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Best Easy Apple Pie Recipe (Mom's Apple Pie)

A trusted and easy apple pie recipe we have been making for three generations! Flaky crust, fresh apples baked in the pie make for the best tasting pie!

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword american dessert, apple pie, comfort food, crust, dessert
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
cooling 2 hours
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 8
Author Si Foster, A Bountiful Kitchen

Ingredients

please read all of the recipe notes and gather all of the recipe ingredients before baking!

Apple pie filling:

  • 8 large apples -I like Granny Smith the amount of apples will vary depending on how deep of a pie plate used-see recipe notes
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg optional
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 3-4 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 2-3 teaspoons lemon juice or about 1/2 fresh squeezed lemon optional, but recommended
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract optional
  • 1-2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 beaten egg optional
  • sugar for top of pie

Pie crust:

  • 1 cup solid shortening (Crisco) 1/2 butter flavor, 1/2 regular
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt, preferably sea salt
  • 1/2 cup cold water ice water is best, no ice in the dough
  • 1 cup additional flour for rolling out and adjusting dough

Instructions

Prepare oven and preheat:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 for 30 minutes before baking. Adjust the racks so one rack is on the bottom of the oven (lowest setting) and one is in the middle of the oven.

  2. It is best to bake the pie on a thin cookie sheet to prevent any overflow of filling from the pie onto the oven. You may also use a sheet of foil placed under the bottom of the pie plate to catch drips.

Crust:

  1. Place flour and salt in a large bowl. Toss together. 

  2. Using a pastry cutter, cut shortening into flour mixture until mixture resembles small peas or small pea size pieces. 

  3. Add the water all at once pouring evenly around the flour in bowl. Gently fold the flour mixture together with a fork until the dough begins to form a ball. At this point, the dough will be quite sticky. If needed, add a little flour so the dough is not sticky to the touch. 

  4. Flour the pastry mat or countertop generously. I use about 1/4-1/3 cup of flour. Split the dough in half and roll out half of the dough into a circle, about 2 inches larger than the edge of the pie plate. 

  5. Place the rolled out dough into the pie plate. I fold the dough in half and then transfer to the pie plate. After the dough is in the pie plate, unfold and evenly place in the plate, making sure the dough completely rests against the bottom corners of the pie plate. Roll out the second part of dough and let sit while the filling is being made. The dough may be placed in the fridge while filling is being made. No need to cover.

Pie filling:

  1. Peel, core and slice apples. Set peeled apples in a large bowl. Trim off any excess core or peel if needed.

  2. Add sugar, spices, salt, flour, lemon juice and vanilla to the apples and toss well.

  3. Fill the bottom crust with apple filling mixture. Pour any of the remaining juices from the apple filling evenly over the apples in the pie plate.

  4. Cut up butter into small pieces and distribute evenly on top of apples in crust. 

  5. Cover the apples with the rolled out top crust. Seal edges of the pie, and cut slits in crust to allow steam to escape. 

  6. Gently brush beaten egg* (optional) on top of crust and sprinkle with sugar.

  7. Bake at 375 for about one hour or until the top and bottom crusts are golden and the apples are bubbly.

Recipe Notes

  • The dough may be easier to handle if chilled for an hour or so, but it is not necessary to refrigerate dough. 
  • Some people like to “cut” the shortening into the flour with their fingers.
  • Don’t cut the flour and shortening too much, the little pieces of shortening are what make the crust flaky, you want to have pebble or pea size pieces of dough before adding the water.
  • If you choose to use the beaten egg, or an egg white for the top of your pie, only about 1-2 tablespoons of the egg will be used. One egg is usually enough wash for 3 pies. 
  • Apples vary in size. If using a 9 inch pie plate with 1/5 inch high sides, use 8 cups cut up apples. If using a 9.5 inch size pie plate, use about 9-10 cups sliced apples. 
  • If your pie is too brown on the edges, but not on top, take a piece of foil, fold in half to make a rectangle, then cut a half circle out of the middle. Unfold and put over your pie. This will protect the edges of the pie from getting too dark!
  • Do not stir the dough at any time. Remember, folding the dough is the best way to achieve a light flaky crust. 
  • See recipe post regarding cooling time. It is possible to speed up the cooling process by placing the pie in the refrigerator on a cool cookie sheet for an hour. Do not cover while cooling. 
  • I highly recommend not covering an apple pie while sitting at room temperature. The crust will absorb the moisture from the apples and make the crust soft. Always cover if refrigerating or freezing. 
  • This pie can be made and frozen before baking. Wrap well, with plastic wrap. Freeze. When ready to bake, remove from freezer an hour before baking. Remove any wrapping.  Let sit on counter. Bake at 375 on bottom rack for an hour. Then bake on center rack for 15-20 minutes or until the apples are bubbly. If the pie starts to brown too much, place a piece of foil loosely over the pie. 
  • The pie can also be frozen after baking. Let cool completely. Wrap and freeze. Remove from freezer the day before serving. Remove any wrapping, and rewrap. The wrap that was frozen will often have ice crystals or condensation and will make the crust wet. Thaw in refrigerator for 1 day. On day of serving, place on counter top and serve at room temperature or place in 300 degree oven and warm up, uncovered for about 30 minutes. 
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