Enjoy the comforting flavors of a classic American apple pie recipe as crunchy and rich apple-flavored as a good slice of my favorite French apple tart.
With a flaky, buttery crust and a filling of tender apples laced with warm spices, this beautiful lattice pie style is the perfect embodiment of homemade taste for any occasion, from family gatherings to cozy evenings at home.
Classic Apple Pie
American apple pie is a timeless, classic fall recipe that never really caught my interest in my youth. Back then, I used to believe it was too spicy and with far too much flavor.
But now I wish this incredible dessert had been part of my childhood, as I would have discovered it much earlier and savored its delicious, fragrant apple flavors. Just as I delight my 4 children today with my own version of apple pie.
Apple pie is an iconic and very popular recipe in the United States, a symbol of American tradition and a dessert often associated with holidays such as Thanksgiving and July 4th, as well as family gatherings and celebrations.
Why we love this recipe
- Classic Comfort: American apple pie is the epitome of comfort food, featuring a buttery, flaky crust enveloping a filling of spiced apples. Its timeless appeal brings warmth and nostalgia to every bite.
- Simplified Recipe: This apple pie recipe has been simplified to cater to both beginners and experienced bakers. With easy-to-follow steps, you can confidently create a delicious homemade apple pie with a pretty lattice pie crust.
- Perfect Dessert: Serve this apple pie with a scoop of creamy vanilla ice cream and a drizzle of salted butter caramel sauce for a perfect dessert that's sure to delight your taste buds.
More Apple desserts
Ingredients you need for this recipe
*You will find the quantities and instructions in the recipe card at the end of the page
- Flour: Use white wheat all-purpose flour for the pie crust. This type of flour provides the right balance of protein and starch for a tender yet flaky crust.
- Sugar: Include white granulated sugar in the pie crust. While it's not a sweet crust, a small amount of sugar enhances the flavor and aids in browning.
- Salt: Add a small pinch of salt to the pie crust. Salt enhances the overall flavor and helps balance the sweetness in the filling.
- Butter: Opt for soft, unsalted butter. It should be cold and cut into small pieces before incorporating it into the flour mixture. Chilling the butter in the freezer for about 10 minutes before use helps maintain its cold temperature, which is crucial for achieving a flaky crust.
- Water: Use very cold or iced water when adding it to the pie crust mixture. Cold water helps prevent the butter from melting prematurely, ensuring a flaky and tender texture.
Apple pie filling
- Apples: Select mature apples with juicy and sweet flesh, such as Royal Gala, Golden, or Pink Lady varieties. Avoid using Granny Smith apples, as they tend to be more acidic and firm, unless you prefer a tart filling and are mixing them with another variety for balance.
- Sugar: The addition of sugar is optional and depends on your preference. You can use white granulated sugar for a classic sweet flavor or opt for unrefined sugars like brown sugar for a richer, caramel-like sweetness.
- Lemon: Fresh lemon juice serves a dual purpose—it adds a bright, tangy flavor to the filling and helps preserve the color and freshness of the apples. You can also incorporate lemon peel for an extra layer of citrusy aroma and taste.
- Spices: Ground cinnamon is the traditional choice for flavoring the apple filling and adds warmth and depth. However, you have the flexibility to experiment with other spices like nutmeg, cloves, or ginger to tailor the flavor to your liking.
- Vanilla: Enhance the filling's complexity with pure liquid vanilla extract or the seeds of a vanilla bean. Vanilla brings a subtle, aromatic sweetness that complements the apple's natural flavors.
How to Make Easy American Apple Pie
Make the crust
- Combine the dry ingredients, flour, granulated sugar and salt and place in the bowl of your food processor.
- Add the chopped butter and mix on high speed for about 1 minute until you have a powdered mixture with tiny bits of butter still visible.
- Add the ice water and mix again for 1 minute until the dough forms a ball and you can still see the butter pieces.
- Start by removing the skin and cutting your apples into medium sized pieces. I cut them in half and then slice them into thick slices to get large pieces.
- Then place apple slices in a medium saucepan with the other ingredients, water, granulated sugar, lemon juice, ground cinnamon and vanilla extract.
- Heat the pan over medium heat for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon.
- The filling will be ready when the apples are melted and you can easily insert the tip of a knife.
- Allow the apple filling to cool completely before using it in the pie.
Fill the pie
- First, divide the dough into 2 equal pieces to make 2 discs that will be used for the bottom of the pie and the other for the top crust.
- Roll out the 2 pieces of dough with a rolling pin on a lightly floured work surface to a thickness of about 4 - 5 mm.
- Keep one disk of dough in the refrigerator while preparing the base.
- Place the first disk of rolled-out dough inside your pie plate. It should completely cover your mold and overhang or fall down to cover it completely.
- Top the inside with the sliced apples filling, which should fill the pan at least ¾ of the way to a good thickness.
- Then take out the second disc and you can decorate using my lattice method below or to go faster just cover the entire pie and decorate the edges with the excess dough using a decorative cookie cutter like small leaves for example.
Make lattice crust
- With the second bottom crust, cut out long strips of dough using a pizza cutter.
