Classic Apple Pie is a traditional apple pie made with a no-fail, homemade pie crust that is filled and baked with fresh apples.
This is a homemade apple pie recipe that is perfect for those who are looking for a tried and true apple pie recipe. It starts with a light and flaky pie crust (which you will want to use for all your recipes needing a crust from now on) and then filled with sweetened Granny Smith apples.
Classic Apple Pie Ingredients
There are two main parts to this apple pie recipe–the crust and the apple filling.
Shortening: The key to this homemade crust is using shortening (like Crisco). I will get more into what shortening is below.
Sugar: I have had questions about why I add granulated sugar to this pie crust. The right balance of salt and sugar in a crust enhances the flavor.
Egg: Another common question about this recipe is using an egg. The egg causes the dough to be more pliable (easier to roll out) and compact.
Vinegar: For the pie crust, use distilled white vinegar.
Apple Filling: Granny Smith apples are the best apple to use in the filling; they remain firm when baking. In addition, Granny Smith apples won’t turn to mush and they tend to retain their shape when baked. A few other options you could try would be Honeycrisp apples, Braeburn, or Pink Lady apples.
How to Make the Crust
Now, I know that everyone has their favorite homemade pie recipe. And yes, mine happens to be with shortening. I have enjoyed all-butter pie crusts but have found that nothing is as flaky as the shortening-based crusts.
Shortening is 100% fat, which helps pie crusts (like this one) and pastries turn out so flaky and crumbly. And because shortening is all fat, it is hard to make substitutions. If you do have to substitute for shortening, your best bet is lard because it is also 100% fat. If using lard in place of shortening, use 2 tablespoons less of lard for every one cup of shortening.
How to Make the Apple Filling
Typically, for classic apple pie baking, you want an apple that is a little tart. I like to use Granny Smith apples because they are firm enough to hold their shape while being baked. Honeycrisp and Braeburn apples would be a couple of other options that work well when baked.
First, peel, core, and slice the apples. Then, place the sliced apples in a large bowl. In a medium bowl, combine the sugar, flour, cinnamon, and kosher salt. Add the sugar mixture to the bowl of apples and toss to coat. Set aside as you roll the dough.
Assembling and Baking Apple Pie
To get the pie assembled and baked, start by rolling out the halves of dough into 12-inch circles. Place one of the crusts into a 9-inch, deep-dish pie plate. Spoon the coated apples into the prepared crust and top with the pieces of butter.
Place the second pie crust on top of the pie pan and press to crimp the edges. Use a sharp knife to make slits in the top of the crust for venting the pie. Finally, in a small bowl, mix the egg and water to make an egg wash. Brush the egg wash over the crust. Bake the pie at 450°F for the first 15 minutes. Then, reduce the heat to 350°F, cover the pie with aluminum foil, and bake an additional 45-50 minutes.
The classic apple pie is done when the crust is golden brown and the apples are tender. Let the pie cool for at least an hour before cutting and serving. Serve topped with ice cream or homemade whipped cream.
- 4 cups (500g) all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1½ teaspoons salt
- 1½ cups (307.5g) shortening, cubed
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
- ½ cup water
- 10 large Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
- ½ cup (100g) granulated sugar
- ¼ cup (31g) all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 dash Kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- 1 large egg
- 1 tablespoon water
In the bowl of a food processor, pulse together the flour, sugar, and salt until combined. Add the shortening and pulse until pea-sized crumbs form. Transfer the dough to a large bowl and bring the dough together with a wooden spoon.
In a small bowl, whisk together the egg, vinegar, and water. Pour over the dough and mix until combined (dough will be sticky). Cover with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour before rolling.
After the hour, remove the dough from the refrigerator and unwrap it. Split the dough into two equal halves and let it sit for about 15 minutes as you prepare the apples.
Preheat the oven to 425°F and place the oven rack into its lowest position.
Place the sliced apples in a large bowl. In a medium bowl, combine the sugar, flour, cinnamon, and kosher salt.
Add the sugar mixture to the bowl of apples and toss to coat. Set aside as you roll the dough.
On a lightly floured surface, roll each of your dough sections into 12-inch circles.
Carefully add one of the crusts to a 9-inch, deep-dish pie plate.
Spoon the apple mixture into the prepared crust, and top with the butter pieces.
Place the other pie crust over the top of the filled pie pan and press down to crimp the edges. Use a sharp knife to cut small slits in the pie crust for venting.
In a small bowl, mix together the egg and water for an egg wash. Brush this over the pie crust.
Bake for 15 minutes. Then, reduce the oven temperature to 350°F, cover the pie loosely with aluminum foil, and bake an additional 45-50 minutes. The pie is done when the crust is golden brown and the apples are tender.
Let the pie cool at least an hour before serving.