The Best Apple Pie

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The best Apple Pie can be on your table in just one hour. No one will guess this classic apple pie starts with store-bought pie crust; the filling is just like your favorite bakery’s desserts!

Slices of apple pie on plates.

Raise your hand if your brother is an apple aficionado who has an orchard and grafts his own apple species!

Just me, then?

My brother Matt, aforementioned apple genius (no, not THAT kind), always makes an Apple Pie at Thanksgiving. He uses a variety of apples, more species than the rest of us could name collectively, and that pie puts all other apple pies to shame.

Luckily, you can get the same fantastic results with just a few good baking apples and this easy recipe.

Recipe ingredients

Labeled ingredients for apple pie.

At a Glance: Here is a quick snapshot of what ingredients are in this recipe.
Please see the recipe card below for specific quantities.

Ingredient notes

  • Sugar and brown sugar: Equal parts granulated sugar and brown sugar lend the perfect texture and flavor.
  • Cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg: This blend of powdered baking spices makes this apple pie taste just like fall (and infuses the entire home with intoxicating aromas).
  • Tart apples: Granny Smith apples soften when baked but still stay quite firm and hold their shape. The tartness also balances the sugar in the pie filling. But if you have access to Northern Spy, Braeburn, Cortland, Jonathon, Honeycrisp, or Fuji apples, don’t hold back. Buy them and bake them up; a mix or a combo of any of the above works well in The Best Apple Pie.
  • Pie crust: You will need two 9-inch pie crusts, for the bottom and top of the pie. You can make your own homemade crust, which is surprisingly easy, or opt for the store-bought route, with zero need for apologies.
  • Butter: A tablespoon of butter under the top pie crust is just enough to melt into the apple mixture and make it taste just like your favorite bakery’s apple pie.

Step-by-step instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a small mixing bowl, mix the white sugar, brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. Set aside. In a large mixing bowl, toss apples with lemon juice. Sprinkle in sugar mixture and toss to evenly coat.
Apple pie filling in a bowl.
  1. Lay one pie crust in bottom of 9-inch pie pan, trimming the pastry even with the edge of the pan.
An unbaked apple pie crust.
  1. Spoon in the apple mixture into the pie and place butter piece on top. 
An unbaked apple pie.
  1. Roll the remaining crust out. Set crust over the filling and trim as necessary to fit the top of the pie. Seal, flute the edges, and cut slits in the pastry.
An unbaked apple pie.
  1. Beat egg white until foamy; brush over pastry.
Brushing egg was on an unbaked apple pie.
  1. Sprinkle with sugar. Cover edges loosely with foil. 
Sprinkling sugar on an unbaked apple pie.
  1. Bake for 25 minutes. Remove foil and bake until crust is golden brown and pie filling is bubbling, about 20 minutes more. Cool on wire rack.
A baked, unsliced apple pie.

Recipe tips and variations

  • Yield: This apple pie recipe, makes 8 generous slices.
  • Storage: Apple pie should be fine kept at room temperature for up to 2 days, lightly covered. Otherwise, store in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  • Freezer: Let the baked pie cool completely, then transfer to the freezer (unwrapped) until frozen solid. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap or foil, label, date, and eat within 4 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then reheat in a 350-degree oven until warm.
  • Catch the drips: Some apples are juicier than others, and fruit pies can leak sugary juices onto the floor of the oven as they bake. To avoid this, place a parchment- or foil-lined baking sheet under the pie as it bakes.
  • Bake the most beautiful apples: To keep sliced apples fresh before baking, add the slices to a bowl of cold water with the juice of half a lemon. The acidity will prevent the apples from oxidizing and turning brown.
  • Make it shine: Sprinkle some coarse-style sugar on the top instead of extra granulated sugar to really makes this apple pie shimmer.
  • Cornstarch: Some people use cornstarch as a thickener for fruit pies instead of flour. It gives a glossy, shiny finish to pie filling. If you want to try it, use half as much (1 ½ tablespoons instead of 3 tablespoons); it’s twice as strong as all-purpose flour.
  • Take it over the top: Crown each slice with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream for Apple Pie a la Mode or add a dollop of Whipped Cream. Or for a savory-salty touch, melt on a slice of cheddar cheese (sounds crazy, but tastes crazy-good).
  • Finish the bushel: Have extra apples on hand? Make a batch of Apple Coleslaw, a warm Apple Crisp, a Cinnamon Apple Cake, or some homemade Caramel Apples. See more apple recipe ideas in The Best Apple Recipes for Your Orchard Haul.
  • Thinking of Thanksgiving: Are you making an Apple Pie for Thanksgiving? Discover 150+ Thanksgiving Recipes on Culinary Hill including my full Make Ahead Thanksgiving menu.
A sliced apple pie.

Recipe FAQs

Should I cook my apples before making pie?

Cooking the apples first helps release a lot of extra liquid so you don’t have to compensate for it with a thickener. But, this recipe was developed without that step. In this recipe, the apples go in raw.

Can I prep the apples ahead?

To get a head start, though, you can peel and cut the apples a day in advance and keep them submerged in water and lemon juice in the refrigerator.

Slices of apple pie with vanilla ice cream.

More pies to try

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A slice of apple pie on a light blue plate.

