cinnamon-sigh Recipes

apple pie

I’m an all-butter crust kinda gal; I’ll exchange flavor for flakiness any day of the year and, like a lot of us, I’m pretty freaked out by shortening in general. But, I caved this year. One too many articles about the best non-lard crusts resulting from that magical blend of both vegetable and butter fats, plus the seal of approval from the America’s Test Kitchen cookbook (and as we all know, I’ll do anything they say) and there I was, scooping tablespoons of that white stuff from a can. To compensate for the butter lost, I used some Danish butter, so rich that but ten minutes after the pie went in the oven, the unmistakable scent of buttery brilliance hit the air and we swooned.

I’m also not one to use recipes for pies, a little sugar, a little flour and spices to taste always seem easier than hoping any cut and dry method will consistently produce the same results. Yet, the last couple years my apple pies have each been missing a little something so I thought I’d go back to the structured approach and build out from there again. Alas, we won’t know how this baby turned out until long after we’re tucked in with night caps and food comas, so I guess we’ll just have to assume it’s blissful.

I hope all of your feasts, festivities, and afternoons with friends and families are too.

not moundful enough
emile henry knock-off

American Pie Dough for Lattice-Top Pie (Non-Lattice Directions in Parentheses)
America’s Test Kitchen Cookbook

According to ATC, this crust has a firmer texture than their basic recipe, making it easier to work with when creating a lattice top for pies. In parentheses, I am listing their non-lattice top recipe.

3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (2 1/2 cups, non-lattice)
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
7 tablespoons all-vegetable shortening, chilled (8 tablespoons, non-lattice)
10 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled, cut into 1/4-inch pieces (12 tablespoons, non-lattice)
10 tablespoons ice water (6 to 8 tablespoons, non-lattice)

1. Pulse flour, salt and sugar in a food processor fitted with steel blade until combined. Add shortening and process until mixture has texture of coarse sand, about 10 seconds. Scatter butter pieces over flour mixture; cut butter into flour until mixture is pale yellow and resembles coarse crumbs, with butter bits no larger than small peas, about ten 1-second pulses. Turn mixture into medium bowl.

2. Sprinkle 8 tablespoons ice water over mixture. With blade of rubber spatula, use folding motion to mix. Press down on dough with broad side of spatula until dough sticks together, adding up to 2 tablespoons more ice water if it will not come together. Divide dough into two pieces, one slightly larger than the other. (If possible, weigh pieces. They should register 16 ounces and 14 ounces.) Flatten larger piece into a rough 5-inch square and smaller piece into a 4-inch disk; (If for a non-lattice, double crust pie, these pieces should be even in weight and both round) wrap separately in plastic and refrigerator at least 1 hour or up to 2 days before rolling.

[Deb note: At this point, the book gives painfully elaborate instructions that I am no doubt work flawlessly for creating a lattice-top. I stuck with my method. Below is their basic double-crust pie instructions.]

Apple Pie
Adapted from America’s Test Kitchen Cookbook

1 1/2 pounds Granny Smith apples (about 3 medium)
2 pounds McIntosh apples (about 4 large)
1 tablespoon juice and 1 teaspoon zest from 1 lemon
3/4 cups (5.25 ounces) plus 1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1 egg white, beaten lightly

1. Adjust oven rack to lowest position and heat rimmed baking sheet and oven to 500°F. Remove one piece of dough from refrigerator (if refrigerated longer than 1 hour, let stand at room temperature until malleable).

2. Roll dough on lightly floured work surface or between two large sheets of plastic wrap to 12-inch disk. Transfer dough to pie plate by rolling dough around rolling pin and unrolling over 9 1/2-inch pie plate or by folding dough in quarters, then placing dough point in center of pie plate and unfolding. Working around circumference of pie plate, ease dough into pan corners by gently lifting dough edges with one hand while pressing around pan bottom with other hand. Leave dough that overhangs lip of plate in place; refrigerate dough-lined pie plate.

3. Peel, core and cut apples in half, and in half again width-wise; cut quarters into 1/4-inch slices and toss with lemon juice and zest. In a medium bowl, mix 3/4 cup sugar, flour, salt and spices. Toss dry ingredients with apples. Turn fruit mixture, including juices, into chilled pie shell and mound slightly in center.

4. Roll out second piece of dough to 12-inch disk and place over filling. Trim top and bottom edges to 1/2-inch beyond pan lip. Tuck this rim of dough underneath itself so that folded edge is flush with pan lip. Flute edging or press with fork tines to seal. Cut four slits on dough top. If pie dough is very soft, place in freezer for 10 minutes. Brush egg white onto top of crust and sprinkle evenly with remaining 1 tablespoon sugar.

5. Place pie on baking sheet and lower oven temperature to 425°F. Bake until top crust is golden, about 25 minutes. Rotate pie and reduce oven temperature to 375°F; continue baking until juices bubble and crust is deep golden brown, 30-35 minutes longer.

6. Transfer pie to wire rack; cool to room temperature, at least 4 hours.

Review: We all loved this pie. However, I might for the first time be taking a no-lattice top approach for apple pies in the future. Shortly after these pictures were taken, the apples fell and it ended up looking a little bird cagey on top. This has happened before, leading me to think that perhaps in the open-top variety, apples have a chance to lose too much of their moisture. It wasn’t particularly gooey inside, though tasty just the same. I’m thinking that peach or cherry pies, with their excessive juiciness, might be better-suited for lattice-tops and Cook’s Illustrated seems to agree.

Finally, I’d jack up the spices a bit next time, certainly doubling them [updated to note: not everyone agrees that it needs more spice so please, just spice to taste] and cut back on the lemon, which had a very pronounced flavor. In every other way though, crust included, this recipe is a keeper.

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141 comments on apple pie

  1. Sounds like a great pie! I had never pie crust using the white creamy stuff until my Southern mother-in-law showed me how andboy was it good! So once in a while I give and use it. Have a great and happy Thanksgiving!

