Gallery: Step-by-Step: How to Make a Perfect Apple Pie

Perfect Apple Pie
Perfect Apple Pie

A perfect apple pie should have a tender, crisp, and flaky crust with juicy, flavorful apples inside that hold their shape as you slice.

Step 1: Heat Apples
Step 1: Heat Apples

Start by peeling and slicing 4 to 4 1/2 pounds of Golden Delicious, Braeburn, or other baking apples into pieces about 1/4 inch thick. Place them in a bowl, then pour 3 quarts of boiling water or cider over them. This will activate an enzyme in the apples that helps them retain their shape and texture as they bake.

Step 2: Cover and Rest
Step 2: Cover and Rest

Cover the apples with plastic wrap and set them aside for 10 minutes to allow those enzymes to get to work.

Step 3: Dry Apples
Step 3: Dry Apples

Transfer the apples to a colander and let them drain, tossing occasionally, until they are completely dry, about 10 minutes.

Step 4: Add Sugar, Cinnamon, Salt, and Cornstarch
Step 4: Add Sugar, Cinnamon, Salt, and Cornstarch

Transfer the apples to a large bowl and add 10 tablespoons of sugar, 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon (or more if you really like cinnamon—I like to keep my spicing light), 1/4 teaspoon of salt, and 2 tablespoons of cornstarch.

Step 5: Toss to Combine
Step 5: Toss to Combine

Toss the apples to combine, making sure that the sugar and cornstarch evenly coat them. Using 2 tablespoons of cornstarch yields a very loose and juicy pie. If you prefer your pie with a thicker filling, add up to 2 tablespoons more starch.

Step 6: Line and Fill Pie Plate
Step 6: Line and Fill Pie Plate

Roll out one disk of pie dough (see our step-by-step guide to pie dough for instructions), transfer it to a pie plate, then fill it with the apple mixture, mounding up the apples in the center. Discard any excess juices in the bottom of the bowl.

Step 7: Pile High!
Step 7: Pile High!

Pile the apple slices on top of each other to completely fill the pie plate.

Step 8: Cover With Top Crust
Step 8: Cover With Top Crust

Unroll the second disk of pie dough over the apples, allowing it to overlap the edges of the pie plate by an inch on all sides.

Step 9: Trim Dough
Step 9: Trim Dough

Use a pair of kitchen shears to trim both the bottom and top pie crusts so that they overlap the pie plate by 1/2 inch on all sides.

Step 10: Tuck Dough Underneath
Step 10: Tuck Dough Underneath

Fold the top and bottom crusts together and tuck them underneath themselves to sit even with the edge of the pie plate all the way around.

Step 11: Flute Edges
Step 11: Flute Edges

Use the thumb and forefinger of one hand and the forefinger of the other to flute the edges of the pie all the way around.

Step 12: Cut Vents
Step 12: Cut Vents

Use the tip of a knife to cut five vent holes into the top of the pie crust.

Step 13: Brush With Egg Wash
Step 13: Brush With Egg Wash

Lightly beat an egg white and brush the top of the pie with it. This will give the pie a shiny crust that browns more evenly as it bakes.

Step 14: Sprinkle With Sugar
Step 14: Sprinkle With Sugar

Sprinkle the pie with a tablespoon of sugar to add texture to the finished crust.

Step 15: Bake
Step 15: Bake

Refrigerate the pie while you preheat the oven to 425°F, with a heavy rimmed baking sheet placed on the lower middle rack. Once the baking sheet has preheated, place the pie on top of it. Bake until light golden brown, about 20 minutes, then reduce the heat to 375°F and continue baking until deep golden brown, about 25 minutes longer. Remove the pie from the oven and let it rest until completely cooled so that the juices thicken, at least 2 hours. Slice and serve.