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Classic Apple Pie

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Serves eight to ten.

Yields one 9-inch double-crust pie.

For best results, bake this pie at least a few hours before you plan to cut into it; otherwise, the filling may be soupy. With time, the fruit reabsorbs the juices, and the pie will cut like a charm. A pastry cloth and a rolling pin stocking, or sleeve, are simple tools that make it easier to roll out the dough.

Looking for more great pies? Get inspired by our slideshow of perfect Thanksgiving pies and subscribe to the new Baking with Fine Cooking for a caramel apple pie recipe (plus variations) your guests will absolutely love.

  • 1-1/2 to 1-3/4 lb. Cortland apples (about 4 medium)
  • 1 lb.Granny Smith apples (about 2-1/2 medium)
  • 2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 Tbs. granulated sugar
  • 3 Tbs. cornstarch
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon; more to taste
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1 large egg white
  • 2 tsp. unsalted butter, softened, plus 1 Tbs. cold unsalted butter cut into small (1/4-inch) cubes
  • 4 to 6 Tbs. all-purpose flour
  • 1 recipe Flaky Pie Pastry

Position two oven racks in the lower third of the oven and heat the oven to 400°F.

Make the filling:

Peel the apples, cut each in half from top to bottom, remove the cores with a melon baller, and trim the ends with a paring knife. Lay the apples, cut side down, on a cutting board. Cut the Cortland apples (below left) crosswise into 3/4-inch pieces, and then halve each piece diagonally. Cut the Granny Smith apples (below right) crosswise into 1/4-inch slices, leaving them whole. Put the apples in a large bowl and toss with the lemon juice.

Classic Apple Pie Recipe

Combine the brown sugar, 1/4 cup of the granulated sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, kosher salt, and nutmeg in a small bowl. (Don’t add this to the fruit yet.)

In a small dish, lightly beat the egg white with 1 teaspoon water. Set aside.

Assemble the pie:

Butter a 9-inch ovenproof glass (Pyrex) pie plate, including the rim, with the 2 tsp. of softened butter.

Rub 2 to 3 Tbs. of flour into the surface of a pastry cloth, forming a circle about 15 inches across, and also into a rolling pin stocking. If you don’t have a pastry cloth, rub the flour into a large, smooth-weave, cotton kitchen towel and use a floured rolling pin. Roll one of the disks of dough into a circle that’s 1/8 inch thick and about 15 inches across.

Classic Apple Pie Recipe

Lay the rolling pin across the upper third of the dough circle; lift the pastry cloth to gently drape the dough over the pin and then roll the pin toward you, wrapping the remaining dough loosely around it. Hold the rolling pin over the near edge of the pie plate. Allowing for about a 1-inch overhang, unroll the dough away from you, easing it into the contours of the pan. If the dough isn’t centered in the pan, gently adjust it and then lightly press it into the pan. Take care not to stretch the dough. If it tears, simply press it back together—the dough is quite forgiving.

Brush the bottom and sides of the dough with a light coating of the egg-white wash (you won’t need all of it). Leaving a 1/4-inch overhang, cut around the edge of the dough with kitchen shears.

Combine the sugar mixture with the apples and toss to coat well. Mound the apples in the pie plate, rearranging the fruit as needed to make the pile compact. Dot the apples with the 1 Tbs. cold butter cubes.

Rub another 2 to 3 Tbs. flour into the surface of the pastry cloth and stocking. Roll the remaining dough into a circle that’s 1/8 inch thick and about 15 inches across. Use the rolling pin to move the dough. As you unroll the dough, center it on top of the apples. Place your hands on either side of the top crust of the pie and ease the dough toward the center, giving the dough plenty of slack. Leaving a 3/4-inch overhang, trim the top layer of dough around the rim of the pie plate. Fold the top layer of dough under the bottom layer, tucking the two layers of dough together. Press a lightly floured fork around the edge of the dough to seal it, or flute the edge of the dough with lightly floured fingers.

Classic Apple Pie Recipe

Lightly brush the top with cold water and sprinkle the surface with the remaining 1 Tbs. sugar. Make steam vents in the dough by poking the tip of a paring knife through it in a few places; it’s important to vent well so that the steam from the cooking apples won’t build up and crack the top of the crust.

Bake the pie:

Cover the rim of the pie with aluminum foil bands. This will prevent the edge of the crust from overbrowning.

Classic Apple Pie Recipe

Place a rimmed baking sheet or an aluminum foil drip pan on the oven rack below the pie to catch any juices that overflow during baking. Set the pie on the rack above.

Bake until the top and bottom crusts are golden brown and the juices are bubbling, 60 to 75 minutes; to thicken, the juices must boil, so look for the bubbles through the steam vents or through cracks near the edges of the pie and listen for the sound of bubbling juices. During the last 5 minutes of baking, remove the foil bands from the edges of the pie. Cool the pie at least 3 hours and up to overnight before serving.

