My Family's Apple Pie Recipe Is Absolutely Foolproof (2024)

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A family favorite, it's absolutely the best apple pie you'll ever make. Here's everything you need to know, from rolling the crust to choosing the tastiest apples.


Elise Bauer

My Family's Apple Pie Recipe Is Absolutely Foolproof (1)

Elise Bauer

Elise founded Simply Recipes in 2003 and led the site until 2019. She has an MA in Food Research from Stanford University.

Learn about Simply Recipes'Editorial Process

Updated October 27, 2023

99 Ratings

My Family's Apple Pie Recipe Is Absolutely Foolproof (2)

In This Recipe

  • The Best Apples

  • Make the Crust Ahead

  • Apple Pie Tips

  • The Best Toppings

  • Storing and Freezing

  • Vegan Apple Pie

Our All-Time Best Thanksgiving Pies FEATURED IN:

Here is our favorite apple pie recipe, with an easy, no-fail, buttery, flaky homemade pie crust, and a filling with a mix of different types of apples, spices, vanilla, and a splash of brandy.

This apple pie is my family's most requested pie during the holidays. I usually make two of them so we can enjoy one for leftovers. Nothing better than pie for breakfast, right?

My Family's Apple Pie Recipe Is Absolutely Foolproof (3)

The Best Apples for Apple Pie

It's best to use a mix of different types of apples in your pie. Some apple varieties cook up faster than others. Some cook up firm, some more soft; some apples are more tart, some more sweet.

By combining them, you'll get a more complex, deeper flavor. Look for a combination of tart and sweet apples, and a combination of apples that cook up firm and soft. That said, some apples are better for cooking into a pie than others. I like to use:

  • Granny Smith - Green and tart, Granny Smith apples have wonderful flavor, but they they often lose their shape and turn mushy when cooked. So use no more than 2 Grannies in your pie, and combine with other varieties.
  • Jonagold - A cross between a Golden Delicious and a Jonathan, Jonagolds have a lovely aromatic flavor, they're both sweet and sharp, and they hold their shape with baking.
  • Fuji - Crisp, firm, juicy, balance of sweet and tart, holds its shape in baking.
  • Golden Delicious - Yellow and sweet, holds its shape after baking
  • Braeburn - Sweet and crisp, bakes up firm and juicy
  • Cortland - Juicy and tart, relatively soft, great all purpose apple for baking.
  • Honey Crisp - Honey sweet and tart flavor, crisp and juicy, holds shape in baking.
  • Avoid Red Delicious apples for pies, they don't cook well.
The Best Apples for BakingREAD MORE:

My Family's Apple Pie Recipe Is Absolutely Foolproof (4)

Make the Crust Ahead

To make apple pie, start with the crust. If you are making a homemade crust, you can make the dough a day or two ahead, and keep the dough disks chilled in the refrigerator. The dough recipe I'm recommending for this apple pie uses sour cream along with butter, and is especially delicious, flaky, and easy to make. If you would like to make an all-butter crust instead, see our All Butter Crust.

If using a store bought frozen crust, follow the directions on the crust package for working with the crust.

Review of the Best (and Worst) Store-Bought Pie CrustsREAD MORE:

Tips for the Best Apple Pie

  • To make it easier to roll out the dough, remove the dough disks from the refrigerator 10 to 15 minutes before using.
  • Always place a baking sheet under the pie to catch any juices that bubble over so they don't land on the bottom of your oven.
  • The apple pie is not done until the juices are noticeably bubbling. If you have an instant read thermometer, insert it into the center of the pie. A reading of 200°F is done.
  • If the top of the pie begins to brown too much before it's fully cooked, tent it with foil.
  • Want to make a lattice crust? We can help you with that.
How To Make a Lattice Top for a Pie CrustREAD MORE:

My Family's Apple Pie Recipe Is Absolutely Foolproof (5)

Best Toppings for Apple Pie

There's nothing better than a slice of warm apple pie with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, right? For something a little different, try cinnamon ice cream instead. You could also top it with homemade whipped cream or caramel sauce.

