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Old-Fashioned Apple Pie

The words "apple pie" conjure warmth, aroma, taste, and togetherness. This apple pie recipe is filled with Granny Smith apples and is tucked into a buttery pie crust. To make this apple pie recipe even sweeter, serve it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

  • Servings: 12
Old-Fashioned Apple Pie

Source: Martha Stewart Living, November December 1991


  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • Pate Brisee (Pie Dough)
  • 12 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and sliced
  • 3/4 cup sugar, plus additional for pie top
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • Pinch ground cloves
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 large egg, beaten


  1. Heat oven to 375 degrees. On a lightly floured surface, roll out pate brisee into two 1/8-inch-thick circles to a diameter slightly larger than that of an 11-inch plate. Press one pastry circle into the pie plate. Place the other circle on waxed paper, and cover with plastic wrap. Chill all pastry until firm, about 30 minutes.

  2. In a large bowl, combine apples, sugar, lemon zest and juice, spices, and flour. Toss well. Spoon apples into pie pan. Dot with butter, and cover with remaining pastry circle. Cut several steam vents across top. Seal by crimping edges as desired. Brush with beaten egg, and sprinkle with additional sugar.

  3. Bake until crust is brown and juices are bubbling, about 1 hour. Let cool on wire rack before serving.

Reviews (30)

  • silviacolsher 27 Nov, 2015

    AMAZING!! It was so easy to make and it turned out perfect. The consistency was exactly right and the flavor was to die for! Everyone raved about it!

  • Britta Udenberg Weidner 18 May, 2015

    We used 9 Granny Smith apples and 3 Honeycrisps. It was absolutely delicious, including the lemon juice & zest. Probably the most flavorful apple pie I've ever tasted. However, it was EXTREMELY watery, so would recommend using more flour, or another thickener.

  • sweetsam6669 9 May, 2014

    Well, I like the way the filling tastes but it was way too watery and the crust was fairly bland. It turned out nice and crispy though. I didn't mind the tartness, but it overall was kind of blah.

  • serenity334 15 Dec, 2013

    This recipe is delicious! The only thing I added was a couple tablespoons of brown sugar over the top of the filling which balanced out the lemon, and only because I love brown sugar in an apple pie. This pie would NOT be so unique WITHOUT the spices AND the lemon, so I disagree with the reviews that dissed the lemon. Use a different recipe site if you prefer bland food!

  • alyssa_underwood6 29 Nov, 2013

    Wayyyyy too much lemon! Leave it out!

  • missjennifer12 28 Nov, 2013

    Definitely leave the lemon juice and zest out. I'm so glad I read the reviews first or my Thanksgiving pie would have been ruined. I added a lot more sugar and butter then it called for and also used frozen pie crust. Before putting the top layer on I sprinkled the apples with brown sugar. YUM! I had leftover apples so made applesauce as well.

  • srhprieb 22 Nov, 2013

    This apple pie is so good! I had two different people tell me it was the best they'd ever had. I had to make some slight adjustments to the filling as I forgot to buy a lemon and was out of nutmeg (Clearly this was a last minute idea to use up a bag of apples). I added 1 Tbsp of water in place of the lemon juice and it was amazing. It lasted 1 day in my house! Making another in right now :)

  • laughlivelove365 8 Sep, 2013

    Yummy! Best recipe I've ever made. Thanks for all your great recipes and ideas......

  • lt2 16 Jan, 2013

    It's tasty however the granny smith apples plus the lemon juice made a wee bit too tart! Will definitely modify!

  • debbie bekker 2 Dec, 2012

    If you're looking for a great lemon apple pie, this is the recipe for you! Everything about this recipe was great except for the lemon. It ruined the pie. It had to be thrown out. The texture and look was excellent though.

  • tom 22 Nov, 2012

    I made two of these pies today. They were very pretty. However, the combination of sour apples and sour lemon juice led to my kids rejecting the pie outright. They love pie, but wouldn't eat more than a couple of bites of this one. I actually twashed the other pie down the disposal.

    There was one blessing with this pie: My mother-in-law is a lovely woman who currently can't taste anything because of chemo. She was able to taste this pie! (although even she didn't finish her piece).

  • jkksejuit 25 Oct, 2012

    I made this recipe tonight. I feel it was headed in the right direction, but it would've been much better with half the amount of apples, half the amount of lemon and double the amount of flour. It came out watery and super sour in some areas... With some minor revisions, it has the potential to be very good though.

