Looking for a great apple pie recipe? Well, look no further!
This recipe is for a classic style apple pie made with granny smith apples, a lattice top, and no need to pre-cook the apples. It’s a great recipe for an old fashioned style pie.
One that your great, great, grandmother may have made.
This pie is great served slightly warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top.
It’s so comforting and homey, it will make you want to curl up under a warm blanket with a good book! It also is fantastic to bring for a Thanksgiving feast if that’s what you’re going for!
And this apple pie recipe is not as hard as it might seem. It’s just a simple pie crust recipe, then peeling and slicing the apples, tossing them with a few dry ingredients, and then adding a top crust. I take you step by step (with pictures) so you can see exactly what to do at each step in the process.
So get yourself some fresh apples, some butter, flour, salt, sugar and cinnamon, and let’s get started!
Classic Apple Pie Recipe
Making the crust
The first step is making the crust. More specifically, making the bottom crust. But it makes sense to mix all of your pie dough at once.
I’ll add some pictures here, though, for inspiration.
When you make the bottom crust, you can trim the edge if you want, but don’t flute or decorate it yet. Wait until the top crust is on and then decorate it all together.
And definitely DO NOT poke any holes in the crust! I told a story on my other post about a lady who did this with her apple pie crust and ended up with a super soggy crust. Don’t do it.
Once your bottom crust is done, set it aside and work on the apples.
Peel and cut the apples
The next step is to peel and cut up all of your apples. The apples will cook down quite a bit in the oven so you will need more than you think you do. I like to mound my apples high in the pie pan if I have enough to do so.
The amount I used in this pie was somewhere around 2 1/2 pounds of apples in their whole state. I didn’t weigh the apples before I cut them, but I did weigh them in the bowl and it was 2 pounds + 5 ounces.
Of course you can use a knife to peel the apples and cut and slice them by hand, but to make quick work of peeling apples, I personally love to use an “Apple peeler corer slicer” tool like this one.
If you have never used one of these before, it quite literally might change your life. At least as far as making an apple pie recipe is concerned.
You put the apple on the prongs and then crank the handle. It peels off the skin in a thin strip (that is so satisfying to watch, by the way), cuts the core out, and slices the apple into perfectly even slices.
My apple peeler tool happens to be from The Pampered Chef because I used to be a consultant for them, but this one will work beautifully too!
If you don’t have one of these amazing tools, simply peel your apples by hand (I like using a paring knife), cut into quarters and remove the seeds, then cut each quarter into thinner slices.
If you don’t want your apples to turn brown while you work, place them in a bowl of water with a small splash of lemon juice, vinegar, or even just a pinch of salt. This will prevent the cut edges from oxidizing.
Be sure to drain the water off (and maybe place on a kitchen towel for a couple of minutes to remove moisture) before moving on to the next step!
Mix the apples with the dry ingredients.
Now it’s time to mix your cut apples with some dry ingredients.
Sugar for a bit of sweetness, a tiny bit of salt to enhance everything, flour to thicken the juices, and cinnamon for flavor.
If you want to bump up the flavor, feel free to add more cinnamon, some ground ginger, ground cloves, nutmeg, allspice, etc. You can make it as spiced or unspiced (is that a word?) as you want. How much you add is definitely a personal preference.
The recipe gives a low to medium amount of spice, but you can increase or decrease as desired.
Toss all of the dry ingredients with the apples in a large bowl (I used my hands to mix, it was easier than a spoon) and then pour all of this mixture into your prepared bottom crust.
Make the lattice top crust
Ah, the lattice top crust. The holy grail of pie making!
It looks so fancy and makes a lot of bakers cringe, but stay with me. It’s not as hard as it looks!
Of course, you can just roll out your extra pie dough, cut into strips and lay them on top, but I’m going to teach you how to make a WOVEN lattice crust!
First, roll out your extra dough. Then cut it into strips that are as close to the same width as possible.
Take one long strip and lay it across the middle of your pie.
