Apple Pie Recipe

In this easy apple pie recipe, tender, cinnamon-spiced apples fill a flaky, buttery crust. Top it with vanilla ice cream for a mouthwatering fall dessert!

Slice of apple pie on plate with ice cream

What do you look for in an apple pie recipe? A few years ago, the first time I volunteered to make a homemade apple pie for my family’s Thanksgiving, I scoured the internet in search of the perfect one. I wanted the filling to be juicy, but not so juicy that the pie wouldn’t slice. I wanted it to be warmly spiced with cinnamon and spiked with lemon for bright, tart flavor. The best apple pie recipe would yield slices thick enough to stand up to a big scoop of vanilla ice cream, and it would have a flaky, buttery, easy-to-make crust.

That year, I couldn’t find an existing apple pie recipe that I thought would come out just the way I wanted it to, so I set out to make my own. Since then, I’ve carefully tested and tweaked this recipe, and it’s now the one I love most. A mountain of tender apple slices fills a glorious golden brown crust. I made it for a family gathering a few weeks ago, and we ended up without a single slice left. Fingers crossed you won’t have one either.

Apple pie recipe ingredients

What You’ll Need

Here’s what you’ll need to make this easy apple pie recipe:

  • Apples, of course! Use good baking apples that will hold their shape when cooked. See my favorites below! Peel and thinly slice them to prepare them for the filling.
  • Apple pie spice – This mix of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cardamom adds warm, spiced flavor to the filling.
  • Brown sugar and cane sugar – For sweetness. I love the brown sugar’s molasses flavor alongside the warm spices.
  • Lemon juice and zest – For bright, zingy flavor.
  • Vanilla extract – It enhances the spices’ warming flavor.
  • Cornstarch – It thickens the apple juices into a glossy sauce.
  • My homemade pie crust – I’ll never make pie crust any other way! This recipe is easy to make in the food processor using simple ingredients like butter, all-purpose flour, and apple cider vinegar. The pastry comes out flaky and tender every time.
  • An egg – You’ll mix it with a little water to make an egg wash, which will help the crust brown as the pie bakes.
  • Coarse sugar – Optional, for sprinkling over the crust.
  • And sea salt – To make all the flavors pop!

Find the complete recipe with measurements below.

Best Apples for Apple Pie

The best apples for apple pie are firm apples that will hold their shape when cooked. 

Here are some varieties I love:

  • Granny Smith
  • Honeycrisp
  • Golden Delicious
  • Braeburn
  • Jonagold
  • Pink Lady

Tip: To add depth of flavor to your pie, use a mix of apples! I love this recipe with a blend of tart apples like Granny Smiths and sweet apples like Honeycrisps.

Sliced apples in a pot with cinnamon and sugar

Apple Pie Crust

To streamline this recipe, you could make it with a store-bought crust. But if you take the time to make your own, you won’t regret it!

My all-butter pie crust is tender, flaky, and easy to make in the food processor. Its crispness and rich, buttery flavor make it the perfect complement to the juicy pie filling. You’ll love it!

The recipe makes 2 9- or 9.5-inch crusts, enough for the bottom and top crust of this pie. You’ll need to chill the dough for at least 2 hours before rolling it out. If you can, I recommend making it a day or two ahead.

Cooked filling in a pot with wooden spoon

How to Make Apple Pie

Once you make the pie dough, start the filling. Stir together the sugar, spices, apples, and lemon juice in a large pot. Let sit for 30 minutes to draw out the apple juices. Then, cook the apples over medium-low heat until they soften slightly, about 5 minutes.

Raise the heat to medium and add a slurry made with the cornstarch and water. Cook, stirring, until the juices thicken. Remove from the heat, and fold in the lemon zest and vanilla.

Allow the filling to cool completely. Tip: Spread it in a large baking dish to help it cool faster!

Hands using rolling pin to unroll top crust over apple pie

Next, assemble the pie. Roll out one disk of chilled pie dough on a lightly floured surface. Transfer it to your pie plate, and press it into the bottom and up the sides. Tent with plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes. Roll out the remaining dough for the top crust, transfer it to a baking sheet, and chill it too.

Preheat the oven to 425°F with a baking sheet inside it.

When the bottom crust has chilled for 30 minutes, add the filling, cover with the top crust, and crimp the edges to seal.

Unbaked apple pie topped with coarse sugar

Brush the crust with the egg wash, and sprinkle with coarse sugar. Use a sharp knife to cut steam vents in the top of the pie. Tip: These slits aren’t just for decoration! They let moisture evaporate from the filling, helping it thicken.

Finally, bake the pie. Place the pie on the hot pan in the oven. Bake for 20 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 375°F and bake for 45 to 55 minutes. The crust should be golden brown, and any visible juices should be bubbling.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before slicing and serving. Enjoy!

Best apple pie recipe

Best Apple Pie Recipe Tips

  • Don’t cut the cooling (or chilling) time short. For the best apple pie, don’t skimp on chilling the pie dough or allowing the filling to cool. These steps ensure that the butter in the crust stays cold until the pie goes in the oven, which results in a tender, flaky crust. And if you love really clean slices of pie (i.e., ones that aren’t too juicy or watery), allow the baked pie to cool completely, about 4 hours, before serving.
  • Bake it on a low oven rack. The hottest part of most ovens is at the bottom, near the heat source. Baking the pie on a low rack places the bottom crust in this zone, making it less likely to end up soggy after baking.
  • Crust getting to brown? Foil is your friend. If you notice that your pie crust is golden brown well before the low end of the time range, not to worry! Tenting any dark areas with aluminum foil will prevent further browning. Cover them up, and continue baking until the crust has good color all over (if you’re using a glass pie dish, check the bottom and sides of the pie) and any visible juices are bubbling.
  • Get ahead. Give yourself a head start on this apple pie recipe by making the filling and pie dough ahead. The filling will keep for up to 2 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Wrap the pie dough tightly in plastic wrap and store it in the fridge for up to 2 days, or freeze it for up to 3 months. Allow it to thaw in the fridge before using.

