Mom's Best Apple Pie

Tuesday 12 October 2021


Mom's Best Apple Pie 
When I was a child, one of the favorite things that my mother would bake for us as a real treat would be a lovely homemade apple pie.  I was looking on here for my mom's apple pie recipe at the weekend and I couldn't believe I had never shared it.

Being one not to let the grass grow under my feet, I decided to rectify that omission right away!  You won't find a much better apple pie than this one. 

Mom's Best Apple Pie 
It has always been a favorite pie with all of us, not only because it is delicious but for me also because it is a really easy apple pie recipe.

It is a recipe that she learned how to make at her own mother's knee so I guess you could also consider this to be just like Grandma's old fashioned apple pie.  Apple pie really doesn't get much better than this.

Mom's Best Apple Pie 
For me this is the best apple pie because not only is it delicious, but it is also quick and easy to make and doesn't require any faffing about.  

Pure and simple ingredients done well.  That's always been my promise to you.  I made my own crust for this, but you can also use a good store bought ready-rolled pastry if you wish, which makes it even easier. 

Mom's Best Apple Pie 
When we were children my mother would make several of these in the autumn when the apples were ripe and ready to be picked.  One would be eaten on the day and the other one would be frozen for us to enjoy later in the year.

You can't beat having something tasty like a baked apple pie in the freezer ready to haul out when you are in need of a dessert but can't be asked to cook!   When you are ready to serve it, just take it out of the freezer and leave it on the counter to thaw out. You can reheat it gently in a moderate oven (350*F/180*C) to freshen it up a bit.

Mom's Best Apple Pie


Simple, simple, simple . . . .

  • peeled and sliced apples
  • granulated sugar
  • brown sugar
  • cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves
  • flour
  • lemon juice
  • butter to dot
  • pastry for a 9-inch two crust pie

Some people like to add ginger to their apple pies. I don't and mom never did. Just plain old cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. 

Mom's Best Apple Pie 

Ideally you will want to use a combination of apples.  I like to mix a tart cooking apple with a semi tart crisp eating apple. You don't want to use a really sweet apple or an apple that falls apart when it bakes.  That lets out anything like a red delicious apple.  They simply do not cook well.

My favorite combination are Granny Smith and Gravenstein.  But you can also use Jonagolds, McIntosh, Cortlands, Honey crisp, Fuji, Braeburns, and Golden Delicious. All hold their shape well.

Mom's Best Apple Pie
Combining several different kinds is your best bet. This makes for the optimum flavor when it comes to an apple pie.  Granny Smith's can often turn to mush however, although I love their sweet tartness.

So do use Granny Smith, but don't allow it to be any more than 1/3 of the apples in your pie.  So 2/3 one other kind and 1/3 Granny Smith. 

Mom's Best Apple Pie 

There is no extraordinary skill needed. If you can peel core and slice an apple, you can make this filling. 

Some people have fancy apple peeler/corers. I don't. I favor a good old fashioned paring knife.  Yes, I am one of those people who tries to pare off as much apple in one go as I can. Its an old childhood game I have never lost touch with.

Mom's Best Apple Pie 
Once you have the apples pared and cored you will need to slice them into wedges no larger than 1/2 inch thick. I vary from 1/3 to 1/2.  Variety is the spice of life. 

Place them into a large bowl and toss them together with some lemon juice. The acid in the lemon juice helps to prevent them from turning brown. It does not make the pie sour. There is enough sugar in an apple pie to prevent that from happening.

Mom's Best Apple Pie 
I like to use two kinds of sugar, a granulated white sugar and light brown sugar. The two together give a wonderful flavor to the apples.  You need to mix that with some flour and then the spices.

Mom never used ginger as I said. I don't think I would like ginger in an apple pie.  I think ginger is far too strong a flavor and would upset the balance of flavors.  You could add a touch of ground cardamom if you want.  Cardamom has a slight lemon flavor to it that goes very well with apples.

Mom's Best Apple Pie 
This mixture gets tossed together with your apples in the bowl.  The apples will give off a fair amount of juice while they are baking and the flour helps to thicken the juices for a much better finish and to help prevent a soggy bottom on your pie.