Then take another long strip and lay it next to the first strip with a small gap in between. But instead of laying it all the way across the pie, pick up one end and fold it gently in half like this.
Next take another strip of dough and lay it all the way across the pie next to the second strip with a small gap in between.
Continue alternating between a dough strip that is folded back in half and one that is laid all the way across the top of the pie. Use your shorter strips as you work toward the shorter edges of your pie plate.
Once you have all of your pie crust strips going one direction, then it’s time to add the ones going the opposite direction!
Take a long strip of dough and lay it across the pie going perpendicular to the strips you just laid out right along the edge of where the folded pieces are. Like this.
Then unfold all of the folded strips so they are now stretching across the entire pie. You will also need to fold back the strips that you originally laid all the way across.
I like to do this one at a time from top to bottom so I don’t get confused. Unfold the top one, fold back the second one, unfold the third one, fold back the fourth one, etc.
Once all of your folded strips are now reversed from how they started, you will systematically continue to lay a strip of pie dough along the edge of the folded pieces and then reverse all of the pieces.
Continue this pattern until you reach the edge of the pie plate.
Then do the same thing on the other half of the pie. Look at your strips and you will see which ones now need to be folded back on the other side to allow the weave pattern to continue.
Alternate the folded back strips and then lay out a new strip next to the folded ones until you reach the edge of the pie plate.
Then all you need to do is trim the edges and roll the dough.
Flute the edges and you’re done!
Pat yourself on the back and do a little happy dance! You just made a lattice top crust!! How cool is that?
See, I told you it wasn’t as hard as it looked. 🙂
Bake the pie
Now it’s time to bake the pie.
I recommend placing the pie plate on a baking sheet in case any juices bubble out. It’s rare when this happens. But if it does it is MUCH easier to clean off a tray than off the bottom of your oven.
If you want, you can do a light egg wash over the top of the crust to help it get golden brown. Mix one egg with 1-2 Tablespoons of water to thin it out. Then brush lightly on top of the crust being careful that it doesn’t pool in the crevices.
Optional: Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar or sanding sugar if desired.
Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for approximately 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes. Use a pie shield on the crust edges after 30 minutes or so to prevent them from getting too brown.
Watch carefully toward the end of the baking time so the crust doesn’t overbake! The pie is done when it is a deep golden color and the filling is bubbly and the apples are soft when pierced with a toothpick.
When it is done it will look like this. You want it to be nice and golden brown on top with a bit of a shine to the crust.
Questions you may have:
Do I have to peel the apples? No, you don’t. You can leave the peels on if you want to. But the peels will create a different texture that can seem unappealing (pun intended!) to some people. The longer you cook the apples, the softer the peels will get. Leaving the peels on might be really great if you are using a whole wheat pie dough since both will feel very rustic!
What about a gluten free crust? Unfortunately, I have not experimented much with gluten free crusts. If I do, I’ll come back here and update this question. But for now, I know that Whole Foods sells frozen gluten free pie crusts. And if you want to make your own, this recipe or this recipe look like fantastic resources for you. If you try a gluten free pie crust, let us know how it goes in the comments below!
Can I decrease the sugar? Or substitute the sugar? Absolutely! The sugar is mostly just to make it taste sweeter. You can probably put in zero sugar but it will most likely change the texture of the filling slightly. If you want zero added sugar, I’d try cooking the apples in a saucepan first to create a bit of juiciness. Add in the flour, salt, and spices before cooking and then pour everything into the prepared pie crust.
If you want to substitute the sugar, I would cook the apples slightly in a saucepan with the sweetener a bit just to get everything incorporated together. If you are using a liquid sweetener, such as honey, maple syrup, brown rice syrup or agave syrup, you will need to add a bit more flour (like 2 more Tablespoons) to help thicken the sauce.
Can I decrease/increase the cinnamon and other spices? Yes, of course you can. The great thing about the spices used here is they are just “to taste.” Meaning if you don’t care for a strong spice flavor, use less. If you love the strong spices, add more! (Careful, though, it’s easy to go overboard and get bitter flavors if you use too much). I personally love me some spice so you will often find me adding in extra. The spices listed in the recipe will give you a low to medium amount of spice, but you can increase or decrease these amounts as desired.
