even more perfect apple pie

I did not intend to go on an apple pie making bender. I merely did what we always do in October: go apple picking, balk at the price of a bag, insist upon filling it way past the brim (because: economics) and then we ate some apples on the way home home and the bag was still overflowing. So I made an apple pie with 4.25 pounds of apples in it and the bag looked exactly as full as it had been at the orchard. Might they still be growing in there? It’s the only explanation.

NEW: Watch me make this on YouTube!

I started with the apple pie recipe that’s been on this site for 12 years, but over the years I’ve tweaked it a little at home in small ways (different spice levels, some brown sugar worked in, thinner slices). This time, with some help from the genius Bravetart book, I tweaked it a lot, and it was the best apple pie I’ve ever made. So I did the only rational thing and brought slices of my pie-brag to everyone I saw for a couple days and then I ran out of pie and made another one using the same tweaks and it, too, was the best apple pie I’d ever made, so I did the only rational thing and made a third one and now I think it’s time for us to talk about what I think has made it so much better.

new york mutzu applessugars and spicesgoing for thinner slicesmix, then macerate, the filling
trimmedheapedlatticedsorta crimped

Out of loyalty to the old pie recipe, I wanted to do talk about in a new post because I know there are people who make it yearly and I don’t want to change the way it’s written. But that pie is 12 years old — that pie recipe would be IN MIDDLE SCHOOL right now — it’s okay if it’s not the same person it was in its toddler years and no I’m not projecting, you’re projecting, this is about pie, okay? [WAAAH.]

even more perfect apple pie

Here’s what I do a little differently these days (and do skip right to the recipe if you’re not into the Inside Baseball of all it):

Time and temperature changes: Previously, I used the baking instructions from America’s Test Kitchen, which at the time were to heat the oven to 500°F, lower it to 425 after the pie was in, and then, 30 minutes later, reduce it to 375 for the remaining baking time, for about 60 minutes baking time total, which was also rarely enough. I bet you can guess what would actually happen every time I made this: I’d remember to reduce the temperature the first time, never the second, and it also looked overbaked before it was done. Stella Parks recommends baking the pie at a single temperature (400) for a longer period of time (75 minutes), and even gives you a suggested internal temperature if you’re nervous about doneness, and lo, it was perfect, with a crisp bottom crust (despite having no parbaking step) and with caramel-y juices. I haven’t looked back since.

I use more apples and I cut them thinner: One of the most frustrating things that happens when you make a pie is that you put in what seems like a massive amount of fresh fruit but after it slumps, shrinks, and nestles in as it bakes, you’re left with a very flat, if not concave, pie. Parks has a fantastic tip of having you mix your filling and let it macerate for a while so that the apples soften, allowing you to put a lot more in the filling and leading to pie slices stacked to the brim with apples. My original recipe calls for 3.5 pounds of apples; I’m now using between 4.25 and 4.5 pounds. Better to have too much filling (and bake it separately in a dish for the oatmeal or yogurt topping of champions in the coming days) than too little. I also cut the apples more thinly, a scant .25″ thick, which also allows them to nestle in more tightly so they don’t fall as much when baking.

even more perfect apple pie

Order of operations: Because we’re going to let the apples macerate a bit, I now prepare them first, and the pie dough second. They don’t mind waiting.

I like a mix of apples — usually: Most apple pie recipes, including my original one, want you to use hyper-specific amounts of hyper-specific kinds of apples, which is rarely what anyone has. I feel strongly that a mix of apples, ideally ones that won’t fall apart when baking, see this awesome page if you want more guidance as to which ones to choose, is the way to get the most nuanced and dynamic apple flavor in a pie. Nobody wants a one-note pie. That said, the orchard we were in had a ton of massive mutsu apples ready, and I made my last few pies with them only. Turns out they’re fantastic baking apples. “Uh, Deb, you just contradicted yourself.” Yes, and I want you, too, to go with the flow.

even more perfect apple pie

Flavor changes: Although I started skipping the lemon because we were out of lemons, when I didn’t miss the flavor at all, I never bothered putting it back in. Ditto with the lemon zest, which I found distracting. I also increased the cinnamon and added a little ground ginger (which won’t make it gingery, promise; it just seems to wake the pie up a little). Finally, I started swapping half, then more, of the sugar with brown sugar and I really don’t know why I wasn’t doing this all along. It’s lovely here.

Thickener changes: Over the last few years, as tapioca flour/starch (they’re the same thing) became more easily available (Bob’s Red Mill makes some, so check any store that stocks the brand, or here or here or here), I started using it as a pie thickener and never looked back. It’s clear and unchalky once baked, and doesn’t muffle the filling flavor the way I find some commercial thickening blends do. You’d never really know it’s there, which is basically the dream.

even more perfect apple pie


One year ago: Chocolate Olive Oil Cake
Two years ago: Baked Alaska, Indian-Spiced Cauliflower Soup, and Skillet-Baked Pasta with Five Cheeses
Three years ago: Broccoli Cheddar Soup, S’more Cupcakes, and My Old-School Baked Ziti
Four years ago: Latke Waffles, The Crispy Egg, Better Chicken Pot Pies
Five years ago: Miso Sweet Potato and Broccoli Bowl
Six years ago: Spaghetti with Broccoli Cream Pesto and Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls
Seven years ago: Cumin Seed Roasted Cauliflower with Yogurt
Eight years ago: Single Crust Plum and Apple Pie and Mushroom Lasagna
Nine years ago: Quiche Lorraine
Ten years ago: Black and White Cookies, Best Challah (Egg Bread) and Mom’s Apple Cake
Eleven years ago: Bronx-Worthy Bagels, Peanut Butter Brownies, and Arroz Con Pollo
[New!] Twelve years ago: Lemon Cake

And for the other side of the world:
Six Months Ago: Fig Newtons
1.5 Years Ago: Cornbread Waffles, Mushroom Tartines, and Almond Horn Cookies
2.5 Years Ago: Spring Chicken Salad Toasts, Caramelized Brown Sugar Oranges with Yogurt, and Potato Pizza, Even Better
3.5 Years Ago: The Consolation Prize (A Mocktail) and Baked Chickpeas with Pita Chips and Yogurt
4.5 Years Ago: Dark Chocolate Coconut Macaroons

Even More Perfect Apple Pie

This is an update to my 2006 apple pie recipe, with a few new tricks from the fantastic Bravetart cookbook.

  • 1/2 cup (95 grams) light or dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea or table salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnnamon
  • Freshly grated nutmeg, to taste, or about 1/4 teaspoon ground
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 4 1/4 to 4 1/2 pounds baking apples, shown here with mutsu (which is like a mix of Granny Smith and Golden Delicious) but more suggestions here
  • 3 tablespoons tapioca flour or starch
  • Crust
  • 1 recipe All Butter, Really Flaky Pie Dough, or your favorite recipe, or a storebought dough
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten (optional)
  • Coarse or raw sugar for sprinkling (optional)

Make filling: Combine sugars, salt, and spices in your absolutely largest bowl. Peel, halve, and core your apples and cut them into thin (scant 1/4-inch) slices, adding them right to the big bowl. Toss to coat the slices as much as possible. Set aside for 1 to 4 hours at room temperature.

Prepare crust: Make your pie dough according to instructions. If you need to chill it for an hour or two before rolling it out, you can do so now. If yours is already chilled and ready to go, roll out the first half on a well-floured counter [more detailed instructions here] to a 14-inch circle and transfer it to 9-inch standard (not deep-dish) pie plate. With scissors or kitchen shears, trim overhang to one inch all around. Refrigerate dish and dough until needed.

For a regular pie lid, roll out the second dough half into the same sized circle, transfer it to a large parchment-lined baking sheet and chill this as well until needed. For a lattice or woven pie lid, you can use the same sized circle, or you can just roll it into a rectangle at least 14″ in one direction, and then as long or wide you can get it in the other. Transfer it to a parchment-lined baking sheet and chill this as well until needed.

Heat oven: To 400°F.

Assemble pie: Stir tapioca starch into apple pie filling. Pour filling into prepared bottom crust and use your hands to pack and heap those softened apples as mounded as you can get them, then add a few more. Pour any juices that have accumulated carefully over apples; do not leave any behind. Either place your second pie dough round over the filling or cut it into strips to lattice the top. [Detailed classic lattice instructions here, or try some of Erin McDowell’s gorgeous iterations.] Trim the top crust or lattice strips to the edge of the pie dish. Fold the overhang from the lower crust over to form a thick rim, and crimp it together with your fingers or a fork to seal it. Brush top crust with egg, then sprinkle with sugar if desired. If your top crust is in one piece, cut a few vents in it with a sharp knife.

Bake pie: Reuse that sheet of parchment paper on the large baking sheet for easier cleanup, then transfer your prepared pie onto it. Bake for 75 minutes, turning once or twice for even color. If your pie is browning too fast, take a large square of foil, mold it over the back of a large bowl into a convex dome, then use that to cover the pie in the oven for the remaining baking time so it doesn’t brown much further. Pie is done when juices are bubbling visibly through the vents or lattice, or when the internal temperature reads 195°F. A tester inserted into the pie shouldn’t hit any overtly crunchy apple pieces.

To serve: Cool pie for at least one hour at room temperature before cutting into it. However, your filling will not fully thicken until it has fully cooled, ideally in the fridge for a couple hours. You can rewarm slices as you serve them, if desired. Leftovers keep at room temperature for 2 to 3 days, and in the fridge for 1 week.

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414 comments on even more perfect apple pie

  1. Naomi Counides

    You might give a thought to anise. Some apples have it as a flavor component, so if you like it.. you might want to emphasize it a bit. One year I had a bushel of grimes apples.. made one pie after another and they all disappeared. Ran out of Grimes and used golden delicious.. that pie hung around for ever. Went to Jonagold.. disappeared again. The apple makes a difference.

    1. deb

      Oven or microwave. I don’t really fully reheat mine, so I’m not sure, usually just microwave for 10 to 15 seconds to get the chill off. Oven would be better for keeping the crisp crust intact.

      1. Jasmine

        I did this! I combined this apple prep with the slab ideal (ideal because I buggered up the crust so it was more of a 9×13 deep dish metropolis) and it’s truly delightful. I can’t wait to get it right for Friendsgiving! Until then I’ll be happily eating the test batch :)

      2. SG

        How many apples should that pie use? It’s listed as 3.5, but that’s a smaller amount than this recipe and that’s a bigger pie. 3.5×1.5 = 5.25 – around there?

          1. SG

            Sorry, yes, pounds! A better way to phrase it would have been should the amount of apples In the slab pie be increased to mimic this? Or is the gap less of a concern in that format?

    1. This pie was amazing! Followed the instructions to a T but still ended up with a gap under the crust once the pie started cooling. I only had one hour to let the apples macerate. Would 4 hours help? Any other suggestions to avoid the dreaded gap?

    1. deb

      Not sure because I almost never use it because I find the pieces that come out to be unsatisfyingly irregular. I do agree it could be too thin, though.

    2. Francoise

      I have one of those devices for apples that peels! Cores! And slices! All at the same time. I’m thinking this would be a great place to use this as well as a huge time saver.

      1. James

        The peel-away gizmo… yup! I bought one, feeling utterly ashamed because it looked gimmicky and… well, basically like one of those single purpose tools that just doesn’t live up to what it should be. But I bought it, because I figured it would keep my 5 and 8 year old busy.

        Holy Cow. It works. And it works well. And FAST! And, consistent 1/4 thickness. So, perfect for this pie.

        I was dumbfounded. I may have dropped an F-bomb or two when I gave it a test-twirl, because I really had low expectations. All I could think was “That’s… just… stupid. I… wait. What?”

        Nice clean spiral, I left a bowl on the floor to catch all of the nice, clean, unproven ribbons of peel… I won’t make another pie without this thing.

            1. Pam

              I bought mine years ago at my local health food / organic store. They’re sold everywhere from Ace Hardware to Amazon. Gimicky, but also something grandma might have used.

  2. rranderson8

    Hahahahahah “leftovers”? I assume you that these numbers are purely theoretical, since I haven’t met an apple pie that survived past tomorrow’s breakfast.

  3. Leah

    This is 10000% my kind of apple pie: almost entirely apples with a little crust to approximate a pie shape (because, real talk; I could easily polish off 4 lbs of baked apples in a dish, but wedges = portion control). Love that you ditched the lemon and have become a tapioca evangelist; once I discovered it, I forsook cornstarch or flour forever. Thanks also for the straightforward crust recipe. Over the years, I think I damaged an optic nerve from the eyeroll-inducing fussiness of some, er…”national experiment scullery” (wink, wink) orthodoxy — Ukrainian vodka at precisely 6 degree Celsius! water with exactly two ice cubes! butter in .27” dice! — and your simple method has never failed me.

    Out of curiousity, have you tried this with a splash of Calvados in the filling? Just wondering if that might be a nice enhancement…or if could be gilding the lily?

    1. Christy

      I’ve been thinking about bourbon. I once had a piece of bourbon brown sugar apple pie at a bakery and I’ve never forgotten how good it was. I wouldn’t think that a small amount would make any difference in taste, but with a larger amount you probably have to cook it with a filling first. So I suppose that’s a separate project than this pie.

  4. RobynB

    In the paragraph about the mix of apples, I think you mean Mutsu apples? I don’t think there is any such thing as a mistu apple :-) The recipe looks amazing and I will try it soon – I have a fridge full of random apples given by neighbors, no idea what they are which means they’ll probably make a great pie!

  5. JP

    I like the look of the lattice pie, but if I do it, I will cover the sheet pan with foil before baking…it looks like you have a real scrubbing job to do…even if you soak the pan first. ugh. Nonetheless, thanks for the timely update!

