My favorite holiday is one week from today! This time next week I’ll be watching the Macy’s parade, sipping some mulled wine, and enjoying time with family. I cannot believe how quickly this day came!
Today I wanted to share one of my all-time favorite Thanksgiving recipes, the best apple pie you will ever taste! I cannot take full credit for this recipe since it was shared with me by a friend several years ago. I’ve put my own spin on it over the years, of course, but gotta give credit where credit is due! My husband is not a huge fan of apple pie (blasphemy, I know) and even he loves this recipe!
My favorite thing about this pie is that I can make it the day before and it reheats perfectly the day-of! Before I hosted Thanksgiving, my sister and I used to make all of the desserts the day before and bring them to my mom’s house the next day. We still carry on this tradition now that I’m hosting!
A printable recipe and links to shop all of the products I use in this post are included at the bottom! My step-by-step recipe is below!
STEP 1: PREPARE YOUR APPLES
Full disclosure, this step used to be painfully time consuming before I got my Breville food processor as a wedding gift last year. The key to this recipe is cutting the apples matchstick-style as you see in the photos below. The super tiny, thin slices allow all of the flavors to meld together perfectly and it is a step that should not be skipped.
I did this part by hand for many years, but the julienne blade on my food processor is a game changer. I had all of the apples washed and sliced in under 10 minutes, which is a major time saver!
Depending on the size of the apples, I use 5-6 of the honeycrisp variety and find that this fits a 9” pie pan perfectly.
STEP 2: MAKE YOUR FILLING
In a large bowl, combine your sliced apples with juice from ½ lemon, 1 cup of sugar, 2 tbsp of tapioca, 2 tbsp of ground cinnamon, and a pinch of salt. Set this aside to rest while you prepare your pie crusts!
My friend’s original recipe called for far less cinnamon but I love cinnamon so I increased the amount and think it is perfect. If you are not a cinnamon fan you can reduce to 1 tbsp of cinnamon or even less!
Pro tip: You can make a little extra of this filling and bake it in a mason jar at the same time as the pie! I always do this at Thanksgiving because I use the extra filling as a topper for baked brie, which I always do as an appetizer.
STEP 3: PREPARE YOUR PIE CRUSTS
Confession time – I do not make my own pie crust on Thanksgiving. When you are preparing a meal for so many people, you have to pick your battles. Making my own pie crust is not a battle I choose to fight, especially when the good people of Pillsbury do such a good job. However, you do you!
One thing I do take the time for, however, is making a pretty pie crust. I always do a lattice pie crust and top it with some fun cut out leaf shapes. The pie will taste amazing whether you do this step or not, so no judgement if you just want to top your pie with a plain ole crust. Again, you do you!
If you want your crust to look like mine, it’s actually much easier than it looks! The key thing to remember if you are making a lattice pie crust is that you actually need two pre-prepared pie crusts for the top alone, so a total of 3 crusts for the entire pie. I cannot tell you how many years I’ve forgotten to buy 3 crusts and have frantically sent Max running to the store the night before Thanksgiving!
I pinned this photo a million years ago on Pinterest and I whip it out every year when I make this pie as a guide for how to do the lattice top.
All you have to do is lay out one of your crusts and cut it into strips as shown (I use a pizza cutter for this). Do this same step for your second pie crust on a separate surface.
Then, peel back every other strip from your first pie crust as shown. I actually peel it back all the way to the bottom since I do not like starting in the middle as they do in the photo.
Next, take a strip from your second crust and place it on top of the unpeeled layer. Replace the peeled back pieces and peel back the opposite pieces. Add another layer from the second crust. Repeat, repeat, repeat!
It is hard to explain in words which is why I provided the guide I use as well as my own photos! I promise it is not as hard as it looks and you will get the hang of it super fast! I have to remind myself how to do it every year but you’ll catch on.
STEP 4: ASSEMBLE AND BAKE
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Place the bottom crust in your pan and push into the bottom, sides, and lip. Pour your apple mixture into the pan and spread evenly. Top with a few pads of butter.
Cover the pie with your top crust and seal the edges. If you did my lattice crust, this is vented by design so no additional venting is needed. If you did a standard crust, don’t forget to vent with a knife before baking!
At this point, I roll out any leftover dough and cut out the leaf shapes using these fun dough cutters and place them on top of the pie.
Make an egg wash (one egg whisked with 1 tbs of water) and brush it all over the top of your crust. This will help the crust bake to a golden brown color. Cover the edges with foil or pie crust covers and bake for 20 minutes. Remove edge covers and bake for an additional 25-30 minutes or until juices are bubbling. I turn on the broiler for the last 2-3 minutes because I like a super crispy top crust, but this step is not necessary!
**To reheat the next day, preheat your oven to 200 degrees and place pie on center rack. Remove when warmed through (approximately 30 minutes). I usually put the pie in when we are starting dinner and remove it once we finish!
I hope you are looking forward to Thanksgiving as much as I am! If you try this recipe, I would love to hear! Also, be sure to check out my recipe for perfect macaroni and cheese!
Happy Holidays! XOXO
- 5-6 honeycrisp apples
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 tbsp ground cinnamon
- 2 tbsp tapioca
- 2 tbsp butter (cubed small)
- juice from 1/2 lemon
- pinch of salt
- 3 pre-prepared pie crusts*
- 1 egg (for egg wash)
- 1 tbsp water (for egg wash)
Wash apples and slice very small and thin (matchstick style)
Combine apples with sugar, cinnamon, tapioca, salt, and lemon juice. Set aside to rest for 15 minutes.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees
Prepare pie crusts** and place bottom crust in pie pan
Pour filling into pie pan and distribute evenly. Top with butter pads.
Transfer top crust onto pie and seal the edges (if not using lattice crust, don't forget to vent!)
Whisk 1 egg with 1 tbsp of water to create egg wash
Brush evenly across entire pie crust
Cover edges and bake for 20 minutes
Uncover edges and bake for an additional 25-30 minutes or until juices are bubbling
Optional - broil for the last 2-3 minutes for a super crispy top crust
Top with whipped cream, vanilla ice cream, or caramel sauce and enjoy!
*I use 3 pie crusts because I do a lattice top. If you do not do a lattice top, you will only need 2 pie crusts
**See instructions in blog post for how to create a lattice top crust
Pro Tip - you can prepare this pie a day in advance and reheat the next day. Simply heat through in a 200 degree oven for half an hour.