How To Store and Freeze Apple Pie

Apple pie will easily last a couple of days, lightly covered with plastic wrap or aluminum foil, on your counter at room temperature. (Keep the any wrapping loose, so the crust can breathe. Otherwise it will loose its crispness.)

After a couple days, you can keep the pie chilled for a few more days in the fridge. If you want, warm the pie in a 350°F oven for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

  • To freeze the unbaked pie, wrap the assembled pie in plastic wrap, with as much air pressed out as possible. Then wrap the pie in a layer of foil; this will help keep the plastic wrap in place. Freeze for up to a month. When ready to bake, remove it from the freezer, unwrap, and place it into the oven. Bake as directed, adding on about 15 minutes to the baking time, or until the top is golden and the filling is bubbling.
  • To freeze a baked pie, wrap and freeze the pie as above. When ready to serve, unwrap and let the pie thaw at room temperature. Warm it up in a 350°F oven for about 15 minutes to crisp up the top and warm the filling.

My Family's Apple Pie Recipe Is Absolutely Foolproof (6)

More Great Apple Pie Recipes

  • Apple Slab Pie
  • Mile High Deep Dish Apple Pie
  • Sour Cream Apple Pie
  • Apple Cranberry Currant Crumble Pie
  • Apple Crostata

Vegan Apple Pie

To make this pie vegan, use our vegan pie crust recipe and omit the egg wash.

Homemade Vegan Pie CrustGET THE RECIPE:

From the Editors Of Simply Recipes

Homemade Apple Pie

Prep Time30 mins

Cook Time80 mins

Chilling the Crust60 mins

Total Time2 hrs 50 mins

Servings8 servings

Pies always seem to take longer to cook than one expects. (Perhaps it's because we're always opening the oven to check on how the pie is doing?) The filling should be visibly bubbling, which you should be able to see through the steam vents.


For the pie

  • 3 pounds good cooking apples such as Granny Smith, Jonagold, Golden Delicious, Fuji, or Braeburn (about 6 to 8 apples, depending on the size of your apples)

  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice or apple cider vinegar

  • 1/2 cup to 2/3 cup sugar, depending on how sweet you like your pie

  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

  • 1 tablespoon brandy, optional (if you have Calvados apple brandy, use it!)

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1 double crust sour cream pie dough, OR all-butter crust, OR your favorite pie crust recipe

For the egg wash

  • 1 large egg yolk

  • 1 tablespoon cream


  1. Peel, core, and slice the apples:

    Peel, core and slice or roughly chop the apples into 1/4-inch to 1/2-inch slices or chunks.

    As you cut your apple slices, add them to a large bowl and toss them with the lemon juice or apple cider vinegar to help keep them from turning brown.

    My Family's Apple Pie Recipe Is Absolutely Foolproof (7)

  2. Make the apple pie filling:

    Combine the sugar, flour and spices (allspice, nutmeg, cinnamon) in a bowl. Add the flour mixture to the apple slices and use your hands to distribute the flour through the apples so they are well coated.

    Sprinkle with brandy (if using) and vanilla extract and stir to coat all the apples.

    My Family's Apple Pie Recipe Is Absolutely Foolproof (8)

    My Family's Apple Pie Recipe Is Absolutely Foolproof (9)

  3. Preheat the oven to 375°F.

    Place one oven rack in the lowest position and put a large rimmed baking sheet on it to catch any drippings from the pie. Position a second rack the next rung up (still in the lower third of the oven).

  4. Roll out the dough and line the pie plate:

    Remove one disk of pie dough from the refrigerator. Let sit at room temperature for 5 to 10 minutes. Place disk on a lightly floured, clean, flat surface. Using a rolling pin, roll out the pie dough to a 12-inch circle, about 1/8-inch thick.

