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Making Apple Pie From Scratch

My homemade dough comes together in just 30 minutes!

Apple pie from scratch may seem intimidating, but anyone can make one with this recipe! Learn my secrets, plus tips to pick good apples for pie.

Sweet, spiced filling between layers of flaky golden brown crust brings back years of family memories with each and every bite.

For a delicious twist on this apple pie from scratch, try adding a crumble topping! The filling recipe is a bit different to offset the added sweetness, so pay close attention to the ingredient amounts listed.

I also have a rustic apple tart that tastes as good as it looks. The secret to a shiny finish is brushing melted apricot preserves over the top as soon as it is out of the oven. Adds extra sweetness too!

top down view of a slice of apple pie on a white plate with a fork on top of a green napkin.

Key ingredients & substitutions for apple pie from scratch

  • Flaky dough — My homemade recipe is so easy to make — just mix it up in a food processor, chill for 30 minutes, and it’s ready to roll out! If you’re short on time, you can use a package of refrigerated crusts instead.
  • Apples — The natural tartness of Granny Smith helps to balance all of the other sweet ingredients. Choose fruit that is bright green in color, firm to the touch, and free of any bruises or holes. 
  • Sugar — I like to use a blend of white and brown sugars to get a touch of caramel flavor in the filling.
  • Almond extract — This is my secret ingredient when making apple pie from scratch, and it really does make a difference! Imitation can be used if nut allergies are a concern.

tip

  • While the process is simple, there are a few tricks to creating a perfectly flaky crust. You can find detailed instructions in this post.

How to make homemade apple pie

process steps for making pie dough: add flour and butter to food processor; sprinkle with cold water; process until dough forms; shape into a disc in resealable plastic bag.

STEP 1 | Mix dough for the crust

Combine the ingredients in a food processor, but make sure the butter and water are extra cold – that’s what creates flaky layers in the crust. Once it comes together, empty the dough into a resealable plastic bag and shape into a disc. Let it chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.

a bowl of thinly sliced apples, a bowl of cinnamon sugar, and an unbaked pie crust on a table.

STEP 2 | Prep the apples

If you’ll be slicing the fruit by hand, keep the slices as close to the same thickness as possible for even baking. Then, toss them with sugar, flour, and spices until well coated.

pie dough overlapping a pie dish filled with sliced apples with butter pieces on top; unbaked apple pie with the top crust dusted with sugar.

STEP 3 | Assemble the pie

Divide the dough and roll it out before pressing the bottom round into your dish. Add the filling, then sprinkle almond extract and a few small cubes of butter over the top. Seal it up with the remaining dough, then add vents as needed for the steam to escape.

STEP 4 | Bake

In the oven it goes for about an hour at 375 degrees. Start it on the lowest rack so the bottom is properly browned, then move it to the center rack after a few minutes. Once the top is golden brown with filling bubbling through the vents and the bottom no longer appears wet in the center, it’s done!

a whole baked apple pie in a white pie dish on top of a green and linen napkin with a pie server on a table.

tips

  • Pile up the fruit slices nice and high since they will shrink as the dessert bakes. If needed, slice up one last apple to throw on top so it’s really mounded up.
  • Brushing the top crust with a little milk or cream and sprinkling with sugar results in a beautiful golden crust.
  • A clear baking dish will allow you to easily check the bottom to ensure the crust is properly baked.
  • Place a baking sheet lined with foil on the rack below the dessert to prevent spills along the bottom of your oven.

Frequently asked questions

What are good apples for pie?

Most recipes use tart varieties like Granny Smith, Pink Lady, or Northern Spy so the pie filling isn’t overly sweet. Honeycrisp is another popular choice, along with Braeburn and Jonagold.

While flavors really come down to preference, it’s important to choose a variety that will hold its shape when baked. If you prefer the milder flavor of McIntosh or Golden Delicious apples, combine them with a firmer variety like one of the ones listed above.

Can I make homemade pie dough ahead of time?

You sure can! Store sealed rounds in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 6 months. In fact, you can create a double or triple batch to freeze so you always have fresh dough on hand for last minute desserts.

Help! The top is browned, but the bottom still looks raw?

Simply move the dessert down a rack and cover the top with foil so it doesn’t burn. Check it again after about 5-10 minutes and go from there.

a slice of apple pie on a white plate with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and sprinkled with cinnamon.

Serving suggestions

This is best served warm, especially with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream or a drizzle of caramel sauce! 

Don’t slice into it straight out of the oven, though — let it cool for about an hour first so the filling can set. Otherwise, it will spill out all over the plate when sliced.

