Apple Pie Recipe

My kids favorite dessert in the world is the apple slab pie at Pizzeria Mozza. He is not a sweets fan whatsoever. Does not eat chocolate, caramel, ice cream, cakes, peanut butter, etc… Really only eats gummy type things. Sometimes I wonder if he was adopted.

Anyhow. I’d like to see if I can make his favorite dessert more often than the 1-2 times per year we go to Pizzeria Mozza. We are looking for a pie that is not overly sweet, has good cinnamon flavor, prominently features apples (not mushy disintegrated apples) with a good buttery pie crust. I have researched online and have a few that are at the top of my list. I’d like to see if any of the good bakers have a recipe they have made before and recommend.



As a child I was like this, apple pie really the only dessert I liked, so I empathize. Without anyone willing to make me apple pie anymore, I’ve had to provide for myself lol.

The last few Thanksgivings, I’ve used Stella Parks’ Serious Eats crust and apple pie recipes to great success. Except for temperature management on the dough and a probe thermometer for the baking pie, I haven’t found them particularly difficult.


Thanks @ShadrackToussaint . This was on my radar but good to get your recommendation.

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It’s been a long time since I’ve baked an apple pie b/c, seriously, they’re SUCH a PITA. But here’s one recipe (I used it only for the filling, IIRC). I cannot recall how much I liked it, but there must’ve been a reason I have it on my computer:

Apple Pie

From Food Network Kitchens


2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

4 teaspoons sugar

1/4 teaspoon fine salt

14 tablespoons cold butter, diced

1 large egg, lightly beaten with 2 tablespoons cold water


2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

3 pounds baking apples like Golden Delicious, Cortland, or Mutsu

2/3 cup sugar, plus more for sprinkling on the pie

1/4 cup unsalted butter

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Generous pinch of ground nutmeg

1 large egg, lightly beaten

Make the dough by hand. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, and salt. Using your fingers, work the butter into the dry ingredients until it resembles yellow corn meal mixed with bean sized bits of butter. (If the flour/butter mixture gets warm, refrigerate it for 10 minutes before proceeding.) Add the egg and stir the dough together with a fork or by hand in the bowl. If the dough is dry, sprinkle up to a tablespoon more of cold water over the mixture.

Make the dough in a food processor. With the machine fitted with the metal blade, pulse the flour, sugar, and salt until combined. Add the butter and pulse until it resembles yellow corn meal mixed with bean size bits of butter, about 10 times. Add the egg and pulse 1 to 2 times; dont let the dough form into a ball in the machine. (If the dough is very dry add up to a tablespoon more of cold water.) Remove the bowl from the machine, remove the blade, and bring the dough together by hand.

Form the dough into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, at least 1 hour.

Make the filling. Put the lemon juice in a medium bowl. Peel, halve, and core the apples. Cut each half into 4 wedges. Toss the apple with the lemon juice. Add the sugar and toss to combine evenly.

In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the apples, and cook, stirring, until the sugar dissolves and the mixture begins to simmer, about 2 minutes. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook until the apples soften and release most of their juices, about 7 minutes.

Strain the apples in a colander over a medium bowl to catch all the juice. Shake the colander to get as much liquid as possible. Return the juices to the skillet, and simmer over medium heat until thickened and lightly caramelized, about 10 minutes.

In a medium bowl, toss the apples with the reduced juice and spices. Set aside to cool completely. (This filling can be made up to 2 days ahead and refrigerated or frozen for up to 6 months.)

Cut the dough in half. On a lightly floured surface, roll each half of dough into a disc about 11 to 12 inches wide. Layer the dough between pieces of parchment or wax paper on a baking sheet, and refrigerate for at least 10 minutes.

Place a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Line the bottom of a 9-inch pie pan with one of the discs of dough, and trim it so it lays about 1/2 inch beyond the edge of the pan. Put the apple filling in the pan and mound it slightly in the center. Brush the top edges of the dough with the egg. Place the second disc of dough over the top. Fold the top layer of dough under the edge of the bottom layer and press the edges together to form a seal. Flute the edge as desired. Brush the surface of the dough with egg and then sprinkle with sugar. Pierce the top of the dough in several places to allow steam to escape while baking. Refrigerate for at least 15 minutes.

