Apple pie is usually a crowd favorite, so it never hurts to have a staple recipe on hand, especially during those peak apple season months. We are excited to share this super easy apple pie recipe from food blogger and recipe creator Laura Sampson of Little House Big Alaska. It will make you feel like an expert baker and no doubt impress your kitchen visitors. While the lattice crust work on the top may look super fancy and complicated, it’s actually not very difficult to execute.
And if you’re intimidated by making pie crust, definitely do not fret. Sampson recommends a pre-made crust for this pie. She says, "You can find these double-crust packages in all major grocery stores. They’re in the refrigerated section, usually with things like pre-made biscuits and cookie dough. You’ll need a whole package. They come two in a pack, and this apple pie recipe will use both crusts." You’re off the hook on the crust, so you’ve got no excuses now — you’ve got to try making this pie.
Gather the ingredients for this easy apple pie recipe
For this easy apple pie recipe, you’ll need a box of Pillsbury Pie Crusts (they need to sit out for at least 20 minutes before you get to bakin’) and five to six apples. Sampson insists you should use a variety of types, such as Granny Smith, Honeycrisp, Jonagold, and/or Braeburns. Wash and dry the apples thoroughly before peeling, coring, and slicing them.
You’ll also need a three tablespoons of all-purpose flour (divided since you’re using the flour for separate tasks), a teaspoon of ground cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 3/4 cup of sugar. Measuring everything out ahead of time (as demonstrated in the photo above) makes your life easier when it’s time to really do the grunt work of the pie. Be sure to use a knife to level off the dry ingredients so the measurements are exact.
Sprinkle the pie pan with flour for this easy apple pie
Before any legit easy apple pie ingredients go into the pie pan, you have to prep the pan a bit. Sampson instructs, "To make sure your pie crust comes out of the pie easily, sprinkle about ½ tablespoon of all-purpose flour over the bottom of the pie pan." There is no need to add flour to the sides (it probably won’t stick anyway).
You’ll thank us for this step when you’re serving this pie later. It really does help the slices come out of the pan more easily, and nobody wants half their pie filling (and their hard work) sticking to the bottom of the pan. The horror!
Now’s the time when you can also line a baking sheet with parchment or foil and set it aside. It will go on the rack below your pie in the oven so it can catch any drips that may bubble up from the apple pie as it’s baking.
Roll out the pie crust for this easy apple pie recipe and place it in the pie pan
Now the fun part: getting your fingers on that dough, which you will now be gently pressing into the pan. Also, Dough Layer beware, the whole pan needs to be covered, bottom and sides. If you’re coming up short, there’s no need to panic. "If it doesn’t come all the way up the sides and over to the edge of the pan, roll it out a little bit with a rolling pin or press it out with your hands," says Sampson. If you’re rolling out the dough, Sampson adds, a little sprinkle of flour on the counter "never hurts."
If you think it’s rolled to perfection and will fit over the entire pan, proceed carefully. Per Sampson, you should then "ease it in the pan and press it down with your fingers. Don’t trim the edges — you’re going to do that when you put on the top crust." She then recommends putting the dough-covered pan in the refrigerator until the apples are peeled and ready to go.
Peel, core, and slice the apples for your easy apple pie
Apples are the crux of this easy apple pie, and for this apple pie recipe, the more variety, the better. According to Sampson, "A lot of recipes call for using just one kind of apple, the Granny Smith, because its firm flesh is perfect for apple pie. But try using more than one kind of apple to really make your pie stand out. You’re looking for firm, crispy apples because those bake up nicely in a pie. Mealy, soft apples can bake down to a soft mush."
She also swears that the slicing and coring isn’t that hard. "You need a paring knife and a cutting board to prepare apples for an apple pie. You need to peel them with a paring knife to get off as much of the peel as possible without removing a lot of apple," Sampson explains. "Once you’ve peeled them, simply slice them apple in half, cut out the core, and then cut the pieces in slices around a ¼ of an inch thick or so."
Make sure you have six cups worth of apple slices.