What can I use instead of butter? My personal choice for pie crust is a good high-quality grass fed butter like kerrygold. But if you have personal preferences or dietary reasons to avoid butter, I’d recommend using a high quality coconut oil and use a bit less water to account for the increased moisture in the coconut oil. You can also try lard if you want to…I hear it makes great crusts. I personally would stay away from shortening or margarine or other butter substitutes. They’re highly processed, usually filled with chemicals, and won’t yield the same results as butter will.
Can I precook the apples? Yes, of course you can. Place all of the apples plus the sugar, flour, salt and spices in a sauce pan and cook for around 20 minutes. Then pour the mixture into the pie crust and add the top crust.
Do I have to do a lattice top? Not at all. A lattice crust is just one option and is pretty classic for an apple pie recipe. But you can do a solid crust (be sure to cut a few slits in it so the steam can escape), cookie cutter pieces of pie dough placed on top, or a crumbly streusel topping. Whatever floats your boat! Get creative and have fun with it!!
Want more pie?
Of course I mentioned that I wrote an entire post on making pie crust here. Jump over there if you are looking for a great pie crust recipe!
I also wrote an entire series on pies. Most of these use some sort of fruit or vegetable that you can grow yourself if you want to. Here are the links to the other types of pies I have for you! (With more to come)
And if you are interested in learning how to grow your own apple trees, I am not your gal. Ha, ha! I’m not very good at growing trees. My specialty is definitely vegetables!
But this book is FABULOUS! We use the principles taught here in our small orchard that we grow on our property. I love that the author teaches holistic principles and really works to create a healthy soil environment and a diverse ecosystem around the trees. Beautiful! Get your copy of The Holistic Orchard today!
But back to apple pies. One of my favorite parts of making an apple pie recipe is just how a few simple ingredients can make such a delectable dessert. It’s so yummy!
If you have other questions about making this apple pie recipe, please leave them in a comment below. I’m happy to help however I can!
Now go make yourself an apple pie! You’ve got this!!
Happy Apple Pie making!
Homemade Apple Pie
- Pie Crust Recipe (doubled) www.carrotgal.com/easy-pie-crust-recipe/
- 2 1/2 pounds Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and sliced
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 egg for egg wash, if desired
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Line the bottom of a pie pan with a single layer of pie dough and set aside. Follow the instructions on this post: www.carrotgal.com/easy-pie-crust-recipe/
- Peel, core, and slice the apples and place into a large bowl.
- Add the flour, sugar, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves. Toss gently until all ingredients are combined and the apples are evenly coated.
- Pour the apples and any remaining dry ingredients from the bowl into the prepared pie plate.
- Roll the remaining pie dough into a circle and cut into long strips. Lay a strip across the middle of the apples. Then lay a second strip next to the first strip, but fold it gently back on itself halfway across the pie. Then lay a third strip next to the second strip but lay it across the entire pie. Continue alternating a full strip with a folded in half strip until you have covered the entire pie in one direction.
- Take another long strip and lay it across the entire pie perpendicular to all the other strips and laying just along the folded edges of the strips that are folded in half.
- Reverse the position of each of the original strips. If the strip was folded in half, unfold it. If the strip was all the way across the pie, fold it back on itself. Then lay another strip of dough along the new folded edges.
- Continue alternating and adding new perpendicular strips until the entire top of the pie is woven together. Trim and tuck under the edges and flute or decorate as desired.
- Mix the egg with a Tablespoon of water to thin it out then brush gently on top of the pie crust taking careful care to not add too much. You do not want the egg to pool in any crevices. If you have the time, it's a good idea to chill the pie at this point to create an extra flakey crust.
- Bake the pie at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes. Add a pie crust shield (to prevent the edges from over-browning). and continue baking for another 30 to 45 minutes. Watch closely at the end of the cooking time to be sure the crust does not over bake.