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Homemade Apple Pie

If it's that time of year when the weather cools down and leaves change colors in your neighborhood, I bet you are starting to crave some cozy fall flavors. One of the best ways to embrace the season is by baking a classic apple pie at home. You'll fill your home with warmth and seasonal aromas.

Today I'm sharing my recipe for apple pie along with all the tips and tricks I use to keep pie-making simple.

How to Bake an Apple Pie

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An apple pie with lattice crust and leaf embellishments.

This is the ideal time to make the most of apple season and whip up a comforting apple pie right in your kitchen. Whether you're a seasoned baker or just getting started, making a homemade apple pie is a rewarding and tasty experience you'll want to try.

Why You Will Love This Apple Pie Recipe

1. Fresh, Local Apples: The fall is the best time to enjoy ripe, juicy apples. Visit your local orchard or farmer's market, and you'll find an abundance of apple varieties to choose from. Using freshly picked or recently harvested apples ensures your pie will be at peak flavor.

2. Warm Comfort: As the weather cools down, we naturally gravitate towards comforting, warming foods. A slice of warm apple pie, perhaps topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream, is like a hug for your taste buds.

3. Inviting Aromas: Baking an apple pie fills your home with the delightful scents of cinnamon, nutmeg, and apples mingling together. It's an aromatic invitation to savor the season, perfect for fall weekends and Thanksgiving.

An apple pie with two aples sitting on top of it.

The Apple Pie Ingredients

One of the wonders of apple pie is the simplicity of the ingredients that come together to create a delicious, warm, and comforting dessert. This classic American treat combines the natural sweetness of apples with a flaky, buttery crust to create a dessert that's perfect for any occasion. Here are the key ingredients you'll need to make your very own homemade apple pie.

Apples: The star of the show, of course, is the apples. Choosing the right apples is crucial to the success of your apple pie. You'll want to select apples that are firm, crisp, and slightly tart. Varieties like Granny Smith, Braeburn, or Honeycrisp work exceptionally well for apple pie. You'll need about 6-8 cups of sliced and peeled apples for a standard 9-inch pie. Feel free to mix and match apple varieties to create a more complex flavor profile.

Pie Crust: A good pie crust is the foundation of any excellent apple pie. Making your own crust from scratch can take your apple pie to a whole new level, but you can opt for a store-bought pie crust for convenience. To make a double-crust pie, you'll need: flour, salt, unsalted butter, solid shortening, and cold water.

Sugar: Sugar plays a crucial role in balancing the tartness of the apples. For the filling, you'll typically need 1/2 to 1 cup of granulated sugar, depending on your preference and the sweetness of the apples. You can also sprinkle a little extra sugar on the top crust for a touch of sweetness and a beautiful golden finish.

Spices: The aromatic spices in your apple pie filling add depth and warmth to the flavor. Common spices include a combination of cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and ground cloves. These spices infuse the apples with a delightful, cozy aroma that will make your kitchen smell like fall.

Thickener: To prevent a runny filling, you'll need a thickening agent. Traditional choices include flour or cornstarch. Either of these options will help your pie filling reach the perfect consistency.

Lemon Juice: A squeeze of fresh lemon juice enhances the apple flavor and prevents browning. You'll need about 1 tablespoon of lemon juice.

Egg Wash, Cream, or Milk (optional): For a beautifully golden and shiny top crust, consider using an egg wash. It's made by whisking one egg with a tablespoon of water or milk.

Butter (optional): A pat of butter placed atop the apple filling before sealing the pie can add a luxurious richness to your apple pie.

With these basic ingredients, you'll be well on your way to crafting a delicious homemade apple pie. Experiment with the varieties of apples, the level of sweetness, and the spice combination to create the perfect pie to suit your tastes. Whether it's for a holiday gathering or a simple weeknight dessert, your homemade apple pie is sure to be a hit.

How to Make an Apple Pie

Make the Pie Crust: The foundation of any great apple pie is a perfectly flaky, buttery crust. Don't be intimidated; making your own pie crust is easier than you think. Here's how:

-Combine the flour, salt, and sugar in a large mixing bowl.

-Add the cold, cubed shortening to the flour mixture. Use a pastry cutter to work the shortening into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Next, add the cubes of cold butter.  Use your fingers to work the butter into the mixture until it resembles peas.

-Gradually add ice water, one tablespoon at a time, and mix until the dough just comes together. You may not need to use all the water.

-Divide the dough into two portions, shape them into discs, wrap them in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

How to Make the Filling: The heart of an apple pie is its sweet and spiced filling. Choose a mix of apple varieties to achieve the perfect balance of sweetness and tartness. Here's how to create that tasty filling:

-Peel,  core, and slice your apples.

-Combine the sliced apples, granulated sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and lemon juice in a large mixing bowl. 

-Toss to coat the apples evenly. Let them sit while you roll out your dough to release some of their juices.

How to Assemble and Bake the Pie: Baking your apple pie to golden perfection is the last step before indulging in its warm, sweet glory. 

A woman wearing a black top and glasses fitting piecrust into a pie plate.

-Preheat your oven to 425°F (220°C). Lightly grease a 9-inch pie plate.