    As you roll out the dough, check to make sure it isn't sticking. If and when it starts to stick, gently lift it up and sprinkle a little more flour on the table surface or on the pie dough to keep the dough from sticking.

    Gently place the rolled out dough onto a 9-inch pie plate. Press down to line the pie dish with the dough.

    My Family's Apple Pie Recipe Is Absolutely Foolproof (10)

    My Family's Apple Pie Recipe Is Absolutely Foolproof (11)

  5. Add the apple filling:

    Arrange the apple slices in the dough-lined pie plate. Mound the apples in the center.

    My Family's Apple Pie Recipe Is Absolutely Foolproof (12)

  6. Roll out the top crust, place over apples, trim and crimp edges:

    Roll out the second disk of dough, again to 12-inches. Gently place the second round of pie dough over the apples. Trim excess dough with kitchen shears, leaving a 3/4 inch overhang from the edges of the pie pan.

    Fold the dough under itself so that the edge of the fold comes right to the edge of the pan. Press the top and bottom dough rounds together as you flute edges using thumb and forefinger or press with a fork.

    Simple Tip!

    If at any point the dough becomes too soft to work with, stick the crust or whole pie in the fridge for 15 to 20 minutes.

    My Family's Apple Pie Recipe Is Absolutely Foolproof (13)

    My Family's Apple Pie Recipe Is Absolutely Foolproof (14)

  7. Brush with the egg wash and cut vents:

    Place egg yolk and cream in a small bowl and use a fork to stir until well combined. Use a pastry brush to brush the egg wash over the top and fluted edges of the pie. Use a sharp knife to cut slits in the top of the pie crust for steam vents.

    My Family's Apple Pie Recipe Is Absolutely Foolproof (16)

  8. Bake:

    Place pie on oven rack centered over the baking sheet on the rack below it to catch any drippings. Bake the pie at 375°F until crust begins to lightly brown, about 20 minutes, then reduce heat to 350°F.

    Bake until the crust is golden brown and the juices are bubbling all over, an additional hour or up to another hour and a half, depending on the type of apples you are using. If you have an instant-read thermometer, it should read 200°F when inserted in the center of the pie.

    Simple Tip!

    About halfway through baking, check to make sure the pie isn't browning too much. When it's nicely browned, tent the pie with a large piece of aluminum foil to keep the pie from browning further.

    My Family's Apple Pie Recipe Is Absolutely Foolproof (17)

  9. Cool:

    Transfer the apple pie to a rack to cool for at least 1 hour. Serve slightly warm or at room temperature. Great with a side of vanilla ice cream.

    Did you love the recipe? Give is some stars and leave a comment below!

    My Family's Apple Pie Recipe Is Absolutely Foolproof (18)

  • Pies
  • Comfort Food
  • Thanksgiving Desserts
  • Baking
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
17g Fat
75g Carbs
5g Protein


Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8
Amount per serving
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 17g22%
Saturated Fat 5g27%
Cholesterol 0mg0%
Sodium 272mg12%
Total Carbohydrate 75g27%
Dietary Fiber 6g22%
Total Sugars 37g
Protein 5g
Vitamin C 8mg41%
Calcium 25mg2%
Iron 2mg11%
Potassium 256mg5%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. In cases where multiple ingredient alternatives are given, the first listed is calculated for nutrition. Garnishes and optional ingredients are not included.

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My Family's Apple Pie Recipe Is Absolutely Foolproof (2024)


What does Carl Sagan say you must invent if you want to make an apple pie from scratch? ›

“If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe” Quote from Carl Sagan, American astronomer, cosmologist, astrophysicist, astrobiologist, author, science popularizer, and science communicator in astronomy and other natural sciences.

Why are McDonald's apple pies so good? ›

Many pie fillings are made with a processed thickening agent that keeps the filling jelly-like and in place. But McDonald's uses a dehydrated apple powder. The powder not only thickens the filling, but it also adds that extra apple taste that you love.