  2. Christine

    That looks absolutely delicious! I’ve had a fear of making pie with all the little steps involved and the different methods for making the crust (one bakes it before putting the filling in, another doesn’t, &c) and I don’t know what to make of it. But I’ve a bit of a weakness for pie that might just come through.

  3. Nell

    The best tip I’ve found for apple pies is to sugar the apples, set them in a strainer over a bowl and then boil down the juices to a thicker consistency. This keeps the pie filling from being too liquid-y. I think this idea came from either Martha or Rose Levy Berenbaum. The latter is the reason I never make pies — her recipes are terrific, but take me the entire day. I’m exhausted just thinking about it.

    Happy Thanksgiving!

  4. I know you made that pie for dessert which means after dinner but really how could you not cut into it after 10 minutes? I could wait 10 minutes because I know I’d burn my mouth if I didn’t. That would have been a long 10 minutes! Wow, wow and wow – that is beautiful.

  5. Shelly

    Please pardon me Deb, this is horribly off your present topic, but I have 1 word for you… well, maybe a few… Ina Garten BROWNIES! Oh my, Deb, what HAVE you done?!! I was feeling like a brownie this evening and remembered that you had posted back in September about these magnificent ones. So I searched through your posts and finally found the recipe. They took some doing since Australia hasn’t quite figured out that bliss comes in a yellow and brown package that’s marked “Nestle Semi Sweet Morsels”, and good unsweetened chocolate isn’t really easy to find here. Plus the metric conversions are just another place I really hate going, but its been so long since I’ve had a decent brownie, I made the effort. I’m speechless Deb, at a loss for words about these squares of perfection. They’re simply the best I’ve ever had. No wonder people come to you for recipes! I think I should’ve cut the squares smaller though. They’re so rich its hard to get through one! I have to admit, I think I overcooked them a bit (again, the metric thing), but they’re still excellent.

    Please Deb, keep up the good work in bringing us the best recipes!

    P.S. I also posted back about my French dinner, I didn’t know if you saw it.

  6. Pie perfection, and a lattice crust. Sweet!

    I boldly add a snall amount of ‘the white stuff’ to pie crusts to add some flakiness. You can buy a trans-fat free shortening in order to avoid those TF heebie-jeebies.

    Oh…and your pumpkin cheesecake? Totally fab looking. That little piece in the picture was beyond adorable

  7. I’m not sure what this shortening stuff is, though I’ve seen it mentioned in various blogs and cookbooks (Trex??). That apple pie looks absolutely amazing, can’t wait for the recipe!

  8. Deb, that is a gorgeous pie! Beautiful lattice top!

    I tried a cinnamon crumble top apple pie this year, and it was declared the best pie ever by my family. If you’re looking for a recipe, I highly recommend the one I tried.

  9. Lissa

    Hi! I know that my comment to this post is coming much, much too late – however, I just discovered your site and, not wanting to miss anything, I’m reading through the archives. I just wanted to chime in because I made this pie this past Wednesday for a company picnic and loved it. Like you, America’s Test Kitchen can speak no wrong in my book, but the added flavor of the allspice (to the normal cinnamon and nutmeg from the previously tried and true Joy of Cooking standby) made this pie my new favorite. The accompanying peach-raspberry pie from Food and Wine couldn’t hold a candle. Thanks for a wonderful blog – great recipes, wonderful sense of humor and beautiful photos. I look forward to having breaks at work, so I can get through a few more posts each time!

  10. I am super extra late to this post, but I’m going to be trying this pie (with my own family pie crust recipe) tomorrow and I wonder if the reason you were having problems with the lattice is from using the McIntosh apples. I find that they don’t hold up for pies and cook down to mush. Maybe a Fuji or something would stand up for the lattice a bit better.

  11. Tim

    Despite the ‘did not take notes drama’, the pie looks mighty fine to me. Even if the filling is a bit slushy… pie is like sex, even if it is bad pie, it is still pie! My fav apple pie is actually the cheddar crust variety, but hey, your pie looks like pie to me!

  12. Nicole

    I’ve found that if you use only granny smitth apples you can do away with the lemon juice entirely and still get that apple tartness. I use a heaping teaspoon of cinnamon and a heaping 1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg plus the sugar and call it done when making the filling. I also do the 2 tbsp of butter under the top crust, and sprinkle the cinnamon/sugar mixtrue lightly on top of the pie before baking. If the 3 apple pies I’ve made in the last two months and the 2 more I have to make before Christmas are any indication my family and friends are fans.

  13. cookie

    You make me so very very hungry, evenwhen I’m not online, just to think about your wonderful photographs…they are wonderfully inspiring…
    too tired to wash dishes but will eat the food…

  14. This pie crust worked beautifully for the Shaker Lemon Pie I made a (umm) month ago, even though we were cutting the slices super duper thin in order to save us a couple of calories. So rich!

  15. Carrie

    I limited the lemon, used a little more than a teaspoon of cinnamon, 1/4 nutmeg, 1/4 allspice, then added 1/4 cardamon. It was very frangrant, which was nicely offset by the baked shredded cheddar on the top. Delicious!

  16. WindupBird

    Great recipe!! I tried doubling the spices, and found the cinnamon a liiiiitttle heavy (Still yummy though, and some others in my family thought it was fine), so maybe just 1.5tsp for that in the future. I also used all macintosh apples, and will have to remember to cut the pieces a little bigger in the future as the filling pretty much all went to mush, and I prefer to have a few pieces of apple in there. Also I didn’t try the lattice approach. After the pie deflated, it still looked good to me!

    Other than that, great great recipe.

  17. Hi:

    The pie crusts (all butter) taste great. I had been over-rolling and making them too thin, then ending up with too much left over dough. I also threw a heckuva lot more flour on the work station, and that didn’t seem to be an issue. HOWEVER…the pie was sooooo watery. I kept thinking that I missed an ingredient like corn starch, but it’s not on the recipe. Could it be my apples were too wet? I used half gala and half honey crisp. I welcome your thoughts.

