Best Apple Pie

With a flaky, buttery crust made from scratch, and a gooey, sweet filling, this BEST Apple Pie will not disappoint!

Classic Apple Pie is an ideal dessert for holiday gatherings, and this homemade version will knock your socks off. If you love this Best Apple Pie, you’ll also love our Berry Pie and Coconut Cream Pie.

Best Apple Pie recipe close up image.

A HOLDAY Classic

I LOVE to bake, but there are a few things that I feel like I definitely HAVE NOT mastered just yet. One of those is PIES.

I have a wonderful friend who was willing to show me how she makes her famous homemade Apple Pie.

She gave me all the TIPS + TRICKS she uses to make them. She makes many varieties, but she’s known for having the BEST Apple Pie recipe!!

It’s easy to grab a pie from the store, but you really can’t beat a homemade pie. It does take some time and practice to master making this apple pie, so we will share loads of pictures and tips to help out!

Green and red apples sitting on a wood cutting board.

Best Apples for Apple Pie

Because apple pie does require time and work, make sure you find the best apples to make your efforts worthwhile.

Bad apples will become mushy and flavorless, so spend a few extra pennies, and minutes, hunting for the best ones.

Pick apples that feel heavy (which means they’re juicy), and are firm when you press on them (which means they will hold up well as they bake).

Almost any variety will work. You can use all of one type or mix and match.

  • Sweet apples: Gala, Fuji, Honeycrisp, Golden Delicious 
  • Tart apples: Granny Smith, Cortland, Melrose, Winesap 
  • Sweet & tart apples: Jazz, Pink Lady, Jonagold

I usually do a mixture, as each variety will add sweet or tart flavors. Depending on how big they are, you will need 6 to 8 total apples. If they are large, 6 should be enough. If they’re smaller, or if you want a deep dish pie, try 7 or 8.

Homemade pie crust

Once you have your apples chosen, gather your ingredients and start this pie by making your crust.

MIX WITH YOUR HANDS.  Stir the flour and salt together. Gently blend the shortening into the flour mixture with your hands or a pastry cutter until the mixture is crumbly and chunky. When coarsely mixed, set this mixture aside.

FOLD. Beat the eggs and cold water together. Add the apple cider vinegar to the egg mixture. Pour the liquid mixture into the flour mixture, and lightly fold them together. Allow it sit for a few minutes to let the water start to absorb.

FORM DOUGH. Using your hands again, mix until a dough forms. If it is still too crumbly to become cohesive, add an additional 1-3 tablespoons of cold water.

CHECK FOR MARBLING. Be careful to not over mix, as over working pie crust makes it tough. Do not add too much water, the dough will become too sticky. When it becomes a workable dough, check to make sure you can see marbling from the shortening—if you can, you’re going to have a yummy, flaky crust.

SHAPE INTO DISCS. Score the pie dough down the middle with the edge of your hand and pull it apart into two pieces. Shape them into two round discs, wrap them in plastic wrap, then chill for one hour in the refrigerator (if you’re in a hurry you can put them in the freezer for half an hour).

Seasoning apples for best apple pie.

Apple Pie Filling

Once your crust is prepared, start making your apple pie filling!

WHISK + COOK. Whisk together the sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cornstarch in a heavy sauce pan. Stir in the apple cider and lemon juice. Cook on medium heat until thick and bubbly. When finished, scoop the sauce into a bowl and chill in the refrigerator.

PREP APPLES. While this is chilling, start preparing your apples. Peel, core, and slice them into about ¼ inch slices and place them in a microwave safe large bowl.

(We love to use this Apple Peeler + Corer and this Apple Slicer to do this).

When they are all cut, cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and microwave for 2 minutes. Stir the apples, and microwave for another 1-2 minutes. Precooking the apples will ensure they cook perfectly in the oven. Stir in the cooled sauce and place back in the refrigerator.

Measuring best apple pie crust to apple pie dish.

Back to the crust…

ROLL OUT. Take one of the cooled dough disks out of the fridge. On a floured surface, roll the dough from the center out, forming a circle about ⅜ of an inch thick. Make sure the dough is about 1 ½ inches larger than the pie pan all the way around.

TRANSFER. When you are finished rolling it out, carefully fold the dough in half, and then in fourths, to pick it up and transfer it to your pie pan. Press the dough into the pan to remove any air pockets. Put the bottom crust in the freezer for 10-15 minutes to get it cold again.

POUR FILLING + CHILL. From there, pour the apple mixture into the bottom pie crust. Carefully move apple slices around until all the sides are filled. Make sure the top is even, without any apples sticking up, which would protrude through the crust. Put it back in the refrigerator while you roll out the other dough disk.

Choosing your pie top. Next, decide what kind of pie top you want. Today, we will show you how to make apple pie crust two ways – lattice top crust and a tradition top crust.

How to make Apple Pie Crust Recipe process images.

make a Traditional Pie Crust

For a traditional top crust, follow these easy steps:

COVER + TRIM. Lay the rolled out dough on top of your pie. Trim any side with excess dough to even it up, but still leave as much length as you can.

