This is the BEST Apple Pie Recipe. I know that is a bold statement amongst a sea of other apple pie recipes all claiming to be the best – but mine is (sorry, not sorry!) It is made with perfectly tender, spiced apples hinted with cinnamon, freshly grated nutmeg, and brown sugar enveloped into a flakey, buttery cocoon of crust! Truly, this apple pie recipe is sure to please the whole family! It was meant to dance on the taste buds and fill the belly. A pie that’s perfect for fall, holidays, or all year round.
The fall always brings up old memories that send me into a whirlwind of sentimental emotions. I find myself reminiscing about the Fall days spent in my Big Mama’s kitchen baking more than was ever necessary.
She loved to bake and share her treats with just about anyone who would try them. Her recipes were sacred, and her willingness to share them with me meant everything.
Big Mama’s pies were famous, and for me, no other pie could compare. But today’s recipe comes pretty darn close. This Apple Pie recipe comes from my dear friend Shauna Sever’s new cookbook Midwest Made. Shauna’s double-crust apple pie is truly one of the best apple pie recipes I have seen around.
It is the perfect treat for a cozy fall day! And if you are looking for the best apple pie for Thanksgiving and fall baking, this is it!! So what are you waiting for? Let’s get baking!
If you love apple desserts, try these Apple Pie Bars, Apple Brown Betty, Apple Cobbler, Apple Tarte Tatin, Apple Crisp French Toast, Apple Fritters, Apple Cider Cake, Caramel Apple Cheesecake, Dutch Apple Pie, and Baked Apples.
Why You’ll Love This Best Apple Pie Recipe
- It’s foolproof! It seriously comes out perfectly each time! Make sure to follow the instructions and check out all the tips I’m providing you along the way!
- Made with fresh apples. For the best flavor and texture.
- Full of fall flavors. While apples, cinnamon, and nutmeg have all the fall feels, enjoy apple pie any time of year!
Ingredients to Make Apple Pie
- Apples: I love using Honeycrisp apples to make apple pie. They retain a nice crunch and are full of sweet and tart flavors.
- Sugar: The apple pie filling uses a combination of granulated sugar and light brown sugar for the perfect level of sweetness. I love the molasses flavors the brown sugar brings to the filling. We will also be using a bit of white sugar in the crust and on top of the pie.
- Lemon juice: This helps keep the apples from browning. If possible use freshly squeezed.
- Spices: The best apple pie uses a combination of cinnamon and nutmeg, but you can also use apple pie spice.
- Salt: Desserts taste better with a bit of salt, so don’t leave it out!
- Cornstarch: Just a bit for thickening our apple pie filling.
- All-purpose flour: We will be using this as the base for the pie crust.
- Baking powder: Just a bit to help leaven your pie crust.
- Butter: Use unsalted butter for making your double pie crust, and make sure it’s very cold.
- Red wine vinegar: The secret to making a flaky crust. Adding vinegar makes the gluten in the crust relax more, so the crust turns out flakier. You can also use apple cider vinegar.
- Egg: Adding an egg wash to the top of the pie crust will make it brown nicely in the oven and give it a slightly shiny appearance.
How To Make Apple Pie
The star of this apple pie is the filling. It filled to the brim with fresh apples that bring deep, rich flavor and a slightly saucy texture. It’s almost like having a caramel apple in a pie. Yum! Let’s get started so you can try it out for yourself. Here’s a glimpse at the highlights, but be sure to read the recipe card instructions for all the details.
Make the Pie Crust
- Pulse together the flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder a few times to blend. Add the butter to the mixture.
- Process until the mixture resembles cornmeal. Add three-quarters of the water and vinegar mixture and pulse until the dough begins to form a few small clumps.
PRO TIP: Check the dough by squeezing a small amount in the palm of your hand. If it easily holds together and your palm isn’t dusty with floury bits, it’s done. If not, add an additional 1/2 tablespoon of vinegar and water and pulse 2 or 3 more times. Repeat this process as needed just until the dough holds together.
- Shape the dough into a ball on the countertop, kneading a few times simply to shape it.
- Divide the dough in half and shape into disks. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before rolling.
Make the Apple Pie Filling
- Mix together all the filling ingredients except the cornstarch and let it sit at room temperature for an hour.
- Drain the filling, reserving the liquid in a saucepan. If necessary press down on the fruit gently to release more liquid. You want at least a 1/2 cup of liquid.
