This is hands-down the Best Apple Pie recipe. The filling is loaded with just the right amount of apples and sweetness. The flaky butter crust is unbelievably scrumptious.
In This Article
Why This Recipe Stands Out
Years ago, I began searching high and low for the best apple pie recipe because I honestly didn’t love most apple pies. After obsessive recipe-testing, I landed on this classic apple pie and there’s no turning back.
- With this recipe, your apple pie will be even better than bakery pies.
- The filling is magnificent; perfectly balanced in flavor and texture, with just the right amount of sweetness and spices.
- This apple pie is loaded mile-high with fresh apples, so every slice is teeming with delicious fruit. Kind of like our Easy Apple Crisp.
- It’s not mushy. Granny smith apples and the right baking temperature/time work together to create a filling that’s tender yet still has shape to it.
- All your eaters will agree that this all-butter double crust is SO much better than store-bought crust. We use this flaky crust in our famous Peach Pie and our standout Blueberry Pie.
Video: Watch Us Make This Recipe
- Flour: use general all-purpose flour
- Salt: use fine table salt, not kosher salt. (See when to use kosher salt.)
- Sugar: granulated sugar gives the double crust sweetness and helps it to brown.
- Butter: you’ll use a cup of butter; be sure it is chilled.
- Water: ice water is essential for keeping the butter crumbles cold in the dough.
- Apples: we’ve found granny smith apples keep their shape best during baking.
- Butter: this helps provide moisture and flavor to the filling.
- Flour: a bit of flour gives the filling substance and is a thickening agent.
- Apple Cider: be sure you’re using apple cider juice, and not vinegar.
- Sugar: use a combination of white and brown sugar for best flavor and color.
- Vanilla: always use pure vanilla extract, not vanilla flavored extract.
- Spices: cinnamon and nutmeg provide the warm aromatics.
Variations and Substitions
This American apple pie is as good as it gets, but if you want to switch things up, here are a few ideas:
- Combine flour, salt, and sugar. Using pastry cutter or clean hands, cut in butter until dough mixture resembles coarse crumbs, with small pea-sized butter chunks in the dough.
- Add 1/4 cup of the ice-cold water, and gently knead until dough comes together – if needed, add 1 TB at a time of additional cold water as needed, just until mixture is pliable and holds together.
- Divide into 2 even dough balls. Press them into discs with smooth edges, wrap them in plastic and chill.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll first disc to fit bottom and sides of a 9″ pie pan, with 1/2″ overhang evenly beyond pan edges. Roll the other disc to fit over top of pie pan with 1″ overhang all around edges.
- Melt butter in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir in flour. Add juice, both sugars, vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Bring to low boil and remove from heat.
- Combine apples with warm sauce, reserving about 1/4 cup for brushing over top crust. Transfer apple pie filling into the pie pan. Place top crust over filling and tuck excess edges of top crust under edges of bottom crust. Crimp tightly around edges for a tight seal. Cut slits on top.
- Brush reserved sauce over top crust. Sprinkle coarse sugar generously in an even layer over crust. Sprinkle a pinch of cinnamon on top.
- Place pie on a baking sheet and bake 15 minutes. Reduce oven to 350F and bake about 50-55 minutes, or until top crust is golden brown and crisp. Check halfway through bake time – if edges are browning too quickly, use a pie crust shield or tent loosely with foil.
For complete list of ingredients and instructions, see recipe card below.
- The dough can be made up to 2 days ahead of time when wrapped tightly and chilled in fridge. It will need to soften a bit at room temperature before you can roll them out.
- You’ll love that this apple pie can be totally made ahead of time. In fact, it’s best after it’s had some time to sit and set.
- Bake it and let it cool overnight or at least several hours, so the filling has time to set and thicken. Do not cut into it until it’s cooled to room temperature.
- Though we do not recommend freezing, leftover pie reheats beautifully, especially if you’re going for a’ la mode. Vanilla bean ice cream + warm pie = bliss.
Favorite Pie Toppings
- First, let’s state the obvious. Vanilla Ice Cream is unparalleled when it comes to a warm slice of apple pie.
- Snickerdoodle Ice Cream is our next favorite ice cream to scoop all over this pie.
- Stabilized Whipped Cream is a go-to when it comes to a light, airy, yet sturdy whipped cream that won’t become runny as it sits.
- 4-Ingredient Salted Caramel Sauce is pure decadence over apple pie, should you feel inclined.