Should I soak apples before making pie? ›

Braeburn or Granny Smith apples have the most balanced flavor. Pouring hot water over the apples and letting them sit for 10 minutes ensures perfect apple pie filling texture.

What is Carl Sagan most famous for saying? ›

A universe that is unknowable is no fit place for a thinking being. The ideal universe for us is one very much like the universe we inhabit.

What did Carl Sagan famously say? ›

Carl Sagan, the author of the essay, famously says in paragraph 16, “We are made of star stuff.” What do you think he meant by that? Carl Sagan had said that "extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence".

What is the best thickener for apple pie filling? ›

The best way to thicken runny apple pie filling before baking it is to add some cornstarch, tapioca starch, or flour to your mix. To fix a runny pie that's already been baked, simply let it cool to see if it will congeal naturally. If not, you can stick it back in the oven for a bit longer.

How do you make the bottom crust of an apple pie not soggy? ›

Sprinkle dried breadcrumbs or crushed cornflakes, or other types of cereal, on the bottom crust before filling and baking in the oven.

What is the apple pie rule? ›

Here's a look at one of the most unusual laws on the books in the Badger State. In Wisconsin, it is illegal to serve apple pie in public restaurants without a slice of cheese on top. Yes, you read that right: cheese is required on top of any apple pie that is served in a public restaurant in Wisconsin.

Why are Costco apple pies so good? ›

Costco's apple pie is frequently praised for its pleasing crunchy texture and nice balance between sweetness and tanginess when it comes to the filling. In fact, lots of people claim that this pie tastes like it was made from scratch.

Why did McDonald's stop frying their apple pies? ›

And then there's the long forgotten fried apple pie at McDonald's, which made the switch to baked in 1992 due to health reasons and has tasted inferior ever since. Unless you're over 40 and/or live in Hawaii (more on that soon), you've probably never tasted a McDonald's fried apple pie.

Does Popeyes fry their apple pies? ›

Mickey D's famous dessert has been on the menu since 1968, but it changed from fried to baked in 1992. The resulting pie was healthier, but some fans missed the old flavor. Popeyes still fries its pies, and interestingly, uses beef tallow in its fryers like McDonald's used to.

Should I Prebake the bottom crust for apple pie? ›

You do not need to pre-bake a pie crust for an apple pie or any baked fruit pie really, but we do freeze the dough to help it stay put. Pre-baking the pie crust is only required when making a custard pie OR when making a fresh fruit pie.

Why did my apples turn mushy in my pie? ›

Perfect Pie Tip #6: Choose Tart Apples

When apples are cooked, this pectin breaks down, and the apples turn mushy. However, there are ways to control this pectin breakdown, helping you to ensure that your apple slices are tender, but still hold their shape in the pie. The easiest first step is to pick the right apple.

Is it OK to bake an apple pie the day before? ›

If made ahead without baking, the pastry crust can become too wet and end up soggy after baking. The best way to make your apple pie in advance? Bake the pie completely, then chill it overnight, allowing the pie to sit at room temperature for at least an hour before serving.

What does if you want to make an apple pie from scratch mean? ›

If you wish to make apple pie from scratch, you can't start with apples, since you didn't make them. You have to start with nothing - which means creating the universe. Sagan may have written for the common man, but in his science he was very precise.

How to make an apple pie from scratch Carl Sagan? ›

Usually, it's a bit of wisdom from an ancient philosopher, or something a bit trite from a self-help book, but on this particular day they had written up the quote from Carl Sagan, 'If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe'.

How to make an apple pie Carl Sagan? ›

“If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe.” — Carl Sagan I didn't grow up idolizing heroes; I was never the kind of kid who revered athletes, actors and actresses, and musicians.

What does Carl Sagan say we are made of? ›

The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.

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