The Best Apple Pie

The best Apple Pie can be on your table in just one hour. No one will guess this classic apple pie starts with store-bought pie crust; the filling is just like your favorite bakery's desserts!
Author: Meggan Hill
4.97 from 28 votes
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Total Time 1 hr 5 mins
Servings 8 slices
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Calories 404

Ingredients 

Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a small mixing bowl, mix the white sugar, brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. Set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl, toss apples with lemon juice. Sprinkle in sugar mixture and toss to evenly coat.
  • Lay one pie crust in bottom of 9-inch pie pan, trimming the pastry even with the edge of the pan. Spoon in the apple mixture into the pie and place butter piece on top. 
  • Roll the remaining crust out. Set crust over the filling and trim as necessary to fit the top of the pie. Seal, flute the edges, and cut slits in the pastry.
  • Beat egg white until foamy; brush over pastry. Sprinkle with sugar. Cover edges loosely with foil. 
  • Bake for 25 minutes. Remove foil and bake until crust is golden brown and pie filling is bubbling, about 20 minutes more. Cool on wire rack.

Recipe Video

Notes

  1. Sugar and brown sugar: Equal parts granulated sugar and brown sugar lend the perfect texture and flavor.
  2. Cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg: This blend of powdered baking spices makes this apple pie taste just like fall (and infuses the entire home with intoxicating aromas).
  3. Tart apples:Granny Smith apples soften when baked but still stay quite firm and hold their shape. The tartness also balances the sugar in the pie filling. But if you have access to Northern Spy, Braeburn, Cortland, Jonathon, Honeycrisp, or Fuji apples, don’t hold back. Buy them and bake them up; a mix or a combo of any of the above works well in The Best Apple Pie.
  4. Pie crust: You will need two 9-inch pie crusts, for the bottom and top of the pie. You can make your own homemade crust, which is surprisingly easy, or opt for the store-bought route, with zero need for apologies.
  5. Butter: A tablespoon of butter under the top pie crust is just enough to melt into the apple mixture and make it taste just like your favorite bakery’s apple pie.
  6. Yield: This apple pie recipe, makes 8 generous slices.
  7. Storage: Apple pie should be fine kept at room temperature for up to 2 days, lightly covered. Otherwise, store in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  8. Freezer: Let the baked pie cool completely, then transfer to the freezer (unwrapped) until frozen solid. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap or foil, label, date, and eat within 4 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then reheat in a 350-degree oven until warm.

Nutrition

Serving: 1sliceCalories: 404kcalCarbohydrates: 66gProtein: 4gFat: 15gSaturated Fat: 4gSodium: 232mgPotassium: 173mgFiber: 4gSugar: 36gVitamin A: 113IUVitamin C: 5mgCalcium: 29mgIron: 2mg
Did you make this recipe?Tag @culinaryhill on Instagram so we can admire your masterpiece! #culinaryhill

Apple Pie a la Mode

The best apple pie recipe comes topped with a scoop (or two!) of ice cream, if you ask me. Learn how to make apple pie from scratch just like grandma made, plus score additional ice…

1 hour 5 minutes
View Recipe
Executive Chef and CEO at | Website | + posts

Meggan Hill is the Executive Chef and CEO of Culinary Hill, a popular digital publication in the food space. She loves to combine her Midwestern food memories with her culinary school education to create her own delicious take on modern family fare. Millions of readers visit Culinary Hill each month for meticulously-tested recipes as well as skills and tricks for ingredient prep, cooking ahead, menu planning, and entertaining. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the iCUE Culinary Arts program at College of the Canyons.

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Comments

  1. This was delicious! Don’t know what happened but mine was super super super runny. More than any other pie recipe. Could be that I used four instead of tapioca starch? Or something about altitude being in Colorado?4 stars

    1. Hi Allison, I’m so glad you liked the flavor! I think the pie was runny because it needed a little more time to cook to thicken up the filling. Did the leftovers thicken overnight? If not, you can try cooking it a little longer in the oven on the bottom rack to evaporate some of the extra liquid. (Watch it carefully, though!) Also, I would recommend using an oven thermometer to make sure the inside temperature of the oven is correct. Thank you so much for your comment. Take care! – Meggan

  2. My Grandmother made an apple pie very similar to this one, but added her “secret” ingredient: 2 tbs of Scotch. She said it helped get the spices to your nose, improving the flavor. I don’t know if that is it or not, but I do know that I loved Grandmother’s apple pie nearly as much as I loved her!

  3. I made this tonight. Yummy!!
    I used store bought crust.
    Then a trick I learned from my grandmother…add a Tablespoon or 2 of tapioca so the pie isn’t quite so runny!

  4. Great recipe, on my second try I left out the ginger and added 4 tsp of flower. The first time I made it it was a little runny. The extra flower cured the issue. It was perfect the second time and everyone loved it. Used Honeycrisp apples, they are expensive but worth it.5 stars

  5. I made it and didn’t even get to try it! My husband and grandson ate it alll! They said it was the best apple pie they ever tasted!

    1. Yes, the link you provided was already in the recipe notes. I linked to it as my source and rewrote the instructions. It’s a great apple pie recipe!

  6. This looks really good and the crust looks amazing. My recipe calls for both granny smith and golden delicious apples. Except for par-cooking the apples first, and being gluten free, this is both identical and super delicious. Don’t forget the vanilla ice cream!5 stars