  • psgordon 5 Jul, 2012

    It's a great recipe... but the amout of apples seems a bit much, especially if you're using larger Granny Smith's. What I've found is 4 - 4.5 lbs of apples are more than enough,
    As far as someone saying that there is usually a large gap between the top of the pie and the apples once they cook down, that's absolutely correct. The only way to correct that is to saute the apples with butter first to get some of the moisture out.. then cool, and then put together with ingredients for the pie..

  • rubbertoy74 13 Mar, 2012

    Just made this recipe and it was awesome. Beautiful crust, plenty of apples. I did of course changed a few things. Smith apples are great but too sour with that much lemon juice and rind. So I halfed the apples and added pears. Pears sweeten it up without addind in more sugar and makes it less tart. I also cut some of the sugar an added some of my homemade caramel sauce...booyaa!! I also added a little flour to the apple mixture which aids in thickening the pie so it stands up better. ****STAR

  • Bakingmaniac11 8 Dec, 2011

    WAY WAY WAY TO MUCH LEMON!! Martha you should have put an amount of how much lemon to use and the number of apples made enough for 2 pies SHAME ON YOU MARTHA!

  • snifferman 17 Oct, 2011

    this is the greatest recipe but I used gala apples and substituted sugar with Organic Blue Agave, turned out fabulous! I have orders from my neighbours.

  • florenciavaldes 23 Apr, 2011

    Too much lemon!

    If it weren't for the excess in lemon it would be perfect.

    I would use a fraction of both the juice and zest of one lemon. But overall, two thumbs up!
    I will use this recipe again (minus half the lemon)


  • Lrougedad 28 Dec, 2010

    I love this recipe and have received many compliments; however, I have an issue where a void exists between the apples and the crust. The apples cook down and the crust does not, and I have roughly a 1.5 inch gap between the apple filling and the crust.

    Any ideas what I may be doing wrong?

  • livsmum 22 Oct, 2010

    The best apple pie recipe ever. My husband always requests this instead of cake for his birthday and father's day. It's delish. I like the tartness that the granny smiths and the lemon add, but you can definitely taste the lemon, so if that isn't appealing to you, skip that part. It's a great recipe.

  • marylesliejohnson 4 Oct, 2010

    What size pie plate are you supposed to use with this recipe? For sizing when rolling, it says to roll it out slightly larger than an 11 inch plate. But, does that mean to use an 11 in pie plate? That seems pretty big and I only have 9 inch pie plates. Thoughts??

  • cbid 13 Nov, 2009

    Best apple pie that i have ever baked.
    The amount of spice was just right and the pastry was tender and very flakey.
    Thanks Martha for a fabulous recipe.

  • Tryingsomethingnew 27 Feb, 2009

    This pie was great! An instant favorite! it was so easy to make, I was shocked! I used less lemon and had it in the oven for an hour.

  • malinibartels 6 Feb, 2009

    This pie was too lemony for me and not sweet enough. Next time I will add less lemon. Also, leave the apples in big pieces or they will turn to applesauce when baked.

  • sweetlocal 30 Nov, 2008

    I made a vegan version of this pie (including the crust). I used soy "butter" and ditched the egg for a soy butter/soy milk wash. It came out perfectly and I think I surprised my fiance by how yummy it was. I wish I could post a picture!

  • sweetcandy 24 Nov, 2008

    This pie is my husband favorite for this holidays, a little slice of heaven.

  • Streniao6 2 Nov, 2008

    I made this pie just as the recipe directs and everyone commented how delicious it was. I'm definately going to make this my standard apple pie recipe without changing a thing.

  • btschmidt 23 Dec, 2007

    I made this pie both with the lemon zest and without. All three of my family members did NOT like the lemon zest in this pie. Loved it without. I used medium sized apples and it made a very nice sized pie. I used 8-9 apples.

  • suzapalooza 16 Dec, 2007

    The smaller Granny Smiths that come in bags are generally not very flavorful. You're better off with the larger size apples. Twelve may seem like a lot, but the apples will mound high in the pan, then soften and flatten during cooking. Expect the finished pie to be much "shorter" than the pre-baked pie. Hope that helps!

  • charliebrown 1 Dec, 2007

    what size granny smith apples? Small like the ones that come in bags at the grocery store or large like the ones sold individually at the grocery store? And, sliced how thick - some of your recipes say 1/4", others say 1."

  • charliebrown 1 Dec, 2007

    Could you please make the print in these boxes-i.e., tags a little larger for the visually impaired. My zoomtext software doesn't work when it comes to reading on the internet

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