This easy apple pie recipe is a quick and simple dessert, with tender apple pie spice-coated fruit, a toffee-like sauce, and a wonderfully crisp crust from baking in a cast iron skillet. Every bite is amazing! (Don’t worry if you don’t have a cast iron skillet – we include a variation that can be made in an oven-safe skillet or deep-sided pan.)
Easy Apple Pie Recipe
As much as I love kitchen gadgets, a home cook really only needs a good set of knives and a set of high quality pots and pans. I would, however, urge everyone to also get a grill (because grilled food is amazing), and also a cast iron skillet. There’s nothing quite like food cooked in an iron skillet, like my homemade cornbread, skillet steak, Irish soda bread, and this easy apple pie recipe.
This apple pie recipe has a layer of toffee below a bottom crust, a thick middle of tender spiced apples that are drizzled with caramel sauce, then finished with a top crust, sprinkled with coarse sugar and baked to perfection. Serve with some vanilla ice cream, and it’s just pure nirvana. Plus, it’s so easy to make!
Not only does this pie taste like your grandma made it, but there’s that simple rustic look to it that I adore. Makes me want to just curl up on the couch with my favorite blanket and dig in!
What You’ll Need
Here are the simple ingredients you’ll need to make this homemade apple pie:
(Scroll below to the printable recipe card for details and measurements.)
- Unsalted butter: We prefer unsalted butter to control the saltiness of the pie.
- Sugars: Both granulated sugar and brown sugar are used for sweetness and a hint of molasses.
- Pie crust: 2 rolled pie crusts (store bought or homemade pie crust)
- Apples: Choose firm baking apples that hold their shape. We prefer Granny Smith for this apple pie recipe (see notes below for other recommendations.)
- Flour: Simple all-purpose flour.
- Apple pie spice: Our homemade apple pie spice recipe or store-bought.
- Caramel sauce: Our caramel sauce recipe or store-bought.
- Egg wash: A large egg beaten with 1 teaspoon water or milk. This gets basted on the crust before baking and what gives the finished pie that gorgeous golden color.
- Turbinado sugar: This provides a hint of extra sweetness and a wonderful textural crunch on the outside.
What Are the Best Apples for Apple Pie?
For apple pie, you want firmer apples that hold their shape after being cooked, so they’re tender, but not mushy. I prefer Granny Smith apples not only for their texture, but also their tart flavor, which balances nicely with the sweetness of the caramel. Other good baking apples are Braeburn, Jonagold, and Honey Crisp. You honestly can’t go wrong with any variety, though!
Tips for Success
There are 4 components to this pie: the filling, the crust, the spice mixture, and the caramel sauce.
- Apple pie filling: As much as I love my homemade apple pie filling, I prefer making this pie with uncooked sliced apples simply tossed in sugar, flour, and apple pie spice. That way you don’t end up with mushy apples or a watery pie. I say save the homemade apple pie filling for these apple hand pies instead!
- Apple pie crust: You can use my homemade pie crust recipe for this pie (you’ll need 2), or you can purchase a 14 ounce package of rolled, unbaked pie crusts.
- What is in apple pie spice? The spice blend I use to coat the apples for this pie is my homemade apple pie spice, which includes ground cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, and allspice. You can also purchase it.
- Caramel sauce: I always have a batch of homemade caramel sauce in my fridge, so that’s what I use. It’s so easy to make! But you can also purchase some, if you prefer.
How to Make Apple Pie
Once you’ve got those items prepped, you’ll put them all together.
(Scroll down to the printable recipe card for all the details and don’t miss the video below.)
- You’ll whisk together the melted butter and brown sugar in the bottom of a 12-inch cast iron skillet; then carefully lay 1 pie crust on top of the mixture (do not press down.) Transfer to a 350 degree F preheated oven for 10 minutes.
- Arrange the coated apple slices on top of the partially baked hot crust. Drizzle with the caramel sauce.
- Lay remaining pie crust on top of the apples. Tuck top crust down to meet the bottom crust
- Brush top with egg wash and sprinkle with turbinado sugar. Make a few slits in the crust.
- Bake until top crust is golden brown and apples are bubbly and tender, and then lest rest for at least 45 minute before slicing, so the filling can set.
- Serve with vanilla ice cream and enjoy!
How many apples for apple pie? This recipe is baked in a 12-inch cast iron skillet. I found that 5 large apples is the perfect amount. Make sure they are peeled and sliced to a uniform thickness so they cook at the same rate. I usually slice mine between 1/4 to 1/2-inch thickness – any thinner and they break down too much while baking, any thicker and it will take too long for them to become tender.
How long to bake apple pie? This skillet apple pie bakes for 45-50 minutes, until the apples are bubbly and tender.
Don’t have a cast iron skillet?
How to Store Apple Pie
Does apple pie need to be refrigerated? Because this is a fruit pie made without eggs or high volumes of dairy (like a custard pie), it can sit out on the counter at room temperature for up to 2 days, loosely tented with foil. After that it will need to be refrigerated.
How long does apple pie last? Apple pie will last up to 4 days. If you let it sit out for a couple days, it will last an additional 2-3 days in the fridge.
Can you freeze apple pie? Apple pie freezes well, but I don’t recommend keeping it in the cast iron skillet. Instead, allow to cool completely, remove it from the skillet, wrap tightly in plastic wrap and again in foil, then transfer to a freezer-safe container. It will keep in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight.
More Easy Apple Desserts:
Easy Apple Pie Recipe
- 12-inch cast iron skillet
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter , melted
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 2 homemade pie crusts (or a 14 ounce package rolled, unbaked pie crusts)
- 5 Granny Smith Apples , peeled, cored, and sliced
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons apple pie spice
- 2 tablespoons caramel sauce
- 1 large egg beaten with 1 teaspoon water or milk (for egg wash)
- 2 teaspoons Turbinado sugar
- Vanilla ice cream , for serving (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Place the melted butter and brown sugar in a 12-inch cast iron skillet; whisk to combine and coat the bottom of the pan. Carefully lay 1 pie crust on top of the butter mixture (do not press down.) Transfer to the oven for 10 minutes.
- In the meantime, toss together the apple slices, sugar, flour, and apple pie spice in a large bowl until coated.
- Arrange apple slices on top of the partially baked hot crust. Drizzle with the caramel sauce.
- Lay remaining pie crust on top of the apples. Tuck top crust down to meet the bottom crust along the skillet walls.
- Brush top with egg wash and sprinkle with the turbinado sugar.
- Make a few slits in the crust.
- Bake until top crust is golden brown and apples are bubbly and tender, 45-50 minutes.
- Let rest at least 1 hour before slicing, so the filling can set.
- Serve with vanilla ice cream and enjoy!NOTE: A 12-inch cast iron skillet will deliver optimal results for this apple pie recipe, but if you don't have one, it can be made in another oven-safe skillet or deep-sided pan.