Apple pie is such a classic American dessert, and for a good reason.
The combination of fresh apples with the sharp flavor of cinnamon and the tartness of lemon juice creates a perfect balance that will tantalize your taste buds.
Apple pie history
Homemade apple pie is so popular in the United States; it’s often served as a dessert on Thanksgiving.
Apple pie has been around for centuries and may have originated from apple tarts that Romans ate at Roman banquets as early as 100 A.D.
In fact, apple pies are considered to be America’s national dish!
This article will cover how to make an apple pie from scratch with the best apple pie recipe you can follow along. Let’s get started!
What is an apple pie?
Homemade apple pie is a traditional American dessert typically made with sweet apples, cinnamon, and lemon juice.
Apple pie apple varieties
Each apple variety will have its own flavor profile so choose the one that tastes best to you.
Granny Smith apples: Tart flavor and crisp.
Jonagold: Jonagolds are a cross between a Golden Delicious and a Jonathan apple, with the same wonderful aroma, sweetness, and spiciness. They’re both sweet and sharp, and they maintain their form when baked.
Honey Crisp: Honey’s sweet and tart taste, crisp and juicy, persists in baking.
Fuji: Firm, crisp, sweet, flavorful, and balanced between sweet and tart, it can withstand the baking.
Baldwin apple: Sweet.
Braeburn: Sweet and crunchy; it’s delicious and firm.
Mutsu apple: Sweet with a little sourness.
Cortland: Tart and juicy, with a firm texture, this is an excellent all-purpose apple for baking.
Golden Delicious apple: Sweet to tart, not as juicy as other apples.
Avoid apples called Red Delicious for pies. They aren’t good and don’t cook well.
How long does apple pie last? Apple pie will stay fresh for up to 4 to 5 days when stored in the fridge.
Why are there different apple pie varieties? The apple type you choose will determine how sweet your apple pie turns out so feel free to adjust accordingly.
For example, if you have a sweet tooth, go for Baldwin apples instead of Granny Smith apples or Golden Delicious apples.
What makes a good homemade apple pie?
Many factors go into making the best apple pie.
Some people say the crust is the most important part of homemade apple pie, while others believe it’s all about the apples.
The truth is that apple pies can be made in different ways and still taste good (and even better) depending on what you like best.
In this article, we’ll cover some tips for how to make apple pies with a variety of tastes and textures that will satisfy your family or guests.
Ingredients you’ll need for the apple pie recipe
Homemade apple pie is a classic holiday dessert that everyone enjoys. It’s sweet, warm, and comforting – everything you need to get you through the winter!
Our favorite apple pie recipe is simple enough for anyone to make, but some ingredients are essential in making this dish. Here are all of the necessary ingredients:
What ingredients are needed to make apple pie?
To make apple pie, you will need the following ingredients:
- Flour (all-purpose)
- Sugar (white or brown granulated)
- Eggs (beaten)
- Apple Pie Filling (canned or homemade; apple filling recipes included below)
- Butter (unsalted, melted)
- Salt (a pinch of salt)
- Cinnamon (optional apple pie spices)
- Apples (Granny Smith, Baldwin, Golden Delicious, etc.)
What is apple pie filling made from?
Classic apple pie filling can be made using dried apple slices, apple sauce, apple jelly, apple juice, or fresh apples. Many different options depending on what you’re looking for and how much time you have.
For the apple pie filling recipes, we recommend:
- apple sauce (equal parts apple sauce and apple cider)
- apple jelly (two tablespoons of apple jelly mixed with 2 cups of apple cider)
- apple juice (1 cup apple juice boiled until reduced to 1/2 cup, used as a dressing for the apples)
- sliced apple (boil apple slices until tender, remove apple skins, and let the apple slices cool before handling)
You won’t typically have all of these ingredients on hand, so the first step would be to gather them up!
