Old-Fashioned Apple Pie

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This is absolutely the best homemade apple pie you'll ever make! It has a flaky, buttery crust and a tender, lightly-spiced apple pie filling. Use a combination of apples for best flavor, and bake until the top is golden and the filling is bubbly!

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

Here is our favorite apple pie recipe, with an easy, no-fail, buttery, flaky homemade pie crust, and a filling with a mix of different types of apples, spices, vanilla, and a splash of brandy.

This apple pie is my family’s most requested pie during the holidays. I usually make two of them so we can enjoy one for leftovers. Nothing better than pie for breakfast, right?

What are the best apples for apple pie?

It’s best to use a mix of different types of apples in your pie. Some apple varieties cook up faster than others. Some cook up firm, some more soft; some apples are more tart, some more sweet.

By combining them, you’ll get a more complex, deeper flavor. Look for a combination of tart and sweet apples, and a combination of apples that cook up firm and soft. That said, some apples are better for cooking into a pie than others. I like to use:

  • Granny Smith – Green and tart, Granny Smith apples have wonderful flavor, but they they often lose their shape and turn mushy when cooked. So use no more than 2 Grannies in your pie, and combine with other varieties.
  • Jonagold – A cross between a Golden Delicious and a Jonathan, Jonagolds have a lovely aromatic flavor, they’re both sweet and sharp, and they hold their shape with baking.
  • Fuji – Crisp, firm, juicy, balance of sweet and tart, holds its shape in baking
  • Golden Delicious – Yellow and sweet, holds it shape after baking
  • Braeburn – Sweet and crisp, bakes up firm and juicy
  • Cortland – Juicy and tart, relatively soft, great all purpose apple for baking
  • Honey Crisp – Honey sweet and tart flavor, crisp and juicy, holds shape in baking
  • Avoid Red Delicious apples for pies, they don’t cook well.

Homemade Apple Pie ready to be served

Make the Crust Ahead

To make apple pie, start with the crust. If you are making a homemade crust, you can make the dough a day or two ahead, and keep the dough disks chilled in the refrigerator.

If using a store bought frozen crust, follow the directions on the crust package for working with the crust. (See our Review of the Best and Worst Store-Bought Pie Crusts.)

How to Make the Apple Pie

Peel, core and cut the apples, and sprinkle them with a little lemon juice or apple cider vinegar to keep from browning. Toss them with a little flour, sugar, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, and vanilla, and let the filling sit while you roll out the pie crusts.

Remove the dough disks from the refrigerator and let them sit for 10 to 15 minutes before rolling one of the disks out to 12-inch circles, about 1/8″-inch thick.

Line the bottom of a 9-inch pie plate and line with the rolled out dough. Trim the edges to a half-inch from the sides of the pie pan. Scoop the apples into the pie plate and create a mound in the center. Don’t worry if the apples are high in the pan, they’ll shrink as they cook.

Roll out the second pie dough disk. If you want to make a lattice pie, see our directions for making a lattice pie here. (It’s easy!) Otherwise, place the second round of rolled out pie dough over the apples, and tuck the edges of the top pie crust over and under the bottom pie crust edges. Crimp with your fingers to seal.

Score the top in several places to create vents for steam to escape (no need if using a lattice top).

How long to bake apple pie

To bake, place the pie on a baking sheet (to catch the drippings) in a 375°F oven and bake for 20 minutes, or until the top starts to lightly brown, then lower the temp to 350°F and bake anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour or more longer.

The way you know that the apple pie is done is that the juices are bubbling noticeably. If you have an instant read thermometer, you can insert it into the center of the pie. A reading of 200°F is done.

At any point during the baking the top of the pie begins to brown too much, just tent it with aluminum foil. I usually tent the pie about halfway through the baking with foil.

Let the pie cool for an hour before cutting into it, and serve it plain or with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream!

Slice of homemade apple pie on a white plate and a marble background

Best Toppings For Apple Pie

There’s nothing better than a slice of warm apple pie with a scoop of vanilla ice cream! For something a little different, try cinnamon ice cream instead. You could also top it with homemade whipped cream or caramel sauce.

