Traditional Apple Pie

Traditional Apple Pie

Written by Emily

What better to commemorate National Pie Day then a big, deep-dish, double-crust, packed to the brim, all-American apple pie? And a darn right perfect one at that! Yep, let’s just skip to the end – I did it and it was awesome.

Week after week, I sit here behind my keyboard and espouse my latest pietifications. I’ve conquered fruit pies, lattice crusts, mini pies and butter crusts. Cream pies and custard pies – shoot, they ain’t got nothin’ on me. Crimped edges? Crispy bottom crust? Bring it. But there is one pie I have steered clear of. One pie that threatens to topple all of the pie skills I have acquired over this past year. The one, the only… DOUBLE CRUST APPLE PIE. As if getting one crust right isn’t hard enough, this monstrosity demands perfection on the top and bottom! I haven’t had the courage to take it on until now. But a pie holiday calls for the most serious pie I can make.

This recipe is the collision of Grandma Ople’s tried and true and the America’s Test Kitchen 2006 scientific experiment. I figured old school meets new school would be a good mash up. Grandma Ople’s Apple Pie is one of the highest rated on If you know me, then you know that I swear by the four and five star recipes on that site. On the rare occasion that I cook, you can pretty much bet that I found it on Allrecipes. I also LOVE America’s Test Kitchen because really, why do your own experimenting when someone has already done it for you?

From Grandma Ople, I adopted her technique of making a caramel sauce to toss with the apples instead of the usual sugar/brown sugar mixture. I also adopted the suggestion of saving some of that sauce and brushing the top crust with it. America’s Test Kitchen confirmed what I had begun to notice about apple pie – cooking the apples first ensures that they don’t shrink away from the top crust and that you minimize the moisture that threatens to make your bottom crust soggy. Voila – my perfect apple pie!

Print Recipe

Traditional Apple Pie

Apple pie is best in its simplest form without too much fuss. But the addition of a light caramel sauce to this pie enhances the pie just ever so slightly and makes it one of the best I've ever made.



  1. Make pastry dough and divide into two discs, refrigerating for at least 1 hour.
  2. Roll one disc of dough into a 13 inch circle. Place into a 91/2 inch deep dish pie plate. Trim dough to leave a 1/2 inch overhang. Return to refrigerator to chill. Next, roll the other disc of dough into a 13 inch circle and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet and return to the refrigerator.
  3. Preheat oven to 425.
  4. In a small bowl, combine 1/4 cup sugar with 1 teaspoon cinnamon and 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg.
  5. Peel and slice apples into 1/4 inch thick slices. You can cut some of the slices in half so that the apples lay more compactly. Toss with sugar/spice mixture and 1 teaspoon lemon zest.
  6. Place in a large dutch oven (or large skillet) and cook, covered, over medium heat for about 5-8 minutes. Stir often and remove from heat when apples are soft but still hold their shape. Place apples into a colander over a bowl to remove excess moisture. Let cool to room temperature. I like to lay them on a baking sheet to speed up the process.
  7. While apples are cooling, prepare caramel sauce. In a medium saucepan, melt 4 tablespoons of butter. Once melted, add the flour and cornstarch to make a paste. Add 1/4 cup water, 1/2 cup brown sugar and 1/4 cup of sugar. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Once the mixture reaches a boil, lower the heat and simmer for three minutes. Remove from heat and add 1 teaspoon vanilla.
  8. Toss apples with 1 tablespoon lemon juice then add 2/3 of the caramel mixture. Reserve some of the sauce to glaze the top crust. Remove pie plate from refrigerator and pour apples into chilled pie shell and arrange so that they lay compactly.
  9. Cover gently with the top crust and trim the edges to 1/2 inch overhang. To achieve an even edge, fold the edge of the top crust and tuck it under the edge of the bottom crust so that the smooth, folded edge is flush with the pie plate. Create a decorative edge and then use a knife to cut four vents into the top. You can also opt for a lattice crust. Brush crust lightly with reserved caramel sauce and sprinkle with turbinado sugar if desired.
  10. Bake for 40 – 45 minutes or until golden brown and juices bubble.
  11. Use a pie shield or foil if crust begins to brown before pie is done. Enjoy with ice cream, by itself, for breakfast, for a snack or all of the above!

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