  6. Madison

    I’m so excited to turn my bounty of apples into this gorgeous pie! My go-to apple pie recipe is Joy the Bakers, in which she macerates the apples with the spices and sugars and then drains off the liquid and reduces it into a thick, concentrated apple pie caramel that you toss with the apples as you assemble the pie. It reminds me of your apple cider caramels from your first book in that decadently concentrated apple flavour that I often find lacking from apple pies.

    1. Vivian Leonard

      I also started cooking the apple liquid to thicken, then pouring back over the apple slices, then loading the filling into the pie. It really makes the apple filling delicious, but it is an extra step…..

  7. ouryearinindia

    Hooray for comparative ages! We just celebrated our eighteenth anniversary, which means our marriage has achieved its majority: it can vote, rent an apartment, and drink alcohol if it goes to England. (I’m glad it’s not just me that sees these correlations!)

  8. Marcia

    I agree that Mutsus are the very best pie apple. In some places they are called
    Crispins… same apple. Also, what would you do if there were people
    in your family , (larger than you) who
    insisted on eating hot apple pie, even if the baker says “not yet”?

  9. Lilpandapaw

    Mutsu apples are THE BEST!!!

    Does the tapioca starch make it…stretchy? I only ask bc my MIL uses tapioca starch to thicken her gravy. And boy, does that gravy strettchhhhhh when she pulls the whisk from the pot. I personally can’t deal with it.

    1. deb

      Ew? Can I say ew? Sorry; I know I can’t! I find that 3T is a nice amount to keep it loose but not sloppy. If you’re nervous, start with 2T. (FWIW, Stella Parks recommends 4T, but that was a little thick for my taste, once cold. Fine when warm.)

  10. Sheree

    Wow, that looks amazing. I often find that pies don’t have enough fruit in them and you find a gap between filling and lid, but that’s not an accusation I could level at this wondrous pie. I’ll have to make it for my husband, apple pie is his fave dessert.

  11. Susan

    How do the juices not overflow the pie until it glues the pie plate to the sheet pan? Them’s a LOT of apples..even if it has plenty of thickener! I keep waiting to bake a fruit pie that doesn’t ooze all over the crust edges and glue the crust to the pie plate, also. Tell us the secret, Please?

    1. deb

      If the pie crust is unbroken at the bottom and the edges are covered with crimping, it shouldn’t happen, but sometimes it does. I made this three times. Two didn’t stick, the last one is stuck in places, but comes out cleanly once the first slice is out and you can loosen the pie with a thin spatula.

    1. deb

      I don’t find it necessary with this technique. When you macerate the apples, they soften and release some of their liquid. (Although most of the liquid you see is dissolved sugar; sugar dissolves when dampened.) I find that there’s a real risk to having mushy, overcooked apples in a pie if the pie filling is precooked.

  12. Jane

    I always microwave the apples first to get them a little soft before I put them in the pan; that way the crust doesn’t get overbaked. I use 9-10 medium to large apples, sliced thin, and nuked for 7 minutes (stirring midway). Bake at 375 for 45 mins and it’s perfect.

  13. JC

    This week, I tried adapting your apple cider caramels recipe into an apple cider caramel sauce and it works perfectly (you just stop cooking it before it reaches candying temperature and let it boil enough to dissolve the sugar). I bet it would be insane as a drizzle over this amazing apple pie. It would be over-the-top apple insanity.

  14. Jane Jacobs

    I realize that it would depend on the size of the baking dish, but any thoughts on how to convert these measurements to make it a slab pie? I’m thinking of Thanksgiving.

    1. deb

      I think some people recommend the bottom but I use the middle. However, my oven is garbage and I don’t think that what works in other ovens necessarily applies for me at home.

  15. . P. McLaren

    MMmmmm…love the idea of extra quantity of thinner slices of apples. And being Canadian, I have begun to swap out the brown sugar I have used all along for real maple syrup. Delish!

  16. Jit Lee

    But Deb, Stella says to macerate for 3 hours and then to chill the crust after shaping for 2… Should that be done or does it not matter?

    1. deb

      I’m not following her recipe exactly; I just applied a few of the tricks here. I found even an hour of macerating was beneficial, and I went longer when I had time. She has you chill the crust after rolling it because she doesn’t have you chill it before — her pie dough is rolled out right away. She does recommend chilling the assembled pie before baking it but I don’t do this and haven’t been unhappy with the results.

  17. I recently went dairy free and have been looking for suggestions for a dairy free crust. Do you have any suggestions? (I have found a great dairy free butter that I use in cookies and the like that works great.)

    1. Reeba

      My mom used the Mazola recipe ( She was a champion pie baker and her dad a champion pie eater. When he had a heart attack, Mom took up this recipe. I grew up on it, and though I don’t use it now, I have family who swear by it. Mom would only ever use Mazola. I have no idea whether science would say that mattered, but it did to her, so for all intents and purposes, it mattered.

  18. LJG

    King Arthur Flour carries a boiled apple cider that they use in their apple pie recipe, and it’s an excellent addition (reduce the sugar a bit) to make something even more apple-y tasting. We have LOTS of apples from apple-picking last week (made 11 quarts of applesauce already, but that only used maybe 1/3 of our apples), so it may be time to make some pie this week.

  19. Carolyn

    The pictures look like potentially two different pies with two very different heights at the end – true? Wondering if one had a tighter lattice on the top (as it looks like maybe the less towering one did), did you wind up with a gap between the crust and apples, or did it collapse down with the fruit? You’ve inspired me to make apple pie for a dinner party tomorrow night and I’m strategizing about the lid… it seems like the looser lattice would be a challenge to slice neatly.

    1. deb

      I made this pie three times and the photos are a mix of them. No two will ever look the exact same, but there was no gap in any (I think there’s just a little hole where apples slipped in one), and the recipe was the same each time, to the letter.

    2. Julie

      We made this pie tonight with a full crust top and ended up with a large gap between the apples and crust, unsure why. Followed the recipe as written.

      1. I had the big gap too, but it honestly never bothers me, it’s delicious all the same! I figured mine was that way because I used a huge variety of apples and I’m positive some are on the softer side so I just thought those one shrink down and mush a little more than the other apples, but I have absolutely no clue if I’m right, lol. Either way we LOVE how it came out, gap and all!

        1. Courtney Dostal

          I had a big gap too. I had a large heap of apples and the crust was sitting right on top of them before I put the pie in the oven. I did not use a lattice crust (b/c i’m lazy). It seems to me the crust is baking into its shape and then apples are shrinking as they bake and I’m left with the big gap. Is it the high oven temp? I’m retrying again today but letting the apples sit for a bit before I assemble the pie.

          1. Meghan

            This is always the problem I have with apple pie. It’s my dad’s favorite and Mom always makes him a one crust pie – so I like to bake him a two crust – but I always always end up with that gap.

            Haven’t tried this recipe yet but that’s my worry.

      2. Carolyn

        When I made it, I really packed in the apple slices as much as possible in the pie plate, and I wound up with virtually no gap between the fruit and the lattice – not sure if all the compression was directly responsible for fruit not sinking or not, but I’m definitely going to stick with that strategy in the future!

        1. R

          King Arthur offers a detailed explanation of the gap between apples and top crust.

          The apples in this pie were spectacular. I am definitely hanging on to that method.

          Unfortunately, I had a significant dome on my first try with Deb’s crust. I’ve had it before, too, with other crust recipes. After Sunday’s experience, knowing that Deb always tests and won’t steer us wrong, I got frustrated with myself. I figured my methods were off somehow, so I started digging for answers.

          In light of King Arthur’s advice, here’s what I’ll do differently next time:
          * roll more firmly but less
          * cut more vents. I based my vents on what Mom did but she did not make a butter crust. (I did not make the lattice. That may make all the difference in the world in this case.)
          * alter the amount of water or use a different crust recipe. From Deb’s recipe, I used the full 3/4 cup water which brought the butter-to-water ratio much closer to even than what KA recommends.

  20. Liz E

    With regards to lemon zest being distracting: it seems like that’s true if basically every recipe that isn’t lemon bars. BUT orange zest is way better at playing second fiddle to other fruits or even plain sugary desserts. I even added some to your mega sour cream chocolate chip coffee cake. It didn’t taste orangey, just awesome!

  21. gracedlee

    I love Mutsus for apple pie! I’m totally making this pie this weekend–cold and rainy in Chicago so perfect baking weather!

  22. Daria

    Sounds amazing! I would love to make it for our Sunday birthday brunch, but wonder if there are some parts I can do beforehand (Saturday night)? I would be so so grateful for advice!

  23. Bette Hanauer

    Any thoughts about freezing this ahead of time? It sounds great for Thanksgiving dinner. I like to be able to freeze several days ahead as I have a lot of guests and some sleep over several nights so the kitchen can get rather hectic.

    1. Mashal

      Did you end up making this ahead? How did it work out? I made it fresh last year, but I would love to remake it this year (and maybe do it a day or so early). Love to hear your feedback.

  24. Red

    Your notes all makes so much sense, thank you for this article! My mother used to make apple strudel in a similar way. The other thing she used to do is when the apples finished macerating, she drained the juice and reduced it until it was a syrup. She would then baste the crust during the baking time with this reduced syrup, it gave such a lovely crispy top.

    The question I have for you has to do with tapioca starch, I find it gets a mucousy texture, and can’t bear it in baked goods for that reason…do you have a suggested alternative? I am ok with cornstarch, or just some flour. Thank You!!!

      1. Just piping in here, an alternative would be ground dried apples.. Ms. Parks uses them later on in BraveTart, in her McDonald’s-inspired apple hand pies and, from experience, they really deliver on the promise of a deeper apple flavor without compromising the structure of the pie.

  25. Bethany

    Try coriander as the spice — alone or with just a pince of cinnamon. Maskes a deliciously bright pie. Thanks for the tip about how to get enough apples in to keep the pie from falling in.

  26. Lisa

    Quick question: Could you share the details on the mandoline you are using in the photo? It looks like one of the more basic handheld types.
    I totally agree that Stella Parks is a baking wizard; she comes up with the most amazing ideas and techniques! I’ll definitely be making this pie.

    1. deb

      I didn’t. I didn’t find it necessary. I found with a long enough baking time at 400, it gets crisp. None of my three pies had soggy bases once fully cool.

  27. Lauren

    Discovered Mutsu’s before they were fairly readily available, back in the 1970’s !( A sister was a plant science major-she even gifted me a Mutsu Tree once, it was pretty happy in my yard, but I moved from that house.) Best. Apple. Ever. Love, love, love them for everything. So glad you gave them a mention- they are well worth seeking out for those who haven’t tried them.I can imagine the taste of this pie just looking at it. Looks like my favorite Apple Sharlotka’s less-dressed-up twin. The Sharlotka is one of my Smitten all time great faves!

  28. Jennifer

    I agree that lemon juice is less than optimal… but intensifying the acid still strikes a nice balance. If you have access to some good quality apple cider vinegar, try a tablespoon or two. I’ve peeled apples for my whole pie-baking-life, but have recently tried leaving at least half unpeeled, esp. for apples I’d eat out of hand. During baking, skins soften, while their tannins add a layer of flavor. Oh, and right or wrong, I just use the thick cutting blade on my food processor. In terms of spices, if I’m using blah apples, I probably want to go at level Deb prefers. But when I can get a mix of super-tasty close-to-home varieties, I just go with a teaspoon or so of cinnamon (and maybe a dusting of nutmeg, although I have sometimes regretted it). The more interesting the apples, the less spice I want…

  29. Alyse

    My husband and I belong to an organic apple CSA. We get 20 pounds of apples every other week.
    Jeannie, who owns the orchard has many heritage apples and some newer kinds, all so good, but so many.
    I am making your newer pie tonight, with a mixture of her apples. I think I may add a pinch of cardamom instead of cloves.
    I am also going to dry more slices as well this weekend.
    She gives the history of each kind and how best to use it: raw, baked, dried, or cider.
    I am going to send your post to her as I am sure she will like it.

  30. MR in NJ

    Actual tapioca granules instead of tapioca flour OK? Same amount? I used them in peach-pie squares recently, substituting them for the same amount of flour in the recipe (2 tablespoons).

    1. deb

      It’s fine but if you have a spice grinder, grind them down so they’re less beady in texture. I’m not positive what the swap is but I’d say 3T is fine here (for quick-cooking)

      1. Irene

        I used 3T of Kraft Minute Tapioca whizzed up in my spice grinder instead of tapioca flour. I might back off to 2 1/2 T next time around, but otherwise worked perfectly.

  31. Up before dawn sorting my apples, and just gathering my thoughts before diving in. I cannot wait to sample your tweaks. Starting big and making 4 pies (+ 3 tiny ones). Grabbed a couple bags of Bob’s Red Mill tapioca starch on clearance, so I’m set!

  32. East West Girl

    Had dinner guests last night so I made this pie. Let me start by saying the flavor of the spiced apples was heaven! Just perfect.
    Like an over stuffed suitcase, I squashed the apples down until they cooperated. I did my best to make a lattice top.
    My pie did not look like the one in the photo. I topped the too-brown crust with foil but my crust was overcooked. I took the pie out about 5 mins. sooner than 75 mins. and my apples were softened but not as tender as I would like.
    The lattice top remained while the apples compressed leaving a weird open tent.
    Next time I’ll stick with the filling recipe with fewer apples and a different crust.

    1. amygray93

      I had the exact same issues. Top crust was overcooked, despite covering with foil, and the apples collapsed, leaving a gap of more than an inch between the filling and the top crust. About half of the apples in the filling were still on the crunchy side.

  33. Laeun

    I’ve used the Cook’s Illustrated recipe where you cook the apples before assembling. Is this step necessary? Between kids and time and whining , it’s too many steps.

  34. Anne

    Your apple pie is my go-to! I’ve made it almost a dozen times, fitting for the 12 years it’s been up. Except that I always spiced a bit more heavily and never have lemon zest.

