Our Favorite Apple Pie

Our favorite recipe for making a classic apple pie from scratch. This recipe guarantees apple pie with perfectly cooked (not mushy) apples surrounded by a thickened and gently spiced sauce all baked inside a flaky, golden-brown crust. Jump to the Apple Pie Recipe

Our Favorite Homemade Apple Pie

How to Make Perfect Homemade Apple Pie

It’s taken us a while to zero in on our favorite method for making apple pie, but I think we’ve finally nailed it. This simple recipe guarantees perfectly cooked apples surrounded with a thick gently spiced sauce. There’s no need for precooking the sauce or apples and the steps to make this pie are simple, you just need a little time.

Homemade Apple Pie

As with all of the pie recipes on Inspired Taste, we start with this homemade pie crust. I’m a stickler on this one. It has never failed us and is our go-to recipe for pumpkin pie, tarts, and other fruit pies like blueberry pie.

You can make the crust in advance. It can be refrigerated or frozen. Definitely check our pie crust recipe for our tips on making it (it even has a video).

As for the apples, we use a lot of them and like to use two or more varieties for the most apple-flavored pie. I’ve listed some of our favorites below. It isn’t a complete list, but it should give you some inspiration when shopping for your homemade pie. If you find yourself with extra apples, try making homemade applesauce!

We don’t precook the apples before adding them to the crust.

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.

Apple pie filling.
Apples, sugar, salt, and spices.

In this hour, the sugar and salt work on the apples to 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 do this when making apple bread, too.

Apple pie filling made with apples, sugar, salt, and spices.
The apples after 1 hour of sitting with the sugar, salt, and spices.

Then just before adding the apples to the prepared pie dish, we toss in some starch — I usually use cornstarch, but tapioca starch works, too. This 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 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!

Thankfully, with our pie-making method, you can use all of the liquid, which with our slightly longer bake time will turn into a thickened sauce. I’ve measured how much liquid is released from the apples over 1 hour and consistently get about 3/4 cup. A little more or a little less is fine, though.

Adding apples and pie filling to the pie dish.

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.)

On this subject, make sure to read our tips below for cooling the pie. The cooling step is crucial with fruit pies and goes a long way to making sure the filling is actually thick and won’t run out onto your plate the moment you cut it.

The Apples We Use For Apple Pie

To make this apple pie, we use approximately 4 pounds of apples (or about 11 cups of sliced apples). For the best apple flavor, try adding more than one variety of apple to your pie.

We especially love these varieties of apples for baked desserts and pie:

  • Granny Smith — Your standard, never-fails baking apple. Tart, crisp, and they keep their structure after time in the oven.
  • Honeycrisp — 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.
  • Mutsu — Big apples that look like a large Golden Delicious. Has a sweet honeyed flavor and holds up well in pie.
  • 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.
  • Jazz — Sweet and crisp flavor. Will hold up nicely in pie.

How Long Does Apple Pie Take?

We bake a standard 9-inch pie in a 400 degree oven for about 75 minutes.

One of the biggest complaints with apple pie is that the filling is too runny, even after following a recipe. That’s why we’ve become such fans of this method of making apple pie.

With this method (which we first tried after flipping through Bravetart), the pie bakes at one temperature for a long time. This extra long bake time makes sure the liquid in the apple pie filling has a chance to simmer and thicken.

Slice of apple pie

How to Tell When The 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.

More Baking Tips for Apple Pie

  • Use a trusted pie crust recipe. We always use this homemade pie crust recipe for our pies.
  • Prepare the apple pie filling first and set it aside for 1 hour, allowing the apples to release their juices then mix the apples and the juices with a thickener like cornstarch or tapioca starch.
  • Bake at 400 degrees F for approximately 75 minutes, turning a few times for even browning. The long bake time makes sure that the filling thickens inside the pie.
  • If your crust starts to brown too quickly or looks to be turning too dark, 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.
  • Let apple pie cool before cutting into it. For the best results, the filling should be room temperature or cold before slicing. Cooling the pie gives the liquid inside a chance to thicken even more, which means it won’t spill out into a pool when you cut into the pie. (This is true for other fruit pies, especially blueberry pie and homemade cherry pie.)
Apple Pie à la mode (with ice cream)

More Easy 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!

