Apple Pie

Homemade apple pie with a flaky pie crust and sliced apples, sugar, allspice, nutmeg, cinnamon, vanilla and brandy

If the crust looks like it's getting too browned, take a large piece of aluminum foil and place on top of the pie in the oven. No need to wrap it around the pie, just place it on top. That will keep the top from browning further.

Pies always seem to take longer to cook than one expects. (Perhaps it's because we're always opening the oven to check on how the pie is doing?) The filling should be visibly bubbling, which you should be able to see through the steam vents. I recommend putting a rimmed baking sheet on a rack beneath the rack of the pie to catch the filling as some of it invariably bubbles up and out over the pie. Makes oven clean-up a lot easier.

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

Ingredients

Crust Ingredients for a flakey pie crust

  • 2 1/2 cups (285 g) all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling
  • 10-ounces (1 1/4 cups, 285 g) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/2 cup (115 ml) sour cream (use full-fat sour cream for best results)

Filling Ingredients

  • 3 pounds of good cooking apples such as Fuji, Golden Delicious, Granny Smith, Gravenstein, or Pippin (about 6 to 8 apples, depending on the size of your apples and the size of your pie dish)
  • 1 Tbsp of lemon juice or apple cider vinegar (to toss with the sliced apples so they don't brown as you slice them)
  • 1/2 cup to 2/3 cup sugar, depending on how sweet you like your pie
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour for thickening
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 Tbsp brandy (Optional. By the way, if you have Calvados apple brandy, use it!)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Egg Wash

  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 Tbsp cream

Method

1 In a large bowl whisk together 2 1/2 cups of flour, 1 teaspoon of salt, and 2 teaspoons of sugar. Add the cubed butter and use your clean dry hands to toss to coat with the flour. Using your hands work the butter into the flour, pressing the cubes of butter between your thumb and fingers. Continue to work the flour until the mixture is shaggy and the largest pieces of butter are no larger than a kernel of corn. Make a well in the center and add the sour cream to it. Use a fork to work the buttered flour and the sour cream into each other until the dough begins to clump. Separate the dough mixture into 2 equal sized piles and work each one first into a ball, and then into a disk. Sprinkle with flour and wrap with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 1 hour before rolling out. (See more detailed instructions with photos on our Sour Cream Pie Crust Recipe.)

slice peeled cored apples 1/4-inch to 1/2-inch thick

2 While the dough is chilling, peel, core and slice the apples into 1/4-inch to 1/2-inch slices. As you cut your apple slices, add them to a large bowl and sprinkle them with a little lemon juice or apple cider vinegar to help keep them from turning brown.

whisk together flour, sugar, and spices coat apple slices with flour sugar spice mixture

3 Combine sugar, flour and spices in a bowl. Add the flour mixture to the apple slices and use your hands to distribute the flour through the apples so they are well coated. Then sprinkle with brandy and vanilla extract and stir to coat all the apples.

4 Place one oven rack in the lowest position and put a large rimmed baking sheet on it (to catch any drippings from the pie.) Position a second rack the next rung up (still in the lower third of the oven) and preheat to 375°F.

roll out dough to 12-inch wide, 1/8 inch thick center dough on pie plate

5 Remove one crust disk from the refrigerator. Let sit at room temperature for 5-10 minutes. Place disk on a lightly floured, clean, flat surface. Using a rolling pin, roll out the pie dough to a 12-inch circle, about 1/8 of an inch thick. As you roll out the dough, check to make sure it isn't sticking. If and when it starts to stick, gently lift it up and sprinkle a little more flour on the table surface or on the pie dough to keep the dough from sticking. Gently place the rolled out dough onto a 9-inch pie plate. Press down to line the pie dish with the dough.

spoon apple slices in pie plate mound the apple slices

6 Arrange the apple slices in the dough-lined pie plate. Mound the apples in the center.

place second rolled out dough circle on top of apples trim and crimp edges

7 Roll out the second disk of dough, again to 12-inches. Gently place the second round of pie dough over the apples. Trim excess dough with kitchen shears, leaving a 3/4 inch overhang from the edges of the pie pan. Fold the dough under itself so that the edge of the fold comes right to the edge of the pan. Press the top and bottom dough rounds together as you flute edges using thumb and forefinger or press with a fork.

paint egg wash on dough cut slits into surface of apple pie

8 Place egg yolk and cream in a small bowl and use a fork to stir until well combined. Use a pastry brush to brush the egg wash over the top and fluted edges of the pie. Use a sharp knife to cut slits in the top of the pie crust for steam vents.

9 Place pie on oven rack centered over the baking sheet on the rack below it to catch any drippings. Bake the pie at 375°F until crust begins to lightly brown, about 20 minutes, then reduce heat to 350°F. Bake until crust is golden and juices are bubbling, anywhere from an additional 45 minutes to an hour, depending on the type of apples you are using. (About halfway through baking check to make sure the pie isn't browning too much. When it's nicely browned, tent the pie with a large piece of aluminum foil to keep the pie from browning further.)

10 Transfer the apple pie to a rack to cool for at least 1 hour. Serve slightly warm or at room temperature. Great with a side of vanilla ice cream.

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Comments

  1. 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.

  2. rich

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

  3. 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.

  4. ani

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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…

  7. 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!

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. Leo

    Great recipe! AWESOME tasting pie!

  11. 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!

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. Vivian

    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.