    Can’t wait to try the new recipe with the Stella-tweaks, maybe for my sky-high apple pie-loving friend who invited us over for dinner tonight.

  35. Brenna

    Hi Deb! Long time reader—all my friends know and love “Deb recipes”!

    If I’m prepping ahead, could the apple mixture stay in the fridge overnight? I’d love to prep crust and filling the night before, then roll out, assemble, and bake the next morning if the apples would hold up well. Would refrigerating separately be better than keeping the whole unbaked pie in the fridge overnight?

  36. Karen

    Does anyone have a rough estimate of the number of cups of apples once prepped? Or the number of medium sized apples? I know it will vary quite a bit but I don’t have a scale so any estimate would be super helpful!!

  37. Noelle Brand

    Outrageous! You inspired me to break away from my tried and true Joy of Cooking recipe AND to make my very first lattice crust- Huzzah! Thank you 😊

  38. I need to break this into steps, and will be baking it tomorrow. I know it’s not a problem for the pie crust to be made the day before baking, but what do you think about letting the apples macerate in the fridge overnight? Too long?

  39. Marcy Bruck

    Just tried the recipe, and it was a smash! I only had 3.5 lbs of apples, but the suggestion to slice them very thinly (ie, on a mandolin), then letting them sit to macerate for a few hours really made the difference! They were soft, yet not mushy at all! I packed a streusel topping on top instead of a second crust, and that was the crowning touch. I’m from an apple-growing region (Quebec), and have made my fair share of pies, but this was bakery-worthy. Thanks, Deb!

  40. Jessica

    I made this today and while I did have a space between the lattice and fruit, the filling was great and the top crust was flaky and delicious. My problem was the bottom crust – it came out soggy even though I baked the pie for almost 85 minutes (at 75 there was still some give in the apples). Any suggestions for ways to avoid this next time?

    1. Sarah

      Blind bake the bottom crust until it’s lightly browned, then fill it with apples and put the raw top crust on and bake the full 75 minutes.
      When blind baking the bottom crust, you don’t have to bother with weights and foil/parchment if the dough for your bottom crust is rolled big enough to hang over the sides of the pan. The edges will overbake but will be very easy to trim off flush with the edge of the pan after the blind baking, and that way you can see how done it is without having to move the foil/parchment/weights to the side.
      It’s a drag and seems silly to add an extra step, but while you’re bothering to make pie, it may as well be as good as it can be. Soggy crust is a horrible waste of all that work that goes into it.

      1. Jessica

        I thought about blind baking or par-baking but I just really wanted to believe it could be done without that step. PS – I love your tip about leaving the edges out so you can tell how done it is!

      2. NancyRing

        I usually put a sheet pan lined with parchment into the oven while it’s preheating. Then put the pie in a glass pie dish on that pan – that extra heat has made all the difference in the bottom crust for me.

        1. Susan

          I agree with this. The heated sheet pan directly against the bottom of the pie dish really helps the bottom crust be less affected by the moisture in the apples. I use foil to line the pan so it conducts the heat from the sheet pan, too.

        2. Paula Kopasz

          I have a cast iron pizza pan; I put that in the oven when I start to preheat and set the pie pan on that; guaranteed crisp crust on the bottom

      3. Laura

        I’ve long suspected that the solution to fruit pie soggy bottom is to blind bake, but I haven’t been able to figure out how to do so with a double crusted pie. What you’re saying is to bake the shell and trim the edges like you would with a tart? Then how do you get the lid to attach? Do you just accept that you won’t have a nice crimped edge? Do just fake it by rolling up the edges of the lid and crimping those? I’ll definitely give this a try and see what kind of creative solution I can come up with

    2. Sholi

      I cooked this one yesterday and mine came out perfect. I must admit I did not use all the liquid that came out of the apples after maceration. Maybe next time try with less liquid?

      1. Jessica

        Yes, even as I poured the extra liquid over the apples I thought it might lead to sogginess but I was determined to follow the recipe the first time and then make changes the second time :) Good to know you held out on some of the liquid and had success – thank you!!

    3. Sujatha

      I’ve tried both blind baking & preheated sheetpan method for getting a less soggy bottom crust. The heated sheetpan method gets you a much better crust. No extra step — just put the sheetpan in the oven as you preheat for the pie & then put the pie right on it to bake (I don’t bother with parchment). Works beautifully. Other method is too difficult to meld a top unbaked crust to a bottom blind baked crust & in my hands was a disaster.

      1. 2tattered

        For fruit pies, I brush the bottom crust with red currant jelly before filling it. This keeps the crust from getting soggy. I also bake on a preheated rimmed metal pan which helps and catches any drips, too. It works for me!

    4. deb

      How was it when it cooled? I found all three times I made this, the crust *seemed* soft while the juices were runny but once it had be chilled in the fridge, it was totally crisp. Also, what material was your pie dish?

  41. Sarah

    Blind bake the bottom crust until it’s lightly browned, then fill it with apples and put the raw top crust on and bake the full 75 minutes.
    When blind baking the bottom crust, you don’t have to bother with weights and foil/parchment if the dough for your bottom crust is rolled big enough to hang over the sides of the pan. The edges will overbake but will be very easy to trim off flush with the edge of the pan after the blind baking, and that way you can see how done it is without having to move the foil/parchment/weights to the side.
    It’s a drag and seems silly to add an extra step, but while you’re bothering to make pie, it may as well be as good as it can be. Soggy crust is a horrible waste of all that work that goes into it.

  42. Dominique

    Made this last night and it was excellent!

    Followed the recipe exactly – started with about 4.4lbs of apples (combo of granny smith and fuji; weighed w/ skins, cores, etc.) I let them macerate for about 3ish hours while I was making the dough and the dough chilled. However, by the time I went to fill the bottom shell, it wasn’t nearly as heaped as Deb’s photo. I attributed this to loss of apple during peeling/coring and too much snacking on those sugared slices :)

    Baked the pie for 75 mins exactly at 400. Covered the pie after 45 minutes, and rotated it then. The pie could have used being rotated sooner, and being covered after 40min as it was just a tad bit browner for my taste. My internal temperature after 75mins was climbing well above 195 degrees. The crust was beautifully bronzed and the apples perfectly tender with some bite. I did a full double crust from Deb’s recipe with a few slits, and it was wonderfully flaky.

    Thank you, Deb! Helping this nervous pie maker gain some confidence. Would make again.

  43. Mary Beth

    Brilliant! I’ve been making apple pie for years and always had a mess with juices bubbling over, making release out of the pan difficult. I followed the filling recipe exactly, letting sit for a couple of hours. I made mini-apple pies because I have cute tart pans. I found the apples were more tender going in to the oven, because they had released their juices (which I spooned some on top before second crust), by bottom crust was not soggy, the pies released from the tart pans easily, they tasted great and were so cute. I am never disappointed when I try a SK recipe. Thanks Deb!

  44. Amanda

    This comment has nothing to do with the pie (which I wish could be teleported straight into my mouth!), but is rather a question about the “Previously” and “For the other side of the world” sections included at the end of recipes. I’ve been reading this wonderful blog for…. forever? A decade at least. And I don’t remember when these sections started appearing after the recipes. After one of the site overhauls? But I don’t understand them. [insert thinking face emoji here] Are they to illustrate posts made in the same month(s) in prior years? Some linked above are from September, so that’s a confusion? And what’s the “For the other side of the world” about? I’ve clearly been puzzling over this for some time now, and today is the day I just had to ask. Thanks so much to anyone who can sort me out! :)

    1. deb

      The links have been there almost since the beginning, and “The other side of the world” for at least 5-6 years. There are many SK readers (hi Australia! hi New Zealand!) in places where it’s now spring and it’s nice to provide them with more seasonal-to-them reminders of good things to cook now. So, it’s just 6 month behind/ahead reminders.

  45. Anna

    Deb, if you are looking for things to do with your remaining apples… have you ever made Apple Butter?
    I’d never even heard of it before last year (I’m in the UK, guess it’s well known elsewhere!), but it’s so easy to make, and means you have intense Apple Pie flavour in a jar, ready to pour all over pancakes or waffles whenever you feel the need :-)

  46. Kaia

    Made this yesterday, the excessive apples & omission of lemon juice was everything I never knew I wanted. I do still use an ATK pie crust recipe because I know what it’s going to do for me every time, but I think the fact that the last slice is being fought over in our house is reason to print/bookmark/laminate this recipe for life.

    1. Erin

      Yes! We had the same experience! I use King Arthur’s piecrust for the same reasons, but that filling was out of this world! Who knew I didn’t want lemon juice?? :)

    2. JP

      Just curious…which ATK pie dough recipe do you use? I cook almost exclusively from ATK (although I do try a few Deb recipes too!) and I wondered if you were talking about the one with vodka or what. I have so much trouble with even their recipes when I make a single crust pie with shrinkage. I even tried Milk Street’s and it was no better. sigh. I don’t have trouble with double crust, but I do with single. Is King Arthur’s better?

      1. Kaia

        We use the “Foolproof Pie Dough” that has shortening + unsalted butter + vodka! I think it makes a really great, flaky crust!!

        1. JP

          Yes, this is the one I have used many a time, but when doing a single pie crust, it shrinks. It is great for a double, though. I wish I could find a good single crust recipe. I have been looking for years. I despise pie weights, so that may be part of the problem. But if they don’t shrink, they slump. sigh.

          1. JP

            When I study into this carefully, I wonder if it is not my method more than my recipe? I see in Cook’s Country (Cook’s Illustrated sister magazine) that there are directions when blind baking to dock (poke holes in) the single crust all over, refrigerate it and then freeze it. Then apparently you can partially bake it and it will hold its shape. I want to try this and see if it works. Sans pie weights! Fingers crossed!

  47. Andrea

    I let the apples macerate for four hours. All of the apples fit, but there is so much liquid left over that it won’t fit in the pie pan. Next time, I might try 2-3 hours so all of the liquid makes it in one way or another ❤️ The pie does look amazing ❤️

  48. Erin

    This was serendipitous timing – my father-in-law requested an apple pie for his birthday dinner tonight. I made this recipe (but used King Arthur Flour’s double pie crust recipe – my never-fail recipe) using Mutsu and Stayman apples from a nearby orchard. There was only 1 piece left, and I sadly left it for the birthday boy. I definitely will be making this again!

  49. Susan Young-Leslie

    I couldn’t count the number of apple pies I’ve made – and I still like to try new methods. Thinner, macerated apple slices was a new one for me and we loved the results. I followed this recipe (almost) to a ‘T’ and it was gorgeous. With a pastry cutter I added 1/4 cup cold butter (diced) into the sugar and spice mix; I like the buttery caramel flavour that comes out. As a rule I follow Shirley Corriher’s “CookWise” recommendations for mixing pastry ingredients on the counter with the rolling pin, not in a bowl, then scraping it all up and back into the bowl, chilling… repeating these steps a few times to create flat facets of fat instead of round resulting in flakier pastry. Instructions beyond this are too long to add to this comment here but it’s worth researching. Thanks for another great set of instructions, Deb.

  50. Patricia Newport

    I recently started adding a smidge of cardamom and black pepper to my apple pie for a “chai” flavor. It’s really divine. I’m going to try that with your suggestions and I bet it’s even better! mmmmm…..

  51. elseyb

    I’ve used instant clear jel for thickening pies but rarely see it mentioned. Is there a downside to this ingredient? Hope not as it makes my pies perfect.

  52. Lauren

    Deb, I’m not sure your stance on arrowroot powder as a thickener, but I subbed in 3T of arrowroot for the tapioca starch and it worked perfectly! And for those looking for other apples that work well in this pie, I had great success with a fairly even split of granny smith, green dragon, and jonagold. Thanks for a great recipe!

  53. Jane

    If I’m prepping ahead, could the apple mixture stay in the fridge overnight? I’d love to prep crust and filling the night before, then roll out, assemble, and bake the next morning if the apples would hold up well. Would refrigerating separately be better than keeping the whole unbaked pie in the fridge overnight?

  54. Elizabeth

    I made this last night, and it is delicious! Best apple pie I’ve ever made. However, it was a little too sweet, do you think only using the brown sugar and omitting the white sugar would work? Has anyone reduced the sugar amount?

  55. I, too, am obsessed with apple pie this fall. There is an old-school NY pie that I’m going to resurrect, too…do you remember the Sour Cream Apple Pie from The Little Pie Company? It’s piled high with apples, and, if memory serves me correctly, nuts, too. It’s got sour cream folded into the fruit and has a generous crumb topping. It was such a treat to get at Thanksgiving, because in the 80’s, that pie was just about $40 (I think)!

    Anything in Stella’s book is stellar. Period.

  56. June Donenfeld

    RE: Your pie pan. I noticed it had little holes in the bottom. Is this to help prevent the dreaded sogginess of non-blind baked crusts? And could you let us know what the name of the pan is, or give a link? Many thanks.

    1. Carol T

      I always free my unbaked apple pies for future use. Any suggestions about the baking time and temp for a frozen apple pie? Thank you.

  57. Gail

    I am amazed at your apple piling ability. Do you have a particular technique to get it mounded up so gloriously rather than falling all over and onto your feet?

  58. Victoria

    Hi Deb,
    If I wanted to make this in advance and freeze it, when do you think would be the best step in the process to do that? And would you fully defrost it first and then bake the same way or do something different?
    Thank you, I’m a novice to freezing baked goods and slightly nervous about it!

  59. Although my guiding principle for cooking/baking is always: the lazy way wins, I will say that I’ve come around to a technique in Pam Anderson’s The Perfect Recipe for apple pies. She slices the apples then cooks them down in butter, then lets them cool, before putting the filling in the crust. I always say I’m not going to bother because it’s extra work, but then I do because it makes such a beautiful pie. The pre-shrunk apples leave the finished pie shell perfectly full and it *eliminates* (honestly) the need for any thickener. Thought you might be interested since you’re on an apple pie bender :) All that said, imma try your way now. More pie!

