Perfect Apple Pie

Looking for the best apple pie recipe—the one that mom used to make? Find out how to bake an apple pie here!

Who could teach you better than The Old Farmer’s Almanac? We call our recipe the Perfect Apple Pie because it has that easy, buttery homemade pie crust you love, and the right mix of apples for that fruity, not gooey, taste.

Note: Be sure to use fresh new apples that are kept cold in the refrigerator. Older apples and/or apples that are stored at room temperature can turn even a firm apple to mush. This is why we added a step of putting your cooked apples in the freezer to keep them firm!

We particularly love Granny Smith apples for this apple pie, but you can substitute other apples. Just avoid really soft apples such as McIntosh apples, which would give you a soupy pie. Save those for homemade applesauce!  See our best apples for baking

Have apples leftover? Try some of our favorite apple recipes! Once you’ve mastered this pie, check out our delicious Caramel Apple Crumb Pie.


2 pounds firm-sweet apples (such as Golden Delicious, Pink Lady, Jonagold)
1 pound firm-tart apples (such as Northern Spy, Granny Smith)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Double-Crust Pastry Dough (see below)
Flour (for work surface)
1 large egg, well beaten
1 tablespoon coarse or granulated sugar
1 taplespoon cornstarch


Preheat oven to 425°F. Peel and core apples, slice them ¼ inch thick, and put in a clean bowl.

In a separate bowl, combine apples, lemon juice, sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg.  Cook in dutch oven for 10 minutes until apples are tender.

Remove apples from heat and stir in cornstarch. Spread the mixture out onto a baking sheet, and put in the freezer for 10 to 15 minutes until room temperature.  

Lightly flour your work surface and roll out the larger disk of Double-Crust Pastry Dough into a 12- to 13-inch circle, rolling out from the center and turning the dough as you go. Transfer to a 10-inch pie plate; press the crust into a plate and let extra dough hang over sides.

Transfer the apples into the pie plate, starting with a 1-inch layer of apples on bottom, then a layer of sprinkled sugar mixture. Repeat until you’ve used all apples and sugar.

Roll out second piece of pie dough and cover apples with it. Trim excess dough to about 1 inch overhang; tuck edges of top crust under bottom crust and crimp.

Brush egg over pie surface; sprinkle with sugar. Make decorative cuts to let steam escape. Bake 20 minutes.

Lower oven temperature to 375°F and bake until golden brown, about 25 minutes longer.

Double-crust pastry dough


2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for work surface
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
18 tablespoons (2-1/4 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
6 to 8 tablespoons ice water


In a medium-size bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, and salt until well combined.

Sprinkle butter over flour mixture, and use your fingers to work it in (rub your thumb against your fingertips, smearing the butter as you do). Stop when the mixture looks like cornmeal, with some pea-size bits of butter remaining.

Sprinkle 6 tablespoons ice water on top, and stir with a fork until dough begins to come together. If needed, add more ice water, a tablespoon at a time.

Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead three times, or just enough to make a cohesive dough—don’t over mix!

Gather into a ball; then divide into two pieces, one slightly larger than the other. Press each piece into a disk and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate 30 minutes.

Cooking & Recipes


8 servings

Preparation Time: 

30 minutes

Start to Finish Time: 

1 hour 10 min.

Preparation Method

Reader Comments

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If you can find them, one of

If you can find them, one of the best pie apples is the Ida Red. But multiple apple types can be combined, depending on what is available -- this year I've used Ida Reds, Granny Smiths, Honeycrips, Fujis, Galas, Liberty, Pink Lady successfully -- Zestar, available early in the season, were bland, even when blended with Granny Smiths. I get my apples from nearby orchards when possible, but am not a fan of Jonathans or Jonagolds. Taste the apples you use in your pie -- cut back on sugar when they're especially sweet.

I love cortlands! I dry them

I love cortlands! I dry them, can them and bake everything with them. They make a perfect pie! I don't know what people are doing to get soggy pies, I never have that problem.

prefer tender apple

It surprises me when people discourage using Macintosh or similar apples in pies. I use them and never have a problem with a *soupy* result. I use a tablespoon of cornstarch as I mix the sugar in with the apples, I use half white half brown sugar & the usual spices cinnamon & nutmeg.
Also I add about a tsp of lemon juice to the apple slices & dot the whole mound of apples with
butter just for extra richness. Instead of egg wash on the crust I dot that with butter too & a sprinkle of sugar.

apple pie apples

I, too, always use Macs. I always have a perfect pie and perfect soft apple.

which apples are the softest

which apples are the softest when making apple pie, I dont like crunchy apples in my pie

For apple pies, I like a mix

For apple pies, I like a mix of "firm-tart" and "firm-sweet" apples for the perfect texture. You don't want apples that are too soft or your pie will just get very watery. An example of a firm-tart is Granny Smith. An example of a firm-sweet is a Baldwin as well as a Honeycrisp.

McIntosh is the softest. It

McIntosh is the softest. It is very flavorable and makes a delicious pie. It is my favorite. I use half the normal amount of sugar, so that it does not turn-out too sweet.

Cathy, I'm with you.

Cathy, I'm with you. Northern Spies bake soft, as do Macs. Cortlands are lovely pie apples too; bake soft, but still in recognizable slices. Just slice pretty thin: no thicker than~3/8". All three are excellent, but the Northern Spies have a flavor that's esp. wonderful, IMO. But you almost never see them in grocery stores, so keep in mind the Macs & Cortlands.

Growing up near Boston we

Growing up near Boston we spent much time visiting friends in New Hampshire. McIntosh apples still remain my favorites even after 30 years in Florida,We drove the Newburyport Turnpike in apple season where we bought a peck for .50 cents.My favorite times were spent sitting up in the old tree eating apples and reading.