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Best Apple Pie with Flaky Butter Crust

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.

best apple pie recipe
This is by far the BEST Apple Pie we’ve ever tasted; the filling and crust are perfect for each other.

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

Best Apple Pie with Flaky Butter Crust

Key Ingredients

apple pie ingredients including apples, butter, flour, sugar, cinnamon.

The Dough

  • 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.

The Filling

  • 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:

  • Make a lattice pie crust for a decorative top, as we do with our Best Blueberry Pie.
  • Opt for a crumble pie, with a crumb topping. See our mouthwatering Dutch Apple Pie.
  • Use a variety of hearty baking apples along with granny smith apples, such as honeycrisp or braeburn.

step-By-Step Instructions

  1. 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. 
  2. 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.
  1. Divide into 2 even dough balls. Press them into discs with smooth edges, wrap them in plastic and chill.
  2. 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.
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  1. Brush reserved sauce over top crust. Sprinkle coarse sugar generously in an even layer over crust. Sprinkle a pinch of cinnamon on top.
  2. 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.

best apple pie recipe
All-butter crust makes a huge difference in flavor and texture. Always go with real butter!

Prep-Ahead Tips

  • 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.
best apple pie recipe
Apple pie is fabulous on its own or lightly warmed up with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Favorite Pie Toppings

Commonly Asked Questions

Why does homemade apple pie need to cool completely before slicing?

It’s important to allow baked apple pie to come to room temperature completely, to allow the filling to set and thicken.

Which apples are best for baking apple pie at home?

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.

Can I leave fresh apple pie out overnight?

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.

Why do pies sometimes collapse?

Often, pies collapse in the center when cooled too quickly from oven to fridge. Allow baked pie to cool gradually at moderate room temperature.

How can you tell when homemade apple pie is done baking?

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.


Shop This Recipe

  • apple peeler corer

    Made to last, easy to use, and versatile.

  • ceramic pie dish 10"

    Functional, durable, and beautiful.

  • pastry cutter

    Heavy duty stainless steel for cutting dough

Did you make this?

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best apple pie recipe

Best Apple Pie with Flaky Butter Crust

4.93 from 408 ratings
This is hands-down the Best Apple Pie ever. The filling is loaded with just the right amount of apples and sweetness. The flaky butter crust is unbelievably delicious. Dough can be prepared ahead of time.
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Servings: 8
Author: Amy Dong

Ingredients  

For double crust dough:

  • 2 ½ cups all purpose flour
  • ½ tsp table salt, fine
  • 1 TB sugar
  • 1 cup butter, chilled and diced
  • ½ cup very cold ice water

For the filling:

Other:

Instructions

  • 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!

Notes

  • 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.
If you enjoyed this recipe, please come back and give it a rating – we ❤️ hearing from you! 

Nutrition (per serving)

Serving: 1slice | Calories: 495kcal | Carbohydrates: 41g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 36g | Saturated Fat: 22g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 9g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 92mg | Sodium: 853mg | Potassium: 27mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 1097IU | Vitamin C: 0.5mg | Calcium: 43mg | Iron: 2mg
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Diet: Vegetarian
Method: Bake, Oven

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!

Add a comment

Recipe Rating




196 comments

    • Briana
    • 5 stars

    I’ve never made a pie before so I was really nervous. I tried this recipe because of the reviews and it did not disappoint! Apple pie has been a comfort food for me since I was a little girl and this was the best apple pie I’ve had! Thank you for sharing your recipe!

      • Amy Dong

      That makes us so happy to hear, Briana! 🙂

    • Sonia Braga
    • 5 stars

    I’ve tried dozens of different apple pie recipes. This one is by far the best I’ve ever made and the taste testers all agree. It’s a bit more involved in terms of the steps needed to make the filling, but ABSOLUTELY worth it!

      • Amy Dong

      Fantastic, Sonia! 🙂

    • Maryann S.

    I can’t wait to try this recipe, but I do have a question. Does the bottom crust need to bake a little alone before the filling goes in ? I have seen the done with other crusts just wondering.

      • Amy Dong

      You can definitely bake it a bit, using pie weights if you like. However, it is not necessary. Hope you love it!

