Apple pie is a classic American dessert made by baking a pastry crust filled with sliced or diced apples, sugar, and spices.
Homemade apple pie is a beloved dish that’s often served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream. Here is the best homemade apple pie recipe:
For the pie crust:
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cold and cubed
- 6-8 tablespoons ice water or cold milk
(This crust recipe makes enough for a double 9 inch crust.)
For the filling:
- 6-7 cups of peeled, cored, and sliced apples (such as Granny Smith or Honeycrisp)
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon butter (for dotting on top)
- Prepare the pie crust:
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour and salt.
- Add the cold, cubed butter to the flour mixture.
- Use a pastry cutter or your fingers to work the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
- Gradually add ice water, one tablespoon at a time, mixing with a fork until the dough just comes together. Be careful not to overmix.
- Divide the dough into two equal portions, shape each into a disk, wrap them in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
- Preheat your oven to 425°F (220°C).
- Roll out the pie crust:
- On a floured surface, roll out one of the chilled dough disks into a circle large enough to line a 9-inch pie pan. Place the rolled-out dough into the pie pan and trim any excess dough hanging over the edge.
- Prepare the filling:
- In a large mixing bowl, toss the sliced apples with lemon juice to prevent browning.
- In a separate bowl, combine the sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and flour.
- Sprinkle the sugar mixture over the apples and toss until the apples are evenly coated.
- Assemble the pie:
- Pour the apple filling into the prepared pie crust.
- Dot the top of the filling with small pieces of butter.
- Roll out the second dough disk and place it over the filling. Trim any excess dough and crimp the edges to seal the pie.
- Make a few small slits in the top crust to allow steam to escape.
- Optionally, you can brush the top crust with milk and lightly sprinkle with sugar for an extra touch!
- Bake the pie in the preheated oven for 45-55 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbling.
- Allow the pie to cool before serving. It’s best served warm with your choice of toppings, such as vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.
Enjoy your homemade apple pie!
Here are some items that can help with making the best homemade apple pie crust:
- Revolutionary glass construction makes these versatile 1.4-quart deep pie plates safe for oven, microwave, refrigerator, and freezer; clear glass lets you monitor baking, serve your creation in style, and see inside while stored
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Remember that directions for homemade pie recipes vary so always refer to your specific recipe for any adjustments or additional steps. With practice, you’ll become more confident in baking the best homemade pies and homemade pie crusts. Enjoy your homemade pies!
Apple pie has a long and delicious history, and it’s closely associated with American culinary traditions. While the origins of pie, in general, can be traced back to ancient civilizations, the specific history of apple pie is a bit more complex and interesting.
- Ancient Roots: The concept of baking fruit within a pastry crust can be traced back to ancient civilizations like the Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans. These early pies often combined fruits, honey, and various spices in a pastry shell.
- Medieval Europe: Pies continued to evolve in Europe during the Middle Ages. By the late medieval period, pies filled with fruits, such as apples, became more common. These pies were sometimes called “coffins” and were made with a thick, inedible pastry crust that was primarily used as a container for the filling.
- Arrival in America: European colonists brought their pie-making traditions, including apple pie, to North America. Apples were one of the first fruits cultivated by European settlers in the New World. American apple pie evolved as colonists adapted their recipes to include ingredients native to the region, such as sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
- Early American Variations: Early American apple pies were quite different from what we think of today. They often lacked the sweeteners we commonly use today, and the recipes varied greatly from region to region. Some early pies were more like a baked applesauce with a top crust.
- Popularization: Apple pie gained popularity in the 19th century, and it became an iconic American dish. As apples became more readily available and transportation improved, apple pie became a staple on American tables.
- Symbolic Importance: In the 20th century, apple pie became a symbol of American culture and identity. The phrase “as American as apple pie” reflects its status as a quintessential American dessert.
- Modern Variations: Today, apple pie is made in countless variations. Some people prefer lattice-topped pies, while others use crumb toppings. There are also variations with added ingredients like caramel, cheddar cheese, or raisins. Regional variations, such as the deep-dish apple pie of the American Midwest, continue to thrive.
Apple pie has not only remained a beloved dessert but has also played a role in American culture, often associated with nostalgia, family gatherings, and patriotism. Whether served at a family dinner, a holiday celebration, or enjoyed a la mode in a diner, apple pie continues to hold a special place in the hearts of many.