This recipe for Homemade Apple Pie is the best I have ever tried and you will love it.
You can’t go past a classic Apple Pie with flaky, buttery crust and a filling of sweet, cinnamon scented apples.
At the moment there is a big trend towards low carb diets. And while I understand that eating lots of refined carbs is not a good idea, my motto has always been ‘everything in moderation’ (unless there are health reasons, of course). Whether its’s savoury like these addictive Puff pastry twists with Prosciutto or a sweet Strawberry crostata, pastry and pies have always been my comfort food.
What is so special about this recipe?
This recipe for Apple Pie from scratch has a perfect balance of rich pastry and sweetness of the apple filling. There is only 1/2 cup of sugar plus 2 tablespoons in the whole pie which serves 8 people. The combination of white and brown sugar enhances the flavour of the apples and spices. The best part about this pie is that the apple juices are thickened creating a wonderful sauce when served warm and it sets when cold holding the apples together for a perfect slice. While there are a few steps to making a good Apple pie, this recipe eliminates the need to cook the apples beforehand. When sliced thinly, the apple filling cooks perfectly during baking.
The pie dough for this recipe for Apple Pie is made in the food processor which is quick and almost foolproof!
How to make a good Homemade Apple Pie.
I have made many pies over the years but none better than this recipe for Apple Pie. The dough is made quite simply in the food process though you can make it by hand – I just love how easy pie dough comes together in the food processor. The apples for this pie are not cooked before filling – long, high heat takes care of that. Because of this, the apples are never mushy. Speaking about apples, select a few sweet apples to include in with tart granny smith apples. Combining different types of apples makes sure you get the best apple flavour for your pie.
To make a perfect pie, you won’t want a soggy bottom. This recipe prevents soggy bottoms by tossing the apples together with a flour, sugar and spices. The flour thickens any juices that seep out of the apples and mix together with the sugar, spice and butter dotted on top to create a delicious, rich sauce.
Tips for making perfect pastry.
Pastry has two basic rules – make it cold but bake it hot. But if it was that simple, no one would have trouble with pastry so let’s expand on that. Here are my tips.
- Keep everything cold – cold butter, cold liquids, even cold flour if it’s a hot day.
- Add only just enough liquid to moisten – too much liquid will cause tough pastry.
- On a hot day, refrigerate the pastry often – after rolling out, after lining the pie pan and also refrigerate the completed pie for 15 minutes before baking.
- Don’t over handle the pastry – be gentle and work it minimally.
- Have the oven preheated for 30 minutes so that it is up to temperature and holding at the correct temperature.
- Bake until well browned – undercooked pastry will collapse, be soggy and taste floury.
This pastry can be made in advance. Keep it well wrapped in the refrigerator for 2 days or freeze for 1 month. Frozen pastry will need to be defrosted in the refrigerator overnight and then possibly (depending on the climate) allow to soften slightly at room temperature. Remember to not let it warm too much – pastry should still be cool to touch.
Why I make pastry in the food processor?
Because of the reasons I mentioned above! By using the food processor there is no chance of overheating the pastry with your hot hands plus it’s super quick. Keep in mind to only use the pulse button. Avoid the temptation to turn the processor on which will overwork the dough.
- Cut cold butter into chunks and place in the processor with flour and salt. (photo 1)
- Pulse only until coarse crumbs form – you will see little pieces of butter which is exactly right. (photo 2)
- Add liquid and pulse until pastry just starts to come together. It will still look crumbly but that’s good! (photo 3)
- Work the pastry lightly on a work surface then wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 20-30 minutes. (photo 4)
Can I make this pastry without a food processor?
Absolutely! To make this pastry without the food processor you can simply rub the butter into the flour with your fingertips. Also you can cut the butter into the flour with two butter knives or a pastry blender (a utensil made of narrow metal strips or wires and used to press butter into the flour). If using your fingertips, don’t be tempted to get your whole hands into the mixture because palms are the hottest part of your hands and will melt the butter. Whichever method used, the results needs to be coarse crumbs (photo 2). Then use a knife to stir in the liquids and continue as per the recipe.
