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The Kitchn: How to make the easiest apple pie

By Meghan Splawn on

Really good apple pie can -- and should -- be easy to make. After all, part of the appeal of apple pie is its simplicity: Warmly spiced apples are baked until tender in a crisp, buttery crust. That's it.

These days, however, apple pie recipes can read more like flight instructions. And while dedicating an entire weekend to baking can be fun, sometimes you just want something quick and fail-proof.

This is that apple pie. It doesn't involve special ingredients. We encourage you, in fact, to use a store-bought crust. The filling is just five ingredients, most of which are probably in your kitchen. But there are a couple of smart moves that -- without adding much extra time -- will result in a pie that you're also really excited to eat. So think of it as the smartest easiest apple pie recipe, and as warm, yummy and perfectly sliceable as they come.

What Makes This Easy Apple Pie So Smart

Here's my promise: This apple pie doesn't have a single ingredient it doesn't need and doesn't get wildly complex. However, a few smart steps are going to make for a better pie. You can make it in under two hours (excluding cooling time) and it's guaranteed to perfume your whole house and make the ideal dessert for a fall dinner with friends.


The Best Apples for Apple Pie

Apple pie is the perfect vessel for using up whatever random variety of apples you got from the market or while apple picking. In fact, a combination of sweet and tart apples makes for a more balanced pie filling. Granny Smith and Jonagold are ideal tart apples for baking, while Pink Lady, Gala and Honey Crisp are sweet. All of these varieties also keep their shape as they bake.

Keys Steps for an Easy (and Perfect) Apple Pie

--Toss the apples with sugar, then drain. After peeling and slicing your apples, you want to toss them with sugar and set them aside to soften and drain. This step makes the apples more tender and prevents a soggy crust. But it's faster than pre-cooking them on the stove, and they also maintain their shape. You can discard the liquid they release, or save it for cocktail-making (or take a cue from Alton Brown and reduce the liquid to use as a glaze). After draining, toss the apples with cinnamon, cornstarch and a pinch of cardamom.


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