  18. Hannah

    In response to Whitney’s question above – the honey crisp apples are your problem. They are firmly in the eating-apple category, and really can’t be used for baking – too much juice! I also wouldn’t choose Mac’s – they have no structural integrity when baked. My favourite baking apples are Gravensteins, Northern Spies, and Cortlands, in a pinch.

  19. Melissa

    I made this two nights ago and everything came out spectacular, from the crisp golden brown crust to the first bite…and second and third and fourth. I left out the allspice because it was too late for a market run but everything else in the recipe was included.

  20. kim

    lesley, deb has another tutorial that hilights a lattice-top how-to complete with pictures and very user friendly. i think i searched pie crust? it’s one of the pie crust 101s, or 2s…

    in other news, i just pulled my apple pie out of the oven and i thought my husband was going to trip over himself to come see it! it looks beautiful! this is my first, all went well however i’m a little nervous about what’s going to happen when we slice into it on thanksgiving with all the talk about deflation and mushiness. but with how good it smells, i can’t imagine looks will last long when the eating begins.

    as always, thanks for the fab recipes and posts, deb. they’re witty and fun! keeps me coming back for more!

  21. Elise

    I made this today and it was delicious! I made the double-crust version (no lattice-top). However, if you are doing the “closed-top” version I would recommend subbing the Macintosh apples out with something else (maybe all Grannies? I like tart pies though). I’m thinking because the top was closed rather than open, all of the moisture from those Macs remained inside and I ended up with about a 1/2 inch of liquid in the bottom of my pie. It didn’t affect the taste whatsoever though, thankfully :) Everyone loved it!

  22. Elisheva

    Hi Deb
    I’ve been lurking for a few months now. LOVE your photography (especially of that delicious baby), LOVE your writing, and the recipes are pretty awesome too. I followed these instructions for my first-ever crust attempt, and it actually came out pretty good! Thanks! I used the filling from the joy of baking’s apple pie recipe. I’m amazed that you manage to be so productive with a 2-month old. I have one about the same age, and some days I am lucky to be dressed by noon, let alone cooking elaborate dishes and writing fantastic posts.

  23. Mimi

    Hi there Deb,
    My sister and I made this pie today with the all-butter crust and it was a real treat. We were so excited that our first pie EVER turned out so perfectly! Thanks so much for the recipe.

    Happy holidays everyone!

  24. Dave

    Awesome recipe! I’m always looking to combine portions of recipes that I find interesting into my own. Like your recipe, a friend suggested the lemon zest approach to me and I’ll definitely use it next time. Quick suggestion: for whatever quantity of cold liquid that you use to bring your dough together with, try substituting a third of it with VERY cold vodka. It the alcohol burns off as well as any alcohol flavor, but brings a flakiness to the table that you won’t believe!

  25. Jackie

    The pie looks beautiful. Have you ever considered using part brown sugar in the filling? It really makes an over the top flavor.
    Also, I like that you use at least 2 different types of apples. Macs are great. So are early gold, criterion, ginger gold. Granny Smith? Not so much for me and could never understand their popularity.
    Just discovered your blog and it looks fantastic!

  26. I posted my apple pie recipe this January 2010, and I have always done the basic double-crust pie, however for the post I also did a lattice one, but I agree that the no-lattice top approach for apple pies is best.

    Your looks delicious.

    I love your blog. Your new fan from Dominican Republic.

  27. Laura

    I made this recipe for our 4th celebrations yesterday. What a great recipe. I’m always looking for a great apple pie recipe (that’s not over the top complicated). I did substitute half brown sugar for the all white sugar in the filling and double the spices. I also followed the recipe for the crust (shortening/butter). I think next time I will stick with the all butter recipe I use, but I LOVED the filling. Thanks for another great recipe.

  28. Rima K.

    This pie recipe is absolutely perfect! I know that because I made a pie today by this recipe! Came out sooooo good! Thank you! Even my 4 year old told me to thank the ‘Recipe lady on the computer”. I didn’t have a round pan , so I used the regular 9 by 13’. Came out just as good, the filling is mouth watering yet not watery. I used Cortland apples we just happen to pick yesterday at the farm. I omitted the lemon juice because I didn’t have any, so I put slightly less sugar. With Cortland apples, lemon juice is not a must. Thank you for a great recipe.

  29. Danica

    Word around here is that the pie I made today using your recipes was “the best pie ever!” :) Thanks for the help! I used the Pie Crust 102 recipe that calls for all butter, no shortening (and read up on your pie crust tutorials beforehand). I followed the recipe above for the filling, using granny smith and golden delicious, lemon juice but no zest, doubled the spices and had to use a bit of cornstarch to replace the flour to thicken the filling. So silly to run out of flour in the midst of baking a pie! We’re already debating how soon tomorrow it would be ok to have another slice. ;)

  30. Rima K.

    Want to make the pie again and was wondering, would it be okey, to keep the dough in the fridge overnight. I am short on time tomorrow for the Canadian Thanksgiving day, we are planning to go apple picking before that. That is where the question came to my mind, maybe I could make the dough today and keep in the fridge for tomorrow?

    1. deb

      Rima — A little after the fact, but yes. It should be fine. Was it? If you’ve got extra time in the future, making the dough up to a few days in advance (to store in the fridge) or weeks in advance (in the freezer) works great.

  31. Jam R.

    I’m voting for an all butter crust per your piecrust 102 post. I was sure to keep the dough cold, putting it back in the freezer about every 5 minutes. I also poured a salted caramel sauce over the filling before baking. It was pretty much the best apple pie I have ever made.