Put the apple slices for your easy apple pie in a mixing bowl and coat with flour
Once the apples for your easy apple pie are peeled and sliced, pile them into a large mixing bowl. Make sure that it’s big enough for you to have plenty of space to stir without ingredients spilling out while you do it. Once the apples are in the bowl, you will parcel out the dry ingredients that will coat the apples in stages.
Sprinkle all the remaining all-purpose flour over the slices, stirring to coat them thoroughly. Why do you coat them with flour before anything else? It serves as a thickener. That’s a tip Sampson got from her mama. "My mom always taught me to toss the apples with the flour first. That way, you get a good coat on there and as the juice comes out, it’s mixing with the flour and that’s your thickening agent." Interesting fun fact, right? It’s the little things (that make your finished apple pie go from good to stellar).
Coat the apples for your easy apple pie with spices and salt
Again, it’s important to add the dry ingredients to the apples in stages so you can really get a visual on how even your coating is. Sampson insists that by taking the time to coat the dry ingredients in this specific order, not only do you get that first flour layer as a thickening agent, but you also "see where everything’s going, making sure they [the apple slices] have an even coverage and you’re not getting a clump of something somewhere." Oh snap, no baker wants excess clump-age in their apple pie filling, that’s for sure.
Might we also suggest a good sniff test once you’ve stirred in the cinnamon and nutmeg? You should definitely smell your childhood by the time those apples are smothered and covered with these comforting spices.
Gently pour the sugar over the apple slices for your easy apple pie and stir
The 3/4 cup of sugar is the final addition from the batch of dry ingredients for this easy apple pie.
Full disclosure, Sampson admits she often eyeballs the sugar when she’s making this apple pie recipe and adds more or less based on her own taste buds’ preference that day. If you are someone who knows you always like a dish you’re preparing to be a little more (or a little less) sweet than what the recipe calls for, there is a little wiggle room in this step (which certainly isn’t always the case with baking). Sampson says you can "take a little knife, chop off a piece of an apple, and see how it tastes with the amount of sugar you have in there" then always add more if your sweet tooth isn’t satisfied.
Either way, once again, make sure all the slices are evenly coated so every slice of the apple pie has an equal level of sweetness.
Place the coated apple slices for the easy apple pie into the prepared pie crust
Remove the pie pan with the prepared crust from the fridge. Gently pour the bowl of mixed, thoroughly coated apple slices into the prepared pie pan. Try to make sure the apples are in a somewhat level layer so the dough strips you’ll add in the lattice crusting step have a relatively even surface. It’s okay if bits of nutmeg, cinnamon, sugar, salt, or flour splash onto the crust sides. Another hack regarding the apples in general: Make sure they are somewhat firm. Sampson assures us, "As long as the apples are crispy when sliced, they’ll hold up in the oven and make your pie look and taste fabulous!"
Prepare the lattice crust for this easy apple pie recipe
Roll out the dough, then use a pizza cutter to slice thin strips for your easy apple pie. There should be a total of 15 to 17 strips. Now, it’s time to create the lattice crust. Sampson breaks it down like this: "Lay one long piece over the center of the pie, lay another across it going the other way. Fold back half of the second strip, and lay a strip going the same way as the original strip but UNDER the folded back strip, then lay the folded back strip over the new piece. Continue across the pie laying strips, folding them back, and making a lattice work top. Don’t worry if you mess up, just pull the strips off, fix your mistake, and keep going."
What are common mistakes people make? Sometimes getting to a point where two are going under, when one should be over and one should be under — but if it hasn’t been sealed yet, it really is super easy to remove the strip and correct your criss-crossing.
Obviously, you can also just skip this step and layer a non-latticed slab of dough across the top. Use a little water to stick it together, and then utilize a fork to crimp the edges. Be sure to cut a few vent holes in the top to let out the steam, and brush with an egg wash.
Make an egg wash to brush over the easy apple pie crust
If you’re wondering how this easy apple pie gets that gorgeous, golden crust, it’s all about the egg wash in this step. Why the egg wash? Sampson can attest, "The egg wash will give you a nice brown finish and makes the dough a little harder on top … it’ll be crispy."
