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Perfect Apple Pie

Cook Time:
50 mins
Prep Time:
2 hrs

Chef notes

There isn't a soul that doesn't love a good slice of classic apple pie. Making an apple pie very well is the difference between a good baker and a great baker; this pie will help you remain great.

Technique tips: Don't overmix the butter into the flour for the crust. Bake the pie on a baking sheet to catch any juices that may bubble over so that it doesn't fall on the bottom of your oven.

Swap option: You can use vegetable shortening and vegan butter instead of unsalted butter.


  • 16 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch cubes and very cold
  • 3 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 6-7 cups Granny Smith, Golden Delicious or Honeycrisp apples, peeled, seeded and sliced 1-inch thick
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice, plus more as needed
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon water or milk


For the crust:


Pour 3/4 cup of water in a measuring cup filled with ice cubes. Set aside.


Place the cubes of butter on a parchment-lined baking sheet and place it in the freezer to quickly chill it, about 15 minutes.


In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, sugar and salt.


Once the butter has chilled, place the butter in the flour mixture. With a pastry cutter, fork or food processor, cut the butter into the flour until the butter is incorporated into the flour but there are still visible cubes of butter that range from pea-sized to 1/2-inch-sized pieces of butter. This will give us marbles of butter throughout the crust. The butter will melt in the flour while it bakes and the steam from the butter will separate the crust into multiple layers, resulting in a flaky crust.


Measure out 1/2 cup of water. Pour the apple cider vinegar into the water and then and pour that into the flour and butter mixture. Using your hands, gently work the water into the flour mixture until the dough comes together. If the dough is still very crumbly and dry, add a tablespoon of water at a time until the dough comes together.


Roll the dough out of the bowl and onto a lightly floured countertop. Gently knead the dough into a ball. Do not overwork the dough or else you could activate the gluten. Having too much water or overworking the dough could mean that your pie dough will contract while you roll it out and will not hold its shape.


Once the dough is formed into a ball, pick it up, separate into two equal pieces and form each half into a disc with your hands. Wrap each disc in plastic and place in the refrigerator to chill and allow the butter in the dough to fortify, about 1 to 2 hours.


While the dough chills, fill a large baking dish with ice cubes. Place the baking dish on the countertop to chill your work area. (This is especially helpful to do on a hot summer day.) Chilling the countertop will prevent the butter in your pie crust from melting while you roll out the dough.


Once the dough has chilled, remove from the refrigerator and discard the plastic wrap.


Remove the baking tray or dish filled with ice cubes and discard it. Pat the countertop dry, lightly flour your surface, place your crust disc on the countertop and lightly flour the top of your crust.


When rolling the pie crust, start rolling from the center of the disc of crust and roll away from your body. Slightly turn the crust with each roll to form a circular shape. Turning the crust as you roll also ensures that your crust does not stick to your countertop. If any part of the crust tears along the outer edges while you are rolling it out, simply meld it back together using your fingertips.


Once the crust has been rolled out to its preferred diameter, roll the crust onto the rolling pin, transfer it to your baking vessel and unroll it over the baking vessel. Cover the second rolled disc with a kitchen towel while you make the pie filling.

For the filling:


Preheat the oven to 350 F.


Place a large saucepan on burner set on medium heat. Place the butter in the saucepan. Once melted, place the apple slices in the saucepan and stir.


In a separate bowl, whisk together the sugars, spices and flour. Pour the flour mixture into the saucepan and stir to coat the apples. Once the apples are fully coated, add in the lemon juice and stir. Continuously stir the mixture until the apples soften and begin to slightly caramelize. Add another tablespoon of lemon juice if the sugar begins to stick to the saucepan.


Once the apples are soft and the mixture has thickened, remove the saucepan from the heat, about 15 to 20 minutes. Allow the filling to cool completely.

To assemble:

Pour the apples into the pie shell. Place the second disc of crust on top of the pie and pinch the edges of the crusts together. Roll the overhanging crust and crimp it. Whisk the egg with water or milk to make an egg wash. Using a pastry brush, brush the egg wash on top of the crust.

Place in the oven and bake for 45 to 50 minutes or until golden-brown.