Once you have everything in place, it’s time to start cooking! The instructions are simple, but there are some tips we want to give you before we get started:
If you want an apple pie with a buttery pie crust, add butter or margarine when mixing it into the apples before baking them.
For a more moist pie crust, mix in egg yolk rather than whole egg whites. Both options will work fine, though, so pick whichever one you prefer!
Now onto the fun part! The actual cooking process.
The cooking process
This recipe is so simple and easy; anyone can do it. And it only takes about 30 minutes to make! The process is broken down into three steps: preparation, cooking, and baking.
The homemade apple pie ingredients are apple slices (about 4 cups), sugar (1/2 cup), flour (3 tablespoons), salt (1 teaspoon), cinnamon, or nutmeg (to taste) butter or margarine for the pastry crust.
You will also need a 9-inch pie plate with an uncoated surface. As you can see from these ingredients, this apple pie recipe requires nothing out of the ordinary — just some basic pantry items that most people have on hand in their kitchen at any given time.
You start by preparing the apple slices to be ready when you need them during the apple pie cooking process.
To do this, lightly grease your pie plate with margarine before putting any apple filling in it to bake.
Then cut up about 5 cups of apple slices and lay them evenly in the bottom of your prepared pie plate.
Next, combine the apple pie ingredients in a separate bowl: 1/2 cup sugar, 3 tablespoons flour, and 1 teaspoon salt.
Then add 1 teaspoon of cinnamon and mix well. This apple pie recipe is not only easy to follow, but it’s delicious too!
When you have these apple pie ingredients mixed, pour them over apple slices layered on the pie plate.
Then, take one tablespoon of margarine or butter and cut it into 6 equal pieces—to create 6 small pats of butter or margarine.
Place these pie crust ingredients evenly over pie filling ingredients laid out in the pie plate.
Before you bake a pie, make sure to cover its surface lightly with a piece of aluminum foil.
And make pie crust edges look pretty by using a pastry blender, fork, or your fingers to add an apple-pie-like design on top before baking an apple pie in the oven.
Then bake the pie at 375°F for 10 minutes.
After that, lower the oven temperature to 350°F and remove the pie aluminum foil. Then bake an apple pie for 25 minutes, or until apple filling is bubbling all over it and you see the golden brown crust.
The result: a delicious apple pie that’s ready to eat!
This recipe makes one pie — enough to serve about 6 people.
We made the apple pies were a hit with our apple pie a la mode, a pie served with ice cream. The apple pies were delicious, and one apple pie recipe easily fed 3 people!
Tips and tricks
- To avoid pies from sticking to the pie dish and having a hard crust, it is recommended that you cover the bottom of the pie crust with apple juice before adding apple filling. This will help to prevent both issues.
- For apple pies, use unsalted butter and pie spice or cinnamon sticks as opposed to pure cinnamon. This helps keep the apple pie moist and adds a little more flavor.
- Another apple pie mistake that many people make is overcooking the pie. Since apple pies are traditionally made with apple sauce, they become mushy very quickly after being overcooked. After 20-25 minutes of baking an apple pie, check it to make sure there isn’t any liquid around the edges of the dish and bake for 15 more minutes in 15-minute intervals, checking after each interval.
- Another apple pie mistake that many people make is under-cooking the pie. This leads to pies that are still watery and with a crunchy crust. To avoid this, always check the pie halfway through baking to ensure the apple filling has been set around the edges of the apple pie.
- One apple pie mistake that many people make is adding apple juice as a substitute for apple sauce to the pie filling. However, apple juice will not set like apple sauce, and apple pies made with apple juice will be very runny and watery instead of apple sauce. Apple juices also contain various added sugars and ingredients, which change the apple pie recipe.
A list of some popular variations of this recipe that are also delicious!
Apple apple apple! One of the most iconic types of pie (or should that be pyes?).
There are countless variations, but some popular ones include apple strudel pie with apples in a flaky pie crust; apple tart, AKA apple galette; and even apple crumble.