  60. Carolyn

    Made this last weekend for a dinner party with half Granny Smiths and half Cortlands. I sliced the Granny Smiths on the thin setting on my mandolin and the Cortlands on the thicker setting (figuring they were softer and would get really mushy if I did them thin) and macerated for a full four hours. Because I was nervous about all the liquid, I strained it out and simmered it just a few minutes until it was a syrupy texture. I packed the apples into the pie dish as tightly as I could, so they weren’t too heaped up (I also used a 9.5″ pie plate), and poured the reduced liquid over the fruit before doing a lattice top crust. After 75 minutes in the oven, the apples were perfect, there was no gap between the lattice and the fruit, and eight of us polished it off! Fabulous.

      1. Carolyn

        That’s a great question – I can’t remember, to be honest! I may actually have added it at the very beginning when the apples were macerating…

  61. Aileen

    I made the pie for a large gathering using Cortland and Granny Smiths, nearly 5 lb total. The pie was a super-impressive-looking tower, but it did have a gap under the crust when I cut it. I always use Martha Stewart’s pie crust recipe, and Deb’s is exactly same ingredient wise except Martha’s is made in the food processor. Funnily enough, so many people at the party said it was the best apple pie they had ever had and yet I did not like the pastry part of it myself. It seemed gummy and tough, though the apples were delicious. So I think I will try the apples again with my normal pastry method. And I will try Deb’s pastry method separately.

  62. Anne

    Looks awesome and I have a ton of apples on my hands from an apple pie picking trip. What’s the best way to rewarm slices? In the oven or is microwave ok?

    1. Mary Beth

      I would re-warm ten minutes in a 325 oven to avoid soggy crust. My re-warmed five mini-pies in my toaster oven at this temp and they came out perfect.

  63. W.

    I LOVE your original apple pie recipe and have shared it numerous times…can’t wait to try this one. Hard to believe it could get better!

  64. Connie

    I’m going to make the pie this weekend. Without the lemon juice, how do the apples not brown before baking? And how long can I macerate the apples (overnight would be great)?

    1. deb

      Not a food scientist at all, but I find that whether or not the apples got brown before baking doesn’t matter, that the brown disappears when they bake. But in this case, you’re mixing them right with the filling ingredients — no need for them to stand around browning. There’s also no reason you cannot add lemon juice if you wish. I haven’t macerated them overnight yet. I’m worried they could get too soft, but not sure.

  65. Sengkelat

    Is there a reason the tapioca starch goes in after macerating? It seems like it’d be easiest to add it in with the sugar, and would insure it’s well mixed, instead of mixing it in after the fact.

      1. Sengkelat

        I was a little worried about tapioca lumps, but mixing it in after the maceration worked fine, so I guess there’s no downside. (aside from forgetting to add the tapioca then having to scoop apples out of the pie crust back into the bowl, which I inevitably had to)

        Also, my pie center never got to 195 degrees; it was 160 or so by the time I needed to start cooling for transport. Even so, the apples in the middle were a good texture, and the apples at the edges had turned to applesauce. I think this means my oven was too hot, but it seems like 195 degrees isn’t important.

        Thanks for another fun recipe.

            1. deb

              Not sure. Were they from a grocery store? I mean, I buy mine there often when I can’t get them from a Greenmarket, so I’m not saying one shouldn’t, but they could be much older. Stella Parks says that apples fall apart above 200 degrees internal, if I remember correctly (don’t quote me on this, but it was around there). Is it possible that your pie got hotter sooner?

              1. nojo

                I had a similar experience also using Granny Smith apples. The entire inside was basically apple sauce. Still delicious but not quite what I was giong for. I did get mine at the supermarket, so perhaps they were older and that played in to it.

  66. Al

    Made this two days ago and I will definitely make it again. Some notes in case anyone is interested.

    top crust: flaky but got a bit burnt (caught about 15 minutes in so I covered it in foil). I did an egg wash with sugar, so next time I may also skip the sugar.

    filling: excellent. I subbed 1 tbsp + 1 tsp corn starch for tapioca. I accidentally sliced the apples too thin (3 mm), but they kept intact! They were a mystery varietal. I only used 100 g of brown sugar and no white sugar, since I prefer a less-sweet pie.

    bottom crust: sadly uncooked. I think this one is my fault though because I took it out after 60 minutes since liquid bubbled out and started to burn. For what it’s worth the pie tin was aluminium and the sheet pan was dark metal. Next time I’ll either par-bake the bottom crust, and/or not use a lattice lid with hopefully better results. I’ll also try preheating the sheet pan in the oven as others suggested.

  67. Gemma

    I’ve made this twice in the last week which used just about 3 pecks of apples. The first pie I used arrowroot and all Stayman Winesap and it was pretty good. I added a little foil hat at the one hour mark to stave off overbrowning. Pastry was fantastic. I was a bit lazy and used the apple core/slice attachment from my mixer and it was probably a little too thin, but the apples held up pretty well.

    I made pie #2 last night with a few leftover Stayman and 95% Nittany. I was lazy again and used the slice blade on the foodprocessor (lol) but measured setting to make sure it was exactly a 1/4 inch. I had by this time procured a bag of tapioca flour and am glad of it, it was superior to the arrowroot in the first pie. Theres a ‘plump’ quality to tapioca, when i was spooning the juices over the pile of fruit in the shell the juice was ‘ribboning’ (mascerated fruit for over 4 hours both times), this made me less anxious about dumping so much juice in there. The second pie was amazing. Made it a little hat at the one hour mark once again. Put more sugar on the lattice this time.
    Holy crap. I’ve made every apple recipe on SK, this one is a on whole new level. I used to think I failed at pies and so at Christmas would usually make a fruit galette and a cake instead, but this year I’ll be bringing this pie, its nothing short of freaking epic. A million times thank you!!!!!!!!

  68. Virginia

    Brought this to book club tonight, everyone loved it! I will say, though, that for me, the spice level was a little too high. Maybe it was my cinnamon, or maybe it was that I had only about 4 lbs of apples in the house, but I found the cinnamon flavor a bit powdery and overpowering. When I tasted the filling after it had macerated, it also wasn’t as sweet as I like, and I missed the lemon flavor — so I fixed those things before baking, easy peasy. Next time I’ll cut the cinnamon down to maybe one and a quarter tsp. But I really love the effect of slicing the apples thin and letting them macerate for a long time. My apples weren’t piled high in the pie dish, they just filled it nicely, and the resulting pie was wonderfully solid with no top-crust gap. Our food processor has an adjustable slicing blade, so I used that to slice the apples to just under a quarter inch — so easy and fun!

  69. Virginia

    …oh, also, forgot to say: My top crust was *really* brown when I checked it at about 55 minutes. I covered it loosely with foil and it was still fine when I took it out about 15 minutes later. But next time I would probably cover with foil a little sooner. It looked gorgeous, with the sugar (I used Turbinado) sprinkled on top of the egg wash!

  70. The gap. My mom always gently steam the apples for her pies for just a few minutes, enough to get excess moisture out. She never had a gap, and her voice in my head always tells me to do this. However, I don’t recall her ever making one quite as tall….

  71. In your experience, does working with apples out of the fridge have an effect in this recipe? I macerated for the minimum amount of time, 1 hour.

    Some of the interior apple slices in my pie remained a bit crunchy even after 90 minutes in the oven. My oven is calibrated correctly, and I have not had problems with cooking interior apple slices in less-apple-rich pies, so I’m trying to troubleshoot after the fact. I’m still very much enjoying the pie overall! Thank you!

    1. deb

      No, I don’t think cold apples make a huge difference. It could have been apple thickness, or they might have just needed longer to bake. Did you check the internal temperature?

      1. Yes, there were parts of it that got up to the required temperature (towards the bottom around the edges) but some middle parts that only got up to 165F or so before I took it out for good out of concern that the crust would overcook (I was also getting some dry apples on top through the openings in the lattice, even though I covered it with foil). I did reduce the sugar to 2/3rd cup so I wonder if not enough juices were drawn out of the apples to get them heated up).

  72. Melissa Vega

    I tried this recipe and it came out delicious. The only issue I have is that the bottom crust was soggy. This has happened with other apple pie recipes so I know it’s not an issue with your recipe. Can give me any tips on how to keep the crust from getting soggy? Thank you!

    1. Melinda

      We sprinkle some extra tapioca directly on the bottom crust in all our pies. And of course waiting to cut until the pie is cold helps keep the bottom from getting soggy.

  73. Melinda

    Followed the recipe, no problems with the crust or apples. Beautiful pie, but we thought the spices overpowered the apples. We have a heritage orchard and choose our favorite flavorful apples and were only slightly disappointed. I’ll definitely make again, but hold back on the nutmeg and ginger.

  74. Irene

    Deb, I love your blog and your recipes, and I have, until now, trusted you completely. But this pie has just boiled over in my oven, probably because of its overabundance of apples, and caused a serious amount of smoke and marital discord. I have not yet eaten it, as it is still cooking, but I do want to warn everyone of potential problems.

  75. Jackie

    I made this and it took about 20 minutes more to bring it to the 195 degree internal temperature, but my oven is often finicky. I have never baked a pie to temperature before but I think I am hooked! It was perfectly bubbly and smells delicious!

  76. Thanks so much for another wonderful, tasty, successful recipe. I had just shy of 4 lbs of apples but kept the other proportions the same and it came out delicious. Cooking the pie on the bottom shelf of the oven ensured no soggy crust. Even the next day it was delicious.
    Of course I was silly enough to buy another bag of apples at the fruit stand before they closed for the season. Thank goodness I’ll have this recipe up my sleeve to do again 😋

  77. Maura

    Ok I am on my third test pie for Thanksgiving. I always end up with juices that are too runny and a bottom crust that is under-baked. I followed your advice this time (thinner slices, tapioca starch, long maceration time, internal temp of 195, etc.) and for extra insurance, I reduced the juices and preheated a sheet pan on the bottom shelf. The crust is perfect but the juices are still runny. Am I missing something? Should I just add more starch? Thanks!
    P.S. Thanks for that foil-over-the-bowl trick!

      1. Maura

        Sorry, I totally meant to include this in my original question! I let it cool for 6 hours and that seemed reasonable but now I think it wasn’t enough. After spending the night in the fridge, the filling is perfect (my husband is lamenting the loss of the first-day top crust – can’t please everyone). I’m going to try one more time with everything the same except I’ll start earlier… probably…

  78. Kate

    Delicious filling, delicious flaky pastry on top… but my oh my was the bottom completely soggy and soft. What a shame! I wanted to believe you could put the whole pie in as it is, but no, blind baking seems essential. I put the pie on a pre-heated baking sheet (metal pie dish, too) and didn’t use all of the liquid – but still, the bottom was inedible. I will definitely make it again, but par-bake the base first.

    1. deb

      Have you let it fully cool in the fridge? Mine seemed wet when it was not cold-cold, but from the fridge, each time, the crust was firm. Crisp, even. It can then be rewarmed if you prefer to eat pie warm.

  79. Amy

    This was absolutely fantastic! It will be my go-to apple pie recipe forever more. Just wanted to add a couple of notes in case anyone is interested in slight variations. I prepped the apple slices and pie crust the night before and let the apples macerate overnight in the fridge. I added a splash of orange juice as suggested by another commenter, and it was a great addition, made the filling seem a bit wassail-y to me (a good thing). I ended up stopping at ~4 lbs of apples because my bowl was full and it still made a very full pie, which I baked in a 9″ cake pan because I couldn’t imagine it fitting into a pie tin and not spilling out all over. As it was, I was glad to have the tray and parchment underneath. As Deb suggested, I baked it on the lowest rack of my oven and the crust was perfectly browned and delicious top and bottom. I also used only brown sugar because I was too lazy to get out the white, and used 2 T cornstarch because I was out of tapioca starch. Finally, I assembled the pie in the morning and then baked just before dinner. Turned out fabulous!

  80. Juliet

    Perfect apple pie. Without question. I used flour as I could not find tapioca starch. I have instant tapioca but wasn’t sure if it’s cook into a smooth texture. May try it that way for myself but this pie was to serve people at work. High raves, one saying it was the best apple pie he’d ever had. Thanks for another great recipe, Deb!

  81. I’ve made apple pie before, but I must admit I am not the best at baking, and tend to burn things very easily! However as an expat living overseas, I’d love to try this one as part of Thanksgiving for some friends, thanks for the detailed steps and photos- really helpful for a baking novice. May serve with vanilla ice cream…if it’s not *too* indulgent!

  82. What is it about the winter months that make me crave apple pie? I think it’s because it reminds me of my Grandma. Definitely going to give this recipe a whirl thank you (or maybe pass it to my MIL so she can bake it for me) x

  83. Having bought too many apples pies, each sickening sweet, I’m trying my hand at making one from scratch. I LOVE your s’mores pie recipe so will try making this apple pie recipe for Thanksgiving. I like the simplicity of the recipe and that there isn’t too much sugar. Hoping mine turns out as good looking (and tasting) as yours.

  84. This pie looks SO delicious! I HAD to share it on Facebook so others can try it! I’ve NEVER thought of using more than one type of apple in a pie before. That’s such a great idea to give it a different flavor with each bite. I am so excited to try it for Thanksgiving! Thanks so much!