- Place each strip of dough on your apple filing all in the same direction horizontally.
- Then, starting from the middle, lift up every other strip of dough (see photo), place a new strip vertically, and then fold the strips over.
- Repeat this step until you have a nice lattice on the right side and then do the same for the left side.
- Trim the edges of the dough until the edges of the pie dish are visible.
- You can pinch the edges of the dough to form a nice border on your pie.
- Place your pie in the freezer for 20 - 30 minutes before baking
- Preheat oven to a high temperature of 392°F / 200°C.
- Prepare the egg wash by mixing an egg with a little milk in a container.
- Using a pastry brush, apply a layer of beaten egg on the whole pie.
- Then sprinkle the top of the pie with sugar mixture (cane sugar).
- Take the pie out of the freezer and place it in the preheated oven on a baking sheet at half height.
- Then lower the oven temperature to 350°F / 180°C and let the pie bake for about 30 - 45 minutes. The apple pie is ready when the dough has a golden brown color.
- Let the apple pie cool completely at room temperature before covering it with plastic wrap and placing in the refrigerator.
- Take it out 30 minutes before serving so that it comes to room temperature.
Apple pie is versatile and pairs wonderfully with a variety of accompaniments to suit different tastes.
- À la Mode: Serve warm slices of apple pie with a scoop of vanilla ice cream for a classic and indulgent combination.
- Whipped Cream: Top each slice with a dollop of freshly whipped cream for a light and airy contrast to the rich pie filling.
- Caramel Drizzle: Drizzle warm salted butter caramel sauce over the pie or individual slices for an extra layer of sweetness and decadence.
- Warm Apple Cider: Accompany your pie with a steaming mug of warm apple cider to enhance the apple flavor and create a cozy fall-inspired dessert experience.
- Fresh Berries: Serve alongside a mixed berry salad or a scoop of berry sorbet for a refreshing contrast.
- Homemade Custard: Offer a side of homemade custard or crème anglaise for those who prefer a creamy accompaniment.
- Coffee or Tea: Enjoy a slice with a hot cup of coffee or tea to balance the sweetness with a warm beverage.
In the fridge: Store your Apple Pie in the fridge for about 5 days, you can warm it up slightly in the microwave to cool it down.
How to freeze? Your Apple Pie can also be kept for a long time in the freezer, up to 3 months, place it in a storage box with a lid or wrap it in plastic wrap.
Let it gently recover preferably in the refrigerator until it is completely thawed.
Tips for this recipe
- Choose the Right Apples: Opt for sweet and juicy apple varieties like Royal Gala, Golden Delicious, or Honeycrisp for a flavorful filling. Mixing different apple types can also add depth to the flavor.
- Slice Apples Uniformly: To ensure even cooking, slice the apples into uniform thickness, about ¼-inch to ½-inch thick.
- Thicken with Cornstarch: To avoid a runny filling, use cornstarch to thicken the apple mixture. Mix it with the sugar and spices before tossing with the apples.
- Cold Butter for Flaky Crust: When making the pie crust, use very cold or frozen butter to achieve a flaky texture.
- Keep Ingredients Cold: Keep all pie ingredients, including the dough, cold until you're ready to use them. This helps maintain the flakiness of the crust.
- Egg Wash: Brush the top crust with an egg wash (a beaten egg or egg yolk mixed with water) to achieve a golden, shiny finish.
- Protect the Crust Edges: Cover the edges of the pie with aluminum foil or a pie shield during baking to prevent over-browning.
- Cool Before Slicing: Allow the apple pie to cool for at least an hour before slicing to allow the filling to set.
Dutch Apple Pie: A streusel-like topping made from butter, sugar, and oats gives this pie its distinctive look and texture like this Dutch Apple pie.
Caramel Apple Pie: Drizzle caramel sauce over the apple filling before adding the top crust for a sweet and gooey twist.
Cinnamon Roll Apple Pie: Wrap apple slices in cinnamon roll dough to create a unique pie that combines two beloved treats.
Mini Apple Pies: Make individual-sized pies in muffin tins for adorable and portable treats.
Puff pastry apple pie: Replace the pastry crust with homemade puff pastry to make a version of my Puff pastry apple tart
FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions
How Do I Prevent a Soggy Bottom Crust?
To prevent a soggy bottom crust, you can pre-bake the crust for a few minutes (blind baking) before adding the filling. Alternatively, sprinkle a layer of breadcrumbs or ground nuts on the bottom crust before adding the apples to absorb excess moisture.
Can I Make Apple Pie Ahead of Time?
Yes, you can prepare apple pie ahead of time. Assemble the pie and store it in the refrigerator for a few hours or overnight before baking. This allows the flavors to meld.
What's the Best Way to Reheat Apple Pie?
To reheat apple pie, place it in a preheated oven at 350°F (175°C) for about 10-15 minutes until warmed through. You can also reheat individual slices in the microwave for a shorter time.
How Do I Prevent My Pie from Boiling Over?
To prevent the filling from boiling over, make sure to cut slits or decorative vents in the top crust to allow steam to escape. You can also place a baking sheet or a piece of foil under the pie to catch any spills.
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