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The Apple Pie Recipe

An amazing slice of apple pie on a plate with ice cream on it.

This classic Apple Pie recipe features layers of juicy apples laced with spices baked inside of the flakiest pie crust. It is the ultimate apple pie thanks to a few extra special techniques and ingredients. Please be sure to read through the post for extra tips and best practices, and I definitely recommend reading through the entire recipe and the notes before you begin work on this recipe. This recipe is not your standard apple pie recipe and has a few extra steps and some precise notes if you want to get the best apple pie possible.

Ingredients

For Crust:

For Apple Pie Filling:

  • 3 pounds (about 7-9 apples) gala and granny smith apples, peeled, cored and sliced thinly
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup (100 grams) packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (115 grams) fresh apple cider (see note)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons (25 grams) unsalted butter, cold
  • 2 tablespoons (14 grams) cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg

Instructions

  1. Make the flaky pie crust, or the classic all butter pie crust as instructed.
  2. Roll out the pastry: Roll out one pie pastry to an 11″ circle. Fit the pastry in a 9” pie plate, making sure to press the pastry into the sides and the bottom. Roll out the second pastry and cut strips to make a lattice, if desired. Or just roll out the top for a full crust. Place in the refrigerator until ready to use.
  3. Combine the sliced apples and lemon juice in a large mixing bowl. Add in the brown sugar, granulated sugar, salt, mix together. Let sit until the apples have released some of their juices, at least 20 minutes.
  4. Preheat oven to 425ºF and place an oven rack in the lower part of the oven.
  5. Drain apples in a strainer. You should have about 1/2 cup of extracted juices (you can measure it if you are worried it is significantly more or less) and pour the juice into a small pot. Add the apple cider to the pot and boil, until reduced by about half. This typically takes about 5 minutes one it reaches a full boil. The mixture should by slightly thickened and be about 1/2 cup of liquid. Whisk in the cold butter and vanilla extract. (See section in notes for more details if desired).
  6. Meanwhile, return the drained apples back to the empty bowl and add in the cornstarch, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Toss to coat.
  7. Place the spiced apple pieces inside of the pie, taking care to layer them together, leaving very little space in between the apple pieces.
  8. Pour the boiled apple juices on top of the apples.
  9. Top the pie with the remaining pastry.
  10. Brush with an eggwash and sprinkle with coarse sugar, if desired.
  11. Bake the pie on a rimmed baking sheet in the preheated 425º on the lowest rack for 20 minutes. Lower the oven temperature to 375ºF and bake for an additional 50-60 minutes, or until pie has browned, puffed up all over and is bubbly. You can be sure it’s done by checking the middle of the pie with an instant-read thermometer–it is done when it has reached an internal temperature of above 200ºF. If the crust is browning too quickly, loosely cover with aluminum foil.
  12. Let pie cool for at least 4 hours. Serve at room temperature.

Notes

Have a question or looking for tips? The text written above the recipe is always a great first place to start! This Apple Pie was developed with lots of love, and I always include loads of explanations, tips, step-by-step photos and technical advice shared before the recipe.

One of the distinct differences that set this apple pie recipe apart from others is the act of macerating the apples, draining them, and then reducing them alongside some apple cider. You should have about 1/2 cup thickened apple cider reduction in the end. If you have any more than that, keep reducing. For more information about this, please see the paragraph titled: Important Advice About Making the Apple "Caramel"

Weighing your flour is the most accurate way to measure. If you aren't going to weigh it, spoon it into the cup, and then level it off. If you scoop the flour out with the measuring cup and then level, it could change the outcome of the final product.

Do not, I repeat: do not use apple cider vinegar in this filling recipe. This recipe calls for fresh apple cider, as in the juice you find often in the fresh produce section. If you can't find apple cider, you can use apple juice. If you can't find apple juice, use water. But please, oh please, don't use apple cider vinegar. Just to make this extra confusing there is apple cider vinegar in the flaky pie crust, but do not use that in place of the fresh apple cider in the filling recipe.

Gala and Granny Smith apples are both the best choices for apple pie because they don't get mushy after a long bake in the oven, they have a sweet and tart flavor to them, and they are readily available in nearly every grocery store. Those apples are my recommendation for this pie. See above for additional recommendations.

A baked apple pie can be stored at room temperature, covered, for 1 day. If you are storing it longer, cover it and place it in a refrigerator. It can always be reheated later to take the chill off of it and to crisp up the pastry.

Keywords: Apple Pie