Saigon cinnamon and freshly grated nutmeg are the keys to making this the best homemade apple pie around. Love apples? Read our apple guide with everything you need to know about apples!
Homemade Apple Pie Recipe
How have I had this website for over 5 years and not shared our traditional apple pie recipe? Today is your lucky day! A good friend from my kids school shared with us her apple pie recipe several years ago. She is an amazing baker with so much knowledge. I was so thankful to her for writing out the steps to making a delicious pie. And today I’m sharing them with you!
What is the best kind of apples for pie?
This apple pie recipe is loaded with over 4 pounds of apples. So what is the best type of apple for baking? You want an apple that is not overly sweet and won’t turn to mush when baking. Granny Smiths are a classic apple pie apple. They are tart and have a firm flesh. Honeycrisp add a little sweetness to pie. Jonathan, Winesap and Braeburn are also great choices that you should be able to find in your grocery store.
What are the ingredients for apple pie?
There are a couple of key ingredients for our homemade apple pie.
- Saigon Cinnamon. You’ll want to look for a cinnamon that is labeled Saigon cinnamon. This cinnamon has a higher essential oil content and has a stronger flavor than most cinnamons. You’ll pay just a little more for this cinnamon, but the difference it makes in baked goods is worth it!
- Freshly Grated Nutmeg. Yes, you can buy nutmeg already ground, but if you’re looking to add a unique flavor to your pies, try freshly grated nutmeg. You buy nutmeg “nuts” and a small grater. Simply grate the nut on the grater and watch that freshly grated nutmeg fall into your apple mixture. It’s so, so good!
- Lemon Juice. Don’t worry. You won’t taste the lemon in this pie. You can actually leave the lemon out if you’d like, but we feel it helps add to the fresh flavor of the pie.
- Flour. Flour thickens up the filling slightly so your pie is not runny.
- Sugar. We normally use white sugar, but we have made it with brown sugar too!
- Butter. Before putting the top pie crust on, we dot the top of our pie with butter. Butter adds flavor and richness to fruit desserts. (Remember our raspberry sauce and strawberry sauce? Don’t skip the butter!)
How do you prepare apples for apple pie?
- Do you have to peel apples for apple pie? I say yes. I’ve had pies with unpeeled apples in them. As the apples bake, the skin tends to pull away from the flesh of the apple creating a weird texture. Take the time to peel the apples.
- How do I easily cut apples for pie? It’s important to have apple slices that are all about the same thickness so that the pie cooks evenly. Crunchy apples amidst soft apples isn’t the best pie eating experience. To make quick work of preparing apples for pie, we use our apple peeler/slicer/corer. It’s AMAZING. Peels, cores and evenly slices the apples. Hardly any work on your part! You can find one here.
How do you make apple pie filling?
Soft apples are a must for us in apple pie. Because of this, we like to soften our apples first in a saucepan on the stovetop. Combine the apples, flour (for thickening), sugar, cinnamon and lemon juice. Cook these over medium low heat until the apples start to soften which will be about 10-15 minutes. Stir the apples often so that the sugar doesn’t burn on the bottom of the pan. This will create a nice, syrupy apple mixture that you can pour into your pie shell. (Secret hint…we make apples like this and serve them over ice cream. So good and no need to bake anything!)
*A note on the sugar. You can try lowering the sugar if you’d like. We’ve gone down to 1/2 a cup of sugar at different times. It’s really a matter of taste…and even what apples you choose. If your apples are more tart, then you might want the full 3/4 cup sugar. If they are sweeter apples, try lowering the sugar.*
Best Pie Crust
We recommend making a homemade double pie crust for our apple pie. You can click here to find our recipe. Or you can use your own favorite homemade pie crust. Everyone needs a shortcut at times, though. If you don’t want to take the time to make your own pie crust, Pillsbury refrigerated pie crust is very good! No mess and a soft, flaky crust.
Does apple pie need to be refrigerated?
You can keep pies at room temperature for 2 days. If you’re going to keep it longer than that, place it in the refrigerator. Pies are generally best eaten within 4 days of baking. Be sure to cover your pies with plastic wrap or foil once they are cut into.
What is apple pie a la mode?
Apple pie a la mode is a fancy way of saying apple pie with ice cream! We like to serve our pie warm so the ice cream melts in a little bit. Delicious!
Other Apple Recipes
- Danish Pastry Apple Pie Bars
- Upside Down Apple Dumpling Pie
- Apple Butter Pie
- Apple Butter Pie Tarts
- Apple Pie Crepes
TOOLS I USED
- Pastry Cutter: I use this tool all the time. It cuts butter into flour perfectly for streusels, crusts and other pastries.
- Pastry Mat: This silicone mat keeps your cupboard clean and makes rolling out pastries so easy.
- Cute Pie Plate: Because if you’re taking the time to make pie, serve it up in style!
- Pie Crust Decorator Wheel: Makes beautiful edges to your pie!
- Pastry Guide: Makes perfectly round crust, every time.
- Saigon Cinnamon: This is our favorite cinnamon. You can’t beat its flavor!
- Whole Nutmeg: Use freshly grated nutmeg for an amazing taste!
Homemade Apple Pie
- Pastry for double pie crust
- 8 large apples (about 8-10 cups of apple slices or at least 4 pounds)
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons Saigon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- Juice of half a lemon
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 2 tablespoons coarse sugar
- Peel, core and slice the apples thinly.
- Place them in a large saucepan. Sprinkle the flour, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and lemon juice over the apples. Cook over medium low heat just until the apples start to soften, about 10-15 minutes. Stir several times during cooking.
- Spray a deep dish 9” pie plate with cooking spray. Place a rolled pastry dough on the bottom of the pie plate. Trim any excess dough, keeping the dough even with the edge of the pie plate.
- Pour the warm apple mixture into the pie plate. Press down on the apples so that they lay flat and don’t have much space between them. This gives a nice, thick pie!
- Dot the top of the apples with the butter.
- Place the second pastry over the apples. Use a knife to trim any excess pie crust, leaving enough dough to tuck the top crust under the bottom crust. Flute the edges of the pie crust to seal.
- Cut slits in the top of the pie crust or use the tins of a fork to make the letter “A” on top.
- Use a pastry brush to brush milk overtop the pie crust, which will give the crust a shine.
- Sprinkle coarse sugar on top of the pie crust.
- Bake at 425 degrees Fahrenheit for 40 minutes or until the crust is golden brown and the apples are soft. If the crust is browning before you think the apples are softened, cover the edges with foil.
- Allow to cool to room temperature before slicing.
- Store in an airtight container.