Our best recipe for making a classic homemade apple pie. Our recipe guarantees apple pie with perfectly cooked, not mushy, apples surrounded by a thickened and deliciously spiced sauce, all baked inside a flaky, golden-brown pie crust.
Watch the video
⭐️ Try our easy apple cobbler made with fresh apples, cinnamon, and maple syrup.
3 Secrets for the best homemade apple pie
- Don’t precook your apples. Instead, for the best texture after baking, toss them with sugar, salt, and spices, then let them sit for an hour before adding them to your pie crust.
- Bake apple pie in a 400° Fahrenheit oven for about 75 minutes. This long bake time guarantees the filling has enough time to simmer and thicken.
- Let your apple pie cool before slicing. The filling needs time to set. Cut the pie when it’s cooled to room temperature to prevent a runny filling.
It’s taken us a while to zero in on our favorite method for making apple pie, but we’ve finally nailed it. This simple apple pie recipe guarantees perfectly cooked apples surrounded by thick and delicious sauce. There’s no need for precooking the sauce or apples, for our pie filling.
Key ingredients for perfect apple pie
Use a high-quality pie dough. As with all the pie recipes on Inspired Taste, we start with this homemade pie crust recipe with helpful video showing how we make it. It has never failed us and is our go-to recipe for making pumpkin pie, this easy apple tart, and other fruit pies like blueberry pie.
Our crust calls for all-purpose flour, butter, salt, and water. It’s easy to make in advance and lasts in the fridge for up to 2 days (or in the freezer for up to 3 months).
For the best apple pie, use a lot of apples and try using two varieties to add extra flavor and texture. I’ve listed some of our favorite apples for pie below. They are the same varieties we reach for when making this homemade applesauce and this recipe for apple cobbler.
What are the best apples for apple pie?
We use 4 pounds of apples to make apple pie (11 cups of sliced apples). Our number one apple for making pie is Honeycrisp since it is sweet and crisp. I love how it holds its shape after baking. I also love using more than one apple variety to my pie for the best apple flavor. Here are some more of our favorite apples for pie:
- Granny Smith — Your standard, never-fails baking apple. Tart, crisp, and they keep their structure after time in the oven.
- Honeycrisp (my favorite) — Extra crisp and always holds firm after baking. One of our favorites!
- Jonagold — Tart with a bit of sweetness. They also hold up well in the oven.
- Braeburn — Crisp, sweet apples that hold up well in pie and other baked desserts.
- Pink Lady — A good balance of sweet and tart. Will also hold its shape when baked.
- Golden Delicious — Sweet and flavorful apple that’s very versatile. Will hold up in pie, but will become softer than some of the varieties mentioned above.
Should I cook my apples before making pie?
We do not cook our apples before making pie. Instead, we toss peeled and sliced apples with sugar, salt, and spices in a large bowl. When the apples are well coated, we set the bowl aside and let the apples sit for about an hour.
As the apples sit, the sugar and salt help them release their delicious liquid (you can see how much in our photos and the video). The apples also soften quite a bit. We use the same method when making apple bread. Here is a photo of the apples after one hour of sitting in the salt, sugar, and spice mixture:
To make sure that our apple pie filling isn’t too runny, before adding the apples to our pie dish, we toss in some starch. I use cornstarch, but tapioca starch does work. The starch mixes with all that liquid released by the apples and will help thicken it as the pie bakes in the oven.
I’ve followed a few apple pie recipes that ask you to throw away some or all of that delicious liquid before filling the pie. There’s so much flavor there!
With our recipe, you can use all of the liquid, which turns into a thick sauce with our slightly longer bake time. I consistently get about 3/4 cup of liquid in the bottom of my bowl — a little more or a little less is okay.
How long do you bake apple pie?
We bake a standard 9-inch apple pie in a 400-degree Fahrenheit oven for about 75 minutes.
One of the biggest complaints with apple pie is that the filling is too runny. This recipe for making apple pie has a long bake time, which makes sure the liquid in the apple pie filling has enough time to simmer and thicken.