Commonly Asked Questions
It’s important to allow baked apple pie to come to room temperature completely, to allow the filling to set and thicken.
Granny smith apples are perfect for baking, as it can withstand cooking temperatures without becoming overly mushy. It retains its shape well, and gives a great balance of tart and sweet.
Ideally, you would bake the pie in the afternoon or early evening and let it rest at moderate room temperature overnight. Keep leftover pie covered in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Often, pies collapse in the center when cooled too quickly from oven to fridge. Allow baked pie to cool gradually at moderate room temperature.
The best visual cue for a finished pie is the bubbling of filling juices through the top crust vents. If top crust browns too quickly, cover it loosely with foil and continue baking until apples are soft.
Did you make this?
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Best Apple Pie with Flaky Butter Crust
For double crust dough:
For the filling:
- Prepare the Dough: In a large bowl, combine flour, salt, and sugar. Using pastry cutter or clean hands, cut in butter until dough mixture resembles coarse crumbs, with small pea-sized butter chunks in the dough.
- Add 1/4 cup of the ice-cold water, and gently knead until dough comes together – if needed, add 1 TB at a time of additional cold water as needed, just until mixture is pliable and when you pinch the dough, it holds together – not crumbly nor too sticky. Work dough as sparingly as possible. Small chunks of butter should still be visible in the dough.
- Divide into 2 even dough balls. Press them into discs with smooth edges, wrap them in plastic, and chill until ready to use (preferably at least an hour, up to overnight.)
- Take dough discs out of fridge; if it's too firm to roll, let it rest at room temperature 5-10 minutes or until it's malleable but still cold. On a lightly floured surface, roll first disc to fit bottom and sides of a 9" pie pan, with 1/2" overhang evenly beyond pan edges, trimming as needed. Roll the other disc to fit over top of pie pan with 1" overhang all around edges. Cover with cling wrap and place both crusts in fridge.
- Preheat oven to 425F, with rack on lower middle position. Peel and cut apples into 1/4" slices. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir in flour. Add juice, both sugars, vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Bring to a low boil stir well, and remove from heat.
- In a large bowl, combine apple slices with most of the warm butter-sugar sauce, reserving about 1/4 cup for brushing over top crust.
- Gently transfer apple pie filling into the prepared pie pan, forming a mound. Place top crust over filling and tuck excess edges of top crust under excess edges of bottom crust. Pinch or use fork to crimp very tightly all around edges to ensure a tight seal. Cut several slits in top crust.
- If needed, add little water or apple juice to reserved 1/4 cup butter-sugar sauce, to thin it out just a bit. Brush evenly over entire top crust. Sprinkle coarse sugar generously in an even layer over crust. Sprinkle a pinch of cinnamon on top, if desired.
- Place pie on a baking sheet and bake 15 minutes. Then reduce oven to 350F and bake about 50-55 minutes, or until top crust is golden brown and crisp. Check halfway through bake time – if edges are browning too quickly, use a pie crust shield or tent loosely with foil.
- Cool completely before serving. Cooling on counter overnight is best. Enjoy…it is totally worth your work!
- When measuring flour and dry ingredients, it’s essential to measure accurately; use the scoop and level method explained here.
- You can use either salted or unsalted butter; the flavor difference is negligible.
- Use a pastry cutter to cut cold butter into the flour; if it’s hard to do, use clean hands to combine butter with flour. Be sure to leave some pea-sized bits of butter in the dough.
- The key to a flaky crust is retaining small chunks of cold butter intact within the dough at all times and not over-working it.
- Apples can be peeled and sliced up to a couple hours ahead of time and tossed with with 2 TB lemon juice, to prevent browning.
- Serve with Easy Vanilla Ice Cream or 4-Ingredient Salted Caramel Sauce or Stabilized Whipped Cream.
Nutrition (per serving)
More to Bake and Eat
- Fresh Strawberry Pie – there’s nothing quite like a fresh strawberry pie.
- Streusel Pumpkin Pie Recipe – the crispy, highly flavorful streusel makes all the difference in this pumpkin pie.
- Blueberry Pie – whether you choose to go with regular double crust or a lattice top, you cannot go wrong with this luscious blueberry pie. Great when served a’la mode with vanilla ice cream, too.
- The Best Apple Pie Bars – if you want a large apple pie that feeds a crowd, look no further than these scrumptious apple pie bars. Yes, they’re 100% okay for breakfast, too.
- Dutch Apple Pie – try this one if you love a good streusel topping!