Make Ahead Tips

The pie will keep at room temperature for up to 1 day. For longer storage, cover with aluminum foil and refrigerate for up to 5 days; reheat before serving in a 325°F oven until warmed through, about 20 minutes.

nutrition information (per serving):
Size : based on ten servings; Calories (kcal): 460; Fat (g): fat g 23; Fat Calories (kcal): 200; Saturated Fat (g): sat fat g 10; Protein (g): protein g 4; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 7; Carbohydrates (g): carbs g 60; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 3.5; Sodium (mg): sodium mg 230; Cholesterol (mg): cholesterol mg 30; Fiber (g): fiber g 2;

Photo: Scott Phillips

Home run! I couldn't find Cortland apples, so I used Fuji and Honeycrisp with the Granny Smiths. I've made this several times now and although my combo of apples is sweet, it's explosive in flavor. My husband hates things too sweet but devours this pie and won't bother with store bought apple pie anymore. In answer to Mauriz from Italy's question about juices oozing out after removing the foil, this has happened to me once before. What made the difference was to wrap with aluminum foil underneath the entire pie before baking, two sheets underneath overlapping each other like a cross, then folding the four ends over the edge of the pie or lightly crunching the ends around the edge without pressing on crust. This way, the aluminum foil is stable and isn't pressed against the crust to cause chipping. I'm guessing that's why the pie leaked when you removed the foil. Also, make sure to gently mold the top crust to the apples before baking to keep air out of the pie. These things should help with leakage and avoid a flat pie. Mine turns out about medium height. It's best to cool on a kitchen counter or a cooling rack.

This is probably the best apple pie I have made. I have a deep dish pie plate, so I increased the crust recipe, but I still used the exact same proportions. I also added a healthy half cup of raisins for my husband's taste. The crust is delicious, and the filling tastes amazing!

Easy to make and comes out delicious. One thing I will not do next time is sprinkle the last tablespoon of granulated sugar on the top of the top crust.

It turned out perfect! With all the other pies for Thanksgiving, people were trying to decide on blueberry, pumpkin, lemon and cheesecake. The apple is GOOD was the overall comment. And, it was. Best apple pie I've ever made or ever eaten.

Easy one and a MUST for anyone that enjoyed the american traditional food while visiting the US. My problem, being European, was to convert your recipe into more definite units. To us "cups, tbsp, etc" are too broad and unspecific. So I spent some time converting cups into grams and so on. Another major issue was to find the correct apples. In northern Italy we have plenty of them (even the Granny Smith)but not the Cortland. I used then the Fuji (and of course the GSs). I had some difficulties in the very final part: 5' before the end I removed the aluminum foil from the edge but this prompt a leakege of the apples liquid. The pie at the end became "more" flat than yours. Should I, at the end, remove the pie from the oven (placing it on the window, as I saw americans use to do) or let the pie cold down before opening the oven? Thanks

I used this recipe (with 1 minor tweak) and won 2 Blue Ribbons and one Best in Show at 2 different country fairs. The crust is just perfect.

Absolutely delicious :)

My own grandmother - the queen of pies - would have asked me for this recipe. The crust and the filling made me look and feel like a seasoned baker. This is a classic for all of our future Thanksgivings. Thank you Fine Cooking!!!

I don't think I've ever made a pie totally from scratch, but this one was FABULOUS!!! I live in florida and didn't have cortlands, so I substituted Jona golds. I reduced the amount of apples because it looked like sooo many, but I shouldn't have. Make it heaping - they'll cook down a bit. The crust instructions were great, and I rolled it out between wax paper and it worked great. Highly recommend!!

I first tried this recipe about a year ago. I am not a very experienced baker, but I do enjoy it. Having never been able to come any where close to my grandmother's wonderful pie crust (she used lard, I know) I thought I'd try this apple pie with the crust recipe. It is wonderful! Even a novice can get the results--flaky-melts-in-your-mouth and delicious! I won't lose track of this recipe and am going to use it for both Thanksgiving and Christmas this year!!

its my first time to bake/ make apple pie and flaky pie pastry(love this)i thought pie doughs would be hard to do, was even tempted to buy ready made,good thing i didn't.. this recipe (and comments from others who tried this before)had been a great help, esp for a first timer like me.. easy to follow and detailed..i had great feedbacks from friends, i'll surely make it again..^_^ keep it up!

Absolutely FABULOUS pie. I'm really not one for pie, and I could have eaten the whole thing. My dad really is a pie kind of guy, and he ate a quarter of it in about five minutes. Needless to say, it was a winner! It is truly a classic, all-American type of apple pie - exactly what you might want for Thanksgiving or a dessert after a barbecue. I can't rate the pie dough recipe because I used frozen pie crusts, thawed, and they worked just fine. I even forgot to dot the butter inside before I sealed the crust and it still turned out fabulous. An absolute winner, and I will DEFINITELY be making this pie again (and again and again)!

