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This easy homemade apple pie recipe will be the star of your Thanksgiving table. Perfect apple taste, texture, crust flaky, buttery and baked perfectly. If you’re looking for an old fashioned apple pie recipe like Grandmas used to make that is foolproof then try this recipe.
When Fall hits I just can’t help baking up all the delicious apple recipes – from Puff Pastry Apple Turnovers, Salted Caramel Apple Bars, Apple Crisp (With Oat Topping), or my Apple Cranberry Crisp. And of course, a classic apple pie!
I totally get it if making an old fashioned apple pie from scratch has you running scared. I was intimidated at first with making pies from scratch. But honestly it doesn’t have to be.
This easy homemade apple pie recipe with a perfect buttery pie crust is my go to apple pie recipe every Thanksgiving. It’s a classic apple pie, like the kind I grew up on. Except with homemade pie crust (sorry Mom!) but no boxed pie crusts for me.
It’s an old fashioned apple pie – meaning its a double crusted pie, with lots of apples, spices, all stirred together. Pie perfection if you ask me. Now who brought the vanilla ice cream, because we’re gonna want it!
What Makes This The BEST Old Fashioned Apple Pie Ever
- Uses Two Kinds Of Apples – I use two different apples (Granny Smith and Cortland, but Honeycrisp apples are also an apple I love) in this old fashioned apple pie so you can a perfect sweet, tart apple bite.
- Great Make Ahead Dessert – The best part about old fashioned apple pie is that it needs to cool to set up and benefits from being made the day before making it a great Thanksgiving dessert for that reason! All you need to make sure to have on hand is some vanilla ice cream of course!
- Double Pie Crust – If you’re a crust fan then you’ll love this old fashioned apple pie recipe with a top and bottom crust! To all my crust lovers, this pie is for you. You can make this old fashioned apple pie with my double pie crust recipe or try my all butter pie crust. I’ve linked to both in my recipe below.
Best Apples For Baking
For this old fashioned apple pie recipe I used a combination of Granny Smith, which is a tart apple that holds up to baking and then a softer, sweeter apple (such as Cortland or Golden Delicious apples). I’ve also used Honeycrisp as well. All have worked well! Here is a list of other apples that are ideal for old fashioned apple pie:
- Northern Spy
- Pink Lady
Check out my What Are The Best Apples For Baking? for more on the best apples to bake with.
For the double pie crust you will need:
- Butter – You can use unsalted butter (my preference) or salted butter (just reduce the salt) for a apple pie crust recipe. You do need to make sure it’s very COLD so it doesn’t melt and become absorbed into the dough.
- Water – Again, make sure your water is VERY COLD, just like your butter so you get a flaky pie crust for your old fashioned apple pie and not a soggy, gummy one.
- Salt – I prefer sea salt for best flavor, but I’ve used both kosher salt and table salt in a pinch!
- All-Purpose Flour – I use regular all-purpose flour in my pie crust for my homemade apple pie recipe – bleached or unbleached will work just fine.
For the old fashioned apple pie filling you will need:
- Apples – The star of your old fashioned apple pie! I love using Granny Smith apples or Honeycrisp apples. I also love mixing in some Cortland apples (a softer, sweeter apple for a bit of contrast). You want to peel core and slice your apples for this homemade apple pie recipe.
- Lemon Juice – Lemon juice will help keep the apples from browning . Fresh lemon juice or bottled lemon juice will work just fine.
- Spices – I use cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice in my old fashioned apple pie recipe to give that true apple pie flavor!
- All-Purpose Flour – Flour will help thicken your apple pie filling. There are also other pie filling thickeners you can use, but each one is different and you would need different amounts. Here is a handy guide from King Arthur Flour on apple pie filling thickeners.
- Salt – I prefer a little sea salt for best flavor, but kosher or table will also work. A little salt is always good to balance out the sweetness of any dessert.
- Sugar – I use granulated sugar to help sweeten the apple pie filling.
How To Make An Old Fashioned Apple Pie
Step 1: Make your pie crust
You can make your double pie crust by hand, or in a food processor. I used to make it all the time by hand, but have started opting for my food processor to make my pie crust because it’s just so quick and easy.
- Combine the flour and salt. In a food processor combine the flour and salt and pulse to combine.
- Add the butter. Scatter the butter over the top. You want to make sure it’s cubed and COLD.
- Pulse. Pulse until the butter and fat are pea-sized.
- Add cold water. Sprinkle in the cold water with the food processor running and stop until the mixture comes together and is crumbly.
Step 2: Chill Your Pie Crust
If your pie crust has enough water added, you should be able to squeeze the pie crust with your fingers and it should hold together. If it’s still dry and crumbly, add a little bit more water. You want to then dump the contents onto plastic wrap and press together into a cohesive round ball of dough. Divde dough in half and wrap up into a disc and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
This step is crucial! Your pie crust needs to be COLD before you start. You want to keep that butter solid as long as possible. I chill mine for 30 minutes (up to 1 hour).