How to roll out pastry and line a pie pan.
If you have never rolled out pastry and lined a pie pan, this can be a bit tricky. The first time I made an apple pie I was 12 years old and my dear mum had passed away several years earlier. Recipe books didn’t explain exactly how to get the rolled pie dough into the pan. My first apple pie looked like a patchwork quilt! I don’t want this to happen to you so here’s my tips complete with step by step photos.
- Take pie dough out of the refrigerator and roll between two sheets of non-stick baking paper using a little flour to prevent sticking. (photo 5)
- Roll from the inside out and turn the pastry a little each time so that you roll an even circle.
- You may need to pull off the paper and reposition or dust with a little more flour.
- Roll to about 30cm/12in depending on the size of your pie pan.
- Check for the correct size by holding the inverted pie pan over the dough. The dough should be two or three fingers larger than the pan.
- Loosely roll the dough around the rolling pin, gently removing the bottom layer of baking paper as you go. Leave the top layer of baking paper – this will hold the dough together while you guide it into the pie pan. (photo 6)
- Unroll into the pie pan checking that the dough reaches all the edges. Gently lift and push the dough into the corners. (photo 7)
- Remove the paper carefully. (photo 8)
- Trim extra and patch if necessary.
Which pie pan to use?
I prefer using a Pyrex pie pan however if you have a metal pie pan that is good too. Stoneware pie pan can deliver varying results because this material is slow to heat. I have also found that my stoneware pie pan invariably always sticks. Frustrating! Whichever pan you use, be sure to lightly grease as insurance against sticking.
This recipe for Apple Pie filling.
If you are looking for a classic apple pie then you will need a good apple filling to complement the flaky, tender pie dough. Apple filling is best made with a few different varieties of apple – mostly tart apples like Granny Smith along with a couple of sweet apples like Pink Lady. Here’s an excellent guide for choosing apples for baking. Anyway, this pie is delicious even if you use all tart Granny Smith apples. Some important points to remember are:-
- Slice the apples thinly. (photo 9)
- Combine flour, sugar and spices in a small bowl before adding the to apples. This way the flour is distributed evenly throughout the apples. (photo 10)
- Pile the apples into the uncooked pastry shell arranging with your fingers so that they all fit in.
- Brush egg white on the edge of the pie to make sure the top pastry sticks to the bottom pastry. (photo 11)
- Brush the top with egg white and cut some slits in the top of the pie. (photo 12)
The spices I like to use are a combination of cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg. I think cinnamon is not optional but you can decide about the other spices. Different spice to try are ginger, cloves or cardamom.
Remember that the oven should be preheated 30 minutes prior to baking to make sure that the oven is fully heated. Because this pie is in the oven for a long time, use the reserved egg white to brush on the surface. Egg white won’t colour as much as a regular egg wash using whole egg so your pie will just be perfectly golden brown when it’s done.
What is I don’t have time to make homemade pie crust?
No problem – buy good quality shortcrust pastry to line a pie pan and top your pie. Use the filling as per my recipe. It won’t be as good as homemade pie crust but with this filling it will be very close.
Let your apple pie cool to allow the juices to set. If you can wait until the pie is room temperature or cold the slices will hold together much better. However if you just want the BEST homemade Apple Pie in the world in your mouth now, don’t wait. Eat it warm with vanilla ice cream, custard or cream.
If you make it, let me know what you think of this recipe for Apple Pie.
Do you want more apple recipes? No problem – check these out!
Cinnamon Panna Cotta with Apple Crumble
Moist Apple Cake
Italian Apple Pie (Apple Crostata)
Apple & Rhubarb Crumble from Another Food Blogger
Apple-Upside Down Cake from A Baking Journey
Apple Cinnamon Muffins with struesel topping from A Baking Journey
Easy Apple Galette with Applesauce from A Baking Journey
Apple, Pear Almond and Watercress Salad from The Devil Wears Salad
DID YOU LIKE THIS RECIPE?
