Classic apple pie with a flaky all-butter pastry and decorative lattice crust and a brown sugar, cinnamon-spiced apple filling. An all-time favorite dessert – you’ll want to commit this crowd-pleasing Fall treat to memory!
When it comes to your favorite tried-and-true desserts, which are the recipes you turn to again and again?
For me, apple pie easily breaks the top five. And that’s coming from a girl who’s baking up something sweet most days.
Why we love this classic apple pie
This classic apple pie is a recipe I easily know by heart. The all-butter pastry comes together by feel, the ratios of butter and flour and ice water tattooed over and over again on my memory from years of shaping the humblest of ingredients into perfectly flaky, buttery pastry.
The sweet-tart apple filling, laden with brown sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, cloves, and ginger, can nearly be measured without cups or spoons. A little more or less sugar, maybe a heavier hand with the spice jars, all depending on the sweetness and flavor of the fruit.
And while, like any fruit pie, it takes a bit of time to make, it’s the relaxing sort of methodical work – peeling and slicing apples, rolling out pie dough, tossing together the cozy, aromatic spices, and finally, baking until the juices bubble over the golden crust – that’s good for my baker’s soul.
The ingredients you’ll need for this apple pie
This traditional apple pie is made with mostly pantry staples. Here are the ingredients you’ll need:
- pie pastry: my easy all-butter pie crust is made with flour, sugar, salt, butter, apple cider vinegar, and ice water, and comes together quickly in a food processor. Or, you can also make it by hand with a pastry blender!
- apples: of course! I like to use a mix of firm, sweet-tart varieties such as Honeycrisp, Pink Lady, Fuji, or Braeburn.
- white and brown sugar: for sweetness and lovely caramel notes.
- arrowroot starch: my pie thickener of choice. The arrowroot starch helps hold the apples together and creates a glossy filling.
- cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves: these cozy, warming spices are the perfect complement to the sweet apples.
- salt: to intensify all the other flavors.
- vanilla: just a splash of the the good stuff.
- lemon zest: adds just a hint of brightness and balances the sweetness of the filling.
Find all the exact measurements and full recipe instructions below.
A couple of notes about making pie:
While ceramic pie plates are prettier, I almost always bake pie in inexpensive tempered glass or simple, lightweight aluminum pie pans. They cook more evenly, and will give you tastier and more reliable results than most decorative ceramic pans. Function wins this one!
I prefer a high crust to filling ratio, so I always make an extra pie crust to be able to create a really chunky lattice and add some decorative pie crust pieces. You can find the Fall leaf cookie cutters I used here. Following the recipe as written works best for a solid top crust, or a lattice with wider spacing (see here or here).
You can easily freeze this apple pie for later. Simply prepare the pie right up until it’s ready for the oven, then place it on a sheet pan in the freezer. After a couple of hours (or when it’s solid enough to handle), wrap the pie tightly in a few layers of plastic wrap followed by aluminum foil, or place in a plastic storage bag, and freeze until you’re ready to use. Wrapped well, this can be at least 3 months or so.
Then unwrap the pie, let it defrost in the fridge, and bake as you normally would, adding 10-15 minutes to the end of the baking time, as needed. Note: I recommend using a metal pie pan if you’re going this route!
My impatience got the best of me, and I rushed slicing into this apple beauty – and predictably, my slices fell apart. If clean, sturdy slices are important to you, don’t be like me. Resist the urge to dive in, be patient, and wait until the pie is fully cooled and set before cutting into it. You’ll be rewarded with wonderfully layered slices of pie that hold together beautifully.
That being said, even an inglorious heap of warm broken pie crust and syrupy apple filling is arguably still perfection in its own right. Happy baking!!
Other easy and delicious apple recipes to bake right now:
- Easy apple hand pies
- Baked apple donuts (vegan)
- Apple cider cinnamon rolls
- Cinnamon streusel apple muffins
- Caramel apple crumble bars
If you make this classic apple pie, be sure to tag me on Instagram with the hashtag #forkknifeswoon and leave a comment and rating below letting me know how you liked it! ★★★★★ Star ratings are especially helpful because they help others find my recipes too. xo, LauraPrint