperiments or tag #savoryexperiments!
Jessica Formicola in her ktichen

About the Author

Jessica Formicola

Jessica the mom, wife and chef behind Savory Experiments. You might see her on the Emmy- nominated TV show Plate It! or on bookshelves as a cookbook author. Jessica is a Le Cordon Bleu certified recipe developer and regularly contributed to Parade, Better Homes & Gardens, The Daily Meal and more!

Read More About Jessica

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Recipe Rating




Questions and Reviews

  1. 5 stars
    This pie filling is absolutely delicious. It’s flavorful and full of apples, which I love. I’ll make this again in a few months, thank you!

  2. 5 stars
    This pie looks absolutely beautiful, the leaf crust cutouts are such a perfect addition! Very excited to try this out for myself 🙂

  3. Jessica, loved what you did with the leaf cutters and I just happen to have them too! Apple pie is one of husband’s favorites and this sounds so tasty. Just gonna have to stick to my homemade dough in lieu of store bought though! Thanks for a great sounding Thanksgiving dessert, will have to try it this year…. Regina