This homemade apple pie starts with a flaky butter pie crust top with a delicious apple pie filling and finished off with a pretty layer of crust for one amazing apple dessert. It’s beautiful, scrumptious, and not nearly as hard to make as it looks!
Is there anything better than homemade apple pie with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top? I mean maybe, but that’s pretty fantastic.
I’m going to be honest – this apple pie recipe takes a quite a bit of time but a lot of that time is just waiting for the crust to chill and the pie to bake.
There’s not a lot of hands on time. And your patience will be rewarded because you guys, this apple pie is amazing. The flaky butter pie crust is better than any store-bought crust and the filling, yeah the filling is just delicious.
Plus, pies are so pretty. Whether it’s a no bake pumpkin pie topped with whipped cream and pecans or a Reese’s peanut butter pie topped with mini peanut butter cups – pies are just beautiful to look at and so yummy to eat.
- Apples – You need about eight cups of peeled and thinly sliced apples, which is about six apples if you’re using regular size apples, maybe a few more for little guys. Go with a mix of Granny Smith, Gala, and Honey Crisp for the best combination of sweet and tart.
- Sugar – there are three types of sugar included in this recipe – powdered, coarse, and regular white sugar. The powdered sugar goes in the crust, the coarse sugar gets brushed on the top crust, and the white sugar goes into the pie filling. You definitely need the powdered and regular sugar. If you can’t find it, you can skip the coarse sugar but it definitely makes the top pie crust better!
- Lemon juice – freshly squeezed is better but if you don’t have a lemon, you can use bottled as well. If you use bottled lemon juice, I recommend a good quality one like Santa Cruz compared to the stuff that tastes fake.
- Butter – you need butter for both the crust and the filling. The butter for the crust should be VERY COLD so make sure it stays in the fridge until right before use. Cut it into small pieces like you would for this sopapilla cheesecake.
- Apple Pie Spice – if you can’t find apple pie spice, you can make your own using this recipe.
- Ice water – I said ice water instead of just cold water because it needs to be icy cold for the crust to blend the way it needs to.
Okay so now let’s talk about how to make this homemade apple pie. I’m going to show the basics for the pie crust but if you need more details, read this post on the perfect flaky butter pie crust.
1 – Make your Crust
To make the crust, add flour, powdered sugar, and salt in the food processor. Pulse a couple of times just to mix.
Add the VERY COLD pieces of butter and pulse about 20 times (don’t just run the processor) so it’s mostly combined but still in small pieces.
Gradually add the ICE cold water and pulse regularly. Once you’ve added the water, pinch a piece to see if it stays together. It it does, you’re good to go.
If it falls apart, add another small spoonful of water and do the pinch test again. Keep doing this until the crust stays together when pinched.
Place the crust mixture onto a piece of wax paper and make a ball. Divide the ball into two pieces and press into a small circle. Wrap each piece in plastic wrap and chill for at least an hour.
2 – Sugar the Apples
Place thinly sliced apples in a bowl and pour sugar over them, trying to get sugar in between and all around the slices.
Squeeze lemon juice over the apples and let them sit for 15 minutes until most of the juice has collected in the bottom of the bowl.
Once the juice has collected, you can keep working on the rest of your filling.
3 – Make the Filling
Melt butter in a medium sauce pan then once butter is melted, carefully drain all that juice from the apples and add to the pan.
Combine the apple cider, cornstarch, apple pie spice, and salt in a small bowl with a whisk.
Add the apple cider mixture to the sauce and use a whisk to stir the mixture together, stirring continually.
Remove the filling from heat as soon as it starts to thicken. You don’t want it to get too thick or start to burn.
4 – Make Your Homemade Apple Pie
Spray a pie pan with non-stick spray.
When you’re completely ready to put your pie together, remove the pie crust dough from the oven.
Lightly flour a piece of wax paper and place one of your pie crust circles on the flour.
Place another piece of wax paper on top and press down. Use a rolling pin to roll out the crust and make a flat round shape. You want it to be larger than your pie pan.
Place pie pan upside down on rolled out crust to make sure the crust is larger than your pan. You wouldn’t want your crust to be too small!
Gently pull the top piece of wax paper off and place the pie crust in the pie pan (you’ll still have the bottom wax paper on it). Carefully pull the bottom piece of pie crust off so you just have pie crust in the pan.
If the pie crust tears a bit, just press it together. Make sure the pie crust fits snug into the pie pan and overlaps the top edge of the pan – don’t cut off the excess!
Place the apples in the pie – they’ll likely dome a bit above the top but should settle while baking.
Pour thickened sauce around the apples, trying your best to keep the sauce in the actual pie crust, not overflowing over.
Remove the second pie crust and roll out with wax paper like you did the first. Use the pie crust to cover and decorate the top of the homemade apple pie however you’d like – cut strips, do a basket weave, cut shapes, or use any of these fun ideas.
Cut off any excess crust around the outside edge of the pie pan.
5 – Chill
This piece gets its very own step because most people will want to skip it, and it’s super important for a flaky pie crust!
Cover the entire pie with tinfoil and and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, overnight if you’d like to make this the day before you’e serving.
6 – Bake
Remove the foil, saving it for later. Brush the top of the pie crust with a beaten egg and sprinkle with coarse sugar.
