Thanksgiving Apple Pie - Handle the Heat
Filed Under: Fall | Pie

Thanksgiving Apple Pie

By Tessa Arias
November 5th, 2019
5 from 3 votes
5 from 3 votes

Double Crust Apple Pie is warm,  gooey, and has a sweet filling wrapped in a buttery and flaky homemade crust.

Yield: 10 -12 servings

Prep Time: 1 hour

Cook: 1 hour 15 minutes

Tessa's Recipe Rundown...

Taste: Classic apple pie flavors, the perfect amount of sweetness, tartness, and spicy warmth.
Texture: Perfect, tender apples floating in a gooey goodness with a delightfully flaky crust.
Ease: A little more advanced and time consuming, but the process is so enjoyable!
Pros: Stayed delicious for days, held its shape while baking.
Cons: The pie takes a long time to make, only for special occasions.
Would I make this again? Absolutely, this is my go-to apple pie recipe.

Apple pie… a dessert that’s ALWAYS good. It wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without it, right? So I thought after 9 years it was finally time to update my classic apple pie recipe.

So here it is: a tender, gooey, warm, spicy, tart, and sweet fresh apple filling wrapped in a beautiful buttery and flaky homemade crust.

Golden brown apple pie on a wooden table

This is a traditional double crust apple pie. Nothing crazy or fancy but I’ve listed a bunch of pie baking tips in the pink box below to guarantee your success.

Although apple pie is pretty straightforward, it’s easy for things to come out not quite right. Whether your crust gets soggy, the filling is too sweet or kinda of bland,

Happy baking!

Apple pie in ceramic pie plate with slice cut out and flaky crust

How to Make Perfect Apple Pie

Apple Pie Crust

For this recipe you’ll need a double batch of pie crust. You can use my Best Ever Pie Crust, or whichever crust recipe you know and love. When making pie I typically will prepare the dough in advance to save time. You can refrigerate your two disks of dough for up to 3 days before assembling the pie.

All butter pie dough being assembled into a double crust for apple pie

I have a ton of pie tips in my recipe post, and also in my free Pie Crust Troubleshooting Guide.

Don’t forget to cut vents in your pie crust before baking to allow steam to escape! This will prevent mini pie filling explosions or the crust from ballooning up. Be sure to cut the vents after brushing on the egg wash.

You can even make a Lattice Pie Crust if you prefer.

Lattice pies are handy for moisture rich fillings like this apple one. There’s a lot of water content that turns into steam and will need to evaporate as it bakes. Lattice by its design allows that steam to readily escape.

I have an entire article that includes step-by-step photos and a video of How to Make a Lattice Pie Crust.

How to prevent soggy crust:

There’s nothing worse than soggy bottoms in apple pie. It’s all too easy for this to happen since the filling has so much moisture. Here are two tips:


Bake your pie 30 minutes after filling and assembling. In the below recipe you’ll see after you fill and assemble the pie you refrigerate it for 30 minutes to relax the gluten. This prevents the crust from shrinking and ensures the butter is nice and cold for a flaky texture. If you keep it in the fridge for longer, the moisture from the filling will start to seep into the crust and create a soggy bottom.


If soggy bottoms are a common problem, bake your pie on the lower rack of your oven. Even better, bake it on a rimmed sheet pan (to prevent spillage) on top of a baking stone to ensure the bottoms are well browned.

Tips for Apple Pie Filling

Peel, core, and slice the apples into 1/4-inch to 1/2-inch slices and place in a large bowl. I usually prefer thicker pieces of apple so they don’t get mushy or mealy, but this does make for a “looser” filling texture. So feel free to slice thinner to your preference.

Toss the apples immediately with the sugars, spices, and salt. If time permits, allow the apples to macerate for 30 minutes or up to 3 hours, tossing occasionally. Macerating the apples will intensify their flavor and prevent the filling from being watery and the crust from getting soggy. However, this step can also be skipped if you don’t have the time.

The pie filling isn’t cooked before baking. I wanted the apples to shine in this recipe and maintain some tartness and texture. The filling is thickened with just a tablespoon of cornstarch. This prevents the filling from turning syrupy and mushy. However, if you prefer a thick filling feel free to add another tablespoon of cornstarch.

Best apples for apple pie?

I love Granny Smith apples in this recipe because they won’t get mushy or mealy during baking and their tartness cuts the sugar in the filling perfectly.

