Homemade apple pie can sound intimidating but it really isn’t complicated. This homemade apple pie is simple but delicious and the perfect dessert any time of the year.
First, if you are scared of making your own homemade pie crust, don’t be! I have a whole tutorial on how to make perfect pie crust. I walk you step-by-step through making the crust and have pictures of what every stage should look like. Check it out! You can make it days in advance so there is no stress come pie assembly time.
One of the most important parts of making homemade apple pie is getting the right kind of apples and cutting them the right thickness. I like to get tart apples for baking, usually Granny Smith apples. They also tend to be more firm and hold up better when baked. Any apple similar to that will do. If you like a little more sweetness than a granny smith provides, try mixing two types of apples – one tart and one sweet.
I keep the spices for the homemade apple pie pretty simple, just a little bit of cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice. If you don’t have allspice, you can leave them out or substitute cloves. Essentially, you’re just making your own homemade apple pie spice.
I also like to slice the apples with varying thickness. This ensures that some apples are super tender and falling apart, while others still have a slight bite to them. I like the overall texture of the pie when the slices vary a bit.
When you go to fill your pie, you will wonder if all the apples will fit. You will curse my name as a few spill out BUT I promise you – smoosh all of them in there! You won’t regret it. Everyone will thank you for providing them with such a delicious pie. Ha! Use your hands wiggle the slices in and make sure they all fit. Definitely, use a deeper pie dish for this pie!!
The beauty of filling the pie so full is that as the pie and crust bake down together, the crust forms these beautiful divets and bumps on top making it a real show stopper. You also have a delicious amount of filling to eat! This really is a simple apple pie recipe! Nothing too fancy.
Please note, if you wanted to do a lattice top on this pie, which is totally fine, leave out 2 apples so you have fewer slices. Lattice tops need to be placed and bake at approximately the same level, otherwise, it will break.
Another important tip for making homemade apple pie is to let it cool at room temperature before slicing it. This lets that liquid in the pie distribute and gel a little bit so you’ll get those perfect slices without any runniness. Believe me. I have tried not waiting and cooling it in the fridge. Neither work very well!
I know the amount of sugar listed for sprinkling on the top seems excessive, but it creates a beautiful crispy crust on top that makes every bite incredible. If it gets too brown during the cooking process, cover the edge with foil to keep it from burning. We love this simple apple pie recipe!
This recipe is adapted from America’s Test Kitchen 2001-2010 Cookbook, it’s one of my favorites!
Homemade Apple Pie
For the Pie Crust
- 2 1/2 cups flour
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup butter 2 sticks, very cold, sliced
- 3 tablespoons sour cream very cold
- 1/2 cup water ice cold
For the Apple Filling
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 lemon juiced and zested
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon allspice
- 7 apples see note
- 1 egg
- 1/2 teaspoon water
For the Pie Crust
- Whisk together dry ingredients.
- Cut very cold butter in until the mixture resembles fine crumbs with a few larger pea-sized pieces.
- Mix a couple tablespoons of water with the sour cream and pour it into the dough.
- Add a couple more tablespoons of water to the dough and mix until just combined.
- Gradually add water, one tablespoon at a time, until the dough just comes together and isn't crumbly. You may not use all the water! Do not over mix!
- Divide dough into 2 portions, wrap, and refrigerate until ready to use.
For the Apple Pie
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees and place a baking sheet in the oven to preheat (see note). The pie should be baked on the lowest oven rack.
- Peel all the apples. Slice half of the apples 1/3 inch thick and half of the apples 1/4 inch thick.
- Combine apples, flour, sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest, spices and salt. Mix until combined.
- Roll out one pie crust to about 12 inches in diameter and place it in the bottom of the pie dish. A deep pie dish works best for this recipe. The easiest way to transfer pie dough is to fold it over the rolling pin and gently glide it over the pie dish.
- Gently work the pie crust into the pie dish and if there is more than 1-inch excess crust around the edge, trim it to be only 1-inch.
- Fill the bottom crust with the apple mixture. You will have to use your hands to wiggle and gently press the apples into the crust. They will be slightly mounded.
- Roll out the second pie crust to about 12 inches in diameter. Gently place it over the apples, using the same method detailed in step 9. Trim the edges if you have more than 1-inch excess dough around the edge.
- Tuck the edges under and then flute them by placing two fingers from your right hand on the edge of the pie and using your index finger from your left hand to pull the dough between your fingers towards the middle of the pie.
- Combine the egg and 1/2 teaspoon of water and brush it gently over the top of the pie.
- Cut 4 vents in the top of the pie with a sharp knife.
- Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of sugar over the top of the pie.
- Place pie on the preheated baking sheet in the oven (line the baking sheet with foil in case the pie leaks for easy clean-up) and bake at 425 for 25 minutes.
- Leave the pie in the oven but reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees and continue baking for an additional 35 minutes until the inside is bubbly and the top crust is dark golden brown. Cover the top of the pie loosely with foil if it becomes browned too quickly.
- After pie is finished baking, let it cool completely at room temperature. This allows the pie filling to set up, preventing it from being runny.