  32. Rima K.

    Thank you for your answer. Since the life works in funny ways, I didn’t make the pie that day, I am making it today! So, your answer definitely helps. Your recipes are great, anytime I want to make something, I know I can rely on your wonderful kitchen wisdom. Thank you

  33. Jamie Hein

    I just made this tonight and it looks so good! I made the crust recipe but did not do the lattice top. Instead of standard sugar, I sprinkled turbinado sugar on top, looks great. By the way I have a very similar looking pie dish. I got it at Michaels on sale, it was in the holiday section.
    Thank you !

  34. I think I’ve solved the sunken apples under the lattice problem – I find that by not mounding the apples in the middle, but instead packing them tight and evenly through the dish, the lattice is baked flat and stays close to the apples. A different look (I prefer slightly narrower strips if it’s flat baked) but it looks lovely nonetheless.

    Also, Deb – I am with you in the all-butter crust camp. Absolutely no need for shortening – your instructions for leaving the butter pieces intact worked perfectly and the crust came out tender AND flaky. Amazing.

  35. Kathy

    I’ve been terrified of pie crusts all my life. Actually, I’ve been afraid to cook, period all my life! So, I never have done much of it and when I have, yuk. Well, I had the scary job of baking pies this Thanksgiving. I found your website, found your all butter recipe…I LOVE butter…and decided to, oh well, give it a try. It couldn’t be any worse than any of the others I’ve tried.

    Well, I just have to tell you how amazing my pies turned out…the apple especially. The pumpkin I just made from the Libby’s can. My family said that they were better than my mom’s…thank god she’s passed on and didn’t hear that! And it really wasn’t hard at all. That “thing” that I’ve been using to mash potatoes? Turns out it’s a pastry blender. Who knew? Your detailed instructions were perfectly understandable and the emphasis on keeping everything cold was most definitely the key.

    I think I just got a little braver. And I’m definitely going to be cooking a lot more often.

    Thank you so much! I’ll be back to your fabulous site often.

  36. Teresa

    One other suggestion on how to defeat the deflated pie problem:
    Slice your apples and coat in lemon (I prefer lime) juice. Also, add 1-2 extra apples to whatever your recipe calls for. Slice the apples about 30 minutes before you assemble your pie. Let the apples sit in a colander over another bowl. You’ll end up with a goodly bit of juice in the lower bowl. Normally, the apples will release these juices in the pie. Unfortunately, this usually happens after the top pie crust has set. That is why you get the hollow pie dome over the apples. By letting the apples release their juices BEFORE assembling your pie, the apples shrink a bit before being in the pie shell.
    I also reduce the apple juices over the stove for a few minutes to create a glaze-like liquid. Then I baste the top of the pie with the juice-glaze. It’s super yummy. I stole these tips from Alton Brown if your curious.

  37. Jenny

    wow, i used this recipe to bake my apple pie.
    i used 3 granny smiths and 2 fuji, with a little more cinnamon, and less lemon juice and used your all-butter crust recipe.
    also i used a lattice top.
    it was sooo pretty and delicious !
    i cut then pie about 15 min out of the oven and it was super watery but after being overnight in the fridge, it was perfect. :DD
    my whole family was so shocked at how yummy and beautiful it was.
    thanks !

  38. Judy

    I just let the apples sit in sugar and drain out most of the liquid before putting the filling in. Add a little more cornstarch in the liquid, and top that over the apples and bake it before it has time to soup up… let that pie sit overnight and it is solid and not liquidy by then =D

  39. Gabby

    doubled the spices and the apples tasted delicious- havent tasted the final product yet but it smells fabulous!
    I had a little extra dough and it was too good to throw out so i made a miniature free form pie, filled it with nutella, and baked it in foil! its DELLICOUS!! I might have to make a full size nutella pie!!

  40. Shannon

    I made this yesterday using the recipe for the non-lattice top crust. I used 6 TBSP of water and found that to be too much (the dough was quite sticky/wet), so I just sprinkled on more flour until it wasn’t so wet. For the filling, I used a combination of Macoun and Macintosh apples because that’s what I had on hand. I normally use Macoun and Honeycrisp. I upped the amount of apples to closer to 10 cups because I always think apple pies don’t have enough apples! I’ve never baked with Macintosh before, and probably won’t again because the filling turned out a bit mushy, which is the only complaint I have about the pie. The crust was phenomenal (as it should be with all of that fat in it!) and the filling was very well flavored (I took Deb’s advice and doubled the cinnamon and decreased the lemon juice to 1 TBSP, omitting the zest entirely). I’d say this recipe is pretty close to perfect, assuming you use apples that hold up well to baking.

  41. Claudia Horwitz

    Wow, another first-time pie maker here and just wanted to say THANK YOU for the awesome site, clear instructions and encouragement. I used this recipe and your pie-making 101/102 and my pie was pure perfection. I brought it to a community potluck, there was a line for it, and it was gone in 5 minutes flat. You gave me the confidence to do it and do it well. I can’t wait to make it again.

  42. Katie

    Thanks for the fantastic recipe, Deb! My husband made it late Sunday evening and we enjoyed it for lunch yesterday. ;-) He added some maple syrup and Jack Daniels’ Honey Whiskey to the apples as well. Wow. I recommend! Perfect weather for baking lately…

  43. Kestrel

    Deb, love the blog. Do you have suggestions for swapping in your all-butter favorite pie crust? Temp/time changes, etc.?

    I’m also considering making mini-pies… I assume that’d change the time dramatically, but how could you tell when they were done?


  44. Lesley Barewin

    I decided to go with your all butter crust and used the filling recipe for my pie, with your suggestions on uping the spices and less lemon. It would be great to see you post an updated version of this pie but with the all butter crust and an adapted filling recipe. Thanks though! I finally feel less daunted about making pies.

  45. Katy

    One tip for those with a pastry blender: I suggest mixing in both your fats at the same time. For me, the shortening got overmixed, and I still had big pieces of butter.