You can also use Braeburn, Pink Lady, McIntosh, or Honeycrisp or some mixture of your favorites.

How to Tell when Apple Pie is Done Baking

Bake until the crust is golden brown and the filling has an internal temperature of 195°F measured with a digital instant read thermometer. This will take about 1 hour and 15 minutes, but will depend on your pie pan and oven. Metal pans tend to cook faster than glass or ceramic.

How to Store & Make Apple Pie Ahead of Time

Unbaked apple pie covered with egg wash and sprinkled with coarse sugar

As I mentioned, the disk of pie dough can be wrapped in plastic and refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 2 months. The rolled out crusts can also be covered and refrigerated overnight.

The baked cooled pie can be wrapped in foil for up to 3 days at room temperature. Reheat in a 350°F for 5 to 10 minutes to refresh if desired.

Can apple pie be frozen?

Yes! Apple pie freezes better unbaked. . Assemble the pie fully, double wrap in plastic, and then freeze for up to 1 month. Let the pie partially thaw at room temperature for about 1 hour, then bake as directed by the recipe, adding about 10 minutes to the baking time.

Double crust apple pie on a cooling rack on a wooden table

More Pie Recipes:

5 from 3 votes

How to make
Double Crust Apple Pie

Yield: 10 -12 servings
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Chilling Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Total Time: 4 hours 45 minutes
Double Crust Apple Pie is warm,  gooey, and has a sweet filling wrapped in a buttery and flaky homemade crust.



  • 3 ½ pounds (1 ½ kg) apples from about 7 medium apples (Granny smith)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (100 grams) light brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/8 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch

Egg wash:

  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream or whole milk
  • Coarse sugar, for sprinkling


Prepare the crust:

  1. Roll the dough out on a generously floured work surface. Keep turning the dough after every roll to ensure it doesn’t stick to the counter and is of even thickness. Use your hands to cup the edges of the dough to keep it smooth and prevent cracks. Add additional flour to the dough, the counter, and your rolling pin as needed. Roll one piece of dough into about a 14-inch circle, depending on how deep your pie tin is. Roll the other piece of dough into a slightly smaller circle for the top crust.
  2. Gently roll one sheet of dough up and around the rolling pin then unroll and drape over a the pie tin. Gently press into the pie tin. Do not stretch the dough. Place the pie tin and second sheet of dough, covered, back in the fridge. Refrigerate at least 2 hours, or overnight.

Make the filling:

  1. Peel, core, and slice the apples into ¼-inch to ½-inch slices and place in a large bowl. Toss with the lemon juice, sugars, spices, and salt. If time permits, allow the apples to macerate for 30 minutes or up to 3 hours, tossing occasionally.

  2. Just before assembling, stir in the cornstarch. Don’t forget!

Assemble the pie:

  1. Pour the apple mixture into the pie shell, flattening and adjusting to make it fit evenly. Brush the edges of the chilled pie shell lightly with water.
  2. Drape the remaining sheet of dough over the filling. If the sheet is too cold, allow it to warm up slightly to become more pliable so you don’t break or puncture it. Pinch and seal both crusts together, then use scissors or a knife to trim the excess dough, leaving a 3/4-inch overhang, before tucking the edges under itself for a clean finish.
  3. Wrap the dough in plastic and refrigerate for 30 minutes, no longer than 1 hour.
  4. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400°F.
  5. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolk and cream. Remove pie from fridge. Brush all over with egg wash. Sprinkle generously with sugar. Cut six vents in the top to allow steam to escape. Bake on a parchment lined rimmed baking pan until golden brown and with an internal temperature of 195°F, about 1 hour and 15 minutes.
  6. Cool at least 1 hour before serving. Store leftovers wrapped in foil for up to 3 days at room temperature. Reheat in a 350°F for 5 to 10 minutes.
Course : Dessert
Cuisine : American
Keyword : thanksgiving

This post was originally published in 2010 and recently updated with recipe improvements, tips, and new photos. Photos by Ashley McLaughlin.

Tessa Arias
Author: Tessa Arias

I share trusted baking recipes your friends will LOVE alongside insights into the science of sweets. I'm a professionally trained chef, cookbook author, and cookie queen. I love to write about all things sweet, carb-y, and homemade. I live in Phoenix, Arizona (hence the blog name!)

Tessa Arias

About Tessa...

