This classic recipe for old fashion apple pie is my family’s go to every Thanksgiving. It’s a simple, old-timey recipe that tastes so simple yet so delicious. Tender apples baked with warm cinnamon sugar encased in the most flaky, buttery pie crust ever. Grandma’s pies are classic for a reason!
Every year my family and I gather the week before Thanksgiving to make a bunch of apple pies and then we freeze them to bake off and enjoy throughout the holiday season. It's one of my most cherished traditions and one of the most special recipes on my website. I have recipes for my Grandma's Old Fashion Custard Pie and her Blueberry Pie too - each one is better than the next.
Why this recipe works
- Two types of apples makes for a better flavor and texture.
- Simply spiced with warm cinnamon and sugar for a classic, homey flavor.
- A buttery, flaky pie dough that's easy to work with, but you can also use store bought - just don't tell Grandma.
- Can be frozen up to 3 months in advance and baked right from the freezer.
- Baking Apples - It's important to use apples that are suitable for baking, as some apple varieties will turn to mush when cooked. My favorite is a combination of Rome apples, which are sweeter, and Granny Smith, which are tart. This gives the pie an amazing balance of flavor, sweetness and acidity, but any type of baking apples will work - and there are plenty of them. Not sure? All Recipes has an excellent guide.
- Good Quality Pie Dough - Grandma ALWAYS makes homemade dough and I have a recipe for foolproof flaky pie dough that you can follow. But if you're not up for it, Trader Joe's makes a good one.
Step by Step Instructions
1. Peel the apples.
2. Remove the cores.
3. Slice each apple in half, then cut each into ¼ - ½ inch slices, then add them to a bowl.
4. Add the cinnamon, flour, sugar and salt.
5. Mix until each slice of apple is thoroughly coated. Set aside for at least 30 minutes.
6. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F, then generously dust a work surface with flour, then place one disc of dough in the center. Generously dust the dough, a rolling pin and a bench scraper (if using) with flour.
7. Begin rolling the dough by starting at the bottom and rolling away from your body. After 2-3 rolls, rotate the dough 90 degrees, then repeat this until the dough is roughly 12 inches around (about 3 inches bigger than a pie plate).
8. Roll the dough up on to the rolling pin, then use it to help you transfer the dough to the pie plate. Unroll the dough and adjust to it fit. Set aside somewhere cool (the refrigerator, a drafty room, or outside on a chilly day).
9. Remove the second piece of dough from the refrigerator and roll it out exactly the same way as the first.
10. Add the apples to the pie plate with the bottom crust.
11. Dot the top of the apples with butter, then use your fingers to lightly wet the perimeter of exposed dough around the edges with water.
12. Use the rolling pin to transfer the second piece dough to the top of the pie. Unroll to cover the apples, then go around and press the dough together to seal in the filling.
13. Trim off any excess so that there's an even amount on all sides. Tuck the edges under neatly, then use your fingers to create a crimped edge.
14. Use a sharp knife to cut a few vents in the top, then brush all over with egg wash.
15. Bake for about 60 to 90 minutes or until the crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbling out of the vents.
16. Allow the pie to rest for at least one hour before cutting into it. Serve with ice cream or whipped cream.
Tips for success
- I find letting the apples macerate with the cinnamon, sugar, flour and salt for at least a half hour before filling the pie creates a better filling. If you have the time, let them hang out.
- Keep your pie dough refrigerated until you're ready to roll. Keeping the dough cold will help ensure it bakes up nice and flaky and will make it easier to work with. If the dough is a little too firm to roll, let it sit at room temperature for 5 minutes, then proceed.
- This pie bakes up beautifully straight out of the freezer. If using a glass pie plate, let it sit out at room temperature for 20 minutes prior to baking to prevent the glass from shattering.
- If the outer crust starts getting too brown before the center, cover the edges with foil and continue baking until done.
- It's important to let the pie rest for at least 1 hour before cutting. This helps the filling set up so it won't ooze out all over.
Yes, but unpeeled apples will add more texture to the pie which some may find undesirable. Peeling the apples will ensure a nice, smooth filling with no bits of tough, stringy peels.
Some pastry chefs might argue that it's better to cook the apples prior to baking them into a pie, but I think Grandma knows best. This is a simple, rustic pie.
Yes! Just be sure to use a good quality gluten free pie dough and substitute the all purpose flour with a 1-1 cup to cup gluten free all purpose flour blend. My favorite is Cup4Cup.
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