  46. hb

    I made this with all butter pie dough, and I completely failed. The apple gave out too much liquid. When transferring the pie to the wire rack to cool, it fell apart because the bottom of the pie was too wet. Does anybody have any suggestion? Also when are you supposed to move the pie to a wire rack and what is the best way to do that? Thanks!

  47. Adriana

    Just made this and it turned out great! If you are having issues with the filling being watery, sprinkle the bottom of the pie crust with little bit of breadcrumbs before you fill it. They absorb the liquid and you can’t even tell they are in there.

  48. Sophie

    THANK YOU SMITTEN KITCHEN!! As of last week, I had never made a pie. In fact – I was majorly intimidated until I studied your super informative pie tutorials. W/thanksgiving upon us I decided to try to make a practice pie the week before. I made this pie w/the pie crust 102 recipe. I overfilled it (got the birdcage effect pretty bad) and the crust was underworked and rigid – though it looked really good. For thanksgiving I tried again using over a cup of dried cherries in place of one the apples and I was careful not to overfill it. It was perfect, no gap between the filling and the crust – with the most buttery, flakey lattice top ever! My pie was almost gone before anyone even thought to cut the pumpkin – so you know it was good!

  49. Kathy

    Hi Deb,
    Wonderful site. I searched everywhere for a recipe for a “French Apple” pie which, to us, is an apple pie with raisins and a vanilla glaze on top. I found recipes that are called French Apple but have a crumb topping and not the French Apple pie we used to buy. Do you have any knowledge of this type of pie?
    Thank you.

  50. Luana

    I made the pie yesterday, it was Ok…but the comment “I’d jack up the spices a bit next time, certainly doubling them and cut back on the lemon, which had a very pronounced flavor.” made me literally ‘jack up’ the spices to double it and it was definitely too much (at least for my taste)…

  51. MrsJourns

    I made this last week and was pleased with the results. I followed the recipe for the non-latticed pastry and found it easy to make and tasted great, more importantly it made a lovely crisp, crumbly pastry. I took the pastry dough out of the fridge after an hour to make my pie but as I made a small pie I had some pastry left so the following day I made some mini apple pies in my muffin tin. The big apple pie was good but the pastry for the smaller pies was even better. Not sure if it was to do with longer resting time or size of pie, but next time I make one I will leave the pastry for 24 hours. I flavoured my apples with cinnamon, nutmeg and a little lemon juice. Another great recipe.

  52. KSK

    I just wanted to thank you for your excellent pie crust tutorial and this apple pie recipe. Until a year ago, I was always intimidated about making my own pie crust. But, I love pie so much and have an apple tree in my backyard; so it seemed to me that I should get over my fear of making my own pie crust. Last night, I made the best pie I’ve ever made, using your all-butter crust recipe, this apple pie recipe and apples from my backyard. The pie was so spectacular looking right out of the oven, that my husband thought I should take a photo of it. It tasted as good as it looked.

    Your pie crust instructions were so helpful–I followed them exactly. Since it was so humid last night, I put the pie crust in the freezer for about 1/2 hour, and then refrigerated it for another 1-1/2 hours. After I filled the pie crust with the apple filling, I stuck it in the freezer for another 10 minutes. The crust came out so flaky and delicious. I used the spices as is in your recipe and found them to be just right–I think more would overwhelm the apples.

  53. Sally

    It takes messy hands and more work, but if you toss the apples with the spices and then pick them up and lay them neatly in the bottom crust they don’t sink and the top crust stays where it belongs–on the apples. This also works with two people, one to put the apples in the crust, one to sprinkle on the spice and sugar mixture. It’s likely that the apples will take a few minutes longer to get tender since they are stacked pretty densely.

    Good sharp cheddar to go with it!

  54. Lali

    I sprinkle a little tapioca on the bottom crust before placing in the apples. It does a wonderful job of absorbing the extra juice and creating a moist but not runny pie! (No flour or cornstarch needed).

  55. Laura Fae

    I’m a little confused as to why you’d need LESS flour for the full double crust (non-lattice), but more butter … Is that a typo? Should it be 3 1/2 cups?

    Thanks! I love your recipes!

    1. Elizabeth

      I have this same question – I’m not sure why the non-lattice version has more shortening and butter but less flour and water. I know the recipe has been up for 10 years, but I’m finally getting around to making this after a good orchard visit earlier in the week, and I’m perplexed!

  56. KT-G

    Made this last night — I doubled the cinnamon and nutmeg, but not allspice, added the lemon juice but not the rind. Used 100% Jonathan apples, which baked really well if you can find them. Next time I will only double the cinnamon (too nutmeg-y for me). You were right about the lattice top – it birdcaged, but I was feeling lattice-y so I did it anyway. I think using the lattice-crust recipe made the dough overall easier to work with, though not as flaky (and I haven’t tried the normal version). Thanks for the recipe!

  57. jcdevo

    We go to the orchards every fall in West Virginia, and I have tried many pie recipes. This one was easy, and a big success with my family and friends. I amped the spice up just a bit and did both lattice and non-lattice crusts. This has been my go-to pie recipe this fall.
    Thanks for the great recipe!

  58. Deirdre

    Hi Deb! I made this last night with the full top crust, and after letting it cool over night, it came out HEAVENLY! I upped the spices and left out the lemon zest as you suggested, and I was so, so pleased with how it came out. It was my first totally-from-scratch pie, and everyone at work wants to know how I made it! I sent them all here immediately–thanks so much!

  59. Danielle

    Made this pie for Thanksgiving to rave reviews. One person said it was the best apple pie she’s ever had. ‘Nuf said. Thanks once again for a great recipe, Deb.

  60. Thatchern

    Hopefully, I’m not posting twice here (not real experienced at this “comment” thing). It’s a little late in the day for this advice, but have you tried backing out some of the water and substituting in some vodka? I kid you not, you can have all-butter crust, AND light flakiness! It’s a tip from Chris Kimball that was broadcast on Morning Edition (I think) a couple years’ back. I tried to include the link in my first attempt at this comment, but it didn’t seem to work. So – google Chris Kimball, NPR, pie crust, and you might get directed to the link. Or look for it on their web page.