I share trusted baking recipes your friends will LOVE alongside insights into the science of sweets. I'm a professionally trained chef, cookbook author, and cookie queen. I love to write about all things sweet, carb-y, and homemade. I live in Phoenix, Arizona (hence the blog name!)

Find Tessa on  

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Recipe Rating

  1. #
    Paula — November 23, 2022 at 5:36 pm

    I made this wonderful pie today as well as a recipe of double batch pie crust, and a single pie crust. For the single pie, I baked immediately and it looks wonderful. For the double, I did refrigerate the dough over night, and rolling it out was a dream! It smells amazing! I posted 2 pictures on my Instagram stories, of before and after baking, tagging you. I opted for a lattice top and even braided a few of the strips!! Worked out perfectly, especially with your tutorial on how to make a lattice top. Pictures were all I needed, as they were easy to follow and understand. Thank you so much! Hope you like my pictures. My Instagram is

    • #
      Kiersten @ Handle the Heat — November 28, 2022 at 9:57 am

      Hi Paula! We saw your photos on Instagram and your pie looked incredible! So glad it worked SO well for you 🙂

  2. #
    Jess — November 20, 2021 at 1:39 pm

    Can I use this recipe but do a streusel topping instead?

    • #
      Emily — November 22, 2021 at 3:08 pm

      Go for it! Please let us know how it goes 🙂

  3. #
    Caitlin H — December 18, 2020 at 6:49 am

    Love this apple pie! I use a family crust recipe but this filling is amazing – it’s the perfect spice mix to really make the apples shine! It also isn’t soupy or runny when you cut it, so it’s very leftovers friendly! I’d love to see Tessa do an ultimate challenge for best apples to use in a pie – Granny Smith is a classic but there are so many options!

    • #
      Tessa — December 18, 2020 at 11:09 am

      So thrilled you enjoyed this pie recipe! Thanks so much for the kind comment 🙂

  4. #
    Yasmeen — November 21, 2020 at 2:06 pm

    Am I able to braid the pie crust for this recipe?

    • #
      Tessa — November 23, 2020 at 4:35 pm

      That should work!

  5. #
    Debbie — October 26, 2020 at 9:52 am

    This recipe was amazing! It tastes just like a store-bought apple pie. I only used four apples since it was what I had on hand and they were enough to just fill my pie. Also, I used a glass pie dish and it did start to burn a little bit after about 50 min so I took it out before the recommended time and it came out great.

  6. #
    Liza — March 21, 2020 at 9:56 pm

    I’m not from America, and apple pies aren’t that common hear. When you fold the ‘lid’ of the pie under itself, what are you actaully doing. Are you folding it under the lid itself, or under the whole pie and re-crimping it.

  7. #
    Bryn — November 5, 2019 at 2:22 pm

    I cannot tell you much I want to ask about substitutions! Ha! Great post yesterday by the way and I totally agree

  8. #
    Jana — September 11, 2018 at 6:03 am

    I’m thinking that the second amount of flour in the pastry ingredients (3 tbsp flour) is for the apple filling. Is that correct?

  9. #
    Karen — December 11, 2017 at 11:02 am

    I’m going to ask Mary’s question again. Your recipes and descriptions are usually so thorough and detailed!
    No flour is listed in the ingredients but is included in the description of the filling. Can you tell us how much to add, please!

  10. #
    Linda — November 21, 2017 at 12:28 pm

    this looks amazing….can it be make a day or two ahead?

  11. #
    mary — October 6, 2017 at 5:37 am

    how much flour did you use in the filling?

  12. # — January 23, 2011 at 7:09 pm

    this makes me think of being a kid when my mom used to make apple pie all the time. i loved it. i never really got into the habit of making it for myself though. that crust looks great.

  13. # — February 19, 2010 at 4:45 pm

    There's no such thing as too late or too early for an apple pie 🙂 And this looks perfect!

  14. #
    grace — January 29, 2010 at 8:29 pm

    gorgeous. totally worth the time and effort involved. 🙂

  15. #
    Tia — January 29, 2010 at 4:37 am

    wow, difficult? what happened to “easy as pie”? lol

  16. #
    Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction — January 28, 2010 at 9:03 pm

    I'm with you… Apple pie is great at any time of the year. Perfect. Your pie looks wonderful.

  17. #
    AppleC — January 28, 2010 at 3:54 pm

    Now you just KNOW when I saw that recipe title I had to stop and comment.
    That recipe and those apples – all fantastic. So good. So delicious.


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