How to Bake an Apple Pie from Scratch

Though a store-bought apple pie can still give you some of the sweet, rich flavor you're craving, nothing beats an apple pie that you make at home, from scratch. Not only is making an apple pie not as hard as it sounds, but making it yourself will help you cut costs and to make a pie that is as fresh as possible. All you have to do is make the crust, fill it with diced apples and a variety of spices, and then layer extra sections of the crust over the filling to make the top of the pie. If you follow these instructions, you'll see that making an apple pie that's as good as your grandmother's is as easy as pie.

Ingredients

Crust

  • ½ liter or 2 cups of plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • ¾ of a stick (90 grams) of tenderflake pastry lard or butter
  • 5 tablespoons of cold water
  • 1 egg (for brushing, helps the surface get golden)
  • Milk (for brushing the crust)

Filling

  • 80 mL or 1/3 cup of white sugar
  • 80 mL or 1/3 cup of brown sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 3 tablespoons of flour
  • 6-8 medium-sized apples (or what ever apples you like, McIntosh, Granny Smith, or whichever is available in your local store)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice

Steps

  1. 1
    Preheat the oven to 400ºF (200ºC).
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    Make sure you have a clean, spacious counter top available for kneading and rolling out the dough.
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    Place the flour, salt, and butter in a large bowl. With a pastry blender or fork, crush the butter until it forms tiny balls with the flour. Then slowly add the water.
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    Knead with floured hands until a large dough ball forms. Split the ball in half and wrap one of the piece in plastic wrap. Place the wrapped dough in the refrigerator.
    • An alternative is to wrap both of the dough balls and refrigerate them for 30 minutes before proceeding to the next step.
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    On a floured counter-top, begin to roll the dough out into a circle shape about 2 inches (5.1 cm) larger in diameter than the pie pan. Some people prefer to place a layer of plastic wrap on top of the dough as it's being rolled so that it wouldn't stick to the rolling pin. [citation needed]
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    Slowly lift the flattened dough off the counter-top by wrapping it completely around the rolling pin.
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    Unroll the dough over the pan, being careful not to let it tear. Fit it into the pan, pressing it against all the sides.
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    Cut off the overhanging edges. Leave about 14 inch (0.6 cm) of extra dough over the pie pan.
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    Place the pie shell in the refrigerator.
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    Make the filling. Peel and slice the apples into pieces about 1/8 of an inch thick or chop them into 1/2" cubes. Put them into a large bowl and mix with sugars (white and brown), salt, lemon juice, flour, nutmeg and cinnamon. Drain apples for 20 minutes and then heat the liquid produced along with 3 cubes of butter in the microwave until it's reduced to third of its volume and becomes thicker (prevents a soggy crust).
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    Roll out the remaining ball of dough on a floured surface, just like you did before.
    • Sliced top. Gently fold it in half and make 4 to 5 half inch long slices along the fold and 4 slices in the center of the folded piece. These will allow the filling to breath and not break through the sides. Unfold the top crust set it aside.
    • Lattice top. Cut the rolled out dough into as many 1" wide strips as it will yield.
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    Remove the pie shell and filling from the refrigerator.
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    Pour the filling into the pie shell, spreading it out with the back of a spoon. There should be enough filling to fill the entire pan and stack up above the edge at least an inch in the center.
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    Brush the edges of the pie shell with a beaten egg.
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    Lay the top crust over the pie.
    • Sliced top. Lay the sliced top crust over filling. Cut off the excess edges with a butter knife. Take both thumbs facing each other and place them over the edge. Push thumbs down and towards each other. Do this around the entire pie to seal it.
    • Lattice top.

      • Place the pastry strips across the top of the apples in a criss-cross pattern, then weave them together to create a lattice effect.
      • Cut off the overhanging excess pastry and press the edges down into the rim as previously described.
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    Sprinkle milk over the top or brush the lattice with the egg wash. This will help to brown the crust. Dust cinnamon and sugar over the top crust for an extra touch.
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    Bake at 400ºF (200ºC) for 15 minutes. Turn down the oven to 375ºF (190ºC) for 45 minutes.
    • Remove when top crust is golden brown.
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    Allow the pie to cool 45 minutes to 1 hour at room temperature before serving.
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    Finished.

Tips

  • For an extra-flavorful crust, add 2 tsp of cinnamon to the flour, and substitute 5 Tbsp apple cider for the 5 Tbsp water.
  • For best results, chill butter or lard before cutting into flour.
  • You can add a bit of tapioca to make the pie less runny.
  • Vegetable oil, Crisco or other hydrogenated oil shortening can be used instead of butter or lard.
  • You can make the pie with six of the same kind of apples, but it will taste better if you use a variety, say two each of three different kinds of apples.
  • If you don't have a rolling pin use a plastic soda bottle instead to roll out your dough.
  • Lard makes for a flakier crust while butter has more flavor. Use lard for the top crust and butter for the bottom.
  • If you don't think it's sweet enough, add half a cup more of sugar.
  • You can use solid coconut oil for a vegan version.
  • Try using all natural sugar in place of white sugar, or even reducing the amount of sugar. It doesn't take much to sweeten an apple pie, especially if you use sweet apples in the first place. It also reduces the "heaviness" of the flavor, making it ideal for those that don't enjoy sweets.
  • Using a dusting of sugar instead of flour on the counter adds a little sweetness and keeps your crust from being dried out.
  • Place foil at the bottom of the oven below the pie. The filling often seeps out during baking, and the foil will make cleanup easier. [citation needed]
  • When kneading dough, make sure your hands are thoroughly floured to help make the mixture to become less sticky and roll out better. [citation needed]
  • To ensure a flaky crust, don't over knead the dough. [citation needed]

Things You'll Need

  • 2 large bowls
  • 1 pie pan
  • Measuring cups
  • Measuring spoons
  • Pastry blender or fork
  • Apple peeler or knife
  • Rolling pin
  • Butter knife

Sources and Citations

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