Perfect Apple Pie

Tested & Perfected Recipes

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure policy.

With a crisp, flaky crust and thick, cider-flavored apple filling, this is my idea of the perfect apple pie.

Apple pie in a pie pan.

Even with years of professional and home cooking experience, I still approach homemade pie with a bit of trepidation. I’ve said it before: the person who coined the term “easy as pie” had obviously never made a homemade pie! But making a delicious apple pie is totally doable as long as you have a tried-and-true recipe like this one. The key is to avoid the typical apple pie pitfalls — a soggy crust and waterlogged filling — by blind baking the crust and boiling down the juices before filling the pie. These steps add a bit of extra time but ensure a crisp and flaky crust and a cider-flavored filling that’s not the least bit watery. The perfect apple pie!

What you’ll need to make Apple pie

Pie ingredients including butter, cornstarch, and shortening.

How to make Apple pie

Begin by making the crust. It’s easiest to use a food processor but you can also make it by hand if need be. Combine the flour, sugar, salt and baking powder in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade. (The baking powder is added to prevent the crust from shrinking during baking — it helps the crust expand into the pan rather than slip down the sides.) Pulse a few times to combine.

Dry ingredients in a food processor.

Add the pieces of butter and shortening.

Butter on dry ingredients in a food processor.

Pulse until you have coarse crumbs with lots of pea and chickpea-size clumps of butter and shortening within.

Coarse crumbs in a food processor.

Add the water and pulse until the mixture is evenly moistened and very crumbly.

Crumbly mixture in a food processor.

Dump the crumbly dough out onto a clean work surface and divide into two piles, with one pile about 15% bigger than the other.

Two piles of crumbly crust mixture.

Make two balls of dough and pat each one into a 5-inch disc. Wrap the discs in plastic and refrigerate for at least 45 minutes.

Two balls of pie crust dough.

Take the larger disc of dough out of the refrigerator. Dust your work surface lightly with flour and place the dough on top; sprinkle a little flour more over the dough. Use your hands to quickly knead the dough into a soft and malleable disc (don’t overwork it; you want it just supple enough to roll).

Flattened ball of dough.

Roll the dough, adding more flour as necessary under and on top of the dough so it doesn’t stick, into a 13-inch circle.

Circle of rolled dough on a marbled surface.

Carefully drape the dough over the rolling pin and transfer it to a 9-inch deep-dish pie pan (at least 1-1/2 inches deep). Gently fit the dough into the pan, easing it inwards rather than stretching it outwards. Trim the edges to 1/2-inch beyond the lip of the pie pan. Turn the edges under to create a rim on the crust. Press the rim against the lip of the pan, forming it into an even edge as you work your way around. Use any scraps to patch in any tears or thin areas. Place the crust in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes while you heat the oven to 375°F.

Pie pan lined with pie crust.

Remove the pie crust from the refrigerator and cover with a piece of parchment paper. Fill the crust with dried beans or pie weights.

Dry beans on parchment paper in a pie crust.

Bake for 20 minutes, then remove the parchment paper and beans/pie weights and tent the edges with a few strips of aluminum foil. (The foil will protect the edges from getting too dark.) Bake for another 15 to 20 minutes, until the dough is dry and golden. Let the crust cool to room temperature. Increase the oven temperature to 425°F.

Baked pie crust.

Meanwhile, combine the apples, lemon zest, lemon juice, granulated sugar, brown sugar, salt, and cinnamon.

Bowl of sliced apples and seasonings.

Toss until the sugar is dissolved and the apples are evenly coated. Let sit for at least 30 minutes.

Apple slices coated with seasonings.

Drain the apples, collecting the syrupy juice in another bowl.

Apple slices in a colander.

Pour the juice into a 2-cup microwave-safe measuring cup.

Dark liquid in a measuring cup.

Heat on high power in the microwave until the juice is reduced by half, about 4 minutes. (Alternatively, you can boil the juices in a small pan on the stove.) The syrup should be just slightly thickened.

Measuring cup of thick liquid.

Add the syrup back to the apples, along with the flour and cornstarch; toss to combine.

Syrup pouring over apple slices.

Add the apple filling to the baked pie shell.

Pie crust filled with seasoned apple slices.

Take the other piece of dough out of the fridge and roll into an 11-inch circle, using the same process described above. Place the dough over the apples and crimp the edges with a fork or flute with your fingers, sealing the top and bottom crust together. Work quickly as the heat from the pan will soften the dough. Brush the top crust with the egg wash and sprinkle some sugar over top. Cut a few slits in the top crust to allow the steam to escape.

Crimped pie crust with slits cut out.

Bake at 425°F for 15 minutes, then reduce the heat to 375°F, and bake for an additional 45 minutes, or until the top is brown and filling is bubbly. Let the pie cool completely on a wire rack before cutting, about 4 hours. Enjoy!