  61. Heather

    I used a slightly modified version of this recipe (ran out of allspice so I used the same amount of cinnamon, and used the recommended lesser amount of lemon juice) and nearly knocked my mother-in-law over on Thanksgiving this year. I had to promise to make two next time. Thank you! You made me look like a rock star!

  62. Krista

    I’ve made this pie twice now, once with granny smith and braeburn and the other time with all jonagold. I personally like it with jonagold apples the best, not a big fan of granny smith, too tart for me, and the jonagolds hold up nice to baking too. The crust is delicious and the filling comes out perfectly, the only change I make is to put a slight amount more of cinnamon (definitely not double, I tried that the first time and it was overwhelming).

    My hint for a flaky crust is to replace a tablespoon of water with a tablespoon of vinegar (I just use white vinegar). I learned that from a really old betty crocker cook book, and it seems to work perfectly for me and doesn’t make the dough too sticky as the vodka does. Thanks for a great pie recipe!

  63. Jen

    Made this apple pie twice….both with awesome results.
    I used your all butter crust recipe AND par baked the bottom crust (following the pumpkin pie recipe) and achieved fantastic results. Also, I pre cooked the apples so I could pile them high and have fat slices for my peeps.

    I used a Le Crueset pie pan, (which is wider), so I’ll have to adjust the ratios of the pie crust…..Rolling out makes it just even with the pan, but not enough to roll over.

    Love your site….telling my friends :)
    Happy Holidays!

  64. robin

    Deb, thank you for being my absolute go-to source for all recipes!
    I made this pie with your all butter crust recipe last week. I dutifully did as you said and doubled the spices and omitted the zest. AWESOME pie. So awesome, I made another today.
    The only issue I ran into both times was the filling oozed out towards the end of baking, leaving a messy burnt caramel on the baking sheet that was thankfully there to catch it. I think I’m not crimping the crusts together well enough? I used a fork the first time and my fingers to scallop today. Do you think that’s the problem, and if so any tips to get a good seal?

    1. deb

      robin — In general, almost all pies bubble out a little, which is why we use the baking sheet. That said, if you’re using an egg wash for the lid, it can also be used for a super strong “glue” between the lid and the base. But, if using a lattice top, it still might bubble out. (I line my pans with foil, too, so I don’t have to scrub the glued-on caramel off. I am all about doing things the lazy way.)

  65. Taylor

    This was my first time making apple pie. Im currently waiting for it to cool down but I used half brown sugar, half sugar in the apple mixture, and only used half the amount (i’m really sweet sensitive) and I used you butter pie crust recipe to make the pie lattice. It looks so amazing! i can’t WAIT to taste it! Thanks for the recipe!!

  66. monica

    i’ve finally made pie crusts thanks to your recipes! when i have used the crust for hand pies they bake fine–light,flaky, crispy! but when used for the bottom of a standard pie, i get butter bubbling like crazy while it bakes–any recommendations?

  67. Jeanette

    Made the non-lattice top version of this today and other then having some trouble with the pie crust being a bit buttery and hard to work with, it tasted amazing! Will make it again for sure. Thanks!

  68. Hi Deb,

    Quick question. Does the recipe on this page now reflect your review comments regarding jacking up spices and cutting back on lemon juice amount? If not, what quantities would you recommend?


  69. Miriam

    This pie was absolutely incredible! Made it for my hubby’s birthday, and he was blown away, as was I! A question about this and other of your recipes: do you list the nutrition info anywhere? I haven’t poked around everywhere on your site, but couldn’t see it at the end of your recipe…

  70. Angie

    Thank you! I made this today and it’s the best apple pie & crust that I’ve ever had. Your crust and filling were spot on and I’ll never make a different crust again!

  71. Katie

    Hi Deb,

    We just made this pie tonight with a full top (not lattice). It was EXCELLENT. I wanted to inquire as to whether you’ve experimented with freezing the final product for subsequent re-heating. We’re considering baking 15 pies for our wedding, but would like to have them ready for a quick re-heat on the day-of. Does that sound like a good idea? Thanks!

  72. Trushna

    Hi Deb, I have this in the oven now but I used your all-butter pie crust rather than the one with shortening. Do the baking time & temperatures stay the same? I checked after 20 minutes at 425 and it was already very golden-brown! Immediately turned down the temp and hoping I haven’t ruined it…

    1. deb

      Trushna — I haven’t baked a lot with shortening, but definitely use your gut if it looks like it’s baking faster. That said, butter actually burns/darkens at a lower temperature than vegetable oils/shortening. Were you using a glass pie dish? This, too, can hasten along baked goods darkening. So can very dark (usually old) baking pans.

  73. Mads

    SPICE LEVEL FOR FILLING: I second another commenter who said DO NOT double the spices. I did this last year and the filling was pungent. Trust that the spice levels were written as such for a reason; that’s my lesson. When you first add the spices to the apples, it looks like there’s not even close to enough to coat all the apples, but let them rest. Once the juices come out of the apples if you mix quite a bit then you’ll see that you have plenty of spice.

  74. Trushna

    Hello, reporting back: I used a relatively new (1-year old) light-colored metal pie pan, so that couldn’t be it; it must have been the all-butter that did it. Once I turned down the temperature it didn’t darken further, and came out tasting just wonderful. I think in the future I might start out at the lower temperature and cook it for the full 55-60 minutes so the insides have a chance to get properly soft and gooey. Also, I forgot this time but “tent with foil” is a maxim I really need to commit to memory.

    Just wanted to mention here, I have put my entire family and a few friends onto you, not just gentle recommendations but more like You Must! Listen! To! Her! They’re convinced when they taste your fail-safe recipes :) Thank you!