My New Pie Trick
Dump the pie crust into a clean dishtowel. Bring up the edges of the towel and twist it like a little purse. This will squeeze the dough together inside into a perfect round disc of dough. Divide the dough in half and wrap in plastic wrap.
If it’s been in the fridge longer, then you may need to let it sit for a few minutes at room temperature to let it soften slightly so you can roll it out.
Step 3: Assemble Pie Crust
- Roll out pie crust and place in pie pan. Using a lightly floured surface and rolling pin, roll out the pie crust to a 12″ circle. Fold the pie crust in quarters or roll it over your rolling pin. Unfold (or unroll) the pie crust into your 9 inch pie plate and tuck into the bottom.
- Fold the edge under.
- Crimp the edges. Fold the edge under and flute the edges by pressing the crust between your index finger and thumb and index finger of your other hand.
- Chill the pie crust for 30 minutes. Yes, again in the fridge! But this helps to keep your pie crust from shrinking during the blind bake.
Heather’s Baking Tip
If when you go to roll out the dough it’s dry and crumbly. Your crust needs more water. I like to use a spray bottle to lightly spritz the crust and gently work the extra water in this way.
Don’t Want To Crimp?
Crimping can be a bit more difficult for beginner bakers, so if you’re new to baking pies and not ready to tackle the crimping for this old fashioned apple pie, you can decorate your pie crust edges in lots of easier ways. The easiest way it to press the crust edge down with a fork to make crimped edge. Or try one of these other fun ways to decorate your pie crust edge.
Make the apple filling:
- Make apple filling. Peel, core and cut apples in half, and in half again width-wise; cut quarters into 1/4-inch slices and toss with lemon juice. In a medium bowl, combine the sliced apples with granulated sugar, all-purpose flour, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspie. Toss dry ingredients with the sliced apples.
- Add apple pie filling to crust. Turn your sliced apple pie fruit mixture, including juices, into chilled pie shell and mound slightly in center.
- Roll out top pie crust. Roll out the second portion of pie dough and place on top, crimping the edges under. Make sure to cut a few slits in the top of the crust to steam vent the filling as it bakes. You can roll it out and keep it simple or make a How To Make A Lattice Pie Crust. I then chill the pie for 30 minutes before I bake it.
- Bake the pie. First cook the pie at 425oF for about 25 minutes to make the top crust nice and golden. Then lower the heat to 375oF and cook the pie for an additional 30-35 minutes until the juices are bubbling underneath.
Heather’s Baking Tips
- Chill your pie dough before rolling the crust out. This will keep the butter pieces solid which ensure a flaky crust and relaxes the gluten so it’s easier to roll out.
- Use two kinds of apples – I like using tart apples combined with a sweeter apple. Granny Smith apples (tart apple) and a sweeter apple (I like Cortland or Honeycrisp) for best flavor and texture for a homemade apple pie. If you are going to use just ONE kind of apple, then I would go with either Granny Smith or Honeycrisp.
- Add lemon juice to the apples to keep them from browning.
- Chill your whole pie before baking so your crust ends up as flaky as possible!
- Use a glass 9 inch pie plate. It helps to see the bottom of the crust and if it’s browned enough.
- Bake the pie in the lower third of your oven. This ensure a crispy bottom crush, so the bottom crust gets baked and doesn’t end up soggy.
- Bake on a baking sheet. Place a rimmed baking sheet under your pie lined with aluminum foil to catch any juices from your apple pie if they bubble over.
- Use a pie shield to protect the pie edges. Or you can use aluminum foil as well to help protect the edges of the pie crust, or top of the pie if it’s browning too much. Remove in the last 10-15 minutes so they can brown.
Check out all my 20 Pie Crust Tips!
You want to use tart apples that don’t disintegrate when baked for an old fashioned apple pie. I also like to combine a tart and sweet apple, so I used Granny Smith apples and Honeycrisp apples in this recipe. My other go to apple for homemade apple pies are Cortland apples, and Golden Delicious would also be great. For other good apple options, read my post on all The Best Apples for Baking.
You could definitely skip making the pie dough part if you are short on time or just want something simpler. Use a store-bought pie crust and this pie is ready in no time.
Oh yes! It’s one of my secret to getting ahead of the Thanksgiving cooking craziness. If you want to get a jumpstart on your holiday baking, then freezing your homemade apple pie is your best bet. After you assemble your apple pie, you want to freeze the pie uncovered until it’s frozen. It’s best to freeze in a metal or ceramic pie plate. A glass pie plate may break going from freezer to oven.
Once frozen, wrap in 3 layers of plastic wrap and then in a final layer of tin-foil. Be sure to label the pie with what it is, date frozen, and baking instructions. When you are ready to bake, you do not need to thaw it. Un-wrap the pie and bake straight from the freezer according to the instructions (as long as it’s NOT glass!). You may need to add a few additional minutes of baking time at the end for the pie to bake through completely.
Note: If using a glass pie plate, then thaw the pie overnight in the freezer, otherwise the glass could explode in the oven, if you go from freezer to oven.