Recipe inspiration

Our family laughed a lot this past weekend remembering how Apple Pie became my daughter’s traditional birthday dessert. Back then, I’d never made a “real” pie before — one with a real crust and real fruit — but I saw the Apple-Peeler-Corer-Slicer demonstrated at a Pampered Chef party, ordered one, and baked my first apple pie twenty years ago. My family — especially Allison — loved it!

Allison began requesting apple pie instead of  birthday cake, so the tradition began. Those first pies were made using the recipe included with the Pampered Chef Deep Dish Baker and were made with refrigerated pie crusts. My original baking dish broke long ago, but the apple-peeler-corer-slicer is still going strong. I don’t think I’d ever have made an apple pie if I hadn’t bought this gadget. You can peel, core, and slice enough apples for a pie in no time!

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Your shares are how this site grows and I appreciate each one. Do you know someone who would enjoy this recipe? I’d love it if you would share it on Facebook or on your favorite Pinterest board!

Yield: 8 servings

Making Apple Pie From Scratch

a slice of apple pie on a white plate with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and sprinkled with cinnamon.

Apple pie from scratch may seem intimidating, but anyone can make one with this recipe!

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Chill Time 30 minutes
Total Time 2 hours

Ingredients

Flaky Pie Dough (single crust)

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 7 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • 5 tablespoons ice water

Apple Pie

  • 5 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons milk or cream
  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar

Instructions

Flaky Pie Dough

  1. Add the flour, salt, and sugar to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse for just a second to combine.
  2. Sprinkle the butter over the top and pulse for 2 to 3 seconds to to break up the pieces of butter.
  3. Sprinkle the ice water on top and process just until the flour is moistened and the dough starts to come together—do not over mix.
  4. Empty the dough into a large lock-top plastic bag, seal, then press into a flat disc. Chill the dough for at least 30 minutes before using.
  5. **Repeat this process to make a second disc (for the double crust pie).

Apple Pie

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Peel, core and slice the apples and place in a large bowl.
  2. Combine the sugars, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Sprinkle over apples and toss gently to cover every slice.
  3. Remove pie dough from the refrigerator and roll one disc into a 14-inch circle. Carefully place in the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch deep dish pie plate.
  4. Pile the apple slices on top of the dough. Sprinkle the almond extract on top and dot with butter (cut into small pieces).
  5. Roll out the second pie dough disc to about 13-inches and place on top. Seal and flute the crusts, trimming any excess. Cut 4 to 5 small slits in the top crust to allow steam to escape.
  6. Brush the top crust with the milk and sprinkle evenly with 2 teaspoons granulated sugar. Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until crust is golden brown. Cool completely before slicing.

Notes

Recipe adapted from Pampered Chef.

  • Pile up the fruit slices nice and high since they will shrink as the dessert bakes. If needed, slice up one last apple to throw on top so it’s really mounded up.
  • Brushing the top crust with a little milk or cream and sprinkling with sugar results in a beautiful golden crust.
  • A clear baking dish will allow you to easily check the bottom to ensure the crust is properly baked.
  • Place a baking sheet lined with foil on the rack below the dessert to prevent spills along the bottom of your oven.

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

8

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 314Total Fat: 14gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 37mgSodium: 97mgCarbohydrates: 45gFiber: 3gSugar: 25gProtein: 3g

Did you make this recipe?

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sheila thigpen in her kitchen

Sheila @ Life, Love & Good Food

Recipe Developer, Food Photographer, Food Writer

Sheila Thigpen is the publisher of Life, Love, and Good Food — a Southern food blog — and the author of Easy Chicken Cookbook and The 5-Ingredient Fresh and Easy Cookbook. After 20+ years in the publishing industry, she retired in 2018 to focus on her own creative endeavors full time. She and her husband live near the beautiful Smoky Mountains and have a precious little granddaughter who has stolen their hearts. As an influencer, Sheila has collaborated with brands like Creamette, Kroger, HERSHEY’S, Hamilton Beach, Garafalo Pasta, OXO, Smithfield, Valley Fig Growers, and more.

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Kathleen Pope

Monday 30th of August 2021

Loved this post, I think I became a Pampered Chef rep back in the day because of that apple, peeler, corer slicer! Brilliant machine! Love this pie, cannot wait to make it!

Michaela Kenkel

Saturday 28th of August 2021

Is there anything more American than Apple Pie?! This recipe was apple pie PERFECTION and we enjoyed every last crumb of it!

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