This homemade apple pie is better than any other I've had before! It has an incredibly flakey and crispy pie crust (top AND bottom), with a classic apple filling. The apples keep their shape ,with some bite to them, but they're still soft and perfectly cooked through. Read on to find out how to make apple pie from scratch, start to finish!
* This post was updated with new photos!
Happy fall everyone!!! If you ask me, fall is undoubtedly the BEST season. Why? Because......
• beautiful colors
• cool weather
• cozy sweaters
• hot chocolate
• and (of course!) FALL BAKING
Fall desserts are my favorite treats around! I don't think you can go wrong with anything based around cinnamon, nutmeg, apples, caramel, or molasses. And if fall baking could have a spokesperson (spokespie?) I think it would be apple pie.
This apple pie recipe uses an incredibly flakey homemade pie crust with a homemade apple filling. To save time, you can also use your favorite store-bought pie crust (enough for a 9 inch top and bottom pie crust).
Apple pie ingredients:
There are 2 parts to a perfect apple pie: the crust and the apple filling!
For the apple pie crust, you will need:
• baking powder: for flakiness and to avoid shrinkage! Get more details about baking powder in pie crust in our pie crust recipe post
• sugar: for sweetness, but it also helps with browning
• unsalted butter: your butter needs to be cubed and super cold! Colder butter = flakier pie crust! I like to cube my butter and refrigerate it while I set everything else up, so that way it stays cold
• water: like the butter, this needs to be ice cold! Cold water helps keep the butter cool while you work on the dough
For the apple pie filling, you will need:
• brown sugar: you can use granulated sugar as well. But I do love the molasses flavor of brown sugar!
• cinnamon: a classic apple pie flavor!
• flour: verrrry important! Flour is used to absorb any liquid the apples release while baking, and to thicken your apple filling. This helps avoid having a soggy bottom crust
• unsalted butter: a finishing touch once you fill your pie crust with the apple filling. Dot the top of the filling with small pieces of butter. As they melt, it helps add flavor to and helps with the texture of your filling
You'll also need an egg wash to finish off your pie. So that's made up of one egg beaten with a bit of cool water. This helps the pie brown evenly!
How to keep apple pie from getting soft:
If you're looking for how to make apple pie without a soggy bottom, then I have some tips for you!
In the pie making world, there is practically NOTHING worse than a pie that ends up having a soggy bottom! But there are a few things you can do to avoid watery apple pie!
1. Make the filling when you're ready to bake: After you toss your apples with the sugar, cinnamon, and flour, it's important to bake the pie soon after! As the filling sits, the sugar draws out moisture from the apples, which can create too much liquid. So make sure your pie crust is rolled out and ready, and your oven is preheated, before making the apple filling!
2. Use a good amount of flour: The flour used in the apple pie filling is what helps absorb the liquid and thicken your filling. We need just enough to do it's job, but not so much that the filling is basically just flour with a few apples. 3 tablespoons is the perfect balance!
3. Use good apples: Apple pie filling is nothing without its apples! Using good, low moisture apples help prevent having too much liquid released as the apples bake. More on apple selection below!
4. Bake in the center of your oven, then move to the bottom ⅓: I like to start my pie off baking in the center of my oven for the first 20 minutes so that the top has a chance to brown slightly. Then, about halfway through the baking, I move my pie to the bottom rack in my oven. Finishing the baking off on the bottom rack helps crisp up the pie bottom, and prevents having a soggy crust.
5. Cool completely before serving: Apple pie filling thickens as it cools, so letting it sit after baking helps it set up. This makes slicing easier and prevents the apple juices from soaking into your bottom crust.
Best apple pie apples:
When it comes to what apples are best for apple pie, you have a few good options to choose from! For me, the best apple for pie is Granny Smith. Granny smith apples have a nice flavor balance between tart and sweet. They also hold their shape well in the heat of the oven, while softening to perfection!
Other good apples for apple pie include Braeburn, Fuji, Golden Delicious, or Honey Crisp. These apples have the best flavor and stand up the best to cooking.