CRIMP. Use a rolling pin to roll the two crusts together, bottom side up all the way around, then crimp the edges.

BRUSH + SEASON. Cut slits in the top crust to allow air to escape. Brush it lightly with whole milk, avoiding the crimped edges, and sprinkle with coarse sugar.

This is obviously the most simple pie crust option, but you can also try the lattice crust.

Apple pie filling poured into homemade pie crust in dish.

make a Lattice Pie Crust

Making a lattice pie crust is easier than it looks.

CUT. Roll the dough out, cut into 1-inch strips with a pizza cutter.

WEAVE. Alternate laying the strips down in a lattice pattern. Trim the strips to the length of the bottom crust and roll the bottom crust up, tucking the strips in as you go. Crimp the edges.

When you are finished, there is no need to cut slits in the dough. Still gently rub milk onto the top with your fingers, and sprinkle with coarse sugar.

Bake + Devour

Once you have your crust topping done, you are ready to bake!

BAKE. Bake at 400°F for 20 minutes, then reduce the heat to 350° and bake for an additional 30-40 minutes. You’ll know it’s done as soon as the crust is a golden brown. 😉

REST. If possible, we recommend letting the pie rest for an hour or two after coming out of the oven. Waiting allows the juices to thicken.

ENJOY! Serve on its own, drizzled with caramel sauce, add a scoop of Vanilla Ice Cream, or dollop of Whipped Cream!!

Homemade Apple Pie can be a bit more work than your typical treat, but if you really want to master the art of apple pie making, we hope this recipe, and the homemade crust tips are helpful. It is so flavorful, and the crust is flaky and delicious!

Lattice pie crust over homemade apple pie recipe.

Recipe tips

Pie plate. I use a 9” pie dish, but an 8” works great too. You can even use a deep dish pie pan, just make sure that when you roll out the crust, it is 1 ½ inch larger than the pie pan all the way around. As I mentioned before, use 7-8 apples instead of 6.

Doneness. You can tell the Apple Pie is done when the pie crust browns, and the filling in the center is bubbly. Sometimes the filling can bubble right out of the pan, causing a sticky, smoky mess on the bottom of the oven.

I like to place a baking sheet lined with foil on the bottom rack of the oven while it’s preheating. That way, any filling that bubbles over is caught by the baking pan. 

If the crust browns more quickly than the pie is baking, tent a piece of tin foil over the top for the reminder of the bake time. 

Egg wash. An egg wash is made from mixing 1 egg and 1 tablespoon of liquid. Typically you use water, but milk or cream can also be used. Many pie bakers like to brush an egg wash on the top of their pie crust before baking it. Depending on the part of the egg used, will determine the type of finish it will create. 

  • Egg whites only does not add color, but gives a pretty shine.
  • Egg yolks will only give a nice golden brown color to the crust.
  • Whole eggs will add a bit of shine, and color to the crust.

An egg white + water wash is also used to brush the bottom pie crust layer. This acts as a little barrier between the filling and helps avoid a soggy crust.  

Another use for an egg white + water wash is to help seal the edges. After you have added the filling, brush the egg wash all around the pie crust edges. Place the pie topping on and seal. 

Avoid a soggy pie

There are always a host of different reasons that a recipe doesn’t turn out as desired. Some common factors to consider to help ensure that your pie sets perfectly include: 

  • Use cold ingredients. You’ll notice we use cold pie dough, and allow the filling to cool in the fridge before combining the two. This will help keep the pie from getting mushy
  • Tart apples tend to create less liquid while baking than sweeter apples.
  • Use an egg wash on top of the bottom pie crust, or sprinkle a layer of all purpose flour.
  • Vent the pie properly to allow steam to be released. A lattice topping naturally creates vents. A more solid top will need 4-5 cuts, measuring ¾-1 inch each. They are placed toward the center in a circular pattern.
The best homemade apple pie recipe close up image.

Storing Info

Make the dough in advance. Pastry dough can be made in advance, and even frozen for up to 2 months before using.

If you want to freeze it, wrap the ball of dough tightly in plastic wrap and place in the freezer. Thaw in refrigerator before you want to use it.

STORE at room temperature. Keep baked apple pies at room temperature for up to two days. If the pie has been sliced, cover it loosely with foil or plastic wrap.

If you want it to keep for an extra 2-3 days, store it in the fridge, covered with foil or plastic wrap.

FREEZE. Fruit pies can be frozen baked or unbaked. If you’re freezing a baked pie, make sure it cools completely before putting it in the freezer.

Homemade Apple Pie recipe close up image served in a pie dish.

FREE DOWNLOAD: APPLE PIE RECIPE PDF

For more apple pie goodness, be sure to check out our Apple Pie Caramel Apples and our Apple Pie Bars – both so good!!