  85. Cindy

    I made this on Sunday! My family and I went apple picking a few weeks ago, but then I was too sick to bake. This weekend I finally felt well enough. I never made homemade pie crust before, as I always bought the frozen pillsbury stuff, but I wanted to give it a try. I rolled the top crust a bit too thin, but it tastes amazing. I let the apples macerate for over two hours and the apples still shrunk and the top crust collapsed a bit when it cooled, but everything tasted great. I think I might leave out the ginger and cut back a bit on the cinnamon as they were all I could taste. We still have some in the fridge and have been taking slices of it all week. Definitely a keeper. Thanks!

  86. Elsa

    I was going to make the deep dish apple pie w the crumb top in your first cookbook for thanksgiving. Would it work to apply this apple technique to that recipe? (Normally I’d just experiment, but not for thanksgiving!)

  87. Soosi

    I have a large ceramic pie plate (11.5” x 2”) can you help me scale this up? The apples and spices I think I can figure out but I’m worried I won’t have enough crust.

  88. Rachel

    I just made this for a get together with some friends. Due to moving [and not having all the ingredients] I did have to make a couple of changes.

    I used the ‘all butter, really flaky pie dough’ recipe from SK [always my go to], though I use a food processor for convenience [sorry Deb]. I also use an egg yolk as a wash for the top crush [makes it super shiny and perfectly brown], and the egg white as a moisture barrier for the bottom crust [spread before adding the apples, and it will help to prevent a soggy bottom crust]. I think people whose crust has been burning/overcooked may have been rolling the crust too thin: it should just barely overlap the edges of the pie dish when put in. I had no troubles with 75 min at 400 degrees, lattice top and all. The crust was perfectly done and the apples had just enough structure left to not fall to mush, but be a nice, hearty bite. As it cools the apples will shrink some – but not nearly as much as other apple pies – and once you cut into it and serve slices the top comes back down anyone, so nobody noticed.

    I did swap out all of the white sugar for more brown sugar. Didn’t have ginger or cloves [b/c of move -sigh-], but I do like to put in about a teaspoon of vanilla extract, and a tiny bit of thyme. The thyme gives it the lemony-ness of citrus, a little wake-up, but without the risk of overpowering the other flavors. The nice thing about slicing the apples thin is that the sugar and spices have more surface area to coat. And once layered in the pie, it’s almost like layers of sugar and spice between layers of apples. All and all, a really nice recipe/technique for apple pie.

    1. Rachel

      I should also add, that I wasn’t able to use the tapioca starch/flour. I never make pie often enough to justify buying it. The solution that I’ve found is to use regular old flour, but, before adding the flour, toast it until brown. That brings out a nuttier flavor, so you don’t get that unbaked flour taste. If you do this, you will need to toast more than 3 tablespoons, as it will have the tendency to clump up and you’ll need to use a sieve to prevent the clumps from getting in the pie.

  89. Maria

    I followed this recipe yesterday to make my first ever pie, practicing for thanksgiving. the pastry is delicious and the top pastry was perfect, but the filling had way too much liquid and the inside was soupy so the bottom crust was soggy. what did I do wrong?I may try again with less apples, and not use all the liquid, and 4T tapioca. the flavors were amazing so I’m determined to perfect it. my 12 year old even suggested I should still make it for thanksgiving and feign surprise when we cut it – she said it tasted so good it didn’t matter….but of course it does!

  90. caitlin

    ugh, what if i just put the lattice on and sprinkled the sugar over the egg wash and JUST remembered i forgot the tapioca?!?! 😢

        1. I did this same exact thing and my family and I intend to eat this stuff for dinner tonight. Oh, and I forgot the egg wash and sugar. I’m pregnant, and that’s my excuse again.

          But the filling tastes awesome, per the apples that just wouldn’t sneak in on top!

  91. June Donenfeld

    Hi again @Deb.

    What kind of perforated pie pan do you use? I saw that the one in your photo had holes and assume this was to cut down on any sogginess. (I asked this question some days ago, and know you are really busy, but would be really grateful to know. A one-worder will do!) Many thanks.

  92. Sammy

    Well, Deb, I owe you a huge thank you. This is a fantastic apple pie recipe. My husband said it was the best ever and his mother could really bake delicious pies! I’m a reluctant baker who now feels empowered to try again and again.
    I’m in central CA and used Opals and Lady Alice apples on the advice of the Vons produce manager who is a genius. Happy Thanksgiving!

  93. Emily

    I have a variation of this in the freezer ready to bake on Wednesday. Only change I made was to cook the macerated juices into a syrup before adding them back in. I used a mix of granny smith and fuji apples. Will report back once baked up and tasted!

  94. Alexis Wiedeman

    Can you make this in advance and freeze it? I wanted to make it for Thanksgiving and freeze it now, bake on the day. I can’t want to make it! I normally macerate but I am going to up my apple amount and I already went to the farmers market and bought mutsu apples. Thank you for this recipe.

  95. Amazing pie for a Friendsgiving centerpiece dessert! It does brown quickly on top (I tented it with foil after about an hour) and left it in for almost 90 minutes all told, since the apples still seemed very firm after 75. After cooling, the fruit compressed leaving a lattice “birdcage,” but it still looked beautiful. A challenge to cut with all the fruit (I didn’t have time to let set fully in the fridge), but the crust and filling were gorgeous. I used Granny Smiths and it was tart and not overly sweet, which is how I like pie. A huge hit and perfect pairing alongside pumpkin cheesecake!

  96. Johnna

    Made this for an early Thanksgiving. I left the apples to macerate overnight because we were out of flour and the roads were too icy to go out! My pie wasn’t quite so tall but it was delicious. I added another tablespoon of tapioca flour since I had some extra juice. The bottom of my pie was not as done as the top but no one minded. This was my first time making an apple pie and I will definitely be using this recipe again!

  97. Dede

    Did you hear us talking about you at my knitting group today? We were talking pie and I was telling everyone how excited I was to be trying your new and improved apple pie recipe for Thanksgiving. A long discussion ensued about the wonders of both pie and the amazing Deb Perelman. Just so you know you have a fan club right here in Portland Oregon!

    1. Kathy

      The pie was a huge success! I macerated the apples the day before and left in the refrigerator overnight. I used Cup for Cup gluten free pie crust which was delicious, you couldn’t tell it was gluten free. Cooked the pie for around 95 minutes to reach 195 degrees. There was a gap between the top crust and the apples but everyone loved it. Will definitely make again. Thanks for the recipe!!

  98. Clueless in Denver

    Emergency Tgiving prep – can i make the apples now and let them macerate overnight and assemble the pie tomorrow morning?

  99. Sara

    Made this last night and it turned out beautifully! Not as tall as Deb’s, but definitely not sunken. I used my favorite tried-and-true life-changing food processor crust recipe from Serious Eats. After reading many comments saying that there was a large gap between the top crust and the apples, I made sure to really pack the apples in and gently push them together so there were no hidden pockets – I think if you just dump them in without packing them you will have the gapping problem. Also, I couldn’t fit all my juices in without overflow and I probably added a bit more than I should have dared because holy smokes – literally! – I had a lot of caramelly juice bubble over onto the baking sheet and had to get the fans going for the last 30-40 minutes of baking. Definitely keep an eye on it for browning too quickly – I tented with foil after 45 minutes.

    I hope it tastes as good as it looks – will report back after we dig in tomorrow! Happy Thanksgiving to all celebrating!

    1. Sara

      Finally reporting back! The pie was a huge hit. I was worried during assembly that the spices would be overpowering since I was getting really strong whiffs of the cloves when stirring the filling but the flavors melded beautifully after baking and sitting for a day and everyone loved it. The texture of the thin slices was wonderful too.

      I did end up with a bit of a soggy bottom and would probably try blind-baking next time, although no one complained. Even after I brought it up, no one else was really bothered by it. We let it fully cool (for well over 24 hours in fact, as I had to make it in advance due to work and travel schedules) so I don’t think that was the issue here. As I said, I didn’t use the pie crust recipe that Deb recommended, however I’ve never had a soggy bottom using it before and I never blind bake – but I’ve also never made an apple pie with it before.

      Would totally make again, but would probably try blind baking first and definitely, definitely, definitely take Deb’s advice to cover your baking sheet with aluminum foil!

  100. idalily

    Deb, I made this and have several comments. First, the cooking time seems way off to me. After 75 minutes at 400, this pie was nowhere near an internal temp of 195 degrees, and I have a very accurate oven. I reached thick bubbling and 195 after 100 minutes. The spillover was everywhere even though I crimped, and FWIW, I just don’t see how a lattice pie piled that high won’t spill over. All that said, however, the filling tasted AMAZEBALLS. And the crust was not overbaked, which was a relief after 100 minutes! But I used my own crust recipe which uses 2/3 butter and 1/2 pastry lard, and lard is very forgiving. I can’t say how 100 minute baking time would do with your crust. Bottom line, if I had never made an apple pie before, I would not make this one. Too hard for a beginner. Those of us who make a lot of apple pie, however, will love making this. And our crowd ate every single bite. :)

    1. deb

      Glad it was a hit. I had some spillover! You can see it on the tray in pictures. My rule is to not cry over spilled filling. I think that nobody knows what was lost when they try it, and pies often bubble over. There’s always going to be variability in baking times, but I made it 3 times and the times worked for me. (I use a Thermapop thermometer; I have oven thermometers but my oven actually runs cool, not hot. My oven is really junky so it could be anything though…)

    2. Akire

      I just made this and had a similar experience…
      I had some store bought crust to get rid of, so apple pie was the plan!
      My apples (a 4.5 lb mix of honeycrisp and granny smith) only sat for about an hour and a half, and had released a TON of liquid. I also accidentally mixed in the thickener (corn starch) before macerating, so looking back I should have probably mixed some more in directly to the liquid because it leaked like CRAZY. When I was filling the crust I looked at the amount of liquid and was skeptical of adding it all, but the recipe said to… I did. After 30 mins it was bubbling and about 145 degrees. At 60 mins it was an apple flood. I broke out the turkey baster to offload some liquid and also had to cover with foil as the top was browning, and reading about 170 degrees. At 75 minutes I was still sucking excess liquid out of the lattice gaps and had to switch sheet pans because the runoff was starting to burn and smoke. The temp hadn’t risen much either. I set it for another 2 rounds of 20 minutes, when it finally reached 195 and the filling appeared to have thickened enough to stop oozing. I took off the foil to let the top get a last bit of crisping and prayed the bottom crust wasn’t either soggy or burnt.
      In the end it turned out to be a really wonderful pie!! But I agree, not for a novice. I think the only adjustments I made were using store bought crust, corn starch for the thickener, and a few blobs of ginger paste instead of ginger powder. Oh and my husband suggested adding some of my homemade vanilla aka…vanilla beans in rum or…basically just vanilla rum ;) so 2TB of that.

  101. My second attempt at this pie! Is there any reason why juices would be bubbling from the pie and the apples feel fully cooked based on poking in the thermometer, but the interior temperature would read a mere 180?

    Side note: I took another commenter’s advice to microwave the apples for 7 minutes before cooking, and got a lot more juice released with the amount of sugar I like to use (2/3rds cup, so slightly reduced from the recipe). My first attempt sat grudgingly at 165 degrees even after over 90 minutes of cooking, very possibly because I messed with your precisely calibrated sugar levels, so I am very pleased with this adaptation! Maybe I’m just overthinking the temperature thing? I would have very happily taken out the pie at this point before I learned about this exciting and novel notion of taking its temperature.

    1. deb

      It could be the thermometer. However, I found that to get the pie to the right temperature, I baked the pie longer than usual (at least with my first of three test pies) and it wasn’t mush inside, instead, a nice caramel flavor. Hope yours is a hit!

      1. I can’t seem to make this volume of apples to cook uniformly without pre-microwaving the apple slices. I just moved to a new apartment and re-tried the recipe as written and ended up my trademark layer of scorched dried apples in the top layer immediately under the lattice. Searching the SK and Google at large doesn’t yield anything that suggests this is a common problem for pie bakers.

        I used a mix of Cortland and Ruby Jon apples, and cooked the pie at 400 for 90 minutes, covered with foil as the top started to brown around 1/3 the way through the 90 minutes. The liquid in the pie is bubbling at 120 minutes but there is only liquid in the bottom of the pie, under the Gloucesterina(TM)-dry-scorched layer of apples. I am pulling it now since I don’t see any way for the bubbling liquid to magically circulate up into the dried out layer.

        I’ve not historically had any problem cooking less apple-full pies. Would love any suggestions as to where I could be going wrong! I don’t mind pre-microwaving the apples but I would so love to crack this conundrum!

  102. Claire

    Happy Thanksgiving! Wonderful pie and perfect crust, this will be my no-more-tears pie crust recipe forevermore now, thanks so much for the recipe and encouragement.
    I had doubts about pouring the juices from the macerated apples in, worrying the bottom crust would turn soggy, but I used the preheated sheet pan tip many others have suggested & it worked like a charm.

  103. Meg H

    (long time reader, first time commenter) I made this for Thanksgiving and it came out amazing!! People loved the layers of apples and that they weren’t mushy. I used pink lady, honeycrisp, fuji, and granny smith apples. I followed the recipe exactly except I sliced the apples by hand since I don’t have a mandolin, and I used 2 tbsp cornstarch, 1 tbsp flour instead of tapioca flour since I totally blanked on buying it. The all-butter flaky pie dough made an awesome crust too! I made a “fattice” lattice via the link you posted in the “assemble” section. Thank you so much for this recipe (It’s what I’m doing from here on out!), the tips, and the additional links.

  104. Kim

    This was exceptional! I did make it in a deep-dish plate, because my family prefers crumb tops and that won’t work with an Everest pie. Covered the filling with a foil lid for 40 minutes, then added the streusel for 40 minutes. Otherwise followed the directions exactly. Yum!

  105. Made it this year! It was my first apple pie, my first double crust. (Crust and I have a stressful relationship) and I nervously served it to a crowd that has high apple pie standards. IT WAS A HIT – one said it was better than his mothers! THANK YOU for all that you do!