I would steer clear of apples like Red Delicious. When cooked, Red Delicious apples break down and crumble under the heat. This leads to a grainy, mushy apple pie filling ... NOT appetizing!
How to store apple pie:
For baked apple pie storage, cover with plastic wrap just draped over the pie loosely. This helps keep the crust crispy. You can store the apple pie at room temperature for up to 3 days or in the fridge for up to 1 week (if it lasts that long!)
The crust will naturally soften as it sits. If it's softened too much to your liking, simply bake your pie in the center of a preheated 350°F oven for 5 to 10 minutes, or until crispy and warmed through.
If you wanted to store unbaked apple pie, I recommend freezing it. Apple pie filling doesn't hold up well to being made ahead and stored in the fridge. The longer the filling sits, the more liquid it releases.
How to freeze apple pie:
Cover your assembled apple pie (baked or unbaked) in a layer of plastic wrap, followed by a layer of aluminum foil. Freeze for up to 2 months.
If your froze your pie after baking, to defrost, leave out at room temperature for a few hours to warm up. Reheat in the center of a preheated 350°F oven for about 10 to 15 minutes, or until crispy and warmed through.
If you froze your raw, assembled pie, you can bake it straight from frozen as long as your pie is in a shock resistant pie plate! If you froze your pie in a regular glass pie plate, it needs to warm slightly before going into the oven to avoid shattering.
To bake frozen pie, bake as normal, adding an extra 10 to 15 minutes to the time to let the pie defrost and cook through.
If you liked this apple pie recipe, you may also like some of these recipes:
Classic Apple Pie Recipe
For the pie crust:
- 2 & ½ cups all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cubed
- 6 to 8 tablespoons ice cold water
For the apple pie filling:
- 4 to 5 medium sized apples, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced (about 5 cups sliced) * see notes
- ¾ cup light brown sugar, packed
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
For the egg wash:
- 1 large egg
- 1 tablespoon water
- To make the pie crust: In a large bowl, combine your flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt. Whisk to incorporate.
- Add your cold, cubed butter. Using a fork or pastry cutter, cut the butter into the flour by breaking it up into smaller pieces. The pieces should be slightly larger than a pea. You can also make your dough in a food processor if you'd like.
- Pour 6 tablespoons of cold water over your flour/butter mix. Mix in the water until the dough starts to clump together. If the dough is too crumbly, add in more water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until it starts sticking together. You should be able to squeeze some of the dough with you hand and it should stick together.
- Divide the dough into 2 disks, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or until firm. You can store the dough in the fridge for up to 3 days. Set a rack in the center of your oven and another rack in the bottom third of your oven. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
- Once your dough is chilled, take one disk out of the fridge and roll out into a rough circle that's about ¼ inch thick. Press your rolled dough into the bottom of a 9 inch pie plate, leaving a bit of dough hanging over the sides. Set aside in the fridge while you work on the filing.
- To make the apple pie filling: In a large bowl, combine apple slices, sugar, cinnamon, and flour. Toss to combine. Take your pie plate out of the fridge, and fill your prepared bottom pie crust with the filling. Dot the surface of the filling with pieces of butter.
- Take your second disk of dough out of the fridge, and roll it out into a rough circle that's about ¼ inch thick as well. You can cover your pie with a full sheet of dough or cut strips of dough to create a lattice pattern.
- Cover the apple filling with your top dough, and press the edges down to seal. Cut off any excess dough hanging off the sides, and crimp in whatever way you like.
- To make the egg wash: In a medium bowl, whisk together your egg and tablespoon of water until combined. Brush the top of your pie with the egg wash. (Optional) Sprinkle coarse sugar over top for added crunch!
- Place the pie plate in a rimed baking sheet to prevent bubbling over and to make it easier to transfer. Place in the center of your preheated 375°F oven, and bake for 20 minutes.
- Move your pie to the bottom rack of your oven, reduce the oven temperature to 350°F, and bake for another 40 to 50 minutes, or until golden brown and the filling is bubbling. Tent your pie with aluminum foil if it's browning too quickly.
- Remove from the oven and cool for at least 1 hour before slicing.