For more pie recipes, check out:

Best Apple Pie Recipe

4.97 from 52 votes
With a flaky, buttery crust made from scratch, and a gooey, sweet filling, this BEST Apple Pie will not disappoint!
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Chill/Cool Time 2 hours 10 minutes
Total Time 3 hours 45 minutes
Servings 8
Calories 546 kcal
Author Lil’ Luna

Ingredients

Pie Crust

  • 1 c butter-flavored shortening
  • 2 1/2 c all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 c cold water use ice if necessary
  • 1 TB apple cider vinegar

Apple Filling Ingredients

  • 6-8 high quality apples we prefer Gala and Granny Smith
  • 3/4 c sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • 3 TB cornstarch
  • 1 c unfiltered apple cider the jugs sold in the fall are the best, but apple juice works as well
  • 2 TB bottled lemon juice

Additional Ingredients

  • whole milk
  • coarse/turbinado sugar

Instructions
 

  • Begin by making your crust. Stir the flour and salt together. Gently blend the shortening into the flour mixture with your hands or a pastry cutter until the mixture is crumbly and chunky. When coarsely mixed, set this mixture aside.
  • Beat the egg and cold water together. Add the apple cider vinegar to the egg mixture. Pour the liquid mixture into the flour mixture and lightly fold them together. Let it sit for a few minutes to let the water start to absorb. Using your hands again, mix until a dough forms. If it is still too crumbly to become cohesive, add an additional 1-3 tablespoons of cold water. Be careful to not over mix as over working pie crust makes it tough, or add too much water because the dough will become too sticky. When it becomes a workable dough, check to make sure you can see marbling from the shortening—if you can, you’re going to have a yummy, flaky crust.
  • Score the dough down the middle with the edge of your hand and pull it apart into two pieces. Shape them into two round discs, wrap them in plastic wrap, and then chill them for one hour in the refrigerator (if you’re in a hurry you can put them in the freezer for half an hour).
  • While the dough is chilling, make the apple filling. In a heavy sauce pan, whisk together the sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cornstarch. Stir in the apple cider and lemon juice. Cook on medium heat until thick and bubbly. When finished, scoop the sauce into a bowl and chill in the refrigerator.
  • Begin preparing the apples. Peel, core, and slice them into about ¼ inch slices and place them in a microwave safe bowl. When they are all cut, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and microwave for 2 minutes. Then stir the apples and microwave for another 1-2 minutes. Stir in the cooled sauce and place back in the refrigerator.
  • To make the bottom pie crust, take one of the cooled dough disks out of the fridge. On a floured surface, roll the dough from the center out into a circle until about ⅜ of an inch thick. Make sure the dough is about 1 – ½ inches larger than the pie pan all the way around. When you are finished rolling it out, carefully fold the dough in half and then in fourths to pick it up and transfer it to your pie pan. Press the dough into the pan to remove any air pockets. Put the bottom crust in the freezer for 10-15 minutes to get it cold again.
  • Pour the apple filling into the bottom pie crust. Carefully move apple slices around until all the sides are filled and the top is even, without any apples sticking up which would protrude through the crust. Put it back in the refrigerator while you roll out the other dough disk.
  • Decide what style top you want to make: For a traditional top crust, lay the rolled out dough on top of your pie. Trim any side with excess dough to just even it up, but still leave as much length as you can. Roll the two crusts together, bottom side up all the way around, then crimp the edges. Cut slits in the top crust to allow air to escape. Brush it lightly with whole milk, avoiding the crimped edges, and sprinkle with coarse sugar. For a lattice top crust, roll the dough out, cut into 1-inch strips with a pizza cutter, then alternate laying the strips down in a lattice pattern. Trim the strips to the length of the bottom crust and roll the bottom crust up, tucking the strips in as you go. Crimp the edges. When you are finished, there is no need to cut slits in the dough, but still gently rub milk onto the top with your fingers and sprinkle with coarse sugar.
  • Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes, then (leaving the pie in the oven) reduce the heat to 350 degrees and bake for another 30-40 minutes until the crust is golden brown.
  • Allow the pie to cool and rest at least for an hour or two before cutting it to allow the juices to thicken. And of course, it must be served with vanilla ice cream! ENJOY!

Video

Notes

Make the dough in advance. Pastry dough can be made in advance, and even frozen for up to 2 months before using.
If you want to freeze it, wrap the ball of dough tightly in plastic wrap and place in the freezer. Thaw in refrigerator before you want to use it.
STORE at room temperature. Keep baked apple pies at room temperature for up to two days. If the pie has been sliced, cover it loosely with foil or plastic wrap.
If you want it to keep for an extra 2-3 days, store it in the fridge, covered with foil or plastic wrap.
FREEZE. Fruit pies can be frozen baked or unbaked. If you’re freezing a baked pie, make sure it cools completely before putting it in the freezer.

Recipe from my friend, Loni.

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About Kristyn

My name is Kristyn and I’m the mom of SIX stinkin’ cute kids and the wife to my smokin’ hot hubby, Lo. My mom’s maiden name is Luna, and I’m one of the many crafty “Lil’ Lunas” in the fam. On this site I like to share all things creative - from recipes to home decor to gifts and home decor ideas. Welcome!

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Comments:

  1. 5 stars
    I’ve tried many different pie crust recipes and yours is the best! I used all Granny Smith apples and next time I would combine with a sweeter apple. But thanks for such an easy and flaky pie crust! You’re the best!

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