All-American Apple Pie is the quintessential autumn dessert. This classic pie has a harmonious balance of tangy apples, brown sugar, cinnamon and a splash of lemon juice to awaken the flavors. The delicious filling is enveloped in a flawlessly flaky crust.
Table of contents
Why this is THE BEST Apple Pie Recipe
The key to a great American Apple Pie is a perfectly balanced filling. You want the ingredients to highlight the apple flavor without drowning it in sugar and starch.
The filling in this pie has just a hint of brown sugar and cinnamon. Lemon balances the sweetness of the sugar and accentuates the apple flavor.
The biggest key to this great pie is the hands-off process of macerating the apples. Macerating draws out the juice which can be precooked to activate the starch. This way you never have a runny pie filling.
Macerating also softens the apples. The apples go into the crust already compacted so you don’t end up with a big empty gap under the top crust.
- Pie Dough – Use the linked recipe in this post or use your favorite flaky pie dough. Store bought is fine if that’s your preference.
- Apples – A firm apple that doesn’t fall apart when baked works best. Granny Smith is a good option that is widely available. Depending on the type of apple you’re using, you may want to adjust the sugar and or lemon juice in the recipe as needed.
- Corn Starch – This recipe uses just enough starch to thicken the juices without making it pasty. You want the fruit to be juicy under the flaky crust but you also need the slice to hold together on the plate.
- Salt – Don’t skip that little pinch of salt in the filling, it does wake up the flavors without leaving a salty taste.
How to make a Perfect American Apple Pie
- Whip the whites to full peak. Whisk in the yolks and vanilla.
- Sift the over the batter and gently fold it in.
- Fold just until all the flour is incorporated. Do not overmix.
- Pipe the cookies onto the prepared baking sheet into 4″ long x 2″ wide “fingers”.
- Lightly sprinkle the tops of the cookies with powdered sugar.
- Bake until light brown and spongy about 10-12 minutes. Cool completely.
- Cook the custard over medium/low heat, stirring constantly, until it is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
- Pour the custard into a clean bowl, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until cold.
- Sandwich the ladyfingers with the preserves.
- Cut a ladyfinger sandwich in half, lengthwise.
- Stand the ladyfingers on end, with the cut side to the outside of a glass trifle bowl. Continue cutting and arranging the ladyfingers until the entire perimeter of the bowl is lined with a “striped” pattern.
- Use half of the remaining uncut cookies to the line bottom of the bowl. You can break them up to fit pieces into any gaps between the cookies.
- Sprinkle a ½ cup of the sherry over the cookies on the bottom and sides of the bowl. Pour half of the custard into the bowl. Arrange the remaining cookies over the custard and sprinkle with the remaining sherry.
- Pour the other half the custard into the bowl.
- Top the trifle with whipped cream and refrigerate at least 6 hours (preferably overnight) before serving.
- Combine the apples, both sugars and salt in a large bowl and set it aside for 2-3 hours.
- Drain the apples, reserving the juice.
- Combine 1/4 cup of the juice with cornstarch.
- Bring the rest of the juice to a boil. Whisk the cornstarch slurry into the juice.
- Cook until the juice thickens and becomes translucent.
- Toss the thickened juice with the apples.
- Line a deep dish pie plate with your favorite flakey pie dough and pour the apples into the pie shell.
- Roll the top crust. You can cut an apple shaped vent hole for a nice finish. Otherwise, just cut an “X” in the top of the pie to make a vent hole.
- Trim the excess dough and crimp the edges.
- Brush the crust with egg white and sprinkle with sugar. Bake the pie until the juices in the center are bubbling.
- Let the pie cool for at least 3 hours before slicing.
Apple Pie will keep at room temperature for 4-5 days. Do not refrigerate the pie after baking. Leftover slices can be frozen and reheated before serving.
More Apple Recipes
- Apple Dumplings
- Apple Pot Pie
- Apple Fritter Donuts
- French Apple Tart
- Apple Frangipane Tart
- Apple Cobbler
- Dutch Apple Tart
- Apple Walnut Linzer Tart
More Fruit Pies
- Cranberry Crumb Pie
- Perfect Blueberry Pie
- Lemon Meringue Pie
- Vanilla Pear Pie
- Pumpkin Mousse Pie
- Chocolate Mousse Pie
- Pina Colada Pie
If you love this recipe as much as I do, I’d really appreciate a 5-star review.
- 1 Recipe Perfect Pie Crust
- 3 pounds apples (peeled, cored, sliced to ¼" )
- 4 oz granulated sugar (½ cup)
- 2 oz brown sugar (¼ cup)
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 egg white
- Combine 3 pounds apples with 4 oz granulated sugar, 2 oz brown sugar, ⅛ teaspoon salt and 1 tablespoon lemon juice. Set aside to macerate for at least 2 hours and as long as 3 hours.
- Roll ½ the pie dough to fit into a 9 deep-dish pie plate. Roll the other ½ of the dough to a 12" circle. Sprinkle the circle with flour, fold in half then fold again. Wrap the folded dough in plastic and set into the dough lined pie plate. Set the pie plate into the refrigerator while you make the filling.
- Preheat the oven to 350 °F.
- Drain the apples, save the juice. In a small bowl, combine ¼ cup of the juice with 2 tablespoons cornstarch. Heat the remaining juice on medium high until it begins to boil. Reduce the heat to low and whisk in the corn starch slurry. Return to a boil, whisking constantly, until the juices are thickened and become translucent. Immediately toss the thickened juice and 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon with the apple slices.
- Remove the pie plate from the refrigerator and unfold the dough round for the top crust. Use the tip of a paring knife to cut an apple shaped hole in the center of the top crust. Also cut two leaves. Or you can just cut an "x" to create a steam vent.
- Pour the apples into the pie plate. Brush the edges of the bottom crust with egg white. Lay the top crust over the filling. Pinch the two crusts together to seal. Trim and crimp the edges with a fork or your fingers. Brush the top of the crust with egg white and sprinkle generously with granulated sugar.
- Bake the pie on lower rack of the oven until the crust is golden brown, the fruit in the middle of the pie is tender, and the juices in the middle are bubbling. About 1 hour.
- Remove the pie from the oven and cool at least 3-4 hours before serving.
As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.