How to Make Apple Pie from Scratch (Recipe with Photos)
Apple Pie made In Kitchen Aid Mixer
Homemade Apple Pie
The Best Homemade Apple Pie Recipe You Ever Tasted!
This is a highly detailed recipe that will teach a new baker the art of making an apple pie from scratch. The comforts of fresh baked pie served with a scoop of rich vanilla ice cream or a slice of sharp cheddar cheese not only taste delicious, but if you could bake it yourself, you'll be able to enjoy a homemade slice any time your heart desires!
A first time apple pie baker should be prepared to run into a few issues with getting the crust right the first few times. A few common issues with a crust are it's too tough, it tears, it's not rolled to the right thickness, when adding the top layer of crust it looks like a preschooler's art project, and it burns or the filling bubbles over. Not pretty. I bet you didn't know so much can go wrong with a simple apple pie.
There isn't a better way to learn than by doing, so I have put together a video with helpful tips from protecting the outer edge of the crust to getting the pie filling to the right thickness. Just to be extra helpful, I'm going to take you step by step through the apple pie baking process to teach you how to make apple pie like an expert baker.
Baked Apple Pie Photos
List of items needed for Baking Apple Pie
- Large bowl
- Measuring cups
- Mixer or food processor
- Measuring spoons
- 7 inch pie plate (preferable metal with holes in the bottom, but glass is fine as well)
- Rubber spatula
- Large butchers knife
- Kitchen knife
- Rolling pin
- Apple peeler
- Basting brush
- Plastic wrap
Apple Pie Dough Recipe Made in Mixer
This apple pie recipe makes one pie for a seven inch pie plate.
Apple Pie Dough Ingredients
- 2 cups flour
- 1 cup frozen butter
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 1 large cup of ice water
Mix the flour, salt and sugar together in the mixer. Then mix in the frozen butter until the dough is pea sized crumbles. Next, add ice water until the dough all sticks together. Pat the dough into two large discs and wrap in plastic wrap. Cool in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
What Pie Dough Looks Like Before Ice Cold Water is Added
Making the Apple Pie Dough
The crust of the pie is a real art and where experience meets science. It takes getting a feel to make delicious, rich, and tender crusts that melt in the mouth. Nail the crust and people will love your pie!
The key to a great, rich and flakey crust is using a recipe that uses only real butter. Using Crisco in the crust will make it flakey, but it won't be flavorful. So, don't mess with shortening. My apple pie dough recipe is one I've tweaked myself and have now made successfully several times to the delight of my family and friends. It's tender, flaky, rich and delicious!
The second thing to know about making homemade pie crust is that the dough turns out better the colder the ingredients are when they are mixed together. Some people go as far as putting the dry ingredients like flour in the freezer before mixing. Others use vodka out of the freezer instead of water because it has a lower freezing point and keeps the dough colder as it is mixed. My secret is starting with frozen butter. The difficult thing with frozen butter is cutting the cubes up into chunks that will mix in a mixer or food processor. To do this, use a butchers knife and cut up the butter before you start making the dough and put the butter back into the freezer until it is needed.
Two Pie Dough Making Tips
- Use frozen butter and cut with large butchers knife into small chunks
- Keep the ingredients as cold as possible
The next critical step to making pie dough is mixing the butter with the flour, salt and sugar. Using a mixer on the lowest speed possible, add the frozen butter as quickly as possible while the mixer is running. Keep it going until the dough turns to large pea sized chunks. The butter and the flour will turn to this crumbly mixture. It's important that the dough have visible pieces of butter smooshed in because the butter clumps will release moisture into the crust when it bakes and keep the dough tender.
Once the dough is nice and crumbly, (this may take a few minutes in a mixer), add ice cold water a tablespoon at a time until the dough clumps up together and becomes near the consistency of chocolate chip cookie dough (something most bakers are familiar with). When watching the video, look at the consistency of the dough as it's patted into discs. It's doughy, but not too wet. Also notice the clumps of butter in the discs. The butter is incredibly important to how the crust turns out.
Once the dough is ready, pat it into two evenly sized discs, wrap it in plastic wrap and place the dough in the refrigerator for one hour to rest. Don't pull it out early. You've worked too hard to cut corners!
Apple Pie Filling Recipe
This apple pie filling recipe makes enough filling for one seven inch pie.
Apple Pie Filling Ingredients
- 4 to 5 Granny Smith Apples
- 1 Honey Crisp Apple
- 1/2 lemon squeezed
- 3 table spoons of flour
- 3/4 cup white sugar
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
Start by peeling the apples, slicing them in chunks and putting them in a bowl. Add the lemon juice to the apples and mix it up. Add the sugar, flour, and cinnamon to the apples and stir.
Apple Pie Filling
Making the Apple Pie Filling
While the dough is resting, begin mixing up the recipe for an apple pie filling.
Here are a few tips to making it easy to make the filling. First, use an apple peeler. An apple peeler will save an incredible amount of time. I demo the peeler in the video above. Just place an apple on the peeler. Rotate the handle and the apple is peeled and cored. Slice the apple in half and put it in a bowl. The lemon is juiced and tossed with the apples to prevent them from turning brown. It may also seem a little strange to add flour to the filling. The flour is used as a thickening agent to firm up the filling so that when the pie is cut, each piece will hold its shape.