How to store and freeze apple pie

Apple pie will easily last a couple of days, wrapped with plastic wrap, on your counter at room temperature. Beyond that, you can keep it chilled for a few more days in the fridge. If desired, warm in a 350°F oven for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

  • To freeze the unbaked pie, wrap the assembled pie in a double layer of foil and then place inside a plastic zip-top freezer bag with as much air pressed out as possible. Freeze for up to a month. When ready to bake, remove it from the freezer, unwrap, and place it into the oven. Bake as directed, adding on about 15 minutes to the baking time, or until the top is golden and the filling is bubbling.
  • To freeze a baked pie, wrap and freeze the pie as above. When ready to serve, unwrap and let the pie thaw at room temperature. Warm it up in a 350°F oven for about 15 minutes to crisp up the top and warm the filling.

More Great Apple Pie Recipes

Watch our Apple Pie Video!

Updated September 20, 2018 : Introduction updated

Old-Fashioned Apple Pie Recipe

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

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.

Ingredients

For the crust:

  • 2 1/4 cups (290 g) all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling (if using scoop and level method, measure out 2 cups)
  • 10-ounces (1 1/4 cups, 285 g) unsalted butter (room temperature), 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)

For the apple pie filling:

  • 3 pounds good cooking apples such as Granny Smith, Jonagold, Golden Delicious, Fuji, or Braeburn (about 6 to 8 apples, depending on the size of your apples and the size of your pie dish)
  • 1 tablespoon 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
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon brandy (Optional. By the way, if you have Calvados apple brandy, use it!)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the egg wash:

  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon cream

Method

1 Make the pie crust: To make a homemade crust, in a large bowl whisk together 2 1/4 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 video on our Sour Cream Pie Crust Recipe.)

2 Peel, core, and slice the apples: While the dough is chilling, peel, core and slice or roughly chop the apples into 1/4-inch to 1/2-inch slices or chunks.

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.

slices good baking apples for apple pie filling

3 Make the apple pie filling: Combine sugar, flour and spices (allspice, nutmeg, cinnamon) 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.

whisk flour and sugar to make apple pie filling toss sugar flour with apple slices for apple pie filling

4 Prepare oven: 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.

5 Roll out the dough and line bottom pie plate: 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.

roll out the bottom crust for the apple pie place bottom crust in deep dish pie pan

6 Place apple slices on top of the bottom crust: Arrange the apple slices in the dough-lined pie plate. Mound the apples in the center.

add apples to apple pie bottom crust mound the apples high in the pie

7 Roll out top crust, place over apples, trim and crimp edges: 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.

roll out top crust place on apple pie crimp edges of pie

8 Brush with egg wash, cut vents: 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.

brush top of apple pie with egg wash cut vents into apple pie

9 Bake: 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 Let cool: 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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Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.

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144 Comments / Reviews

No ImageOld-Fashioned Apple Pie

Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Branka

    This is the best apple pie recipe. I’ve been making it for years! Thanks so much!

    xxxxxyyyyy

  2. Christopher

    I think I used some Crab Apples instead of Granny Smiths, I’m not too sure about the variety since they were picked from a backyard fruit tree. Nonetheless, the filling became too watery when I baked my pie and I didn’t have time to try and macerate my apples beforehand. I also used a store-bought pie crust which I admit was not nearly as thick as I would have enjoyed on a pie like this. However, the recipe for the filling was delicious and I ended up eating a bunch of leftover coated apple slices just as a snack :) Considering the changes I made, I’ll give 4 out of 5 stars for now. I truly believe that with the homemade crust and proper apple selection, it would have resulted in an irresistible pie.

    xxxxxyyyyy

  3. Sarah

    Delicious!!

    xxxxxyyyyy

  4. Sue

    Oh my! This is a great recipe. I made this twice already. The first time i made this, i took it to a party and everybody loved it. Thank you for sharing this recipe. Cheers

    xxxxxyyyyy

  5. Adriana

    Hi, do you know any sour cream substitutes for this recipe? Please tell me… Have a good day!

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How to make Apple PieOld-Fashioned Apple Pie