- Heat the liquid to reduce it to a ⅓ cup. You can swirl the pan occasionally, but avoid stirring.
- Add the cornstarch to the apples and toss to coat. Pour the cooled apple syrup over the fruit and stir gently to blend.
Assemble a Traditional Apple Pie
- Roll out one dough disk into a 12-inch circle. Place the dough in the prepared pie dish.
- Scatter the flour and sugar mixture evenly across the bottom of the dough. Add the filling to the crust. Roll out the second dough disk to a 12-inch circle and drape the dough over the filling.
- Use a thin, sharp knife to slice a few vents around the center of the pie. Press to seal the top and bottom crust edges together.
- Fold the overhanging dough under and crimp it decoratively. Freeze the pie until the top crust is firm, about 15 minutes.
Add the Finishing Touches
- Brush the egg, water, and salt mixture lightly over the top crust.
- Sprinkle the top of the pie with the remaining sugar. Now it’s time to bake the pie.
After Baking the Pie
- Allow the pie to cool completely at room temperature on a wire rack before slicing and serving. This will take at least 3 hours.
Tips for Making the best Fresh Apple Pie Recipe
Shauna’s pie crust is absolutely foolproof and makes for one of the easiest pie-making experiences you’ll ever have. But I’ve got my own crust tricks to share with you to make the process even simpler.
- Choose the Right Pie Dish. For best results, I suggest using either a Pyrex or ceramic pie dish. The dish conducts the heat for cooking your crust. If your dish heats too quickly, your crust will burn before it’s done, and if it heats too slowly, it will lengthen the baking time, and your apples will release too much moisture.
- Don’t Skip the Secret Ingredient. Adding red wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar to your favorite pie crust helps to prevent the formation of gluten. Gluten makes for a tough crust,` which is almost worse than a soggy one.
- Get That Golden Brown Crust. The egg white is what gives your pie its idyllic toasted brown coloration. If you’re looking for more of a yellow-golden crust, then use an entire beaten egg instead of just the white.
- Let Your Apples Sit. The longer, the better! Overnight gives the sugars more time to draw out extra moisture from the apples and prevent any rogue juices from leaking while baking. However, if you don’t have all that time, an hour will work.
Popular Substitutions & Additions
- Add some dried fruit. Dried cranberries and raisins make a tasty addition to apple pie.
- Add some nuts. Fold in some pecans or walnuts along with your apples.
- Add a splash of bourbon to your apples.
- Add berries. Apples go great with all types of fresh berries, so replace one apple with a cup of your favorite berries.
What to Serve with this Southern Apple Pie Recipe
- Turn your apple pie into apple pie a la mode! It’s great with a bit of vanilla ice cream or for something a little different try this corn ice cream or strawberry ice cream.
- It makes a delicious dessert for holidays, especially with a generous spoonful of homemade whipped cream and caramel sauce.
- Apple pie is the sweet version of comfort food so serve it up after hearty meals such as smothered chicken or fried pork chops.
- It’s the perfect end to Sunday dinner after enjoying a hefty serving of Dutch oven pot roast or turkey pot pie.
How to Store & Reheat Apple Pie
Store your pie at room temperature for up to two days. After that, it should be stored in the fridge or freezer using the instructions below.
Thaw out frozen pie in the fridge overnight or on the counter for a few hours.
To enjoy leftover pie warmed up you can heat it in the microwave for a few seconds or in the oven for 5-10 minutes at 350° F.
How long will apple pie last in the fridge?
You can wrap up any leftovers and store them for up to five days.
Can I freeze the traditional apple pie?
Yes, you can. You can bake the pie ahead of time and freeze the pie whole, or you can slice the pie, and flash freeze the individual slices on a lined baking tray and, once frozen, transfer it to an airtight container. Store it for up to three months.
Frequently Asked Questions
Most of the apples you lug home each year from apple picking are perfect for apple pies! After lots of trial and error, I’ve found that Granny Smith, Honeycrisp, and Pink Lady are the best options for baking. These apples have the perfect balance of sweetness, crisp texture, and tartness. Even better they’re all easy to find at almost any orchard or even your local grocery store!
While it is definitely the most popular of American desserts and is one of the classic American foods that can be traced back to the Midwest. But like many American desserts, it is inspired by other apple desserts found worldwide.
A single crust pie refers to a pie with only a crust on the bottom. In a double crust, you get tender, spiced fruit enveloped in a flakey crust on the top and bottom. This means each bite has that perfect apple to crust ratio you’ve been searching for your whole life. Visually, a double-crust makes for the ideal apple pie. The design of the top crust can involve a classic overlay, lattice, or decorated with pastry cutouts.