  106. Eliza

    Awesome pie! This will be our new go to recipe from now on. We didn’t use the full amount of apples and it was fine but it would be fun to try mounding them high next time. Thanks for another great recipe!

  107. Oh I made this pie for Thanksgiving as I wanted a slam dunk of a pie and was sold when I saw all the spices in the recipe and that it didn’t have a ton of sugar in it. I have to cook gluten free so I used my favorite crust and then macerated the apples ( I used 4 different kinds) along with 3 T of boiled apple cider and the spices. Then followed the rest of the recipe exactly and it was like a DREAM! Thank you so much, best taste/texture. Thanks for delivering on your promise of a perfect pie.

  108. Deb–
    Thanks for the recipe. I made it for Thanksgiving, and everyone loved it. The only change I made is the use of tapioca granules (ground in my spice grinder) as a substitute for tapioca flour. I used Paula Haney’s recipe for an all-butter crust– and Stella Parks’ technique for a herringbone lattice top– You have to adjust Paula’s recipe by 1.5 times to create extra dough, as you need more dough (about 14-15 ounces instead of the 11 ounces recommended by Stella) for the lattice strips. The end result looks spectacular, and with your wonderful filling, it tastes great.

    Thanks and have a Happy Hanukkah,


    1. Also, in reading some of the comments, I have some insights. For those of you that don’t want to use tapioca, sugar free pectin is a good thickener. I tend to avoid cornstarch in pies, but arrowroot could also be used.

      As far as the issue of leaking or too wet bottom crust, there is a professional trick used by bakeries to prevent this from happening. Create “pie dust”, a mixture of sugar and flour in a 1:1 ratio to spread on the interior of the bottom crust prior to placing the filling. This works great.

      There are two other things that can be used:
      1. creating a caramel and putting a thin layer on the bottom crust
      2. a thin layer of melted chocolate.
      These I reserve for creating a specific taste profile in the pie.

  109. Ann Terry

    I’ve done this version of apple pie twice now and each time the tapioca flour failed to thicken properly. Both times half the juice ran out when the first piece was cut. The first time I thought maybe I’d taken the pie out too soon and the tapioca didn’t have a chance to set but the second time I let it bake longer and still the filling was runny. It tasted fine but was a mess. For Thanksgiving I think I’ll go back to my flour & cornstarch combo. My favorite pie apple is Braeburn. I do use tapioca as a sprinkle in on the bottom crust to help keep it from getting soggy. I put my pie on the oven floor for the first 10–15 min of baking and then move it up to mid oven onto a hot cast iron griddle that is 1″ diameter larger than the pie plate to catch drips. My bottom crust is never soggy.

  110. CK

    Made today to take to a New Year’s Day dinner. Turned out really well. No gap in crust after it cooled. The crust was delicious, albeit a little tough which could be my fault (used a food processor instead of pastry blender). Used 2 tbsp flour because I didn’t have tapioca, and left some of the juices (from macerating ~2 hrs) out of the pie. The flavor of the filling is just perfect. Cooked an extra 5 minutes – apples in the center never got above 170 (lattice crust) but apples on the outside were a bit above 195, though the texture throughout was perfect for me as is. Thank you!

  111. This looks amazing! The thin cut on the apples is important. My mom use to lightly steam her apples just for a couple of minutes to remove some of the moisture so that there would be less shrinkage when cooked. It works great, and accomplishes the same thing as macerating the apples beforehand

  112. I made this pie before, and it didn’t turn out that great. So, same recipe, changed methods, I actually placed the pie pan (deep dish soapstone) in the oven for 25 minutes to preheat. I placed the bottom crust in the pan, the butter was actually sizzling on contact, I was sure it would be pie fail. Nope, it was perfect, and even the pie filling juices thickened up considerably. The bottom crust was flaky, tender, and definitely didn’t have an “uncooked” taste.

    Granted, placing pie crust in a pan that is 400 degrees is a bit challenging. Throw it in, push it down, be careful. Add filling and top. It was fine.

  113. Lisette

    I made this for Thanksgiving, and it was delicious! However, I made a few changes– most by accident/poor planning. And it still turned out to be the best apple pie I’ve ever made.

    1. I let the apples mascerate for 1.5 days. I chopped them and stirred them with spices and sugar Friday afternoon, fully intending to finish the pie that night, and then I ran out of time. And then I overslept on Saturday and didn’t have time again until Sunday morning. It was still glorious.

    2. I made my pie crust on Wednesday night, wrapped it tightly and left it in the fridge, then didn’t roll it out and bake it until Sunday morning. I was worried it would have gone bad, but it didn’t. (I did keep in the back, in the coldest part of the fridge.)

    3. I used a mix of pink lady and granny smith– the only apples you can get easily here in Uganda (where I live). They held up perfectly, despite hanging out in the fridge for 40-ish hours after being chopped. Not too mushy, not too crunchy.

    4. I didn’t realize until I was (finally) getting the pies ready to bake that I did not have any thickener in the house. (I had planned on using corn starch, because that’s what I can get here.) So I took advice from another commenter, drained the sugary juice from the apples and boiled it down to a syrup. I poured most of my back over the apples before I added the lattice. The rest I reserved to brush on the top crust periodically while baking. It was beautiful and glorious and not the least bit runny. Now that I know I can do this, I doubt I will ever use thickener again. I didn’t even have much time to chill it in the fridge before heading out to our Thanksgiving dinner.

    What you should take away: This recipe is pretty forgiving, much more so than you would think, and very impressive. I doubt I’ll ever make an apple pie any other way. Thanks for another great recipe!

    1. I love happy accidents! I bet your filling didn’t sink in the baking leaving that gap that you can sometimes get with fresh apples. My mom used to steam her apples slightly before adding to her crust. This removed the excess moisture, which is what you did when you let them sit for all that time. I will try the boiled syrup method next time!

  114. ursahacimailcom

    This looks so delicious it’s INSANE. I’m saving the recipe for today’s evening and I’ll get back with my husband’s feedback. :)

  115. Lee Paladin

    This apple pie looks amazing, and I salute you for tweaking it over the years! Passing this page on to friends while I move on to the ruffled milk pie recipe.

  116. Gaby

    Why didn’t I trust you that I’d need so much apple?!
    I used only 60% of the amount you recommend and it just wasn’t enough. Very tasty but next time I’ll trust you fully. I used the extra flaky pastry (very similar to rough puff) and it was perfect.

  117. Karin

    Hi Deb! Can the apple filling be prepared a day in advance and be kept in the fridge until final assemblance of the pie?

  118. Sophie

    The macerating technique is a game-changer for me!! I didn’t want to make a pie, but was curious to see what macerating apples would do, so I made the breakfast granola apple crisp. Wow! I loved how the warm spices (ginger, cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon) deepened the apple flavor vs what lemon juice does. I’m going to use this macerating technique for all my baked apple desserts (tarts, galettes, turnovers, crumbles, crisps, cobblers, pies). So delicious!!

  119. Teresa

    Hi Deb- I’m posting my question here in hopes you will see it, as this is the most-recent apple pie recipe on you blog (I think). My neighbor baked an apple pie with “malt” and shared it last weekend and OH MY. It was so good because it had a hint of caramelly flavor but none of the sickening sweetness of actual caramel. He won’t share the recipe and won’t even tell me what the “malt” is – extract? Malted barley syrup? I’ve been googling it and can only find recipes for pecan pies where they seem to have swapped sugar for malt syrup. Any ideas or hints? I gather malt syrup is a lot less sweet than sugar so was thinking this might be right up your alley!! Thanks for any insight you have! I’ve been reading your blog since the beginning – my kids have grown up on your recipes and I just sent the oldest to COLLEGE so totally get the middle school freakout reference for this recipe!!

    1. deb

      I have seen it online and used it, maybe just once, in bagel making. It’s a sweetener with a “malty” flavor, supposed to be less overtly sweet than other sugar syrups. I presume he used it just to add depth to the apple pie? I wonder if a tablespoon of molasses might have a similar effect.

      1. Teresa

        Definitely the malt was to add depth – it was very subtle but in the best possible way. I’m going to give it a try and see what happens-it seems I can buy malt barley at Whole Foods nowadays. I appreciate your quick response and the encouragement!

  120. Stacey

    With apple season having rolled around again, I’ve got a question for you, and didn’t find a better spot for it than here, on one of last fall’s apple recipes. The question: Caramel apples are delicious; candy apples are delicious. Why not a hybrid: a hard-crack caramel apple? Would it work? How would you go about it?

      1. Stacey

        Oh, no, sorry, I just stuck my mostly-unrelated question here since at least it’s an apple recipe, and I couldn’t find a better place to ask you. I just picked this season’s first peck of apples, and I was thinking I’d make either candy apples or caramel apples. I love the crackle of candy apples, but they only taste like sugar (or some people flavor them with red-hot candies). I love the flavor of caramel apples, but miss the crackle. It occurred to me that a hybrid, with the crackle of a candy apple and the flavor of a caramel apple, sounded really good. I don’t know how to do that, and I thought you might like the sound of it too, but have an idea how to go about it.

          1. Stacey

            I know! But I’ve been googling, and all I keep finding are candy apples (without caramel flavor), OR caramel apples (soft/chewy ones). No hard-crack caramel apples! Would love if you’d be the one to remedy this unfortunate situation…

            Maybe then dip the bottoms in crumbled graham crackers or something — to guild the lily (or to make it enough of a recipe to be worth posting)?

              1. Stacey

                Ok, still nope. Found a bunch of “toffee apple” recipes, and made one, taking a sugar/water/honey/vinegar mixture into the hard-crack stage. It developed an amber color… and no real caramel flavor. The apples are still cooling, but based on cooled droplets of the coating, they’ll be crackly candy apples, without caramel flavor.

                  1. Stacey

                    No butter or cream — do you think it could still have that crackly texture if those were added? (I did try a second time by the way, but it was before you asked, so all I changed was how long I cooked it. Even taken until just before it would have burnt, it wasn’t the flavor I was hoping for.)

  121. Sounds pretty much like my favourite apple pie. Only difference is that I add a little grated marzipan. The marzipan melts into a lovely gooey, sticky sauce. Obviously some people “hate” marzipan, but they have to get over it.

  122. Lydia Romanin

    I made a beautiful version of this pie and it was great, but after it cooled, the apples became soooo much less in volume, so there was so much empty space between the top pie crust and the top of the apples… Any particular reason for this???

  123. Nicole Haddock

    I made this last week and good lord, it was delicious. Absolutely worth waiting the 4 hours for the apples to macerate. I used mostly Braeburn apples because they’re on the tart side and huge, so less peeling. I also used a few random granny smiths and jonagolds. To avoid a soggy bottom, I put a tin foil lined cookie sheet into the oven as it pre-heated, and then cooked the pie on top of it. Turned out perfect. This one is a keeper.

  124. Maya

    Hi! I adore all of your recipes. Everything I’ve made turns out perfectly and makes me and everyone lucky enough to eat the treat so happy.

    Today i tried the more perfect apple pie recipe. It was my very first attempt at making a pie dough and crust. I’ve been so nervous to do this and have read lots of recipes to get myself confident enough to try.

    When I woke up I finally decided today is the day. I had The apples, the tapioca flour, and I had a bag of 1/2 cup shredded butter in the freezer (it had been there for over a month). I learned to do this from one of the recipes I read. I used It and 1/2 cup cold butter from the fridge which I cubed as per your instructions.

    I mixed my dough using a dough mixer and only on the end used my hands a few times. The dough was too crumbly until I ultimately added almost all the water in my measuring cup of water with ice cubes. I refrigerated the dough for a few hours and had it on the counter for about an hour before rolling it out.

    When I rolled It I could see fairly large butter parts (like bigger than peas- maybe closer to three peas smushed together). I thought those large butter bits might make for very flaky yummy crust and kept going.

    The pie browned on top and started burning after 50 minutes at 400 degrees so I covered It with foil and dropped the temp to 350 for another 10 minutes, then took it out to rest.

    About an hour and a half later I cut into it. The dough was very chewy. I still ate it of course (because duh) but my mom in law didn’t like it and I could tell it wasn’t right.

    I fully expected to fail at my first pie try but would like to improve and ultimately win at pies. Can you suggest what may have gone wrong?

    Thank you so much ❤️

    1. Lisa

      Hi, Maya,

      I’m not Deb, but I’m in the middle of making this thing, and I have two guesses for you. First, you may have added too much water. I find that I almost never use the full amount. Sometimes (especially on humid days), I don’t even add the minimum. You want to add water until you get the dough to just come together. I usually mix in the first 3T using a spatula or my pastry blender, then mix in the last couple of tablespoons by hand, so I don’t overdo it. Second, you want to keep the dough cold, cold, cold. I think leaving it on the counter for an hour before rolling it out allowed it to warm up too much. I try to go from fridge to pie pan in 5 minutes (and then I pop it back in the fridge or freezer before proceeding with the next step).

      I hope you find this helpful! Keep practicing and you’ll get there!

      Thanks to all above who commented on leaving the macerated apples in the fridge overnight–you saved me from being up until midnight Thanksgiving Eve.

  125. Liz

    I am making this a day ahead of Thanksgiving but would love to serve it warm. Can the whole pie be heated up in the oven before eating? At 250? Do you think this would overcook it?

  126. Carolyn Bublitz

    I started making your pie crust years ago, and was hesitant to try your latest revision, because how in the world could it possibly be any better? It was. Amazing lattice topped granny smith apple pie for Thanksgiving. Thank you!

  127. Sarah

    This was delicious! My bottom crust baked just fine (I warmed a baking sheet and placed the pie pan on top). My apples deflated quite a bit, that is my only complaint.