If you’re hosting an event outside your country of origin, cherry or blueberry pies go down well. How about apple beetroot cake?
Yes, apple and beets do mix!
Apple pie can also refer to the following pies: apple turnovers, apple pandowdy (AKA apple dump-ling), and apple cheddar hand pies.
Which apple, exactly, did the early American settlers use?
Unfortunately, apple trees didn’t exist in America during colonial times, so this is unclear.
However, we do know that by the 1800s, apple orchards were widespread and featured all sorts of different kinds of apples: Albemarle pippins, Northern spy, Newtown pippins, Gravenstein, Baldwin apple, Johnny apple seed.
Whether these apples are the same as the modern-day Granny Smith apple or Macintosh apple is unclear.
- 2 cups flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup apple juice
- 6 apples, peeled and sliced
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 2 eggs, beaten with a fork
1. Preheat oven to 350F. Make pie crust by combining flour with salt in a medium-size bowl, then gradually adding apple juice. Mix with a fork until dough is dry enough to form into a ball, then place on the counter and knead for around 5 minutes. Set aside for now.
2. Combine apple slices with lemon juice, brown sugar, and cinnamon in a large bowl. Mix well and set aside for 10 minutes to allow apple slices to release their juices.
3. Grease a baking dish with canola oil or butter. Pour apple mixture into the baking dish and then roll out pie crust on a clean countertop until it is big enough to cover the apple filling. Place pie crust over apple blend and press down on the edges to seal it shut.
4. Mix eggs with a fork in a small bowl, then pour them over pie filling to coat everything evenly.
5. Bake the pie at 350F for 40 minutes or until the top is golden brown. Let the pie cool for around 5 minutes before serving. Serve apple pie with vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, cinnamon sugar, apple sauce, and apple cider.
- 1/2 cup almonds (ground into a powder)
- 2 cups flour
- 1 tablespoon orange zest (use a Microplane if you have one!)
- 1/2 cup apple juice
- 6 tart and sweet apples (such as Granny Smith), peeled and sliced
- 3 tablespoon apple butter (optional)
- 3 eggs (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 350F. Make pie crust by combining ground almonds with flour in a medium-size bowl, then gradually adding apple juice. Mix with a fork until dough is dry enough to form into a ball, then place on the counter and knead for around 5 minutes. Set aside for now.
2. Grease a baking dish with canola oil or butter (or if you don’t mind apple slices breaking inside the pie, skip this step). Combine apple slices with apple butter in a large bowl.
3. Roll out pie crust on a clean countertop until it is big enough to cover apple filling. Place apple mix into baking dish and top with apple pie crust. Press down on the edges to seal them shut.
4. Mix eggs with a fork in a small bowl, then pour them over the pie filling to coat everything evenly.
5. Bake the pie at 350F for 40 minutes or until the top is golden brown. Let the pie cool for around 5 minutes before serving. Serve apple pie with vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, cinnamon sugar, apple sauce, apple cider, apple butter, apple jelly, apple cinnamon spread, or even apple juice!
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 2 tablespoon cinnamon
- 4 tablespoon cornstarch
- 6 tart apples, peeled and sliced
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
1. Preheat oven to 350F. Mix apple slices with sugar, cinnamon, and cornstarch in a large bowl, then pour apple mixture into a baking dish that has been prepared with homemade crust on the bottom.
2. Bake the pie at 350F for 40 minutes or until the top is golden brown. Let apple pie cool for around 5 minutes before serving. Serve the pie with vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, cinnamon sugar, apple sauce, apple cider, apple butter, apple jelly, apple cinnamon spread, or even apple juice!
And there you have it! A perfect homemade apple pie that you can make in no time at all with this simple recipe.
Apple Pie is warm, comforting, and everything you need to get through the winter! The simple recipe allows anybody to make their own apple pie without too much complication. Have fun and enjoy!
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