Apple pie in a pie pan.

You may also like

Perfect Apple Pie

With a crisp, flaky crust and thick, cider-flavored apple filling, this is my idea of the perfect apple pie.

Servings: 8

Ingredients

For the Crust

  • 2¾ cups all-purpose flour, spooned into measuring cup and leveled with a knife
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • 14 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, sliced into 1-inch pieces
  • ¼ cup cold vegetable shortening, in 4 pieces
  • 7 tablespoons ice cold water

For the Filling

  • 3½ pounds baking apples (see note), peeled, cored, sliced ¼-inch thick
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest and 1 tablespoon lemon juice, from 1 lemon
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 6 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar
  • Heaping ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch

For Baking

  • A beaten egg, cream, or milk, for brushing over crust
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, for topping the pie

Instructions

For the Crust

  1. Combine the flour, sugar, salt and baking powder in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade. Pulse a few times to combine. Add the pieces of butter and shortening and pulse until the mixture is crumbly with lots of pea and chickpea-size clumps of butter and shortening within.
  2. Add the water and pulse until the mixture is evenly moistened and very crumbly. Dump the dough crumbles onto a work surface and divide into two piles, with one pile about 15% bigger than the other (13 oz and 11.5 oz). Make two balls of dough and pat each one into a 5-inch disc. Wrap the discs in plastic and refrigerate for at least 45 minutes.
  3. Take the larger disc of dough out of the refrigerator. Dust your work surface lightly with flour and place the dough on top; sprinkle a little flour over the dough. Use your hands to quickly knead the dough into a soft and malleable disc (don’t overwork it; you want it just supple enough to roll).
  4. Roll the dough, adding more flour as necessary under and on top of the dough so it doesn't stick, into a 13-in circle. Carefully drape the dough over the rolling pin and transfer it to a 9-in deep-dish pie pan (it should be at least 1½ in deep). Gently fit the dough into the pan, easing it inwards rather than stretching it outwards. Trim the edges to ½ inch beyond the lip of the pie pan. Turn the edges under to create a rim on the crust. Press the rim against the lip of the pan, forming it into an even edge. Use any scraps to patch in any tears or thin areas. Place the crust in the refrigerator for 30 minutes while you heat the oven.
  5. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Set an oven rack in the middle position.
  6. Remove the pie crust from the refrigerator and place on a baking sheet (this makes it easy to move in and out of the oven). Cover the crust with a piece of parchment paper and fill it with dried beans or pie weights. Bake for 20 minutes. Take the crust out of the oven; remove the parchment paper and beans/pie weights and tent the edges with a few strips of aluminum foil. (The foil will protect the edges from getting too dark.) Bake for another 15 to 20 minutes, until the dough is dry and golden. Don't worry if the bottom puffs up; just press it down gently with a flat spatula, such as a pancake turner, taking care not to puncture it. Let the crust cool to room temperature.
  7. Increase the oven temperature to 425°F.

For the Filling & Baking

  1. Meanwhile, combine the apples, lemon zest, lemon juice, granulated sugar, brown sugar, salt, and cinnamon. Toss until the sugar is dissolved and the apples are evenly coated. Let sit for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Drain the apples, collecting the syrupy juice in another bowl. Pour the syrupy juice into a 2-cup microwave-safe liquid measuring cup. Take note of the quantity and then heat on high power in the microwave, checking frequently, until the syrup is reduced by half. This will take about 4 minutes but keep a close eye on it as all microwaves are different. You don't want to cook it for too long, or it will turn into sticky caramel (see note below on how to correct this if it happens). The syrup should be just slightly thickened and still pourable. (Alternatively, you can boil the juices in a small pan on the stove.)
  3. Add the syrup back to the apples, along with the flour and cornstarch; toss to combine.
  4. Take the other piece of dough out of the fridge and roll into an 11-inch circle, using the same process described above. If necessary, use a little dough to patch up any holes in the bottom crust. Add the apple filling to the baked pie shell, compacting the apples as tightly as possible. (Too many air pockets will cause the crust to dome, creating a gap between the apples and the crust.) Place the rolled dough over top. Crimp the edges with a fork or flute with your fingers, sealing the top and bottom crust together. Work quickly, dusting your fingers with flour as necessary, so the dough doesn't get too warm.
  5. Brush the top crust with the beaten egg (or cream or milk). Sprinkle the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar over the top crust. Cut a few slits in the top crust to allow the steam to escape.
  6. Bake for 15 minutes, then reduce the heat to 375°F, and bake for an additional 45 minutes, or until the top is golden and the filling is bubbly. Let the pie cool completely on a wire rack before cutting, about 4 hours.
  7. Note: Be sure to use baking apples that hold their shape when cooked, such as Honeycrisp, Jonagold, Fuji, Granny Smith, or Golden Delicious. And use a mix of different varietals for the best flavor.
  8. Note: If you accidentally over-reduce the syrup and it seizes up when you pour it over the apples, transfer the apple mixture to a large sauté pan and cook over high heat until the caramel melts. Let cool completely in the fridge before proceeding with the recipe.
  9. Freezer-Friendly Instructions: The pie can be frozen for up to 3 months before or after baking it. (If freezing it unbaked, hold off on brushing the top crust with the beaten egg and sprinkling it with sugar; you can do that right before baking.) If baked, let it cool completely and place it in the freezer uncovered. When fully frozen, wrap the pie securely in foil and freeze. If the pie is unbaked, wrap it securely in foil and freeze. When ready to serve, proceed with baking instructions above (pie is likely to take a bit longer in the oven).

