Step by Step: How to Make the Classic Apple Pie

Nothing quite says “home” like a freshly baked, hot apple pie. Whether you like yours plain or topped with vanilla ice cream or cheese, it is the pie itself that you crave. Follow our step-by-step guide to make the classic apple pie.


1-1/2 to 1-3/4 pound Cortland apples
1 pound Granny Smith apples
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon; more to taste
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 large egg white
2 teaspoons unsalted butter, softened
1 tablespoon cold unsalted butter cut into 1/4-inch cubes
4 to 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 rounds of pie crust dough


Step 1: Set Up the Oven

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

Step 2: Make the Filling

Peel the apples and cut each in half from top to bottom. Remove the cores and trim the ends. Place the apples, cut side down, on a cutting board. Cut the Cortland apples vertically into 3/4-inch pieces, and then halve each piece diagonally, making large pieces of apple. Cut the Granny Smith apples vertically into 1/4-inch slices so that they are thinner than the Cortland apples. Put the apples in a bowl and toss with the lemon juice.

Combine the brown sugar, 1/4 cup of the granulated sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, kosher salt, and nutmeg in a small bowl. In a separate bowl, lightly beat the egg white with 1 teaspoon water. Set aside both bowls aside.

Step 3: Make the Bottom Pie Crust

Butter a 9-inch glass pie plate, rim and all, with the 2 teaspoons of softened butter. Rub 2 to 3 tablespoons of flour into the surface of a pastry cloth or cotton kitchen towel, forming a circle about 15 inches across. Flour a rolling pin also.

Using the rolling pin, roll one of the rounds of pie dough into a 15-inch circle that’s 1/8 inch thick. Lay the rolling pin across the upper third of the dough circle and lift the pastry cloth to gently drape the dough over the rolling pin. Once it is draped, roll the pin toward you, wrapping the remaining dough loosely around it.

To place the dough in the pie plate, hold the rolling pin over the near edge of the pie plate. Unroll the dough away from you, easing it into the pan. Gently adjust the dough to center it in the pan and then lightly press it into the pan.

Brush the bottom and sides of the dough with a light coating of the egg white and water mixture. Cut around the edged of the dough with kitchen shears, being sure to leave a 1/4-inch overhang.

Step 4: Fill the Pie

Take the sugar mixture in that you’ve set aside and combine it with the apples. Toss the apples to coat them. Dump the apples into the pie plate. You’ll probably need to rearrange the apples to make the pie compact. Dot the apples with the cold butter cubes.

Step 5: Make the Top Pie Crust

Rub 2 to 3 tablespoons flour into the surface of the pastry cloth and onto the rolling pin. Roll the remaining dough into another 15-inch , 1/8 inch thick circle. Again, wrap it around the rolling pin and move the dough to the edge of the pie plate and unroll it to center it on top of the apples. The dough should have plenty of slack once unrolled.

Trim the top layer of dough around the rim of the pie plate, leaving a 3/4-inch overhang. Fold the top layer of dough under the bottom layer. Press a lightly floured fork around the edge of the dough to seal it.

Lightly brush the top of the pie dough with cold water and sprinkle the surface with the remaining 1 tablespoon sugar. Make steam vents in the dough by poking a fork through it in a few places.

Step 6: Bake the Pie

Place aluminum foil bands on the edges of the pie to prevent the crust from getting too brown. Put the pie on the top rack of your oven and then place a rimmed baking sheet or aluminum foil on the oven rack below the pie to catch any juices that overflow during baking.

Bake about 60 to 75 minutes until the top and bottom crusts are golden brown and the pie’s juices are bubbling. You should be able to see bubbles through the holes in the top of the pie or hear the sound of bubbling. During the last 5 minutes of baking, remove the foil bands from the edges of the pie. Cool the pie at least 3 hours before serving.

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