Old Fashioned Apple Pie

It’s that time of year again, apple season. Our trees are practically raining Granny Smiths. In anticipation of a long apple season we have begun to experiment with apple pies; this recipe is our current favorite. What makes it special are two things: 1) an all butter homemade crust with some ground up almonds (I used a blender to chop up blanched almonds) added to the flour, and 2) including a little brandy and vanilla to the filling, along with the traditional spices. The trick is when to pull the pie out. The cooking time will vary a bit, depending on the apples you are using. Granny Smiths cook up pretty quickly, Gravensteins, longer. So look for a nice browned crust and you should be able to look through the venting slits to see the filling bubbling. Homemade crusts can be a challenge if you aren’t used to making them. See the following recipes for more detailed instructions: Perfect Pie Crust and All Butter Crust with Almonds.

Old Fashioned Apple Pie Recipe

  • Prep time: 1 hour, 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 8.


Crust Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling
  • 1/2 cup finely ground blanched almonds or almond flour (can substitute 1/2 cup flour if you don't have almonds)
  • 16 Tbsp (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes, chilled in freezer for at least 15 minutes
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 heaping teaspoon brown sugar
  • 3 to 6 Tbsp water, very cold

Filling Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3 pounds of 1/4-1/2 inch thick slices of peeled and cored good cooking apples such as Granny Smith, Pippin, Golden Delicious
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons brandy
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Egg Wash

  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 Tbsp cream


1 In a food processor, combine flour, almonds, salt and brown sugar, pulse to mix. Add butter and pulse 6 to 8 times, until mixture resembles coarse meal, with pea size pieces of butter. Add water 1 Tablespoon at a time, pulsing until mixture just begins to clump together. If you pinch some of the crumbly dough and it holds together, it's ready, if not, add a little more water and pulse again.

Remove dough from machine and place on a clean surface. Carefully shape into 2 discs. Do not over-knead the dough! You should still be able to see little bits of butter in the dough. These bits of butter are what will allow the result crust to be flaky. Wrap each disc in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour.

2 Position rack in bottom third of oven and preheat to 375°F.

3 Combine sugar, flour and spices in large bowl. Use your hands and mix in the apples so they are well coated, then add brandy and vanilla extract.

4 Remove one crust disk from the refrigerator. Let sit at room temperature for 5-10 minutes. Sprinkle some flour on top of the disk. Roll out with a rolling pin on a lightly floured surface to a 12 inch circle; about 1/8 of an inch thick. As you roll out the dough, use a metal spatula to check if the dough is sticking to the surface below. Add a few sprinkles of flour if necessary to keep the dough from sticking. Gently fold in half. Place on to a 9-inch pie plate, lining up the fold with the center of the pan. Gently unfold and press down to line the pie dish with the dough.

5 Spoon in apple filling, mounding slightly in center.

apple-pie-1.jpg apple-pie-2.jpg

6 Roll out second disk of dough, as before. Gently turn over onto the top of the apples in the pie. Pinch top and bottom of dough rounds firmly together. Trim excess dough with kitchen shears, leaving a 3/4 inch overhang. Fold dough under itself so that the edge of the fold is flush with the edge of the pan. Flute edges using thumb and forefinger or press with a fork.

7 Stir yolk and cream in small bowl to blend. Brush over top of pie. Cut slits in top crust to allow steam to escape. Bake pie until crust begins to turn golden, about 20 minutes, then reduce heat to 350°F. Tent the rims with aluminum foil or a pie protector if the edges are browning too quickly. Bake until crust is golden and juices are bubbling, anywhere from an additional 30 to 45 minutes, depending on the type of apples you are using. Transfer to rack; let stand 1 hour. Serve pie warm or at room temperature.

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See All Butter Pie Crust with Almonds for more details on the pie crust and links to other resources.


  1. Vivian

    Don’t forget to peel the apples, and try adding a bit of cinnamon or nutmeg to the crust. Also, I prefer to use a raw sugar or a mix of brown and granulated to give it a little more depth.