Place in an oven that’s been preheated to 425 degrees to 20 minutes. Turn down the oven to 350 degrees then use the tinfoil to cover the pie back up.
Bake for another 40-50 minutes, checking occasionally. The pie will be done when the top is golden brown and the juices inside the middle have been bubbling for at least five minutes.
Remove the pie from the oven and let sit for at least 30 minutes to let the juices thicken.
7 – Enjoy
Serve sliced with fresh vanilla ice cream, homemade whipped cream, or fresh caramel sauce. And make sure to enjoy what you just created!
Sprinkle apples with sugar and let them sit for 10-20 minutes to prevent the apples from getting runny in the pie. Allowing them to sit helps the juice come out of the apples (and that juice is used in the pie!).
Don’t remove the pie from the oven until you see the MIDDLE of the pie bubbling for five minutes. Even if the outside edges are bubbling and the juices are beginning to run out, the pie is not done until the middle bubbles for five minutes.
Use a variety of apples instead of just one kind for a good combination of sweet and tart in the pie filling.
Make sure to check out my flaky pie crust post for more tips specific to the perfect pie crust!
You do not cook the apples before putting them into the pie. You’ll cook the filling then pour the filling on top of the sliced apples – the apples will cook while the pie is baking.
This homemade apple pie bakes for 60-70 minutes total, 20 minutes at 425 degrees then an additional 40-50 minutes covered at 350 degrees.
Fresh apples can be runny. Make sure to sugar and juice the apples then let them sit so the juice can run out before placing them into the pie. It’s an extra step but an important one.
Homemade apple pie does not need to be refrigerated. Just cover any leftovers with plastic wrap and enjoy for up to a week after originally baking.
The apple pie filling should thicken as it sits for a few minutes after removing from heat. The cornstarch will naturally thicken the sauce.
More Easy Desserts
- Striped delight
- Chocolate brownie cake
- Sopapilla cheesecake bars
- Easy peach cake
- S’mores bars
- Snickers poke cake
Homemade Apple Pie
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 TBS powdered sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 cup VERY COLD unsalted butter cut into small pieces
- 4-6 TBS ICE water
- 1 egg
- 1 TBS coarse sugar
Apple Pie Filling
- 8 cups mix of apples - Granny Smith, Gala, Honey Crisp peeled and thinly sliced - about 6 apples
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 TBS fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 4 TBS butter
- 1/2 cup apple cider
- 2 TBS cornstarch
- 1 1/2 tsp apple pie spice
- 1/4 tsp salt
- Pour flour, powdered sugar and salt into a food processor. Pulse a couple of times to mix.
- Place very cold small pieces of butter into the food processor and pulse about 20 times or just until slightly combined but in small pea sized pieces.
- Gradually add 3 Tablespoons of ice cold water and pulse, pinch a piece together in your fingers. If they hold together well you do not need to add any more water, if they just crumble and fall apart, add another spoon of water. Repeat with the remaining water but check before adding each time. You do not want your ingredients to warm up and form a ball. This can cause a chewy crust instead of a nice flaky one.
- Place a piece of wax paper down and dump mixture out. Gather dough together and make a ball. Divide into 2pieces and press into a small thick circle. Wrap each piece in plastic wrap or put in a small ziplock bag with air removed.
- Place thinly sliced apples in a bowl and pour sugar over them, try to get sugar between slices. Squeeze the lemon over them and let sit 15 minutes until a lot of juice collects in the bottom of the bowl.
- In a medium sauce pan melt the butter, then carefully drain the juice from the apples and add the juice to the pan.
- Whisk the apple cider, cornstarch, apple pie spice and salt together and add to the sauce pan making sure to continue to whisk as the liquid thickens.
- Remove from heat as soon as itbegins to thicken. It will continue tothicken as it cools.
- Spray a pie pan with non-stick spray.
- Dust a small amount of flour on apiece of wax paper and place one of the pieces of pie crust on the flour. Place another piece of wax paper on top and press down. Roll out crust into a flat round shape. Place pie pan upside down on rolled out crust making sure crust is larger than pie pan.
- Gently pull off top piece of wax paper and place pie crust in pie pan. Carefully pull the wax paper from the pie crust. If pie crust tears a little, just press together well. Make sure pie crust is snuggly in the bottom and corners of the pie pan and overlaps the top edge of the pan. Do not cut off excess.
- Place apples in the pie. There should be enough to be domed above the pie pan. As they cook they will settle and sink.
- Pour thickened sauce around the apples.
- Remove second pie crust and rollout as before. You can cut strips and do a basket weave or leave as is and just cut slits so air and steam can escape. Place top crust evenly over the pie and crimp the edges or use a fork to seal the edges. Take a sharp knife and gently cut around the outside edge to remove excess crust.
- Cover with tin foil and place in the refrigerator for a minimum of 30 minutes or overnight. This step is important for a flakey pie crust.
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Remove pie from refrigerator and take off foil, saving for later. Mix the egg well and brush around the pastry. Sprinkle with coarse sugar.
- Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes. Turn down oven to 350 degrees and cover pie with tinfoil. Bake an additional 40-50 minutes, checking pie occasionally. Pie is done when juices in the MIDDLE of the pie have bubbled for five minutes.
- Remove pie from oven and allow to cool for 30 minutes to help juices thicken.
- Serve with vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, or caramel sauce.