Best Apple Pie

Prep Time:
1 hrs
Total Time:
11 hrs 45 mins
1 9-inch pie

To ace this American tradition, we combine different varietals of apples that each have their own nuanced flavors and textures in the filling for this apple pie. The sublime result is a bold, aromatic filling bubbling inside a golden-brown double crust. This pie takes about an hour of hands on making and an hour to bake but allow time for the apples to meld with the sugar and spices before prepping the filling and making the pie—and allow plenty of time for the pie to cool before slicing and serving.


  • 3 pounds mixed apple varieties (see cook's note), peeled, cored, and cut into ½-inch-thick slices (8 cups)

  • 3/4 to 1 cup granulated sugar

  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1 tablespoon apple-cider vinegar

  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger

  • teaspoon ground cardamom

  • teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • Pinch of ground cloves

  • ¼ cup unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting

  • 1 recipe Test Kitchen's Favorite Pate Brisée

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces

  • 1 large egg, beaten

  • Sanding sugar (optional)


  1. In a large heatproof bowl, toss together apples, granulated sugar (use 1 cup if your apples are very tart), salt, vinegar, and spices. Let stand at room temperature, stirring occasionally, for at least 3 hours, or refrigerate (covered) up to 24 hours.

  2. Stir flour into apple mixture, then set a colander over another bowl and drain, reserving liquid. Transfer liquid to a small saucepan; return apples to bowl. Bring liquid to a boil over medium-high heat, whisking constantly, until thickened to the consistency of loose pudding, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir back into apple mixture.

  3. Preheat oven to 400°F, with a rack in bottom third. On a lightly floured surface, roll out one disk of dough 1/8 inch thick (about 13 inches in diameter). Fit it into a 9-inch pie dish. Fill with apple mixture; dot with butter. Roll out second disk 1/8 inch thick; drape over filling. Trim overhang to 1 inch. Pinch to seal, folding edges under; crimp as desired. Cut five 2-to-3-inch vents in top crust. Brush with beaten egg. If you want a sparkly finish with a bit of crunch, sprinkle with sanding sugar. Refrigerate 15 minutes (to help the crust hold its shape in the oven).

  4. Bake 20 minutes (the high temperature jump-starts the process), then reduce temperature to 375°F (so the crust doesn't get tough) and bake until golden brown all over and bubbling in center, 50 to 60 minutes more. (If the top browns too quickly, tent it with foil.) Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely, at least 6 hours.

    best apple pie sliced on gray countertop
    Nico Schinco

Cook's Notes

The secret to next-level filling is combining different apple varieties. The ideal mix ranges in taste from sweet to tart to good, old-fashioned apple flavor, and includes some firm ones that hold their shape, so you don’t wind up with pie full of applesauce.

Try one of these formulas for the filling in this pie:

1 1/2 pounds Braeburn (sweet-tangy and firm) + 1 1/2 pounds Granny Smith (tart) + 1/2 pound McIntosh (classic apple flavor)


1 1/2 pounds Golden Delicious (sweet-tangy and firm) + 1 1/2 pounds Granny Smith (tart) + 1/2 pound Macoun (classic apple flavor)

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