Easy Apple Crisp — This apple crisp recipe with oats has sweet tender apples and a crisp and crunchy topping made with flour, oats, brown sugar, butter, and cinnamon.

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 Favorite Apple Pie

  • PREP
  • COOK
  • TOTAL

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.

Makes one (9-inch) pie

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

1 egg

Directions

  • Make Apple Filling
  • Peel, 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.

    Scatter 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
    • Roll 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.

      Being 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.

      Roll 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
      • Position an oven rack towards the center of the oven, and then heat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit (200C).

        • Assemble Pie
        • Toss 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.

          Pour 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.

          For 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.

          Trim 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).

          Whisk 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
          • Place 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.

            If 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.

            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. 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.

            • Serving
            • Be 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
              • Leftover 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.

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, Jonagold, Braeburn, Mutsu, Pink Lady, Golden Delicious, and Jazz
  • 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.

If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #inspiredtaste — We love to see your creations on Instagram and Facebook! Find us: @inspiredtaste

Nutrition Per Serving: Serving Size 1 slice (8 total) / Calories 583 / Total Fat 25.2g / Saturated Fat 15.4g / Cholesterol 64.8mg / Sodium 226.4mg / Carbohydrate 88.6g / Dietary Fiber 4.2g / Total Sugars 50.4g / Protein 5g
AUTHOR: Adam and Joanne Gallagher

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205 comments… Leave a Comment
  • Lauren Lawrence April 10, 2022, 6:12 pm

    I have been trying to find the best apple pie filling and this apple pie filling was perfect. I used 2 granny smith, 2 pink ladys and 2 apple crisps. I did have left over apples after using 9 inch metal pan so scale down if needed on the apples but this recipe is perfect. I had all ingredients except cardamom spice and it still came out fantastic. Oven was set at 375 for 50 mins with metal pan then scaled down to 325 last 30 mins for perfect crust! Incredible recipe! Thank you! 5 stars.

    Reply
  • James April 10, 2022, 3:27 pm

    Hello,I’ve made this pie twice, this is the best Apple pie on the planet. The Apple mixture just comes together so wonderful. I use 6 different types of apples. And people say it just taste wonderful, but you must heat it up to get all of the spices and everything to mesh together. This is wonderful apple pie,

    Reply
  • Kira Cherevaty April 1, 2022, 9:22 am

    Hi there, this recipe looks fantastic! I’m hoping to have this pie tomorrow but I don’t have much time then. I was wondering if it would be best to completely bake the pie today or just do the crust and filing separately and assemble and bake it tomorrow. Thank you in advance!

    Reply
    • Adam April 3, 2022, 12:56 pm

      Hi Kira, either works. Pie crust is at it’s best the day of baking but the pie will still be excellent the next day.

      Reply
  • Denise Powell March 29, 2022, 12:22 pm

    This is absolutely best apple pie recipe. The two things that are most important is: 1. Only use 3/4 cup of the juice from the apples: 2. Make sure and lay the apples slices flat when filling the pie. Don’t just pour them in like you would with ready made pie filling. Doing this is key! I never realized how important this is. Doing that will allow you to cut a completely cooled and set piece of pie that will come out perfect enough to hold it with your pie spatula without any filling oozing out. It’s also an excellent crust recipe.

    Reply
  • Charlene March 14, 2022, 2:27 am

    I made this apple pie to go with Sunday dinner and it was amazing. Followed all of the steps in the recipe. I usually make fruit cobblers which require more liquid. This was my first time baking apple pie and I couldn’t be happier. You definitely have to cover it with foil to slow down the browning process. The family gave it a thumbs up and rave reviews!