If you don’t want to do an egg wash for whatever reason (like maybe you forgot to buy eggs), you’ve got other options. "Some people brush with milk, which gives you a different finish," Sampson says, because "milk is softer." Out of milk too? You can just sprinkle sugar over the top, since Sampson reports that "it cooks up and looks really pretty."
Definitely use a pastry brush to spread the wash over the dough. It’s the most effective tool for making sure there’s an even layer of the water/egg mixture across every surface.
Bake the easy apple pie
Before you put the easy apple pie on the middle rack of the oven, don’t forget to first put in the baking sheet you prepared earlier on the rack below the middle rack. Bake the pie for 45 minutes or until the top is shiny and golden, the apples are starting to bubble, and you can easily poke the apples with a paring knife.
Also, it’s really important to remember that apple pie isn’t something you serve straight out of the oven. Sampson reiterates, "It’s best to serve your pie at least two hours after it’s done baking. That allows everything to cool down, and it will hold together better." Basically, the longer it sits, the better. In fact, letting the pie cool overnight is ideal. But then again, nothing beats warm apple pie with a scoop of ice cream or cold whipped cream. Either one works!
Don’t fret if the first slice you cut isn’t picture perfect. Samson promises us, "The first piece out of the pie always looks terrible. I don’t know why, it just is." Even the experts have to face that first-slice dilemma.
Apple pie is usually a crowd favorite, so it never hurts to have a staple recipe on hand, especially during those peak apple season months. We are excited to share this super easy apple pie recipe from food blogger and recipe creator Laura Sampson of Little House Big Alaska. Try it for yourself.
- 1 box Pillsbury Pie Crusts (these need to sit out for 20 minutes before using)
- 3 Tablespoons of all-purpose flour, divided
- 6 cups sliced apples (use a variety of apples)
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup of sugar
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment or foil and set aside (this will go on the rack below your pie to catch any drips that may bubble up).
- Sprinkle half a tablespoon of flour evenly across the bottom of your pie pan.
- Gently roll out one of the pie crusts and lay it in the pie pan. If it’s a little too small, use a rolling pin to roll it just a little bit bigger (it should come up the sides of the pan and to the outer edge).
- Put the pan in the refrigerator to keep cold until it’s time to add the filling.
- Peel, core, and slice the apples.
- Measure out six cups, and put the slices in a large mixing bowl.
- Sprinkle the remaining flour over the apples and toss to coat.
- Mix the cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt together, then sprinkle over the apples, and toss to coat.
- Pour the sugar over the top of the apples slices and gently stir it in. Toss to coat.
- Remove your prepared pie crust from the refrigerator and pile the coated apple slices in the crust, then set aside.
- Roll out the final crust (if you don’t want a lattice top pie, just skip to the bottom of the recipe).
- Use a pizza wheel to cut ¾-inch strips of dough.
- Lay one long piece over the center of the pie, lay another across it going the other way, fold back half of the second strip and lay a strip going the same way as the original strip but UNDER the folded back strip. Then, lay the folded back strip over the new piece, and continue across the pie laying strips, folding them back, and making a lattice work top. NOTE: it’s important that you don’t seal the edge of the pie until you’ve put all the pieces where they go, so fix any mistakes in layering the lattice BEFORE sealing the crust.
- Once you’re done, use a little water and stick the latticework to the lower crust. The water will glue it together.
- With a sharp paring knife, cut off any excess crust hanging past the edge of the pie pan.
- If you want a shiny, browned crust, make an egg wash. With a fork, beat a tablespoon of water with an egg yolk, and then brush it over the pie dough.
- If you don’t want to make a lattice top for your pie simply unroll the pie dough lay it over the apples, use a little water to stick it together, and use a fork to crimp the edges. Cut a few vent holes in the top to let out the steam, then brush with an egg wash as described above.
- Bake on the middle rack in the oven for 45 minutes or until the top is shiny, the apples are bubbly, and a paring knife pokes through the apples easily. Put the prepared pan on a lower rack to catch any drips.
- For best results, let the pie cool completely (at least two hours, overnight if possible) before cutting and serving. Serve with ice cream or whipped cream, if desired.