  2. Karen

    Mmmmm!! My tried and true apple pie recipe is from mom’s old beaten up copy of Joy of Cooking, but I like the addition of allspice and brandy, so I will have to try this filling. I just might try the pie crust; I’ve always cheated with a store bought crust.
    Just a question: mom’s advice was always to brush a savory pie with egg, a sweet pie with milk (though I would sprinkle sugar on top of the milk!). Why use both on this pie?

  3. Elise

    Hi Vivian – yes, peeling the apples was not clear in the instructions, I’ve made the change, thank you!

    Hi Jeff – I know, the apples pictured are too thin. We experimented with using a mandoline to slice the apples with that particular pie and had the setting too low. Unfortunately, I forgot to take photos of this stage with the other pies. I’ll try to get a better shot next time. The slices should be 1/4-inch to a 1/2-inch thick.

    Hi Karen – I think everyone has their favorite way to top a pie. I’ve seen all sorts.

    Hi Kevin – the almond flour gives the crust an extra dimension, it’s quite good.

  4. Overwhelmed!

    What perfect timing! I’m taking my son apple picking this Saturday at a huge orchard. I want to bake an apple pie when I return. Thanks for sharing this recipe!

  5. Katherine

    Overwhelmed, it depends on what you mean by “stick”. It shouldn’t be hard to take out with a pie cutter, but you may need to stick in a spatula or something along the edge and wiggle it a bit. I’ve never greased a pie pan and the crusts have always come off wonderfully.

  6. Sarah

    I made this for Thanksgiving! Everyone raved! I made it exactly to recipe except I used Burbon instead of Brandy. It was wonderful.

  7. Keith Dobbins

    Delicious pie recipe. After the pie had cooled I put a confectionary icing on it. I just finished baking the second apple pie from this recipe. The first pie I baked was pulled from the counter top to the floor by our chocolate lab puppy. She thought the pie was delicious. Thank you.

  8. rich

    If pup was to wipe out a homemade apple pie today, tomorrows main dish would be stuffed pup ala mode

  9. Andrew

    A lady friend of mine had never had an apple pie before! I know, shocking. But with this recipe I have hopefully opened the doors to some wonderful new things. Thanks.

  10. ani

    Love this recipe, I have used it for many years! I am making it this weekend!

  11. Hillary

    I tried this recipe for my first baking an apple pie experience and my family and neighbors loved it so much, the pie was gone in one setting. I had a little trouble with the crust because I did not have a food processor. I used a blender and some of the butter melted. The crust did not flake up like a croissant, but it still had an excellent texture and flavor

  12. nicole

    Thank you for having this out there, you saved me from pulling my hair out. This morning I saw that my pupp ate my recipe book. Thank you, thank you, thank you !! Happy Thanksgiving.

  13. Evangeline

    This is the best pie crust ever! I only cook with whole organic ingredients and I found this recipe searching for a crust w/o shortening. It’s so good you could eat it without the filling,lol. I’ve been using it for turkey and chicken pot pie as well, and the slight sweetness compliments the savoriness of the filling. About a month ago I made 20 pies and used vacuum freezer bags to seal them. I froze them, uncooked, and then cooked them as you would a storebought frozen pie. They lasted less than 3 weeks. Thanks so much for sharing this recipe.

  14. Christine

    Thank you very much for this great recipe! I just try it to make my very first American Apple Pie and it’s SO delicious! Perfect : ) I precise American because I’m French and the U.S Apple Pie is quite legendary, in France as well…

  15. Jake

    This was my first pie ever and was VERY good! I messed up the crust (not enough water) and kind of smooshed it together but it still came out tasting very good. I’m making a Sweet Potato pie as we speak and this time the crust is in much better shape!(although, I still need to work on my crust rolling skills)

  16. dana

    woooooooooooooow I adore this recipe.

  17. Sherry

    My pie just came out of the oven. I was going to take it to my mom’s for Christmas, but I couldn’t wait – so I’m eating a piece now! Even with a store bought crust, this pie is delicious!

  18. Maria Joao

    Thank you soooo much for this recipe! I’m from Portugal (Europe) and it was the very first time I baked an apple pie, and I had to cook it for my boyfriend’s family for Christmas. It was a sucess and a life saver. And the best thing about it is that it’s so simple and natural. It makes a huge difference to make everything from scratch.