  75. anne

    Weird question – I am traveling for the holidays and I want to make this pie – but I kind of want to prep the filling and dough beforehand, take it with me in a cooler about 600 miles away, then assemble and bake? I pretty much want to be able to roll out of the car with some pie filling and pie crust. Suggestions? Can I lightly bake the filling beforehand, so the apples down brown too much?


  76. Hay, i’ve seen apple pie that covered all the surface. in this one you made like a net cover. Eye catching and beautiful looking. But i’m not sure i can get the perfection of apple pie like those picture :(. I’ll try to make it this weekend. Try Try Try… :)

  77. Phyllis

    Hi, I apologize I am asking a question here, but I can’t find the posting for the recipe, Deepest Dish Apple Pie from your book I just bought, The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook. Just a quick question, when you drape over the dough into the springform pan, you say to trim and leave 1 inch. What do you do with the 1 inch? It doesn’t look like you fold it over the apples from the picure. The picture shows the sides of the dough standing straight up when it’s done. Thanks and sorry for not posting onthe correct recipe. Is it on this web site?

  78. Madde

    Hi Deb,

    Just wanted to say thanks for all the tutorials and the great recipe. I made my first ever pie tonight using your guidelines and it worked out pretty well (for a first time anyway :) ).


  79. Nyv

    Hello Deb,
    Awesome recipe for pie. I used butter instead of shortening(I can’t stand the taste) and it works really well: I’m going to make one today. I guess that the shortening makes the crust dense and flaky, correct me if I’m wrong. Just a question, but why do you need more flour for the lattice crust? Doesn’t the dough take up less room?
    Thank you!

    1. deb

      I mention in the head notes of the recipe that CI feels the firmer crust makes better lattices. I have to be honest, though, I use this crust exclusively these days, for lattices too — it’s fine.

  80. kourtney

    sometimes i render the apples down a bit before filling the pie crust. it helps the shrinkage. also, a fun ingredient to add to apple pie is ginger. it sounds crazy, but it’s actually quite tasty.

  81. Susan

    I made my daughter an apple pie for her birthday this year (June 21). Like you, though 8 years later, I decided to look around at recipes to see if what I have been doing is what the “pro’s” do. My crust is similar to this one; it uses some shortening. It’s a recipe I got from Gourmet eons ago, 1/4cup shortening and 3/4 cup butter, same everything else, expect; no lemon zest. The only method difference is that it uses the fraisage method for forming the dough. The crust is easiest I’ve ever worked with and flakier than any other I’ve tried. Gourmet has a tutorial on making it, too.

    I have found I don’t care for a lot of spice in apple pie, either. I may use only 1/4 tsp cinnamon, if that, to season the apples (I keep cutting back every time I make one and 1/4tsp was my latest!) and about a Tbsp of lemon juice to make’em hold their color better. How did your pie not turn into apple sauce with the Macintosh apples? I’ve had terrible luck with those but it’s probably because they aren’t grown out west and lose something in transit. Even in season they turn to mush on me. I used Johagold (4) and Granny’s (2) and the pie was wonderful. Re work apple pie next fall…it’s time (2006). Please?

    1. deb

      Susan — I’m glad you enjoyed the pie. I do find that the shipped apples (which were often picked a full year or more before you get them) fall to mush the most. I try to buy apples from the markets where they’re fresh from the orchards when I make pies. Nevertheless, from the grocery store, I tend to use these days about 1/2 granny smith, 1/4 golden delicious (they taste bland raw but I find bake pretty well) and 1/4 macintosh, for nostalgia; sometimes I’ll do half golden and 1/4 granny instead. I’ll work on an updated pie for this fall.

  82. Heidi N.

    I made apple pie last Sunday and used an edited version of your deep dish recipe (from the book), as I hadn’t seen this one. (I don’t have a spring-form pan, so I just adjusted down the ingredients, though I still have extra filling…maybe for hand pies later…). Anyway, I just wanted to say that it was fantastic! Not that I’m surprised–your recipes are awesome. What a great way to start autumn!

  83. meg

    made this yesterday. holy delicious. the non-lattice pie crust was more difficult to deal with than what i’m used to, but it still worked out okay in the end. rave reviews from all. another note: i had a fair share of leftover apples even though my pie dish is pretty deep and the pie itself was stacked mighty high.

  84. I just made this — it’s still waiting to go into the oven — but I had a terrible time with the crust. I am not a pie novice, but decided to be bold, and switch from my usual crust recipe to try this one. It was terrible to work with. I could not get the crust to roll out without falling into pieces . . . and I have a marble slab, JUST for rolling pastry on! Any idea what I might have done wrong? I hope it tastes better than it looks, but right now, this is one mangy looking pie.

  85. Deanne

    I have made many apple pies over the years and decided to try this recipe, crust included. Just peeked in the oven and the crust has melted and is laying in pieces on the baking sheet. Any clue as to what went wrong? I did the traditional crust, not lattice. I’m so frustrated right now and kicking myself for not just sticking with my tried and true recipe. :-( I made the crust as written and I am wondering if it’s the ratio of flour to butter/shortening that is wrong? Or maybe I just messed up somewhere. Thoughts? Thanks.

    1. deb

      When crusts fall apart, it’s often too much butter. But it’s hard for me to know what happened from this side of things. The proportions here should be correct. These days, though, I use this dough more often, for lattice and non-lattice pies. I’m sorry this wasn’t more successful.

  86. Moriah

    I replaced the shortening with butter in the crust and, like you suggested, did a full top rather than a lattice- this crust is some of the best pie crusts I’ve worked with! Loved it. Rolled out the extra and made faux bobka with cinnamon and brown sugar and dark chocolate chunks rolled up and cut in cylinders, which were a delicious breakfast snack.

