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Recipe: Simple Apple Pie

It’s the perfect fall dessert – warm apple pie topped with a huge scoop of vanilla ice cream. But making apple pie shouldn’t be a six-hour job and require you to tear down the entire kitchen.

Allow the pie to cool completely, two to three hours, before slicing. (Stacey Little / Southern Bite)

My version is easy, approachable and still has all the great flavors of homemade apple pie – just with a lot less work.

What kind of apples should I use in apple pie?

I generally recommend using a firm-fleshed, tart apple like a Granny Smith when baking. It’s got tons of tangy apple flavor and is firm enough to not turn to complete mush. You can also use other firm-fleshed apples like Honeycrisp, Fuji, Braeburn or Pink Lady.

To make this recipe even easier, I opted to use the refrigerated, pre-made pie crusts that come rolled up in a box. Like these. I find they’re tasty and make the whole process much easier. With that being said, you can certainly use a homemade crust if you’re feeling super energetic. You’ll just need to use a recipe for a double-crust pie, as you’ll need a top and bottom crust.

If you’re really feeling like an overachiever, you can make a lattice top for this pie. You can even use the store-bought crust to do it. Here’s a great tutorial if you want to go in that direction.

When it comes to the apples in apple pie, I prefer them cooked completely tender. So, I suggest slicing the apples at about 1/8-inch thick to ensure they cook all the way through. If you like your apples a little more al dente, you can slice them a little thicker.

You’ll notice there are two oven temperatures in this recipe. You’ll start by baking the pie at 450 degrees for 10 minutes, then you’ll lower the temperature to 350 degrees for the remainder of the cook time. The high temperature in the beginning helps to set the crust and keep it from getting soggy, as the apples will release some moisture during the cooking process. Baking it for the full duration at that high a temperature would cause the crust to burn, so we lower it to get everything cooked through.

Speaking of burned crust, if you find the crust browning too quickly, you can cover the edges with strips of aluminum foil or use inexpensive pie crust shields.

How do I store apple pie?

Apple pie is best stored on the counter, in an airtight container, and eaten within two days. It can be stored for up to five days in the refrigerator. Just be sure to cool the pie completely and wrap it tightly with plastic wrap before placing it in the fridge. Allow the chilled pie to come to room temperature or zap it in the microwave before serving.

Slice the apples about 1/8-inch thick to ensure they cook all the way through. If you like your apples a little more al dente, you can slice them a little thicker. (Stacey Little / Southern Bite)

Simple Apple Pie

Click here for a printable version.

Prep time: 30 minutes

Cook time: 1 hour

Servings: 8


  • 4 large, firm tart apples
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 (14.1-ounce) box premade refrigerated pie crusts (2-count)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small cubes


  • Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
  • Peel, core and slice the apples into 1/8-inch slices. Add the apples to a large bowl.
  • In a small bowl, whisk the sugar, brown sugar, cornstarch, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg together. Sprinkle over the apples and toss to coat the apples in the sugar mixture.
  • Allow the pie crusts to come to room temperature, then gently unroll one crust to cover the bottom and sides of a 9-inch pie dish. Trim off the excess crust around the edges.
  • Add the apples and any juice from the bowl into the crust. Spread the apples out evenly in the crust.

    The sweet, rich apple filling is the real star. (Stacey Little/ Southern Bite)

  • Sprinkle the butter over the apples.
  • Gently unroll the other crust and place it centered over the pie dish. Fold any overhang under the edge of the bottom crust and pinch together to seal. Crimp to form a decorative edge.
  • Cut three to four 3-inch slits in the top of the pie to allow it to vent.
  • Place the pie on a rimmed baking sheet and into the oven. Bake for 10 minutes at 450 degrees, then reduce the heat to 350 degrees and bake for an additional 50 minutes. If the edges brown too quickly, cover them with strips of aluminum foil.
  • Allow the pie to cool completely, two to three hours, before slicing. The filling will thicken as it cools.
  • Serve slightly warmed with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream, if desired.

 This recipe originally appeared on For more great recipes, visit the website or check out ”The Southern Bite Cookbook.”