    Reply
    • Rebecca Sander April 7, 2022, 11:09 pm

      The crust for this pie was an absolute nightmare to work with. It was true, as the instructions said, that it was a breeze to roll out. But after that it was a long and horrible experience, as the crust kept breaking at every maneuver. I wished a hundred times that I had not chosen this time to make a lattice top or that I had used my tried and true pie recipe.

      Reply
      • Joanne April 22, 2022, 1:09 pm

        Hi Rebecca, We are sorry you had such a difficult time with the pie crust. We’ve found that recipe to be much easier than other pie dough recipes. I am wondering if the dough was too cold when you were working with it (that’s the only reasoning I can think of for it breaking apart on you). I know that we usually like to keep pie dough cold when working with it, but maybe yours was just a little too cold.

        Reply
  • JJ February 22, 2022, 10:48 am

    I’m so happy I found your site and these recipes! I prepared both the crust and filling, and holy moly was my pie amazing! I live in a part of the world where few spices are available so I only had cinnamon & nutmeg and it was still fabulous. This is the first apple pie I’ve made that didn’t fall apart when I sliced it. Picture perfect!

    Reply
  • Susan February 17, 2022, 11:25 pm

    The best apple pie I have ever made. Thankyou for the recipe

    Reply
  • Paula January 20, 2022, 5:55 pm

    Love the crust recipe. I have tried so many over the years but this one is the winner. I did use half vodka for the liquid. Perfect apple pie, not too sweet, just right. Thank you!

    Reply
  • lynn January 6, 2022, 1:31 pm

    Do I add the cornstarch to the apples with the spices or later when I put the apples in the pue crust, thanks.

    Reply
    • Joanne April 22, 2022, 1:10 pm

      Recipe instructions are above. We add the cornstarch to the apples after they have had time with the spices. (See recipe section titles “Assemble Pie.”

      Reply
  • Mary January 2, 2022, 5:30 pm

    I think this is the best apple pie I’ve ever made. You were right about the juice coming out to 3/4 c. It was exact. The filling wasn’t runny nor was it too thick. Just right!

    Reply
  • Vanessa Markel January 1, 2022, 7:26 pm

    I will make this apple pie again. Next will add all the spices.

    Reply
  • Addie December 27, 2021, 12:25 pm

    I used a pie crust recipe from a friend instead of the one lined to this recipe. So, no comment on the pie crust.This pie filling is the best I every had. I mixed Granny Smith with Honey Crisp. The flavor is amazing. What I love about it is the mix of spices and it was not too sweet. You do need to plan ahead with this recipe because of the set aside time and the baking time. Overall, the recipe is EASY.

    Reply
  • Alexander December 25, 2021, 6:57 pm

    We are novice pie makers and followed the recipe carefully but we forgot the egg wash. We pulled the pie from the oven to put the egg wash on figuring that it had not cooked too much and noticed that the top crust was melting off the pie and our edging had fallen. Could there be a logical reason why this happened?

    Reply
    • Joanne April 22, 2022, 1:13 pm

      Hi Alexander, I understand why you wanted to add the egg wash, but if you forget next time, I’d just leave it off. We don’t recommend taking the pie out of the oven mid-bake.

      Reply
  • Ty December 25, 2021, 1:17 am

    Oh this pie is dddddelicious! I made it for the very first time ever today and my husband (Who is an apple pie connoisseur) has eaten half of it on Christmas Eve! A couple of things I changed: After I sliced the apples I put a dash of lemon juice on them before coating with the sugar and spice mix. It brings this extra touch of subtle sour to the Granny Smith apples that is oh so tantalizing. I did not have allspice in my cupboard.. I used store-bought crust! I used a blend of Granny Smith and Honeycrisp apples. Only tip: Don’t be shy when stuffing the pie because the apples shrink when baking. Delicious & easy! Can’t wait to have a reason to bake it again! Thank you!

    Reply
  • Danny December 24, 2021, 11:56 am

    Tried baking it this Christmas and it made our evening merrier! Thank you so much for the fantastic recipe.

    Reply

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