-Take one of the chilled dough discs and roll it out on a floured surface to fit a 9-inch (23 cm) pie dish. Roll from the center outward, turning the dough as needed to maintain an even thickness.

-Carefully transfer the rolled-out dough to the pie dish.

-Fill the pie crust with the prepared apple filling, spreading it out evenly. Dot the top of the apple filling with small pieces of butter.

-Roll out the second dough disc to fit the top of the pie. You can make a solid top crust or create a lattice design with strips of dough.

-Trim any excess dough hanging over the edges and crimp the edges of the pie crust to seal it. If you have a solid top crust, cut a few slits in the center to allow steam to escape. If you made a lattice crust, no slits are needed.

-Brush the pie crust with milk, cream, or an egg wash and sprinkle with some granulated sugar.

-Place the pie on a baking sheet to catch any drips and bake in the preheated oven for 45-55 minutes or until the crust is golden brown, and the filling is bubbling. If the edges of the crust start to brown too quickly, you can cover them with aluminum foil.

-Allow the pie to cool on a wire rack for at least 2 hours before serving to help the filling set.

Enjoy your homemade apple pie! You can serve it warm or at room temperature, and it's excellent with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream.

More Fall Pies

Frequently Asked Questions

What kind of apples should I use?

Use whatever apples are readily available in your area of the country.  Taste the apples and choose two varieties.  One should be a sweet apple and the other a tart apple.  This will provide you with a delightful contrast of flavor in every bite.

Can You Make the Pie in Advance?

Yes, you can! Sometimes, life gets busy, and you might want to prepare your apple pie ahead of time. Here's how to do it:

-Place your assembled pie in the freezer to firm up for a few hours. Don't add milk, cream, or egg wash.

-Then double wrap the pie in plastic wrap and place in a freezer bag for up to two months. This is a great way to get ready for Thanksgiving in advance.

A woman placing an apple pie into a large freezer bag.

How Do You Bake a Frozen Apple Pie?

Perhaps you made a few extra pies during apple season and tucked them away in the freezer. No worries! Baking a frozen apple pie is a breeze. Here's what you need to know:

-Brush the crust with milk, cream, or an egg wash and sprinkle with sugar.

-Place the frozen apple pie in a 450 degrees F preheated oven for 25 minutes.  Reduce the heat to 375 degrees F for another 40-50 minutes or until the crust is browned and the filling is bubbling.

-Cool before serving.

Can I use a prepared crust?

-Yes you can, but with just a little practice you can make your own delicious crust following these directions.

Shouldn't I cook the filling before adding it to the pie?

-Some people do, but I do not.  I never have a problem with my filling creating a gap in the crust and I prefer the texture and flavor of apple filling baked in the pie. You may want to try both ways to see which you prefer.

There you have it! Bake an apple pie and capture the essence of fall. As the days get shorter and the nights get colder, take comfort in the simple joys of life, like a warm slice of homemade apple pie. 

Happy baking!

Apple Pie Recipe

fall apple pie, Thanksgiving apple pie, how to make pie crust, how to make apple pie
dessert
American
Yield: 10
Author: Donna Urso
Homemade Traditional Apple Pie

Homemade Traditional Apple Pie

A traditional apple pie made with seasonal apples, perfect for fall and fall holidays.
Prep time: 30 MinCook time: 60 MinInactive time: 30 MinTotal time: 2 Hour

Ingredients

For the Crust
For the Apple Filling

Instructions

To Prepare the Crust
  1. Combine the flour, salt, and sugar in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Add the cold, cubed shortening to the flour mixture. Use a pastry cutter to work the shortening into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add the cold, cubed butter to the flour and shortening mixture. Use your hands to toss the mixture and coat the butter. Then, using your fingers, work the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles peas.
  3. Gradually add 4-6 ounces of ice water, a little at a time, and mix until the dough comes together. You may not need to use all the water.
  4. Divide the dough into two portions, with the piece for the base of a pie a little larger than the other. Shape them into discs, wrap them in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
To Make the Filling
  1. Peel, core, and slice the apples.
  2. Combine the sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Pour over the apples and toss to cover.
  3. Squeeze the lemon over the apples. Set aside until ready to fill the pie shell.
To Assemble and Bake the Pie
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Roll out the two rounds.
  3. Lightly grease the pie dish.
  4. Place the larger round into the pie dish. Add the filling. Dot the filling with the 2 tablespoons of butter.
  5. Place the top crust onto the pie, trim as needed, and seal the edges. Flute the dough between your knuckles and fingers.
  6. Cut slits into the top of the pie.
  7. Brush cream, milk, or an egg wash (1 egg mixed with a little water) over the crust. Sprinkle with some granulated sugar.
  8. Bake the pie for 15 minutes at 425 degrees F. Reduce the heat and bake until the top of the pie is browned and the filling is bubbly, about 45-55 minutes.

Notes

Taste your apples and adjust the sugar as needed.

Nutrition Facts

Calories

424.21

Fat (grams)

22.73 g

Sat. Fat (grams)

10.06 g

Carbs (grams)

52.05 g

Fiber (grams)

3.25 g

Net carbs

48.8 g

Sugar (grams)

19.66 g

Protein (grams)

4.87 g

Sodium (milligrams)

301.41 mg

Cholesterol (grams)

46.79 mg

Nutritional information is approximate.

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