How to tell when apple pie is done
Here are three simple methods for telling when apple pie is ready to come out of the oven:
- Visual cue: Apple pie is done when the juices are bubbling through the vents of the top crust or lattice. If you do not see bubbles, the pie needs more time.
- Internal temperature: The pie is done when an internal thermometer inserted into the middle of the pie reads 195 degrees Fahrenheit (90C).
- Texture of the apples: Piercing the pie is a good indication of how soft the apples are. If they feel too crunchy, the pie needs more time.
Why does apple pie have to cool for so long?
Letting your apple pie cool before cutting into it helps your filling set. If you slice into a hot from the oven pie, the filling will run all over your plate. We want our filling to be at room temperature before slicing since cooling the pie gives the liquid inside a chance to thicken even more. (This is true for other fruit pies, especially blueberry pie and cherry pie.)
Can you freeze apple pie?
You can freeze apple pie, unbaked or baked. I do find freshly baked pies more foolproof, but frozen pies are a make-ahead dream and still taste amazing. To freeze unbaked apple pie:
- Use our pie crust and apple pie filling. Fill the pie, add the top crust, and either lattice it or add a few slits to the top to allow steam to escape when you eventually bake it.
- Wrap the pie in a few sheets of foil, then place it into a freezer-safe bag. Freeze for up to 2 months.
- Thaw the pie overnight in the fridge, then bake according to our recipe below.
To freeze baked apple pie, let it cool completely, and then wrap it in foil and place it into freezer-safe bags for up to 2 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight, and reheat in a 350° F oven. Freeze whole pies or slices.
More apple recipes
- Simple Apple Tart — How to make a stunning apple tart with a buttery crust, thinly sliced apples, and toasted almonds.
- Apple Pie Cupcakes — A fun and easy apple pie cupcake recipe made with cinnamon roll dough, spiced apples and a crumble topping. How can it go wrong?
- Dutch Baby Pancakes with Apples — How to make the best tall, fluffy Dutch baby pancakes with tender apples. The perfect breakfast or dessert!
- Baked Cinnamon Apples — These cinnamon baked apples are easy enough for tonight, but double as the perfect dessert for friends and family (or the holidays).
- Creamy Apple Salad with Celery and Fennel — We love this fresh and easy apple salad recipe made with crisp apples, celery, fennel, and an easy creamy dressing.
Our Best Apple Pie
We realize our apple pie recipe may seem longer than others, but don’t let that scare you off. We’ve simply added as many tips to the recipe to ensure you make the best apple pie possible. Use our recipe to achieve apple pie with perfectly cooked (not mushy) apples surrounded by a thickened and tasty sauce all baked inside a flaky, golden-brown crust. The pie crust recipe we use for this apple pie is the same as all other pies on Inspired Taste. This flaky pie crust recipe never fails us. You can use any pie crust for this pie but, for the best results, we highly recommend our recipe.
Watch Us Make the Recipe
You Will Need
Pie dough for top and bottom 9-inch pie, chilled, see our Flaky Pie Crust Recipe
4 to 4 ¼ pounds baking apples (7 to 8 apples), see notes for suggestions
1/2 cup (100 grams) light or dark brown sugar
1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
2 tablespoons cornstarch or use 4 tablespoons tapioca flour/starch
1 tablespoon butter
- Make Apple Filling
1Peel, and then cut the apples in half. Remove the cores, and then slice apple halves into thin slices, about 1/4-inch thick. Place the apple slices into a very large bowl.
2Scatter both sugars, salt, and spices over the apples, and then use your hands to toss them, coating the apple slices as much as possible. Set aside for 1 hour at room temperature.
- Prepare Pie Crust
1Roll out the first half of pie dough on a lightly floured work surface. To prevent the dough from sticking and to ensure uniform thickness, roll from the center of the dough outwards and keep lifting up and turning the dough a quarter turn as you roll. Check for the correct size by inverting the pie dish over the dough. The dough should be about 1 1/2 to 2 inches larger than the dish.