  128. Kathy S

    I made this pie for thanksgiving and followed the recipe (and cooked it for 75 mins -ish – until the thermometer read 195). The pie looked beautiful and tasted good, however, the bottom crust was raw. I used a deep dish ceramic pie dish. What could I do to fix this? Should I prebake the bottom crust?

  129. Jennifer

    So great! I used half Granny Smith and half golden delicious. A crowd pleaser and will make again. I did the lattice on top and it domed a bit. Everyone live it.

  130. Nina Rusnock

    This was a doozy of a pie!! And amazingly delicious. It sputtered and smoked and fizzed in the oven and I had to keep sopping up the drippings with a towel to keep them from smoking and setting off the smoke alarm and waking up my sleeping toddler. It was all worth it for the best apple pie I’ve ever had! This will be our go to recipe for all Thanksgivings to come. I used the updated pie crust recipe and it was like having a croissant wrapped around apple pie filling.

  131. reshmaadwar

    This was perfect as is! Truly the best apple pie I have ever made! I hoarded Evercrisp apples the last day our local farmer’s market was open just for this pie! They have a lovely floral, sweet-tart flavor and hold their shape well. This pie let the apples shine! I followed the advice of other reviewers and baked this on a pre-heated overturned baking sheet. I didn’t have tapioca starch but cornstarch worked just fine. I wouldn’t change a thing other than the part where I sliced my hand on the mandolin!

  132. Deb (or other readers who have made both!), which of these pies should I make this weekend, this one or the Dutch apple pie, if I’ve never made either before? Of course I’m sure there’s no “wrong” choice but I will always accept someone else giving me one less decision to make :-).

  133. Liz

    Pie was soup. Bottom crust was raw. Top crust was lovely and apples tasted nice but the whole pie was just flooded with juice. Any tips to avoid in the future?

  134. Erin Coleman

    Every single time I make this apple pie it turns out spectacular! No adjustments, no variations!

    Your recipes are the best. I have tried so many and they all turn out so well.

  135. Jules

    I’ve always found apple pie to be overrated. It’s generally overly sweet, one note, a bit mushy, all the things a pie really shouldn’t be. Yet, my husband asked for apple pie for his birthday and I decided to trust in Deb, as I always do, and I made this recipe. I couldn’t find Mutsu apples, so I used a mix of golden delicious and honeycrisp. I ended up leaving the crust too thick where I folded it over the edges, so it ended up looking like a Salvador Dali painting. Yet, this was hands down the best apple pie I’ve ever eaten. I dare say I genuinely enjoyed it, and would gladly eat it again. My husband is in love with this pie. A homemade blueberry pie will forever be my favorite pie. Yet, this might now be my second favorite pie. It’s beautiful, the texture is pleasing, it’s not too sweet (despite the fact that a caramel forms around the apples, which should be too sweet, but somehow it isn’t), and you’re 100% right about the lemon. It goes against everything I thought I knew about how an apple pie should be made and I couldn’t be happier about it. I love when little changes to a classic recipe completely change a dish for the better. Thanks for being the person who I trust to shrug off tradition (but only when it works) in the name of discovering something more perfect.

  136. Made with a couple of mods: ceramic deep-dish pie plate as that is all I had. A smidge less cinnamon. Placed on hot baking sheet and used convection bake 400 or 375. It took about 90 mins. It did bake down more than in your photo but the flavours were great! I also like the method of slicing the apples even though me and my mandolin are not friends. Not too sweet! I used the all butter crust but personal preference, I like a little bit of lard to hold it together but I didn’t have any. I definitely would make this recipe again and would probably bake it at 400 convection and tent the pie earlier on and maybe even do a 5lbs total for my deep dish. Thank you!

  137. Nancy Stewart

    Thank you for these detailed instructions on how to make a more perfect apple pie. One addition that my family loves is the substitution of about 1 cup of black cap raspberries, or any berries! We pick them in the early summer, freeze and have them on hand in the fall for the most delicious pie imagineable!

  138. JP

    Because I studied the hundreds of comments for this pie and the newest flaky pie crust like a text book, I thought someone might find my comments after making and eating it today, helpful.
    I used one of each of the following in the filling: Braeburn, Sweet Tango, Jazz, Golden Delicious, Fuji, Opal, Granny Smith, Gala and Smitten (!). I used my mandoline to cut the apples and the thickest I could cut was about 1/8″ so that is what I did. I used all spices and sugar (except that I only had white sugar and was going to add molasses but completely forgot until now!) and added one teaspoon vanilla. I macerated the apples about 2 hours and there was a lot of juice. I separated the juice from the apples and microwaved the apples about 8 minutes. Just to soften them up. I did not cook down the juices but thought about it. I added the juices and the tapioca flour to the apples. I made the pastry dough exactly as you suggested and it came together easily. I left it in the fridge over night. I put in the bottom crust and then the apples. As I was rolling out the second crust and cutting out the “fattice”, the juice was actually trickling out of the pie onto the sink. When I was pre heating the oven, I put in my largest cast iron skillet on the bottom rack and when I finished the “fattice” and the egg wash/turnbinado sugar, I popped the pie into the skillet. I baked the pie 40 minutes, rotated and covered it with foil and baked it 35 more minutes. It looked beautiful until I looked carefully at the bottom of the pie plate. It almost scared the liver out of me. It was pretty black . I thought for sure I had burned the bottom to a crisp. After some time (and almost some tears!), I realized the outside of pie plate had some of the burned juices on it from the skillet!! Phew!!! That pie cooled on the counter for 6 hours. When I cut into it there was zero gap but lots and lots of perfectly cooked delicious apples. The crust was unlike any I have ever eaten. Some people have said it is tough but that is not it at all. It is like rough puff pastry from the bakery. Like eating an excellent apple turnover from the best bakery in town. This crust is not the typical American solid textured crust. If that is what you are looking for look elsewhere. Meanwhile, my husband and I think it is the best pie crust we have ever eaten (and his ex worked in a bakery and thought her crust was the ultimate, so there!). I can see the layers of buttery pastry even now. My filling was perfectly set, by the way, even with all those juice and the bottom crust was as crisp as the top. A real triumph and all the thanks go to you, Deb!

  139. TJ

    To prevent a soggy bottom piecrust, I boiled he juice from the macerated apple slices in a pot and reduced the liquid by half to make a syrupy consistency. Pour the syrup over the apples, add butter, top crust, and bake.

    1. Juka

      we loved it! I am generally leery of apple pies (which is the reason this is the first apple pie I ever made), and this was perfect. I did play around with the spice-mix to get a flavor that I knew we’d love (more ginger powder, slightly less cinnamon, more nutmeg, two all spice berries) and increased both the brown and white sugar by about 10 gm each. Used a mix of mutsu, honeycrisp, and Oxford. The macerating apples were delicious enough to be eaten on their own! This will become a fall ritual for us!

  140. Jacqie Lee

    Can you please explain why you don’t cook the apples before baking? I follow your first recipe, minus the lemon and I soften the apples in a big skillet with a little water and then put it in the crust. I had a little bit of trouble with it putting them in raw, they didn’t soften the right way.

    1. Sandy

      I made this with your old pie dough recipe (325g flour instead of 260 in the extra flaky recipe) and 3.75 lb apples (3 lb tart Granny Smiths + 3/4 lb Ambrosias which are on the sweet side). Did not have ginger or cloves and the cinnamon felt a little excessive for < 4lb apples, so I used 2 very scant teaspoons of it and also reduced the total sugar to 1/2 cup. Effectively the filing and proportions were closer to Melissa Clark's classic apple pie recipe.

      We loved the tartness of Granny Smiths and I'm totally convinced that it's the best apple for pie baking. Our local grocery store lady was appalled when I told her I was planning to make a pie with a mix of Ambrosia, Envy, and Honey Crisp apples. She made me buy Granny Smiths and promise to not use any other apple, haha.

  141. Theresa

    This is a fantastic recipe! I’ve made it twice and it is absolutely the best apple pie I’ve ever eaten. I baked the pie in a glass pie pan on a sheet pan in the middle of the oven and the bottom crust was perfect both times. The second time I accidentally added the tapioca flour before maceration, with no discernable difference in the amount of liquid in the finished pie.

    I’d like to make it for Thanksgiving this year. Do you think it would work to assemble it on Wednesday, freeze overnight, then bake from frozen on Thursday morning? Other recipes suggest baking a frozen pie for 15 extra minutes, but they don’t use an all butter crust. Do you think the crust would hold up to the extra oven time?

    1. deb

      I haven’t baked an unbaked, frozen pie before, so I’m a little wary of leaving the wet filling in the crust without baking it right away. Let us know if you try it — perhaps I will learn something new!

  142. Great ideas for apple pie. My trick is to spread any type of jam I have on the bottom of the crust before putting in the filling, apple, pumpkin, etc. I use this for all my pies and you don’t taste the jam but it ensures no soggy bottom.

  143. Joanna D-C

    I froze a ton of apples earlier in the fall (peeled, cored and sliced, and mixed with a little sugar) and I’d love to use them up by making this recipe. How would you recommend handling the frozen apple slices? Would you defrost them ahead of time before making the filling? Thanks.

  144. Vanessa

    Deb HELP! making this tomorrow AM for Thanksgiving 2020. Do you use a mandolin to get the appls so thin? I see one in a photo but you don’t mention it in the recipe. THANK YOU!

  145. Bridgit

    I’m making this (and the pecan pie, and black bottom oatmeal and pumpkin for just 5 of us because we are in a pandemic and this is apparently how I cope), and I cannot thank you enough for the temperature. I would have taken it out WAY too early. Same on the pumpkin. I made about 3/4 of the filling and added a layer of cranberry underneath from the Dec. 2007 cooks illustrated, because it’s so pretty and I love tart. Thanks for the recipe and the joy that shows up weekly in my inbox from you.

  146. Jessica

    Can we talk about how this pie is perfection? Apple pie is my boyfriend’s favorite, so I make it at least once a year for his birthday (more than that if he’s lucky). This is my go to. The crust turns out well every time and the filling is spiced beautifully. I thought the first apple pie recipe you put out was delicious. I never thought I’d say there was one better. This is though.

  147. Jane Glenn

    Thanksgiving this year felt daunting and sad without the ability to be with our families. I made this pie, and the process of doing so transported me from self pity to feelings of pride and focus. My one and four year old loved it. Thank you for your beautiful recipes ❤️

  148. Christine Fraser

    This pie was fantastic! I rarely make pies, but this looked so good I decided to try it. My 13-year-old son peeled, cored, and cut all 4.5 pounds of the apples for the Thanksgiving 2020 dessert. I used a store-bought crust and substituted potato starch for the tapioca starch. Used all Honeycrisp because they were what I had from the winter farmers market. The pie was much bigger (HUGE!) than the family expected it to be. Me: “Deb told me to do it.” Just had a piece for breakfast. Wonderful….

  149. Mary Beth

    I followed this recipe, using all Granny Smith apples (my favorite for pie) and I was very pleased with how it turned out! For the first time, I did not have the huge gap between top crust and fallen apples. The macerating must have made all the difference. I may reduce the spices next time (personal preference). I used cornstarch as the thickening agent. After reading comments, I also added more steam vents than I used in the past and this probably helped in not developing a big gap between crust and apples. Very happy with the final product.

  150. Sara H

    Omg, best apple pie ever!!! Followed the directions to a T. I think the tapioca flour did amazing things for thickening the juices. My husband is already asking when I’ll be making another apple pie.

  151. Sandra

    This is the best apple pie I’ve ever made. I followed the recipe exactly and didn’t change anything. Superb.
    It is great that the filling doesn’t have butter

  152. Vanessa

    There are things I really like about this recipe, but for me it didn’t work perfectly as written. I really enjoyed the suggestions of leaving out the lemon and including the tiny bit of ginger, but despite following the directions exactly, the apples came out too firm by the time the pie was very brown, despite covering with foil. I mean firm not in the sense of nicely al dente, but as in not-quite-totally-cooked. Also, despite macerating the apples, I still had a big gap (like 1.5 inches) between the filling and the cooked top crust. After some trouble-shooting I have now started using the same filling ingredients given here but with a method that has you pre-cook the filling on the stovetop for ~10 minutes, and the results are now excellent. The apples turn out perfectly soft but not mushy, and there’s no gap.

  153. Jann Cady

    Please make your Even More perfect Apple Pie in Season 2. I just put it in the oven and the dough was so buttery it tore in so many places I skent 20 minutes adding pieces here and there. Now that I have it in the oven on the baking sheet the butter is literally running off the pie onto the cookie sheet. No lie I probably have three to four tablespoons full of melted butter on the cookie sheet. Is that normal? Thank you. Can hardly wait until your new cookbook comes out!!

  154. Rebecca

    Sooooo. . .made this one (with your latest buttery pie crust iteration) to thank a friend who’s helping us rewire our fixer-upper, so I don’t know how it came out taste-wise, but it was fun to make, lovely to look at, and the leftover apples and scrap of crust I baked up were delicious!

  155. Tim

    For many years I’ve been making apple pies with apples cut in thin slices as everybody does, and as shown here. But I’ve always wondered if the pie would be more “tender” if the apples were cut into thicker or/or more irregular pieces. The customary thin apple slices sort of glue together into a layered composite. Which makes a tougher structure than irregular pieces would, right? I understand that having the pieces be all the same aids in them all being done at the same time, but surely there’s a way to achieve that without getting the bonded-layers effect.

    1. deb

      I think bonded layers come from apples that fall apart when baked, in general. But, there’s no reason you cannot use thicker pieces, it just might 1. Collapse more under the top crust, creating gaps, as it bakes. 2. Take longer to bake. It’s good to keep in mind, too, that most bakeries par-cook their pie fillings on the stove so the fruit is semi-softened by time it goes into the crust, avoiding the first issue.