How to Store

This apple pie is best on the day it’s baked. Cover any leftovers and store them at room temperature for up to 2 days. After that, store the pie in the fridge for up to 2 days more.

Apple pie recipe

More Favorite Baking Recipes

If you love this apple pie recipe, try one of these delicious baking recipes next:

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Apple Pie

rate this recipe:
5 from 17 votes
Prep Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Chilling Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 30 minutes
Serves 8
This homemade apple pie recipe has a tender, flaky pie crust and a delicious spiced apple filling. It works well in a 9- or 9.5-inch pie pan*. Find my best tips for making it in the post above!

Ingredients

  • cup packed brown sugar
  • cup cane sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Apple Pie Spice
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • 4 pounds good baking apples, such as Granny Smith or Honeycrisp, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • ½ teaspoon lemon zest
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 recipe Easy Pie Crust, chilled at least 2 hours
  • 1 large egg
  • Coarse sugar, optional
  • Vanilla ice cream, for serving

Instructions

  • In a large pot, whisk together the brown sugar, cane sugar, apple pie spice, and salt. Add the apple slices and lemon juice and toss until the apples are evenly coated in the sugar and spices. Set aside for 30 minutes to draw some of the juices out of the apples. 
  • In a small bowl, stir together 2 tablespoons of the water and the cornstarch until smooth.
  • Set the pot with the apples over medium-low heat. Cook, stirring, until the apples soften slightly, about 5 minutes. Raise the heat to medium and pour the cornstarch mixture over the apples. Cook, stirring, until the apple juices bubble and thicken, about 30 seconds. Remove from the heat and stir in the lemon zest and vanilla. Allow the filling to cool completely.
  • Make the bottom crust. Follow the instructions in the pie crust recipe to roll out the bottom crust, leaving at least a ½-inch overhang on all sides of the pie plate. Loosely cover with plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes. Arrange an oven rack in the bottom third of the oven. Place a baking sheet on the rack and preheat the oven to 425°F with the baking sheet inside it.
  • Meanwhile, make the top crust. Use the same method to roll out the remaining pie dough into a large, ⅛-inch-thick circle. Transfer it to a baking sheet, loosely cover it with plastic wrap, and place in the fridge until the bottom crust has chilled for 30 minutes.
  • Assemble the pie. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg and the remaining 1 tablespoon water. Set aside.
  • Remove the bottom crust from the refrigerator and pour in the cooled filling, mounding it slightly in the center of the pie. Gently roll the top crust over your rolling pin, then unroll it over the filled pie. Press the excess dough of the top and bottom crusts together to seal, then trim the dough so that there is a ½-inch overhang on all sides of the pie plate. Tuck the dough under itself so that the edge of the dough is in line with the edge of the pie plate. Crimp the dough with your fingers or a fork. 
  • Brush the top crust (but not the crimped edges) with the egg wash and sprinkle with coarse sugar, if using. Use a sharp knife to cut several steam vents in the crust.
  • Place the pie on the hot baking sheet in the oven. Bake for 20 minutes, then reduce the heat to 375°F and bake for 45 to 55 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and any visible juices are bubbling. If you have a glass pie pan, check the color of the sides of the pie. They should also be golden brown. If the crust is getting too brown before 45 minutes, tent it with foil and continue to bake.
  • Allow to cool completely before slicing and serving, at least 3 hours.
  • Serve with vanilla ice cream.

Notes

*If you're using a 9-inch pie pan, you might end up with a little extra apple pie filling. We love it as a topping for ice cream or yogurt or stirred into oatmeal!

I used Erin Jeanne McDowell’s cookbook The Book on Pie as a resource in developing this recipe.

9 comments

5 from 17 votes (14 ratings without comment)

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Rate this recipe (after making it)




  1. Ryne
    05.06.2024

    5 stars
    Turned out amazing! One of the best I’ve had.

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)
      05.10.2024

      Hi Ryne, so great to hear! I’m glad you loved the pie.

  2. Sue
    11.25.2022

    5 stars
    I made this for Thanksgiving and it was amazing! It took me quite awhile to prepare it (probably partly because I don’t make a lot of pies 🙂), but it was well worth the time and effort. Any time I need an apple pie, this will be the one!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      11.27.2022

      Hi Sue, I’m so glad you loved it!

  3. Margaret L
    11.24.2022

    5 stars
    I made this pie for Thanksgiving. I made it a day ahead and was a great pie. Heavy with apples. I did use a mix of Granny Smith and Jonagold. The apples filled the pie well and cooking before shrinks apples a little so you don’t have an air pocket at top of pie. I used Emile Henry pie plate and was perfect size. Thanks for telling to put on a cookie sheet as it did run over and didn’t need to clean my oven to make turkey the next day, as all run off was on the sheet! Good flavor pie and not too sweet. I did brush top with milk and sprinkled sugar on it instead of egg wash. Thanks for good recipe! I may try it in a 10″ pie pan from my Mom.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      11.28.2022

      Hi Margaret, I’m so glad you loved it!

  4. Leslie
    11.19.2022

    Hi! love your stuff. Can I use a deep dish pie dish. Or wont be enough apples and dough?

  5. Sabrina from newkitchenlife.com
    11.14.2022

    great, will try this one, mine need an upgrade for this holiday season, so thank you

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)
      11.18.2022

      I hope you enjoy the recipe!

A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.