Rolling the Pie Dough Out for the Pie Plate (Bottom Layer)
The true skill in making a great pie is the art of the crust. It starts with cold ingredients and ends with crimping the bottom and top layers together for a beautiful presentation. But, before we get to the fancy part, the dough needs to be rolled out.
The key is keeping the dough in a circle shape as it's rolled out.
Here are a few tips on rolling pie dough
- Put plenty of flour down on the surface so the dough won't stick
- Put plenty of flour on the rolling pin so the dough doesn't stick to the pin
- Start from the center of the disk and roll out. Keep rotating the dough until the dough is about 3/16 of an inch thick
The first big test of the dough comes when the bottom crust is placed in a pie plate.
- Drape the pie dough over the rolling pin and lay it in the pie plate
Once the dough is in the pie plate, pat it lightly down to the shape of the plate and then trim the edges. With a kitchen knife, trim around the edge of the plate leaving about 1/4 of an inch over hang from the pie plate lip. Once the bottom dough is trimmed, pour in the apple filling mixture and place four pats of butter on top of the filling.
Covering the Pie with the Top Dough Layer
Rolling the Pie Dough Out for the Top Layer of the Pie
Next, roll out the top pie dough layer. Follow the same steps as with the bottom dough, but you'll want the top layer to be slightly larger than the bottom layer. Trim the top layer leaving about 1 inch of overhang.
With the top pie crust placed on top of the pie and trimmed, it's time to crimp the top and bottom layers together. Watch this portion of the video closely. The top layer is pulled over the bottom layer and then the bottom layer is gently pinched between a fold in the top layers overhang. Pinch the top layer to the bottom layer all around the pie. Then using your thumb and forefingers from both hands, pinch a decorative design around the pies edge. The video demonstrates how this is done.
Unbaked Apple Pie with Crimped Crust
Make a Tin Foil Crust Protector
The final step in this delicious recipe is to use tinfoil to create a strip to go around the crust's edge to keep it from burning while baking.
- Tear tinfoil in two long three inch wide pieces. Fold the ends of the two pieces together to form one long strip that can wrap around the perimeter of the pie. Wrap the tinfoil around the edge of the crust and pinch it together to hold in place.
Tip: If during baking the top of the pie gets too dark before the crust has finished baking, cut out a piece of tin foil in a square, fold the corners in to round it out and place it on the center of the pie. This will reflect some of the heat and keep it from burning.
Tin Foil Wrapped around Apple Pie Crust
Prepare the Apple Pie to Go in the Oven
Using a kitchen knife, cut four of five small slits in the top of the pie to let the filling breath while it's baking. Lastly, brush the top of the pie with heavy whipping cream. The cream helps keep the top of the pie from burning and gives it a beautiful golden brown color as it's baked. Dust your apple pie top with sugar. It's now ready for the oven!
Other options: Egg whites can also be used in place of cream to baste the top of the pie with before baking.
Apple Pie Baking Instructions
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees
- Place the pie on a cookie sheet and then stick in the oven on the middle rack
- Bake for 50 minutes
Be sure to use a kitchen timer. At 50 minutes, check the pie. The top should be getting golden brown. Remove the tinfoil ring and bake for another 10 to 20 minutes.
An apple pie can be tested to see if it's completely cooked by using a toothpick to test the crust. A toothpick is inserted into the top crust and pulled out. If the toothpick comes out clear the crust is done. The filling is easy to understand if it's cooked as well. Look at the slits we cut in the top. If the filling is boiling out the top of the pie, the apples in the filling are likely cooked.
Is my apple pie fully baked?
- Is the crust a deep golden brown?
- Does a toothpick come out of the top crust clean?
- Is the apple filling bubbling up through the slits in the top of the pie
If the answer is yes to these questions, the pie is baked.
Apple Pie Right Out of the Oven!
Preparing Apple Pie to Serve
The delicious smells are dancing around the house and the kids and neighbors are begging for a piece, but the pie needs to cool down. Let the pie cool down at room temperature for two hours before serving. It will still be warm. My favorite way to eat apple pie is with a healthy slug of vanilla ice cream and a cappuccino.
Enjoy! Oh, the best part about learning how to bake pie is you'll have the skills to make delicious pie for the rest of your life!
How to Make Apple Pie Step by Step
The recipes and instructions go with the embedded video to make an apple pie from scratch. If you're learning how to make your first pie, I recommend watching the video and then starting the recipe. Place your laptop in the kitchen and pause the video as you go step by step through the instructions. If these steps are followed and you can follow the video, you will have learned how to make homemade apple pie!
Left over Pie Dough Cookies
Left Over Pie Dough
Pie Dough Cookies
- Roll left over pie dough into a long rectangle
- Sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon
- Fold the dough over the long way into a loose circle. It should be long and about three inches in diameter
- Slice it into 1.5 inch strips and place on cookie sheet
- Bake until golden brown.