  16. Sarah

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

  17. 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.

  18. 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!!

  19. Natalie | Paper & Birch

    My favourite kinda pie :)

  20. judi

    It is the oven as I write, smells delicious, let you know the outcome.

  21. lou mcmunn

    when I’m making apple pies, I have a gap between the crust and the filling.I pile my apples high in the dish.What am I doing wrong?

    • Elise

      Hi Lou, the apples will shrink as they cook which can leave a gap between the crust and the apples. I think if you put more steam vents in the top of the pie that will help the crust collapse on top of the apples so there is less of a gap. Another thing you can do is to pre-cook the apples for 10 or 15 minutes in a saucepan, so they do most of their collapsing before they go in the pie. More steam vents is easier though.

  22. Mariel

    I have made this pie numerous times, with bourbon. It is my favorite “go to” apple pie recipe. The first time I made it I got first place in my county fair.

  23. Jaime

    I was given a huge box of apples. I already canned some of your apple butter (yum, thanks), but was wondering if you had any suggestions for preserving just the filling for your apple pie? Have you ever tried freezing or canning the filling?

    • Elise

      Hi Jaime, I have a friend who regularly freezes uncooked pies and then when she wants a pie she just takes one out of the freezer and bakes it. As for freezing the filling, I assume you mean the already cooked filling? You can cook up the filling and put it into quart sized canning jars and freeze it, leaving some headroom. We freeze almost all of the applesauce we make and use it all year round. I’m guessing you could easily do the same thing with pie filling.

  24. Laura

    Just made this a few days ago after finding the recipe on Pinterest. Best pie crust I have ever made!

  25. Rashu

    i dont get sour cream where i live and i dont drink alcohol.so what can i substitute these two ingredients with.

    • Elise

      Hi Rashu, you can leave out the alcohol entirely. As for the crust, just use a different pie crust recipe that doesn’t require sour cream. We have a couple options here.

  26. michelle

    elise how would I cook this crustless? in a slow cooker? baked? if so at what temp and for how long? thanks!

  27. michelle

    thank you so much for the suggestion elise…for me it’s all about simplification!

  28. Heather

    My father-in-law – a connoisseur of apple pies – declare this the best one he has ever eaten. High praise indeed!

    I used another crust recipe that I love (uses buttermilk), but the filling here was amazing. I love anything baked apple, but have always hated bought apple pies because the filling was always so thick and goopy. This was just like baked apples in a decision pastry. Amazing. It was my first pie (other than quiche) and I was pretty damn proud of it!

  29. Diana

    Hi, do you think that this recipe would work if I made a lattice pie crust? Or would I have to tweak it?

    Can’t wait to make it!

    • Elise

      Hi Diana, I think it would work fine in a lattice crust, but I haven’t tried it. If you do, let us know how it turns out.

      • Diana

        Made it today with a lattice crust and it turned out beautifully! Thank you so much for the awesome recipe.

  30. Jaimie

    I have a lot more apples, I made two of these pies and they were delicious!! But can I make the filling and and not cook the apples and freeze it or
    Do I have to do something different with the filling to freeze it??

    • Elise

      Hi Jamie, great question. I don’t know the answer as I haven’t frozen the pie or the pie filling.

  31. Luna

    it would be a good idea to put some tin foil down to line the oven and swap it out every 30 min to keep the drippings from burning to your oven. my boyfriend and i made these pies at 3am and woke up the whole house thinking we started a fire. but the pies didn’t burn just the drippings.

    • Elise

      Hi Luna, I recommend that people put a baking sheet on the rack underneath the rack with the pie, to catch the drippings. Foil will work as well.

  32. Lisa Oberdorf

    Could you make this pie using a crumb mixture on top, rather than a crust?

  33. Monika

    Delicious does not do it justice. With the first bite I thought I died and went to heaven! So goooood!

  34. nickolas

    im nickolas 13 years old and i made this pie all by my self great recipe thanks website

  35. Wendy

    How does this recipe compare to the one you had on here a couple of years ago? The last one had no sour cream in the crust. The old recipe was amazing, is this one better in your opinion? Also, can you advise on high-altitude adjustments? I live at almost 9,000. Thanks!

    • Elise

      I LOVE the sour cream crust. It is so much easier to make and always results in a tender, flakey crust. No idea about high altitude adjustments, I’m thinking that there may not be any because there is nothing that actually rises. No leavening in this recipe that would be affected by altitude.

  36. ML

    Nice! but who weighs their apples? and pie plates very in size. Better to say how many average size apples to an average sized pie plate.

  37. hhphillips

    I selected your apple pie from Pinterest. They are a number of good pie receipes but your stands out for me because of your use of spices and lemon juice. I baked it for the first time last weekend for a birthday dinner party and it was a hit. Thanks ever so much.

  38. Natalia

    This is one of my favorite recipe. It’s easy to do and very tasty! My family loves it!

  39. Elise

    Elise this pie was FANTASTIC!!!! Thank you so much for the recipe. I made 10 in one day- was feeling a little dragged out by the end of it but when I finally sat down and tried it- it was sooo worth it!
    By the way- my name is Elise too!

  40. Alei

    Thanks for sharing this recipe my first pie to make on my own and me and my family loved it! My son took a picture of the best pie he’s ever had.. I didn’t have brandy so I used spiced rum instead and it worked fine otherwise I followed the recipe as it is.. Thanks Elise!