Homemade Apple Pie with all butter crust
- 2 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 185 grams unsalted butter cold, cubed
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 egg yolk white reserved
- 6 teaspoons ice cold water or as needed
- 1 kg apples granny smith and sweet, cored, sliced, peeled
- ¼ cup white sugar
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon allspice
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon raw sugar
For the pie dough
- In a food processor place flour, baking powder and salt.
- Add the sugar and just pulse once to combine.
- Add the butter and pulse butter until butter until coarse crumbs form. It takes me approximately 20 pulses.
- Whisk yolk and iced water together in a small bowl to combine, and then add to the flour mixture, pulsing just until the mixture is just barely clumping together. For me, it is another 20 pulses.
- Tip the dough out onto a work surface. Bring the dough together with your hands and just gently push the dough together to form a ball. Don’t over knead. Divide into two portions (one slightly larger than the other) and cover each separately with cling wrap. Refrigerate for 20-30 minutes.
For the filling
- Peel the apples, then core and slice thinly and place in a large bowl.
- In a small bowl, combine sugars, flour and spices.
- Add sugar/flour mixture to the apples and mix well until all apples are coated.
To bake the pie
- Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F and grease a 22cm/9inch Pyrex or metal pie pan.
- Take the large portion of pie dough out of the refrigerator and roll between two sheets of non-stick baking paper using a little flour to prevent sticking. Roll from the inside out and turn the a little each time so that you roll an even circle. You may need to pull off the paper and reposition or dust with a little more flour. Roll to abut 30cm/12in depending on the size of your pie pan. Check for the correct size by holding the inverted pie pan over the dough. The dough should be two or three fingers larger than the pan.
- Loosely roll the dough around the rolling pin, gently removing the bottom layer of baking paper as you go. Leave the top layer of baking paper – this will hold the dough together while you guide it into the pie pan.
- Unroll into the pie pan checking that the dough reaches all the edges. Gently lift and push the dough into the corners. Remove the paper carefully. Trim extra and patch if necessary.
- Spoon in apple filling mixture and use your fingers to arrange the apple slices so that they are well packed in. Definitely pour in any juices that may have developed.
- Brush the edge of the pie with egg white so that the top pastry will stick.
- Roll the other half of the dough and transfer to the top of the pie as previously described.
- Trim the extra dough from the edges. Press the edges to ensure they are sealed together.
- Brush the pie with the egg white and sprinkle with the sugar.
- Use the leftover pastry to decorate with leaves or as you wish. Either way cut two or three slits in the top of the pie to allow the steam to escape.
- Bake pie for 70 minutes or until the crust is golden brown.
- Serve warm, room temperature or cold with cream, ice cream or custard.
Tips for making perfect pastry.Pastry has two basic rules - make it cold but bake it hot. But if it was that simple, no one would have trouble with pastry so let's expand on that. Here are my tips.
- Keep everything cold - cold butter, cold liquids, even cold flour if it's a hot day.
- Add only just enough liquid to moisten - too much liquid will cause tough pastry.
- On a hot day, refrigerate the pastry often - after rolling out, after lining the pie pan and also refrigerate the completed pie for 15 minutes before baking.
- Don't over handle the pastry - be gentle and work it minimally.
- Have the oven preheated for 30 minutes so that it is up to temperature and holding at the correct temperature.
- Bake until well browned - undercooked pastry will collapse, be soggy and taste floury.
How to make this pastry without a food processor.Cut the butter into the flour with a pastry blender (a utensil made of narrow metal strips or wires and used to press butter into the flour), two knives or your fingertips. If using your fingertips, don't be tempted to get your whole hands into the mixture because palms are the hottest part of your hands and will melt the butter. Whichever method used, the results needs to be coarse crumbs. Then use a knife to stir in the liquids and continue as per the recipe.
Apples for this Apple Pie recipe.Apple filling is best made with a few different varieties of apple - mostly tart apples like Granny Smith along with a couple of sweet apples like Pink Lady. However, this pie is delicious even if you use all tart Granny Smith apples.