  19. Iesabel

    I used this recipe as my first pie-making guide.
    I had a little trouble with the crust, (no food processor) and did it by hand; plus I totally forgot to put the egg and cream mixture on top, but with all the Crust Catastrophes, it turned out amazing and was gone that afternoon!

  20. Cat

    Elise -

    Alden went apple picking yesterday with her good friend Teddy. She was told to only get a small bag of apples, but low and behold she showed up later with an extremely LARGE bag of apples! Needless to say, I baked two apple pies today! This was my first apple pie baking experience and it went great! I did a crumble top on one and then the two crust for the other. The girls gave this recipe two thumbs and two big toes up! :)

    Ah Cat, I so wish I were with you! Please give Alds (and Teddy when you see him) a big hug for me. You might also want to try the applesauce recipe. Easy enough to make and Aldy loves it. ~Elise

  21. Leo

    Great recipe! AWESOME tasting pie!

  22. happywiggly

    I used this recipe for a pie sale fundraiser at school. I made the pies, baked them, and froze them. Everyone said they were the best pies they’d ever had, even compared to fresh ones!

  23. yoko

    thank you so much for sharing this recipe!!!!!! i’ve been searching for the pie crust recipe and finally found BEST pie crust recipe!!!!!!!!!! thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!

  24. Linda

    I didn’t use a food processer for mixing the crust, but did it by hand. I also prepared the entire pie the night before Thanksgiving, but did not bake it. I put it into the freezer and baked it from frozen on Turkey Day. It tasted great! The crust was flakey and the whole pie tasted superb.Thanks for a great recipe.

  25. Lovey

    Hi! This pie is amazing! The first time I made it we ate it up immediately. I want to make it again for my boyfriend’s birthday in a couple of days but I want to go ahead and prep the crust. Can you make the crust in advance? If so, how long will it keep?
    Thanks again for sharing!

    Yes, you can make either the dough or the crust in advance. The dough or crust will keep for a couple days in the fridge. Or you can wrap them in plastic wrap and then in aluminum foil and put in the freezer. Will last for months in the freezer. ~Elise

  26. Kristal L. Rosebrook

    Great Recipe

  27. Tracy

    Absolutely amazing apple pie! My favorite part is the pie crust, it’s so flaky and wonderful! My boyfriend can’t stop eating and talking about it. He is having a food coma right now. Thanks for sharing this recipe, I’ll bring it with me everywhere I go.

    I didn’t have a food processor so used a beater instead, kinda messy but in the end it worked out great. I used coconut palm sugar with vanilla essence instead of brown sugar, and yums it was delish!

  28. Dissapointed in DeKalb

    The filling turned out very dry. We used Jonagold apples. I was told they were good for baking….where did I go wrong?

    It could easily just have been your batch of apples. It happens to us sometimes even with Granny Smiths. That’s why it’s often recommended to use a mix of apples in baking recipes. ~Elise

  29. Daisy

    This apple pie recipe is absolutely delicious!! It was is not an overpowering sweet pie, it is just perfect to the taste. This crust recipe IS perfect!
    Thank you soo much for sharing this recipe Elise, It will definitely be my dessert plate to take for a family dinner!

  30. Marjie

    Wow….this looks amazing. I would like to make them with all the apples I have at home…my mom loves to buy them in big batches just to snack on. The only thing is I have Gala apples. Will they work? If so, how long should it be cooked? I really want to try this recipe =)

    Yes, you can make apple pie with gala apples. Just follow the recipe as given, and use galas. If you find you need to cook them longer, then just cook them longer.~Elise

  31. Patricia Goree

    This was my first apple pie with homemade crust…It was absolutely to die for…this will be my go to recipe…thank you.

  32. Madeline

    I plan on making a couple of these pies for Christmas dinner but I’ll have to pre-make them. Does anyone have any ideas about storing them for 2-3 days? Thanks so much for any advice.

  33. Antaya Washausen

    I just finished using this recipe for my uncle who is a Vietnam vet and managed to make a beautiful apple pie despite never having made a pie from scratch. Flour on your rolling pin as well as the counter top works well to prevent the crusts sticking while you roll them out. It took some time, but I did it!!! Next, dinner then dessert!! Thanks for sharing the recipe!!

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