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • Calories: 589
  • Fat: 24g
  • Saturated fat: 14g
  • Carbohydrates: 91g
  • Sugar: 48g
  • Fiber: 6g
  • Protein: 5g
  • Sodium: 383mg
  • Cholesterol: 53mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

See more recipes:

Comments

  • Hello your recipe looks awesome! I would love to attempt making it tomorrow for my 98 year old mother in law. Could you please send me a note of the measurements in metric units? Sorry in from Glasgow and I want to be exact. Fingers crossed it is a success and I can post a half decent attempt at your masterpiece! You really cannot beat the original apple pie, it wins every time. Just to see a wee sparkle in her eye is so so worth it. Thank you so much.

    Natasha Maguire

    • — Natasha maguire on May 26, 2024
    • Reply
    • Wow – 98 – happy birthday to your MIL! The great majority of my recipes (including this one) include conversions to metric/weight measurements. To view them, scroll down to the recipe, and immediately under the recipe title on the right side, you’ll see a little toggle. If you move it from “cup measures” to metric, you’ll see measurements that will work for you. Hope that helps!

      • — Jenn on May 28, 2024
      • Reply
  • What I liked about the pie:

    The crust turned out really delicious. The pie was really balanced, and not overly sweet. The apples were nicely cooked.

    What I didn’t like: the pie took me from 10 am in the morning to 5 pm at night, BEFORE the final cooking period.

    I made this pie for a special occasion— the birthday of someone important to me— and she enjoyed it, but I am not sure I’d make it again any time soon due to how labor intensive it was.

    That said, I am a HUGE fan of Jenn’s recipes (I’ve made 3+ and never been let down) and will absolutely be back for more!!!

    • — Emery on February 3, 2024
    • Reply
  • Hi Jenn,

    I’ve been making apple pies for over 50 years and always feel that I haven’t found the perfect one. I tried yours (using an all-butter crust that uses a very unique method) and was pleasantly surprised that the top crust melded well with the bottom crust and created a good non-soggy bottom. However, the filling is too dry with so much flour and cornstarch. I will try this again with the following changes; I’ll only cook the bottom crust with the weights because the bottom cracked a bit and the apple liquid ran under it and I’ll cut back to 1 tbsp. cornstarch.

    • — Nancy on January 3, 2024
    • Reply
  • This recipe sounds great, but it doesn’t provide measurements for the ingredients. Why?

    • — Marcia Savage on December 24, 2023
    • Reply
    • Hi Marcia, It sounds like you are just looking at the portion of the page that has the pictures with some instructions above. If you scroll down a bit to under the pictures, you’ll find the full recipe. Alternatively, at the very top of the page, to the right of the recipe name, you’ll see an orange/red button that says Jump to Recipe – if you click on that, it will take you directly to the recipe. Hope that clarifies!

      • — Jenn on December 27, 2023
      • Reply
  • Jenn,
    I made this but put a crumb crust rather than a dough crust and both are GF.
    My problem is that the crumble crust seems a bit dry and crumbly even though it did have butter in it. Any suggestions?
    Thanks so much!!

    • — Andrea Keins on December 11, 2023
    • Reply
    • Hi Andrea, I suspect it needed more butter.

      • — Jenn on December 13, 2023
      • Reply
  • Would using 1:1 Gluten Free flour make the same delicious pie?

    • — Hamid on November 27, 2023
    • Reply
    • Yes, Hamid, I haven’t made this with gluten-free flour, so I can’t say for sure. (Oftentimes, readers will comment that they’ve adapted my baked goods to be gluten-free, but I don’t see any comments mentioning that here, so you’d be the “guinea pig.”) If you want to give it a try I know a lot of readers have had great luck with Cup4Cup and King Arthur’s Measure for Measure flours. Please LMK how it turns out if you try it!

      • — Jenn on November 27, 2023
      • Reply

Add a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.