How To Make The Perfect Apple Pie

Homemade apple pie on cloth with three green apples and a few cinnamon sticks , top view. Flat lay, overhead, from above.

This is absolutely the best homemade apple pie you’ll ever make! It has a flaky crust and lightly spiced apple pie filling. The secret to this pie is the recipe and the combination of a variety of apples used for the best flavor. It’s best to use a mix of different types of apples in your pie. Some apple varieties cook up faster than others. Some cook up firm, some softer; some apples are more tart, some sweeter. By combining them, you’ll get a more complex, deeper flavor. Look for a combination of tart and sweet apples, and a combination of apples that cook up firm and soft. That said, some apples are better for cooking into a pie than others. This is what we use: Braeburn, Fuji, Granny Smith, Jonagold, or Rome. Never use juicy apples like Mcintosh; you will end up with too much juice on the bottom of the pan and too soft an apple.

This family favorite recipe was given to us by Ray and Judy’s son Ed. Here is the story behind the recipe:

“Bob MacDonald was one of my first students when I became a flight instructor in 1998, my first full-time flying job. A marketing entrepreneur, a complete character, Bob had retired recently at age 70 and was looking for a new adventure. Let’s just say Bob took a little longer than most student pilots to reach certain miles stones but he never gave up. He would always say, “come on Ed I’m ready, bring ‘em back alive Bob, that’s what they call me”. While laughing inside I would have to convey to him the FAA standard was a little higher than that. I ended up moving on in my career before Bob got his private pilot’s license, but he eventually did. Bob managed to stay in touch through Christmas cards and a yearly update complete with custom postage. Bob had spent a lifetime perfecting his pie recipes. About 10 years ago, in late fall, I received an envelope from Bob with all his perfected recipes. I have been making his apple pie for Thanksgiving and Christmas every year since. I remember my time with Bob fondly every year it’s time to make his pie. They have become a family and friend favorite! Enjoy!”

The Perfect Apple Pie

1 package Pillsbury refrigerated pie crust

6 small apples: 2 Granny Smith, 2 Fuji, 2 Braeburn

2 ½ tbs. flour

1 cup sugar

¾ tsp. cinnamon

¼ tsp. salt

¼ tsp. nutmeg

½ tsp. lemon peel


Preheat oven to 400F.

Peel and slice apples, we use this apple peeler slicer corer. It’s amazing! Combine all the dry ingredients and lemon peel. Prepare the bottom crust by folding out one crust into your pie pan. The excess dough will create folds along the sides. Press the folds to the sides of the pan so that the dough stands straight up along the sides. Press lightly around the sides and bottom of the pan. Use a fork to make holes in the bottom and along the sides. Bake for 15 minutes. (We recommend using a metal Teflon pie pan)  Using your hands, mix apple slices with the dry ingredients and place them in the pie pan. Prepare the top crust by rolling it out flat on the counter. Using your fingers, lift the sides all around to prevent it from sticking to the counter and place it evenly over the pie. Take the edge of the dough and fold it down to touch the top of the bottom crust. Then push the reminder with your thumb to the edge of the pie pan. Continue all around the pan. Beat one egg and use a pastry brush to cover the entire top crust and the edges. Open 5 holes on top of the crust to let steam out. Sprinkle a little sugar over the top and bake for 40-50 minutes or until the crust is nice and brown.


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