Yep, nothing fancy here. Just a delicious and classic apple pie. What I love about this apple pie recipe is that it holds its shape when you cut into it. No soupy mess and no crumbly crush, just a solid slice you can dig your fork into!
I gotta tell ya, I avoid baking pie at all costs. It takes a lot of work and is tricky to get just right. I made this pie 3 times and thought my feet were going to fall off from how long I was standing in the kitchen! Wow, I’m really selling you on this pie aren’t I?
Don’t worry, my pain is your gain. I wanted to make this pie as simple as possible without sacrificing taste and texture. My goal was to make a delicious apple pie that held its shape. I hate when you dig into a slice and the insides just fall out every which way. Or by the time you carry your slice to your plate, it’s just a blob of crust and filling. No thank you!
This apple pie stands tall and you can see every apple layer because yes, it has to taste good, but I want it to look good too! And I’m sharing my secrets on how to get a delicious and perfect apple pie.
The best apples to use in apple pie
An apple pie is nothing without the perfect apples! And not all apples are created equal which is why you should choose ones that are ideal for baking. Here are a some of my favorites that you can find in almost any grocery store:
Granny Smith: The classic tried and true apple. They’re perfect for baking because they hold their shape and are deliciously tart. Their flavor helps to balance out any sweetness, making them my number one pick for apple pie.
Honeycrisp: These apples are sweet but slightly sour. They stay fairly firm while baking and are great to mix with Granny Smith apples for a bit more sweetness. The downside is that they’re only available a few months out of the year.
Fuji: My absolute favorite apple for snacking because of its sweetness. They’re crisp and firm, similar to Honeycrisp, but are just a touch sweeter. These can be found almost all year round and are also great to mix with Granny Smith apples.
Braeburn: Another crisp and sweet apple but has a touch of citrusy flavor. It will hold its shape while baking, but not as well as a Granny Smith.
I opted for half Granny Smith and half Honeycrisp to get the perfect balance of sweet and tart. They’re also in season, making them easily accessible.
The secret to a perfect apple pie
Just like pizza, it’s all about the crust. Getting that perfectly flaky pie crust is easier than it looks. The trick is to keep your butter COLD. As you incorporate it into your flour, leave pea sized chunks. It’s better to under than over work your dough.
When you roll out your dough, you should see specks of butter all throughout. If your butter starts to melt as your working your dough, pop it in the fridge to chill. Those cold pockets of butter are what give you that flaky texture and you don’t want to loose them!
After all that work to perfect the crust, you don’t want to get a soggy bottom. Brush the dough with an egg white once you’ve placed it in your pie dish. This creates a barrier between the crust and the filling so you don’t get a soaked bottom crust.
Another trick is to tightly stack your apples in the pie. What I mean by that is to avoid just dumping in your pie filling. As the pie bakes, the juices cook out so the center shrinks. This can leave a gap between the top crust and your pie filling.
Individually stacking your slices will help prevent that huge gap and create a sturdier center. It takes a little extra time and effort but it’s well worth it!
Serving your apple pie
I know, it’s so tempting to dig into your apple pie when it’s fresh from the oven. But patience is key to getting that solid center and well-rounded flavor.
Allow your pie to cool at room temperature for at least an hour. Then, cover it in foil and place in the fridge so that the pie can stiffen and the juices can absorb into the filling. This will help give you the perfect slice like the one above. Just look at those apple layers!
You can serve your apple pie cold or warm. I recommend popping it in the oven at 300 for about 15 minutes before serving if you want a warm slice. Topping it with ice cream not only adds some extra indulgence, but it also helps to balance out the tartness of the apples. It’s an absolute must for me.
And when I make pie recipes, you better believe I work tirelessly until they’re just right! Here’s a couple more to try:
Make sure to tag me @butternutbakery on Instagram if you make this apple pie. I love seeing my recipes come to life in YOUR kitchen! To pin this recipe and save it for later, you can use the button on the recipe card, the buttons above or below this post, or on any of the photos above. Happy baking!Print
This classic apple pie recipe is your new go-to. No soupy center, no crumbly crust, just a solid slice of apple pie that you can sink your fork into!
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3 tsp granulated sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 1/4 cups unsalted butter, VERY cold and cubed
- 1/3 cup ice water
- 1 whole egg + 1 egg white for brushing
Apple Pie Filling
- 2.5 lb Granny Smith apples*
- 2.5 lb Honeycrisp apples*
- 1 lemon
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 6 tbsp all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup apple juices (from your sliced apples)
- 1/3 cup + 2 tbsp granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Demerara sugar for sprinkling
- Mix your flour, sugar, and salt in a large bowl.
- Add your COLD and cubed butter and combine with your fingers. You want to smoosh the butter and flour between your fingertips until you’re left with pea-sized lumps of butter.
- Mix in the ice water. I recommend having a cup of water with ice in it and grab your 1/3 from there, avoiding the ice. You can use your hands or a wooden spoon to combine.
- Your dough should be fairly crumbling upon first look but if you squeeze your dough in a fist, it should form a solid mass.
- Split the dough in half and dump each half onto two sheets of plastic wrap. Form both of them into a disk, wrap in the plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours to get that butter nice and cold again.
- Halfway through your dough chilling time, prepare the filling. Fill a large bowl with water and squeeze in half of your lemon. Peal your apples and place them in the water so they don’t brown.
- Once they’re all pealed, go back and slice them into 1/8 inch apple slices. Place them in a colander over a large bowl and toss with the 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar and 2 tablespoons of lemon juice.
- Let the apples sit for about 30 minutes until you produce 1/4 worth of apple juice in the bowl. Toss them halfway through to make sure all of the apples have a chance to release their juices. When ready, reserve your 1/4 of apple juice for the filling then let the apples continue to macerate in the fridge.
- While the apples chill, roll out your pie dough on a well-floured surface. For a 9 inch pie pan, roll it out to about 12 inches in diameter. Place it in your pie dish and crimp the edges to your liking.
- Brush the base and sides of the pie dough with an egg white. Place in the freezer and then roll out the top half of your pie dough. Slice it into strips, transfer to a cookie sheet, and place them back in the fridge to chill.
- Now work on the filling. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Then mix in the flour and whisk for about 3 minutes. Add the apple juices, 1/3 cup granulated sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla and whisk together. Bring to a boil for about 1 minute and then simmer for another minute. You should reach a thin caramel consistency.
- Remove from heat and thoroughly toss it with your sliced apples. Careful as the sauce will be hot but the cold apples will help to cool it down.
- Remove your pie from the freezer and start to fill it. Don’t just dump in the apples. Tightly stack them one-by-one (round edges facing out) so they’re nice and snug with very few gaps. Pour over any remaining sauce.
- Apply a lattice top and place your completed pie in the freezer while you preheat the oven to 425F.
- Once preheated, take the pie out of the freezer and brush the top with an egg wash (one whole egg + 1 tbsp water). Generously sprinkle with Demerara sugar, sanding sugar, or regular granulated sugar. Place a large rimmed baking sheet on the lower oven rack to catch any juices that may pour out while the pie bakes.
- Bake on the middle rack for 15 minutes at 425F then drop to 350F and bake for 50-60 minutes. Check it every so often to make sure the top doesn’t brown too quickly. If it does, cover it in foil.
- It’s ready when the center is bubbling and the crust is a deep golden brown. Let it rest at room temperature for about an hour then transfer to the fridge for at least 2 hours to set.
- Serve at room temperature or warm it up in a 300F oven. Top with ice cream and enjoy!
*You could also use all Granny Smith apples for a more tart pie
Keywords: apple pie, apple pie recipe