You can keep this old fashioned apple pie, covered at room temperature for up to 3 days or in the refrigerator for up to a week.
Your apple pie has baked long enough when the top crust is golden brown and the juices are bubbling underneath (check this through the steam vent slits cut on top and sometimes the sides). If you’re using a glass pie plate, you can also tell if the bottom crust is also browned underneath (make sure you’re baking on the lower third of your oven to help with browning the bottom crust for this reason.)
Time Saving Shortcuts
- Make Pie Crust Ahead Of Time – Pie crust can be made and stored in the fridge for up to 5 days ahead of time, or even frozen for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge before rolling out and using.
- Make Pie Ahead Of Time – I think it’s always best to make your pie the day before to allow it to cool and set up properly! Make your old fashioned apple pie the day before to allow it to cool and set up. Once cool, wrap well, and store at room temperature ready to be served the next day!
- Use An Apple Peeler – Peeling, coring, and slicing the apples can be the most time-consuming part of making a homemade apple pie. An apple peeler will cut down on the time significantly as it can basically do all three at once with an apple!
More Delicious Pie Recipes This Way…
Looking for more delicious pie recipes like this old fashioned apple pie? Then check out these recipes!
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Old Fashioned Apple Pie Recipe
- 1 double crust recipe *store-bought or homemade
- 3-4 pounds apples (about 8 large), peeled, cored, and sliced (see note)
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 3/4 cups (150 g) granulated sugar plus additional sugar for sprinkling on top of crust
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1 egg beaten lightly with 1 tablespoon water (egg wash)
- Roll out dough. Remove one portion of dough from refrigerator (if refrigerated longer than 1 hour, let stand at room temperature for 10-15 minutes in order to roll it out easily.). Roll out dough on lightly floured surface to a 12-inch circle (about 1/8-inch thickness). Transfer dough to a 9-inch pie plate. I like to do this by folding the curst into quarters, or rolling over a rolling pin and then rolling out over into the pie plate. Leave excess dough that overhangs the pie plate for now and refrigerate while you prepare the apple filling.
- Make apple filling. In a large bowl, stir together apples, and lemon juice together In a second bowl, stir together sugar, flour, salt and spices together. Stir sugar mixture into the apple mixture until evenly coated. Spread apple mixture into prepared pie crust. Mound slightly in the center.
- Finish assembling dough. Roll out second piece of dough to 12-inch circle and place over apple filling. Fold top crust under the bottom crust. Flute edges or crimp with a fork. Cut 3-4 slits into the top pie crust with a sharp knife to steam the apple filling while it bakes. Refrigerate pie again for 30 minutes to help firm up the crust. Nearing the end of the 30 minutes, preheat oven.
- Preheat oven. Adjust oven rack to lowest position and preheat the oven to 425oF. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil (to catch any drips), and place a baking sheet into the oven on the lowest rack to heat. Remove pie from the refrigerator and brush the pie crust with egg wash and sprinkle on additional sugar.
- Bake pie. Bake until top crust is golden, about 25 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 375°F; continue baking until filling is bubbling and crust is deep golden brown, 30-35 minutes longer. If the pie crust edges is getting too browned, cover with aluminum foil or a pie shield. Transfer pie to wire rack; cool to room temperature, at least 4 hours before serving.
- Storage: You can make this apple pie the day before, covered at room temperature and serve the next day. Or you can make and store the fridge for up to 3 days in the refrigerator. Any longer and I freeze slices for up to 3 months.
- Freezing a whole assembled pie: If you want to get a jumpstart on your holiday baking, then freezing your pie is your best bet. After you assemble your pie, you want to freeze the pie uncovered until it’s frozen. It’s best to freeze in a metal or ceramic pie plate. A glass pie plate may break going from freezer to oven. One frozen, wrap in 3 layers of plastic wrap and then in a final layer of tin-foil. Be sure to label the pie with what it is, date frozen, and baking instructions. When you are ready to bake, you do not need to thaw it. Un-wrap the pie and bake straight from the freezer according to the instructions (unless it’s a glass pie plate which could shatter – thaw overnight in the fridge if so before baking). You may need to add a few additional minutes of baking time at the end for the pie to bake through completely.
- Freezing leftover pie: You can also freeze leftover slices for up to 3 months. Wrap well and place in an plastic bag or airtight container. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator, and then serve (you can always warm back up in the oven or microwave before serving, which is what I recommend!)
- Pie Crust: You can use a store-bought pie crust, or make your own homemade double pie crust, or you could also use my all butter pie crust recipe as well.
- Apples: I like to use a combination of two different apples – Granny Smith and then a sweeter apple like Cortland, Honeycrisp, or Golden Delicious all have worked wonders. You can also just use 100% of one kind of apple – Granny Smith, Honeycrisp or Golden Delicious are all great options if only using one kind of apple. I don’t recommend MacIntosh (get too mushy), or Red Delicious (lacks flavor). JonaGold, Gala, or Pink Lady are also great options.
- Adapted from Cook’s Illustrated
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