Bake the pie on a baking sheet until the crust is golden, about 50 minutes. Cool on a rack before serving. The pie keeps well at room temperature (covered) for 24 hours, or refrigerated for up to 4 days.

Cooks Note: You may freeze the uncooked pie, but dont brush it with egg or dust it with sugar beforehand. Place the pie in the freezer for 30 minutes, to harden it slightly, and then double wrap it with plastic wrap. Freeze for up to 6 months. When ready to bake, unwrap the pie and brush it with egg and sprinkle with sugar. Bake, from the frozen state, until golden brown, about 1 hour and 10 minutes.

Copyright 2001 Television Food Network, GP. All rights reserved

Yield: 6 to 8 servings

Prep Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Cook Time: 2 hours

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Lopez-Alt’s crust recipe (I actually don’t ever recall using a shortening/butter combo, so I don’t think I’ve tried it):

I was never able to get his other recipe to work (where he talks about some flour-fat interface).

I also recall that there are several variations ATK has developed. One uses braeburn (which don’t completely turn to mush, IIRC) and another uses a combo of some other apples for sweet + tart. Those recipes are behind paywalls, but you can often find personal blogs that have the recipe.

The par-cooking is actually kind of important (and another reason why apple pie is a PITA).

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I have her pie crust recipes saved from lucky peach back in the day! So good.


Thanks @paranoidgarliclover. I’m a little nervous about making the pie crust from scratch as well. Both from a PITA perspective and I have never made one before. We’ll see how it turns out.

I was thinking of using a mix of granny smith and honeycrisp. Not sure if honeycrisp are around right now though.

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If @ShadrackToussaint and @aaqjr like the Stella Parks recipe, that would be enough for me to try it. I skimmed it just now, and it seems pretty straightforward. I think Lopez-Alt and ATK sometimes almost get a little fetish-y w/ how scientific and complicated they like to make everything.

Sounds like a good combo. Tart and sweet, just what you want in an apple pie (IMHO).

Also, get ready for the PITA that is peeling and core-ing/slicing. My knife skills are not great (and corers can be variable).

Don’t put too much pressure on yourself. The kids need to learn to be appreciative when dad decides to do something homemade. :slight_smile:


Now that I checked the Lucky Peach recipes are from Dana Cree (D’oh!) There were 3 pie crust recipes on Lucky Peach! DM me if you want them -All butter, Lard, Cream cheese and they do work well.

Stella Parks is fantastic as well though I love her cookbook and would trust her implicitly


Cream cheese??? What is the texture of a cream cheese pie crust like (genuine question)?

“The cream cheese in this pie crust adds a nice acidity to the dough, which I bolster with a small addition of apple cider vinegar. In addition to boosting flavor, the cream cheese doesn’t melt when baked the way butter or lard do, which makes this my go-to crust for decorative tops. Whether it’s a carefully woven lattice, a network of overlapping circles individually punched out, or a meticulously pinched rope around the rim, this dough stays put in the oven. This recipe is sized slightly larger than most other double-crust recipes to give you a little extra dough to cut and shape.”

  • Dana Cree

I think they are more ‘beginner safe’ personally


I have made several different versions of apple pie. My current iteration is a hybrid of Stella Parks’, “Joy of Cooking”, and "Zingerman’s Bakehouse"s versions. Stella’s recipe makes a massive pie, but I love her tip of macerating the apples for several hours and using tapioca starch as the thickener. That said I think her spice choices are a bit too much and I stick with “Joy of Cooking” for apple quantities and their understated spicing of just cinnamon and minimal sugar.
Zingerman’s is my current choice for crust as it turns out to be both flaky and tender. I substitute cold leaf lard for 1/4 of the butter.

