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How to make a perfect apple pie every time

These delicious apple pies are perfect for fall.
Homemade Crunchy Apple Pie
If making homemade pie dough is too much of a hassle, consider picking up a frozen pie crust at a grocery store.Emilija Manevska / Getty Images
/ Source: TODAY

There's no dessert that encompasses fall than a warm, freshly baked apple pie.

This classic treat has been gracing dinner tables across the country for hundreds of years. It's a sweet, versatile staple that is perfect for enjoying anytime of year but it's especially yummy during the fall, when apples are at their prime and many people have a fresh stash from apple picking.

How to make apple pie

The first step is making a pie dough, but not every apple pie has to be made completely from scratch. If making homemade pie dough is too much of a hassle, consider picking up a frozen pie crust at a grocery store. It will still taste great once it's filled with the fresh fruit and a few other ingredients.

Here are TODAY Food's favorite apple pie recipes to make for bake sales, holiday entertaining or just a cozy ending to a weeknight meal.

The best easy apple pie recipes

The power of apple pie is awesome: this simple dessert has been making grannies famous for generations. There is something about the smell of cinnamon, cloves and apples baking in a buttery crust that makes you feel good.

Caramel Apple Pie

Making the dough for this pie is as easy as, well, pie! It's made with just six ingredients and comes together very quickly. By adding cream to a traditional apple pie filling, this dessert becomes a creamy caramel apple pie.

What could be better than soft apples, sticky caramel and a buttery homemade pastry crust? Nothing! Use a mix of apple varieties for the fullest flavor. A combination of Golden Delicious, McIntosh, Granny Smith and Rome apples works particularly well.

Rustic Apple Pie

Crunchy pecans add a distinctively Southern touch to this sky-high pie that is practically bursting with sweet and tart green apples. The caramelized topping seals in all the juicy fruit and gives the pie a pleasant crunch in every tasty bite.

"This is an easy dessert that I love making," said TODAY's Natalie Morales. "The beauty is that it doesn't have to be perfect, it's rustic, after all! It's also easy to customize. You can make it with any fruit or even go for a savory version to serve for brunch."

Spiralized Apple Pie

This pie proves that spiralizers are good for more than just veggies. The handy kitchen tool makes it easy to fill the tender crust quickly with juicy fruit. Keep this pie classic with a pure apple filling, or toss in a few handfuls of dried fruit or nuts to make it taste even more like fall.

Angie Mar bakes sage into her apple pie for herbaceousness and brown butter for nuttiness, but the real secret to this flavorful pie is rich, lightly funky triple-crème cheese.

Summer meets fall in this fruity dessert. Add some blueberries to the mix with Food Network star's Sunny Anderson's mixed fruit pie. This sweet dish features blueberries and ripe apples for a staple dessert that will be a hit as the seasons change.

Apple Slab Pie

Chef Marcela Valladolid's apple slab pie recipe is scented with cinnamon and Mexican dark brown sugar. The delicate leaf designs add a festive finish to this easy-to-assemble pie. It's absolutely perfect for autumn entertaining.

Is it warm where you live? Don't spend hours of your precious days sweating over homemade apple pie. This easy, five-ingredient recipe cuts down on the prep time but keeps all the comforting flavors. And, since it's mostly cooked on the grill, you don't even have to turn on the oven!

Dairy-Free Apple Pie French Toast Bake

Who said apple pie for breakfast wasn't a thing? This brilliant brunch dish serves a crowd and accommodates those with dairy sensitivities because it's made with almond milk. The crisped bread and warm, cinnamon-spiced apples will have everyone going back for seconds.

This recipe had us at "caramel." This pie-inspired waffle brings the classic spices and sweet fruit flavor of an all-American apple pie to the breakfast table. It takes a few steps to put together, but we promise it's well worth it!

Maple-Apple Tarte Tatin

One of the great delights in baking is that special moment when a tarte tatin gets flipped out of its dish. Suddenly, the caramelized apples are revealed and the dessert's seductive aroma is released. Substituting maple syrup for some of the sugar gives the classic French dessert an American makeover.

Mickey D's-Style Fried Apple Pies

Copycat recipes don't get much closer to the real thing than these tasty, fast food-inspired individual apple pies. They may be even better than the original apple pies at McDonald's. Their smaller size makes them kid friendly and easy to eat on-the-go.

Spiced Apple-Cranberry Lattice Pie

Cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves form the flavor trifecta that makes this pie taste like the holidays. Tart cranberries add tangy flavor and a gorgeous festive red color to frequent TODAY show guest chef Curtis Stone's classic apple pie. Don't forget to serve each warm slice with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream on top.

Use a sheet of store-bought puff pastry as the base of this easy apple tart. It's a great alternative to classic apple pie. Give the apples a little boost of flavor with a quick toss in lemon juice and fresh ginger, then brush the finished tart with apricot preserves for an effortless, glossy finish.