    • Stacy Amrhein
    • 5 stars

    Perfect!

      • Amy Dong

      Thanks, Stacy!

    • Elizabeth Sambajon
    • 5 stars

    I love this recipe. The first time I baked it I used the same crust recipe included. It had been only the second time I had made apple pie. That time, exquisite, the crust was sooo flaky good. This time, the third time I had made apple pie, I used a pie crust box with the label beginning in K, the pie was still very good, sweet, and still, exquisite.

      • Amy Dong

      That’s awesome, Elizabeth!

    • Judy Stewart

    Can I double this resipe, I would like to make two pies at the same time, when I bake I usually give half to my son to take home. I’m asking because I’m not sure if doubling the pastry will work. thank you.

      • Amy Dong

      Yes, you can double this! Enjoy, Judy 🙂

    • Franceska’s cookin!
    • 5 stars

    I don’t normally leave comments under recipes , but I absolutely had to for this one because this is the best pie I’ve ever had in my life followed each direction to the T I used green yellow and red apples mainly small green ones and it was exquisite!!! Will be keeping this recipe for life and making it for all holidays thank you so much bless you

      • Amy Dong

      That is so awesome! Thanks for coming over to review – makes us super happy

    • Jonathan
    • 5 stars

    I’ve already done this recipe once, do you think there’s harm in substituting the cider with hard cider? 😉

    Also it doesn’t specify unsalted or salted butter. I always assume unsalted tho

      • Amy Dong

      Yes, you can use hard cider and unsalted butter (salted butter is fine, too) Glad you liked this!

    • Ruby
    • 5 stars

    Thank you for this apple pie recipe is so delicious I like

    • Tryskall Decaphobia
    • 4 stars

    Great Recipe, but i changed a few things. I made pizza dough and used pepperoni. Loved it! thanks. J.K.
    P.S. I did the apples and caramel sauce in the Microwave cause i like to live in the edge.
    yeeeeee

    • Jere Cassidy
    • 5 stars

    What a great pie recipe. I usually use a sweet apple, but I tried the Granny Smith variety and loved the taste. Thanks for the great recipe.

    • Henrietta Scales
    • 5 stars

    This is the very best apple pie with flaky crust I have ever made .It’s delicious.Thanks for the recipe.

    • Blanca Rodriguez
    • 5 stars

    First homemade apple pie in 20 years. Was worth the wait and the time. Can’t wait to do it for special ocassions. Thank you for this gorgeous recipe.

    • Bella
    • 5 stars

    Just made yesterday. It’s my first ever apple pie- and it turned out FANTASTIC!! I used vegan butter and topped with homemade pumpkin-spiced whipped cream- super yummy!

      • Amy Dong

      Yay, Bella!! 🙂

    • Sarah
    • 5 stars

    I have been using this recipe for years and I see that you changed it. Is the only thing you changed the water for apple cider? I’m sure the new way is great but I like how it was before.

      • Amy Dong

      Yes, we like apple juice/cider in place of water, but you can still use water if you prefer. So happy you like this pie, Sarah

        • Barbara
        • 5 stars

        I bought my ingredients before reading the recipe. I had to use what I have so I used the juice of an orange instead of the apple cider. I just put it in the oven. I think it will he great.

          • Amy Dong

          I think you’ll love it, Barbara!

    • Patty
    • 5 stars

    Fantastic apple pie!
    Any issues likely “ my bad”
    Crust challenging to roll out without breaking up
    But the warmed sauce and sugar on top were terrific !!

      • Amy Dong

      Thank you, Patty!

    • Pam Cook
    • 5 stars

    Delicious I will definitely make again.
    Can this apple pie be frozen?

      • Amy Dong

      Baked pie can be covered airtight and frozen for several weeks 🙂

    • Ann
    • 5 stars

    This pie crust turned out very flakey, just how I prefer! The filling was also very delicious! This will definitely be a pie I keep making!

    • Liz
    • 5 stars

    Perfection for sure! A terrific pie for any holiday!!!

    • Annie Singh

    Trying to make this. Please explain oven at 425 degrees. thanks

      • Amy Dong

      425 Degrees Fahrenheit

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