  87. melissa

    hi. i plan on making your delicious pie for thanksgiving. I have a few questions. I want to bake the pie on Wednesday (1 day before Thanksgiving) and serve it on thanksgiving. Would that work? Or would it be too soggy after baking it and letting it come to room temp?? Also, when I serve it on thanksgiving, I want it to be hot and serve it with vanilla ice cream. Could i put the pie in the microwave to get it hot again?? or again, would that make it soggy?? Thanks so much!!!!!

  88. Brittany W.

    Hi Deb, Can I make and freeze this ahead of time? Or will the dough get soggy if it is on the apples? Or, maybe put the apple mixture into the pan without the dough, freeze it, and then just put the dough on top right before I bake it?

  89. Jenny

    Hi Deb,

    Today was my first ever attempt at apple pie/pie crust. I used your pie crust 102 recipe, and the crust was absolutely incredible–best pie crust I’ve ever put in my mouth (scientific fact). However, the filling turned out super duper soggy and watery (I had to literally drain it in the sink). I used whatever apples I had (not mcintosh or granny smith), so that may have been part of the reason. Any advice you can give to avoid this in the future? I am planning on making it again soon, because frankly, this pie crust is everything.

    Thanks so much for always giving us amazing recipes :)


    1. deb

      Jenny — Some apple varieties are juicier than others, for sure, so it might be just about choosing the right varieties. That said, I find that most fruit pies are very wet out of the oven and much less sloshy once they cool (I often keep my in the fridge) and the pectin does its thing. So glad you enjoyed the crust (it’s my favorite too, but I guess you knew that).

  90. Jenny

    Many thanks, Deb! The pie was fantastic the next day! I’ll try with the correct apples next time. Thanks again for this incredible recipe :)

  91. Vanessa

    Hi! I am looking for a lattice apple pie recipe for Thanksgiving. This one looks super… but then there are no instructions for the lattice as posted now. Do you bake it the same amount of time? Also, I use a butter + lard crust. Do you think that will stand up to the lattice? Thanks!

  92. Vanessa

    Thank you, Deb! I will try that method! Made my crusts today & froze them for baking on wednesday. I’ll make this apple one and try your pumpkin pie with caramel pecan sauce too. I like that tip about fresh apples not getting as watery too. Thanks!
    Ps. those apple cider caramels you posted a few years ago have become a Thanksgiving tradition around here too!

  93. The lemon flavor was definitely a bit overpowering. Other than that, it would have turned out great. I just wish I had listened to your review and added less lemon juice!

  94. Conor

    Thanks for another great recipe! I noticed a spelling mistake at step one of the dough.


    1. Pulse flour, salt and sugar in a food processor fitted with STEEL BALD until combined. Add shortening and process until mixture has texture of coarse sand, about 10 seconds. Scatter butter pieces over flour mixture; cut butter into flour until mixture is pale yellow and resembles coarse crumbs, with butter bits no larger than small peas, about ten 1-second pulses. Turn mixture into medium bowl.

  95. Myriam

    Hey Deb,
    I wanted to ask you a general technical question on pies. I have tried for the first to do an apple pie (not yours unfortunately) and everything turned out to be great in terms of apple mixture taste and dough flakiness and taste but I only encountered one problem: that is when I cut through it to serve people, the top crust part was falling off a bit. As if it is not attached to the apples. Do you think I should’ve pressed the dough on the apple mixture before putting it in the oven? Or is it maybe because the dough is too thin? Can you help? (A) :S

  96. mattbriner

    Hey, I just came about your recipe. My great grandmother just passed away and my grandmother handed me her secret pie recipe. She wine 1st place awards for decades with this pie. Anyway it is very similar to yours recipe, except instead of egg wash she used milk to brush on the top, I’ve made it both ways and the milk gives it something I can’t describe, maybe it’s just in my head. 3/4 granny and a 1/4 delicious seems to work best… thanks for your post, can’t wait to check out your other stuff, I’m a chef that is just now getting into baking and live it.

  97. John

    I just read an apple pie recipe, from Anna Olson, where she sprinkled oats on the bottom crust to help soak up some of the excess juice. Haven’t tried it yet but seems like a good idea.

  98. Colleen C.

    After becoming re-inspired to try my hand at a homemade pie thanks to your “Pie Crust 101” and “Pie Crust 102” blog posts, I thought I’d stick to the American classic– Apple Pie. Wow wow wow, did it turn out beautifully (and tasty, too)! Will definitely make this one again.

  99. ScaryB4Coffee

    After reading this thread, I don’t see an answer to the question of freezing the pies. I freeze my Tday pies every year, including pumpkin. I make the pie and cook about 15 minutes less than called for. Then put the pie in the oven frozen and bake for about 40 minutes. The pumpkin pies just get thawed out, as do pecan. I’ve been using Ina Garten’s perfect pie crust for a couple years now, and it works well for me. I’m definitely making this apple pie this week, and yes, then in the freezer!

  100. Mia

    Hi Deb. I’m excited to try this recipe this year for my first Thanksgiving apple pie. I saw your comments about the pie ending up looking bird cagey with the lattice top and the apples dropping. I’m not sure if anyone responded to that issue (there are a LOT of comments), but one tip I plan to try this year is to cook the apples a little bit beforehand. The reason you get the bird cagey look (or why a lot of apple pies, in general, have space between the top crust and the apples) is because apples cook down so much. If you start with pre-cooked apples, the apples don’t cook down as much during the baking process, so you don’t get that wretched space between the top crust and pie filling. :)

  101. Mel

    Hey Deb, I’ve made this recipe so many times and it is always a crowd favorite. With that being said, I was wondering if it would taste ok adding in cranberries? I’m not sure what it is but i have a hankering to eat a cranberry-apple pie. Any thoughts on how to make that happen?

  102. Steph

    I made the non-lattice version the other day and I really loved the spice level. I thought it was a bit too sweet but that’s just me I think. My brother liked it as did my husband. There was a bit of ‘soup’ going on but I reckon that’s fine; nobody likes a dry pie! I might add some rhubarb next time and try and thicken it a bit more.