2Being careful not to stretch it, place the dough into the pie dish, and then trim overhanging dough to within 3/4-inch of the edge of the dish. Refrigerate while you make the pie filling.
3Roll out the second half of the dough to a similar size as before and transfer it to a large parchment-lined baking sheet. Keep this in the refrigerator until needed.
- Prepare Oven
1Position an oven rack towards the center of the oven, and then heat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit (200C).
- Assemble Pie
1Toss cornstarch (or tapioca) with the apples. Transfer most (if not all) of the apples into the prepared bottom crust, using your hands to really pack them down into the pie. Fill the pie until apples are mounded at the same height or a little higher as the edge of the pie crust, tucking in as many as you can. If you have too many apples, save them (see notes). See our video showing how high we pile the apples.
2Pour the juices that have accumulated at the bottom of the bowl over the apples. (If it looks like there’s more than 3/4 to 1 cup of liquid, you might want to leave some behind, see notes below). Cut a tablespoon of butter into 8 or so small pieces and dot them over the pie.
3For a double-crust pie, place the second pie dough round over the filling or cut it into strips and lattice the top (See our video in the article above or read this tutorial for how to lattice pie crust). If you are not adding a lattice crust and instead are adding the top crust in one piece, use a sharp knife to cut a few slits in the top of the crust to allow steam to vent.
4Trim excess dough from the top crust or lattice strips, and then fold the overhang underneath itself, forming a thick rim. Press it together or crimp it with your fingers (or use a fork).
5Whisk the egg with a tablespoon of water, and then use it as an egg wash by lightly brushing the top crust. This adds shine and helps the crust brown.
- Bake Pie
1Place the prepared pie onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper (this can be the same lined baking sheet used for chilling the top crust). Bake the pie for about 75 minutes, turning a few times for even browning.
2If you notice that the pie crust is browning too quickly, mold a large piece of foil over a bowl that’s been placed upside down to make a foil dome. Place the foil dome over the pie for the remaining bake time. This will slow the browning.
3Apple pie is done when the juices are bubbling through the vents of the top crust or lattice. If you do not see bubbles, the pie needs more time. Another way to check for doneness is to use an internal thermometer. Pierce the pie in the middle then test the temperature. The pie is done when it reads 195 degrees Fahrenheit (90C). Piercing the pie is also a nice indication of how soft the apples are. If they feel too crunchy, the pie needs more time.
1Be sure to cool the pie, without slicing into it, for at least 1 hour, preferably longer. Keep in mind that the pie filling does not fully thicken until it is completely cooled. So, for the absolute best results, cool the pie to room temperature, and then place it into the refrigerator for an hour or two. Waiting to cut into the pie until cool will prevent a soggy slice.
- Storing and Leftovers
1Leftover pie will keep, at room temperature, for 2 to 3 days or in the refrigerator up to a week. Rewarm slices in a 350 degree Fahrenheit oven for 5 to 10 minutes before serving them. Freezing tips are provided in the article.
Adam and Joanne's Tips
- Best apples to use: For the most apple flavor, try a couple varieties of apples in your pie. We especially love Honeycrisp, Granny Smith, Pink Lady, and Golden Delicious
- Leftover apples: Sometimes, not all the apples we sliced make it into our pie. That’s okay, though! To use them up, add them to a skillet with a splash of water, apple juice, or nothing at all and cook until softened. A little butter or coconut oil added to the pan is also quite delicious! Serve the apples over ice cream or oatmeal.
- Liquid amount: After 1 hour of letting the apples sit with the sugar, salt, and spices, we consistently get about 3/4 cup of liquid left at the bottom of the bowl. A little more or a little less is fine, but if you find that your apples released much more, you might want to consider leaving a little behind. (When apples are overripe, they can release more liquid than usual, which can make your pie a bit more runny.)
- Recipe has been inspired and adapted by BraveTart’s apple pie.
- Nutrition facts: The nutrition facts provided below are estimates. We have used the USDA database to calculate approximate values.