  156. Robert F

    I made this. A neighbor left 10 heavy bags of apples on the sidewalk with a “Free. Good for baking” sign. I took one heavy bag and used all of them (no more, no less) for the pie.

    Easily the tastiest pie crust I’ve ever made – used Kerigold. Pie was about 9″ high, so I used a lower level in the oven. But the top of the crust still burned; should have covered with foil at halfway mark. Apple pie is often too sweet, this was damn near perfect.

    The only other issue was that my (first ever) lattice was hollow at the peak, where the apples had sunk.

  157. Christine

    Wow! This pie was delicious. Made it with apples from the tree in my front yard, don’t know what kind but looks like a golden delicious. Didn’t have tapioca starch, but used tapioca granules, which made no difference.

  158. Danielle Scott

    This is an excellent Apple Pie recipe!! I have been baking apple pies for many years and so far this is the best. I live in a town in New Hampshire with an abundance of apple orchards and this is the time of year to take advantage of all the apples available. Thank you for such a wonderful recipe,yum.

  159. saralala

    I made this as directed. It was delicious. The only problem I had was that the crust seem to stick to the pie plate, so it was hard to serve neatly. Didn’t seem to matter to my guests. I used a pyrex pie dish. Next time will try a metal one.

  160. vicky

    Been baking apple pie and crisp for decades. Never peel the apples. Just seems a win all round—saves time and nutrition, and with the long cooking time, the peel is just as soft as the apple.

  161. Sue

    Any advice or experience on using this general method for your slab apple pie recipe?

    I am planning to spend awhile piling up as much thinly sliced macerated apples as possible, and otherwise use this recipe as guidance (tapioca starch)?

    Wondering if rectangular vs round will matter?

    1. deb

      Great idea. I would macerate as we do here. I do prefer tapioca starch/flour if you have (it wasn’t as easily available when I wrote the slab pie recipe). I prefer rectangle for the slab pie, in part because it’s large (a 12-inch round thin pie might be the equivalent, if not larger, and that seems cumbersome) and in part because you can then cut it easily into squares or rectangles.

  162. Sandy

    I made this with your old pie dough recipe (325g flour instead of 260 in the extra flaky recipe) and 3.75 lb apples (3 lb tart Granny Smiths + 3/4 lb Ambrosias which are on the sweet side). Did not have ginger or cloves and the cinnamon felt a little excessive for < 4lb apples, so I used 2 very scant teaspoons of it and also reduced the total sugar to 1/2 cup. Effectively the filing and proportions were closer to Melissa Clark's classic apple pie recipe.

    We loved the tartness of Granny Smiths and I'm totally convinced that it's the best apple for pie baking. Our local grocery store lady was appalled when I told her I was planning to make a pie with a mix of Ambrosia, Envy, and Honey Crisp apples. She made me buy Granny Smiths and promise to not use any other apple, haha.

  163. Jaime

    Looking forward to trying this version for Thanksgiving (apple pie is always my job). Question on pan – I only have a deep dish ceramic, is there anything I should modify? Going to look around for a regular pie pan but I think it broke on me years ago.

  164. Linda Dunn

    Thank you for walking me thru my first pie ever. I snuck some whole wheat flour and trimmed the sugar but wow the spice scraps already cooked are so good. Your recipes always feel so manageable and so far have always come out delicious. Thank you ..

  165. Sue

    I made this, combing this with Deb’s slab pie recipe, for thanksgiving, Used about 9 pounds of Mutsu, a recipe and a half of the pie crust recipe, and an untraditional pie pan: a white Corningware 9×13 baking dish approximately 2-3 inches deep. It has a rustic look but impressive.

  166. Claire

    This is such a wonderful reliably successful recipe. It makes a huge beautiful pie. There’s one slice leftover from Thanksgiving dinner last night, and three of us are going to fight over it. Thanks so much Deb!

  167. Melaura

    This pie is amazing! I made it in 2019 as written, homemade crust, toweringly high and it was PERFECT. I also made it in 2021, forgot to bring nutmeg or ginger, had a store bought crust that cracked and the edge fell off, and I didn’t give the apples any macerating time . . . it was still very tasty and cooked in the same amount of time.

  168. Helen

    I made the filling for my annual thanksgiving for my friends i host here in the Netherlands. As a Mainer living abroad I have to celebrate my favorite holiday!
    The pie was great (using Jeremy Scheck’s pie crust recipe which uses 1/2 vodka to hydrate the dough without overactivating the gluten and making it tough). The flavor of the spices was amazing, I subbed flour for the tapioca starch and it worked great, I also used all of the leftover apple juice and faced no soggy issues. Only thing was that it never visibly bubbled for me (I bake a lot of pies and they usually do bubble) so it was hard to tell when it was done, I was worried about having raw apples in the middle so I baked it probably 20-30 minutes over what Deb recommends. Luckily it wasn’t dry, it was perfect! Thank you Deb!!

  169. Joanna D

    This turned out wonderfully. Yes, I still had some soggy bottom crust, but to be honest I love that part of the pie, and the pastry on top was lovely and shiny and crisp. I did not manage to get the pie to the correct internal temperature, even after baking for ages and covering the top with foil – I let it go for as long as I dared before declaring it done enough (the top was browned and the apples soft) and it was great. I used cornflour because I couldn’t get my hands on tapioca flour. For those worried about the apples sinking but the pastry staying tall, as some people have had happen – I’ve made this pie twice, and I had that problem the first time, but not the second. I think the key was (1) letting the apples macerate a long time; (2) layering the apple slices patiently to build a structure that was basically flat instead of with a peak in a middle.

  170. Kathleen

    The link about different apples takes me to a King Arthur page for “Things Bakers Know”, but nothing about apples. Maybe the wrong link?

  171. Dede Donahue

    This pie is so satisfying and easy to make. Made it for Yom Kippur break fast and it was loved by all. My biggest mistake was using a scant 4 lbs. of apples instead of 4.5! Used all Crispins, which was fine, and didn’t have a lot of shrinkage (thank you) but I should have thrown another apple in there. Also because I’m not feeling so hot, I didn’t make my own crust – used store bought – and it was still great! Thank you. This now replaces MS’s Sky High Apple PIe as my favorite!

  172. Judy

    Love the recipe tweaking that goes on year after year. (Incidentally, I’m with you on everything but the ginger and cloves, but that’s okay. Also when someone told me they reheated one of my pies in the microwave, I nearly cried. Never reheat this beautiful pie in a microwave.) I am known in town as The Pie Baker, and I’m often asked to bake pies for community events. I made an apple pie as a thank you to an elderly rancher. His response: “It was good, but it was too high.” Translation: There was too much filling. It wasn’t the way his mother made an apple pie. Sigh. So you can change the recipe, but you can’t always change those who eat the pie.

  173. Alyssia

    Oof this was a huge fail! I followed the recipe exactly but still ended up with a gaping lattice and undercooked apples despite a 4 hour macerating. Maybe covering the pie after 15 minutes or so would have helped because the top seemed already overcooked after 25. That wouldn’t have helped the scorching liquid overflow that my smoke detector hated, though. I didn’t think the flavor of the apples or the special purchase of tapioca starch as a thickener was anything great. I missed the acidity of lemon, too.

  174. Karen

    Thank you so much for this recipe! I had tagged it to make a few years ago but apparently never did, and I finally made it yesterday. I didn’t believe an apple pie could taste like this, so your title of “Even More Perfect” is not overstated. Best apple pie recipe I’ve ever made. This will be my “go to” apple pie recipe from now on.

  175. Ed

    90 min baking at 400 and its only at 175deg. Hmmmmmm. I bake tons. Sourdough bread, cakes, tarts,pies…… and ,y ones is the proper temp. Weird.
    Any ideas why it’s taking so long. I did refrigerate about 20 min prior so the crust was cool.

  176. Christopher Jackson

    Hi Deb, your thoughts on preparing the filling in advance and freezing?
    Trying to make my life a little easier on Thanksgiving Day.
    My wife has found she’s allergic to Wheat and Dairy in the last 2 years, and recently found some pie crusts that fit both those restrictions from a local bakery.
    So she’s requested an apple pie and of course I came to you because I’ve been baking your Apple Cheddar scones for the last 10 years with more compliments than anything else I’ve ever baked.

  177. Jean

    Love the recipe! My additional step is to boil down and reduce the liquid after the apples have been macerated by 50% or so until its a syrupy consistency. That way fewer juices overflow and I can get all of the liquid in. Also bake the pie on the lowest rack in the oven on a preheated sheet tray to get a crispy bottom!

  178. Sammy

    I know this is a Stella-inspired recipe, not a note-for-note remake, but I’m wondering why you slice the apples about a quarter inch instead of her version, which is half an inch. Can anyone comment on the softness of the apples? Either her pie baked the same amount of time has crunchy apples or this pie baked the same amount of time has very soft apples, but they can’t both turn out the same.

  179. I used the spices and proportions from this filling but substituted a can of apple juice concentrate for the sugars (boiled to reduce by half) and added a few tablespoons butter to the filling to balance out the extra acidity. Everyone loved it, thanks for the guidance Deb!

  180. Im an apple pie addict and I have only just tonight tried thinly slicing the apples instead of chopping them into chunks, It never crossed my mind and wow… what a difference. Its amazing. Thank you so much.

  181. Ellen Bridle

    I’m not much of a pie baker, but I made this pie and it was great! 2 questions: The top crust (not latticed, of your all butter, really flaky dough) was *fantastic* – by far the best I’ve made – but the botton crust was a bit soggy. Would it work to parbake, even if not for very long?
    Next question: I have a ton of blueberries I have to use. Do you have suggestions for how to turn this into a blueberry pie? How much fruit, macerating or not, tapioca starch (I’m guessing more! Blueberry pies are notoriously runny), time/temperature?

    1. Mary-Ellen

      I read a while ago that mixing up a bit of flour and a bit of sugar and sprinkling that over the bottom can help with those pesky soggy bottoms.
      I had a good result when I tried it using 1T each for a straight up rhubarb pie, next time I would use .5T flour and .75-1T sugar.

  182. Rita

    We have a Jonathan apple tree which I’ve always thought was a great apple for pies, so I, of course, used those. I used 2 tablespoons cornstarch as a substitute for the tapioca flour, since it wasn’t available in a 50 mile radius and I didn’t want to wait for Amazon. The cornstarch set up fine, but it seemed like the apples were a little crunchier than I like. I did cook it the full 70 minutes. It had a loose lattice top so there was a fair amount of space between strips. Do you suppose if it had had a “tighter” top it might have softened the apples up a bit more? I have an apple peeler/slicer and they were cut to .25 inches. Any other suggestions on how to adapt the recipe for Jonathan apples? I’ve got a bumper crop this year! Thanks.

    1. deb

      I’d just bake it longer next time — each type of apple is a little different. I always look for lots of bubbling juices through the lattice and even up over it. Hope that helps!

  183. Carol Luterek

    I love this pie. Letting the apples soften in sugar and spices is genius! The spice combo delicious.

    I’ve had a family request for a crumble topping… made from flour, oats, dark brown sugar, cinnamon, salt , walnuts, and butter…rather than a top crust.

    I guessed at adapting your time and temperature to my crumble pie. I filled the crust with apples as per your recipe. No topping yet. Baked at 400 for 25 minutes. At that point I removed the pie from the oven and pressed down on the apples as it’s hard to add crumbs to a high heap! Got it covered with crumbs.

    I lowered the temp to 350 and baked for another 50 minutes. Internal temp was 175. Apples had just a bit of bite.

    My 9 yo grandson said, “well somebody has to eat this delicious pie! ” So it was considered a success!

    Can you suggest an alternative method, temperature or timing to make your Apple pie with a crumble topping? Should I not lower the temp? Should I put the crumbles
    on at the start and maybe not use 4.5 pounds of apples so I’m not trying to add crumbles to such a high heap of apples ?

    Thank you Deb!

  184. Jennifer S

    Thank you for this amazing Apple Pie recipe! I am not a confident pie maker. When my son said he wanted Apple Pie for his birthday dessert, I knew I had to find a Smitten Kitchen recipe! The pie turned out just beautifully and was absolutely devious! Everyone raved about it! Our extended family were impressed I made such a fabulous pie! Thank you for this winning recipe!

  185. Catherine

    Hi Deb.
    Thank you for this. Is it possible to make and freeze before baking? If so, how do I proceed out of the freezer?

  186. Lindsay Alberts

    It must be said: holy hell look at those slices!! My eyes are bugging out of my head right now – I gotta make this. #foodporn

  187. Heather

    I used the cold oven start (i.e. no oven preheating!!!) that I learned from the brilliant PJ Hamel at King Arthur Baking and the pie was done right on time with a perfectly baked crust!
    I followed the recipe as written using the whole top crust (not lattice) and baked in a ceramic pie dish. I had no need for any foil covering to prevent crust over-browning or burning, which has been a regular problem for me in the past.
    The cold start oven method works for SO MANY THINGS with even better results than a preheated oven! I am a forever convert.

  188. Claire Browne

    This is for real the most perfect apple pie, I made it again this year for Thanksgiving and everyone loved it again. Thank you so much for this recipe.

    Since I was in a hurry I forgot to pour in the juices from the macerating apples AND forgot to slice steam vents in the top crust and it was STILL PERFECT.

  189. Jane Morse

    Everything about this recipe is amazing. I used 4.5 pounds of big, beautiful Mutsu apples from the produce stand. Using a mandoline made perfect slicing. Macerating them for a few hours gave me a pile of apples to stack in the pie crust (though my stack wasn’t as towering as yours, Deb.) The only change I made was using cornstarch instead of tapioca flour. Did some research first and found that I needed substitute half the amount of cornstarch for the tapioca. When I sliced it after Thanksgiving dinner, everyone oohed and aahed and agreed it was the best apple pie ever.