I made this a few weeks ago and it was such a success i'm making it again for Thanksgiving. I had been avoiding pies the last few years because they're tricky and a lot of work, but this one reminded me that the end result is worth it. The pie crust turned out beautifully. I rolled it out between sheets of wax paper. Using this method I didn't need to incorporate any extra flour. For the bottom crust, I chilled the rolled out circle between the two pieces of wax paper in the freezer on a baking sheet, and then peeled off one sheet of paper easily (make sure there are no wrinkles in the paper or it will crack). I let this piece warm up a bit at room temperature for about 3 minutes and then pressed it into a pie dish (with the other sheet still attached). After trimming the sides, I chilled the dish in the frezzer for 10 minutes and then peeled the sheet off. For the bottom crust I rolled it ouu and chilled it the same way, but peeled off both sheets when I took it out and placed it on a lightly floured piece of wax paper. once it was warmed up enough to be pliable (test by lifting one side of the paper slowly and see how easily it bends) I placed it over the filled pie dish. I didn't try the towel method but it seems like a simillar idea. The combination of apples was great, too. Everyone commented that the apple flavor really came trough and wasn't overpowered by cinnamon. I also appreciated that when a slice was cut out of the pie, the apple filling stayed in the rest of the pie.

I made this a few weeks ago and it was such a success i'm making it again for Thanksgiving. I had been avoiding pies the last few years because they're tricky and a lot of work, but this one reminded me that the end result is worth it. The pie crust turned out beautifully. I rolled it out between sheets of wax paper. Using this method I didn't need to incorporate any extra flour. For the bottom crust, I chilled the rolled out circle between the two pieces of wax paper in the freezer on a baking sheet, and then peeled off one sheet of paper easily (make sure there are no wrinkles in the paper or it will crack). I let this piece warm up a bit at room temperature for about 3 minutes and then pressed it into a pie dish (with the other sheet still attached). After trimming the sides, I chilled the dish in the frezzer for 10 minutes and then peeled the sheet off. For the bottom crust I rolled it ouu and chilled it the same way, but peeled off both sheets when I took it out and placed it on a lightly floured piece of wax paper. once it was warmed up enough to be pliable (test by lifting one side of the paper slowly and see how easily it bends) I placed it over the filled pie dish. I didn't try the towel method but it seems like a simillar idea. The combination of apples was great, too. Everyone commented that the apple flavor really came trough and wasn't overpowered by cinnamon. I also appreciated that when a slice was cut out of the pie, the apple filling stayed in the rest of the pie.

How do you spell disaster? The crust was a mess... couldn't roll it out at all, just kept sticking to the pin and breaking. I finally threw it all in the garbage. Filling was good.

Crust is fabulous: light,flaky and very easy to roll.

I finally made my first 'from scratch' pie and this was it. I used the recommended Flaky Pie Pastry (YUM!) and have to say the pie was a great success considering it was my first. I did struggle with choosing apples though. I didn't have access to Cortlands and had trouble getting a straight answer on what would be a good substitute. And with a substitute, how thick to cut the slices... I don't remember for sure what I used in place of the Cortlands - a combination of Golden Delicious and Honeycrisp maybe? I cut the slices bigger than the Granny's, but not as big as the Cortlands would have been. I think one of the apples I chose broke down too much because something in there was a little mushy and the pie was just a little runny. I give it 5 stars anyway because the flavor was fantastic! The kids are pleading for this to be made again for Thanksgiving. Still, if someone could recommend a few suitable substitutes for the Cortlands (along with slicing size) I would be so grateful. Thank you so much!

Absolutely loved this recipe for both pie and crust. The only change I made was to use Spy apples and it was delicious. Found that brushing the crust with the egg white prevented the usual soggy bottom crust so well worth it. Have tried many different recipes for both pie and crust...this is my new favourite.

Turned out great, even though I accidentally used 1/4 tsp. nutmeg. It really looked, and more importantly tasted, magnificent! I love the addition of granny smith apples, I love a lot of tart, and the only thing I'd consider next time is a wee bit more granny smith apples in the mix. Glad I tried this recipe.

Great recipe. We used Granny Smith plus Honey Crisp apples, since no Cortlands were available. Increased the spices, though. Doubled the cinnamon, slightly increased nutmeg. Quite delicious.

It was a hit. For the filling I used Gala apples instead of Cortland and doubled the cinnamon. Stayed with your recommended pastry which was also very good.

This pie filling recipe is incredible! I used only Cortlands as that is all I had on hand, and a different crust recipe.

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