Whether it’s fall and you’re looking to use up apples fresh from the orchard or a summer cookout, you can never go wrong with this best apple pie recipe. From the flaky, tender crust, to the juicy apple pie filling, it’s a treat the whole family will devour any time of year.
More Delicious Pie Recipes
If you love this Apple Pie, then you will love these pies too!
*Did you make this recipe? Please give it a star rating and leave comments below!* Post a photo of how your version of the recipe came out on Instagram (using #grandbabycakes)!!
The BEST Apple Pie Recipe
For the Filling
- 8 cups thinly sliced Honeycrisp Apples about 6 medium-size to large apples
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup light brown sugar
- 1 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
- ¼ tsp fine sea salt
- 4 tbsp cornstarch
For the Double Crust
- 2 ⅔ cup unbleached all purpose flour spooned and leveled
- 2 tsp granulated sugar to 2 tbsp if you level up
- 1 tsp fine sea salt
- ¼ tsp baking powder
- 1 cup very cold unsalted butter cubed
- ½ cup ice water
- 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
Crust and Assembly
- Nonstick cooking spray for pan
- All purpose flour for dusting
- 2 tsp unbleached all purpose flour
- 2 tbsp granulated sugar divided
- 1 large egg
- 1 tbsp water
- Pinch of fine sea salt
For the Double Crust
- In the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour, sugar, salt and baking powder. Pulse a few times to blend. Sprinkle half of the butter pieces over the dry ingredients. Process until the mixture resembles cornmeal, about 15 seconds.
- Add the remaining cold butter and pulse about 10 times, until this batch of butter cubes is broken down by about half.
- In a measuring cup, combine the water and vinegar. Add about three quarters of the liquid to the bowl. Pulse about 10 times, or until the dough begins to form a few small clumps. Test the dough by squeezing a small amount in the palm of your hand. If it easily holds together and your palm isn't dusty with floury bits, it's done.
- If not, add an additional 1/2 tablespoon of vinegared water and pulse 2 or 3 more times. Repeat this process as needed just until the dough holds together.
- Turn out the mixture onto a work surface. With a few quick kneads, gather the dough into a mass. For double crust, divide the dough in half and shape into disks. For 2 slab crusts, shape each half of the dough into a 5×8 inch rectangle. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before rolling.
For the Filling
- In a large bowl, combine all the filling ingredients, except the cornstarch. Toss to mix well. Let sit at room temperature for 1 hour.
- Drain the filling over a 2 to 2 1/2 quart saucepan, pressing down on the fruit gently and catching the liquid- you should have at least 1/2 cup of liquid. Return the apples to their bowl. Set the pan over high heat and reduce the liquid to about 1/3 cup which will take about 5 minutes. You can swirl the pan occasionally, but avoid stirring. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside to cool for 5 minutes.
- Add the cornstarch to the apples and toss to coat. Pour the apple syrup over the fruit and stir gently to blend.
- Position a rack to the center of the oven and preheat it to 425 F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Spray a 9 inch glass pie plate with nonstick cooking spray and dust with flour, knocking out the excess. Place the pie plate on the lined baking sheet.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll out 1 dough disk into a 12 inch circle. Place the dough in the prepared pie dish. In a small bowl, combine the flour and 2 teaspoons of the sugar. Scatter evenly across the bottom of the dough. Scrape the filling into the crust.
- Roll out the second dough disk to a 12 inch circle. Drape the dough over the filling. With a thin, sharp knife, slice a few vents around the center of the pie. Press to seal the top and bottom crust edges together. Fold the overhand under; crimp decoratively. Freeze the pie until the top crust is firm, about 15 minutes.
- In a small cup, whisk together the egg, water and salt. Brush lightly over the top crust, and sprinkle with remaining 4 teaspoons of sugar.
- Bake the pie at 425 F for 15 minutes. Rotate the pie 180 degrees. Lower the oven temperature to 375 F. Bake for another 50 to 60 minutes, until the filling is bubbling (bubbling is key to indicate that the starch has begun to thicken the filling!) and the crust is deeply browned. If the pie's edges look as if they may burn at any point during the end of the baking time, simply roll the foil from the pan up over the pie's edges.
- Allow the pie to cool completely at room temperature on a wire rack before slicing and serving, at least 3 hours.