My apple of choice in California is golden delicious with granny smith in second place. I think honeycrisp, while a marvelous eating apple might be a little mushy in a pie. The best apple I have used is the northern spy, but I haven’t found them here.
For a beginner crust recipe I recommend Julia Childs’ food processor pie crust. Super easy and I have had good results with it. I switched to Zingerman’s because it is just as flaky but more tender.
Good luck!


Funny you say that as I was just looking at how to ship the Zingerman’s pre-made pie crust but it looks like they only do local delivery.

Very good looking pie. Thanks everybody for tips and advice. I’ll report back with pics once I muster up the courage.


This one from Maury Rubin from City Bakery (originally published in 2006 the LAT) is excellent

Recipe: Honey Apple Pie With Thyme

3 Golden Delicious apples, peeled and cored (about 1¼ pounds)
4 Granny Smith apples, peeled and cored (about 1½ pounds)
½ cup honey
6 thyme branches
¼ cup unsalted butter (½ stick), cut into small pieces
2 tablespoons instant tapioca
1/3 cup light brown sugar
½ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon salt
Flour, for dusting
Dough for 2 9-inch pie crusts (see recipe).

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Slice Golden Delicious apples and 3 Granny Smith apples into sixths.

  2. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, bring ¼ cup honey to a boil. Let simmer about 2 minutes, until honey is caramelized. Add 3 thyme branches. Arrange half the apples in a single layer in skillet. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons butter over apples. Cook apples, turning, until well caramelized on all sides (but not cooked through), about 10 minutes. Scrape apples and honey mixture into a bowl. Add tapioca and toss to combine. Repeat cooking process with remaining honey, thyme, butter and sliced apples. Add second batch of apples to bowl; combine. Discard all thyme branches.

  3. Thinly slice remaining Granny Smith apple and add it to bowl. Stir in sugar, ginger and salt.

  4. On a lightly floured surface, roll out both crusts to 12-inch circles. Place one crust in 9-inch pie plate. Scrape apple filling into crust and top with remaining crust. Pinch edges to seal. With a knife, slice 4 vents in top of crust. Place pie on a foil-lined, rimmed baking sheet.

  5. Bake for 15 minutes; reduce heat to 350 degrees and continue baking until crust is dark golden and apples are tender when pricked with a fork, about 45 minutes more. Let cool for 30 minutes before slicing.

Yield: One 9-inch pie, 8 servings.

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Combo of a mushy apple + one that holds its shape might actually be a nice combo for textural variety.

Agree that understated (love your choice of words) spicing is a must in an apple pie.

Will give Zingerman’s crust recipe a try, if I ever make a pie again!


Wow you weren’t kidding.

Joy of Cooking recipe calls for 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon and 1/8 teaspoon of nutmeg.
Stella Parks recipe calls for 2.5 teaspoons of cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg, 1/4 teaspoon of cloves and 1/2 teaspoon of ginger.

I think I’m going to veer more towards Joy of Cooking too. Some Serious Eats recipes are very assertive on spicing which is fine for recipes like fried chicken but I’ve had to dial it down on others.


I should amend my recommendation re: the spicing of Stella Parks’ recipe. I’ve never used that much spice in mine.

Anyway let us know how it turns out.

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Stella does call for a lot more apples than Joy, but it is too much like a pumpkin pie for me.
An anecdote from when I was in your situation; my daughter loved apple pie (she didn’t have any trouble with other desserts though). However she would pick the apples out and just eat the crust. Her favorite thing was to help me make pie crust cookies. We’d take the trimmings from the pie: roll them out; brush with melted butter and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Roll up and bake for around 20 minutes at 400. Didn’t want to waste any of that crust!


Just remembered another flavor trick; when I could get good cider I would boil it down into a syrup and replace some of the sugar with that.
Good cider is sometimes hard to come by here. Growing up in Michigan cider was almost a religious experience.


Beating a dead horse, but this is Michigan cider, We would canoe up to it and overindulgence in cider and hot doughnuts in a greasy bag.
That said I never had tomatoes there like I have had here. It’s a trade off. Both wonderful experiences!