Nobody wants a soggy bottom on their pie. 

I also like to dot butter over the top of the filling once I get it all into the crust.  It adds an element of richness to the filling.

Mom's Best Apple Pie  
You may think that it is an awful lot of apples for the filling, but trust me when I say it is just right.  They will cook down to roughly half the size, so it is much better to start off with it looking quite generous.

I always use my butter and lard pastry for pies like this.  It is such a lovely flakey pastry that works wonderfully here. You can find that recipe here.  You will have to scroll down the page about halfway.

Mom's Best Apple Pie 
Some people like their apple pie served warm. Some people like it served ice cold.  I am somewhere in the middle. Room temperature works for me.

In the UK they eat their apple pie warm with custard sauce.  In North America it is usually a nice scoop of vanilla ice cream.  I love apple pie with a thin wedge of a good cheddar cheese.  Oh my but that is heavenly bliss.

Mom's Best Apple Pie

This is a pie that keeps very well at room temperature for several days.  Any longer than that and I would refrigerate it, and of course it freezes very well.

When I bake an apple pie, it always makes me think of mom. Her favorite pie was coconut cream, but she only ever very  rarely made that. My father loved apple pies, and her wish was to please him.  That and lemon meringue. 

Those were the two pies we had most often.  Sometimes she would make a pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving, but always with another kind because our father didn't really like pumpkin pie.

Me  . . .  I like pie, and would not turn down any kind!  But then again, I am a bit of a glutton when it comes to pie!

Mom's Best Apple Pie

Mom's Best Apple Pie

Yield: 8
Author: Marie Rayner
Prep time: 20 MinCook time: 45 MinTotal time: 1 H & 4 M


  • Pastry for a two crust pie (See my butter & lard pastry)
  • 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (100g) soft light brown sugar, packed
  • 3 TBS all purpose plain flour
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves
  • 6 to 7  thinly sliced peeled tart medium to large cooking apples (Granny Smith, Gravensteins, etc.)
  • 1 TBS lemon juice
  • 1 TBS butter
  • sugar for sprinkling


  1. Preheat the oven to 375*F/ 195*C/ gas mark 5. 
  2. Toss the apples together with the lemon juice in a large bowl.  Mix the spices and flour together with both sugars.  Toss the apples together with this mixture to coat.  Set aside.
  3. Roll half of the pastry out on a lightly floured surface to a circle large enough to line a 9-inch pie plate. (about 12 inches round, 1/4 inch thick) Carefully transfer to the pie plate. 
  4. Fill the pastry lined pie plate with the apple mixture.  Dot with butter.
  5. Roll the remaining pastry out to a round large enough to cover the apples in the pie dish. Place over the filling.   Trim any excess pastry from around the edges of the pie. Press the edges tightly closed with the tines of a fork. Cut some slits in top of the pie to vent.
  6. Sprinkle with additional granulated sugar.  Cover the edges loosely with aluminum foil.  Place onto a baking sheet.
  7. Bake in the preheated oven for 25 minutes.  Remove the foil and bake for an additional 20 to 25 minutes until golden brown and the filling is bubbling up through the pie vents.  
  8. Cool on a wire rack before serving.
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Mom's Best Apple Pie
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  1. "Apple pie without cheese is like a kiss without a squeeze." My uncle had to have cheese with his apple pie. The rest of us had ice cream. I usually make apple crisp in the fall but apple pie is so good, too. It just takes a littke more effort. Love and hugs Elsine

    1. I love to make an apple crisp also. My brother was making one the other day when we were talking. I loved to go to the farm market in Collingwood, Ont. and get apples. They had the loveliest apples! Love and hugs, xoxo

  2. I do like apple pie and for me it needs to be warm and covered in thick, hot custard. I've never thought to mix apple varieties in the pie - back home there wasn't much to choose from, so Granny Smiths were the ones we used. There's no smell I love more than apple pie baking in the oven - it's such a comforting, inviting aroma.

    It's so lovely that your mum's recipe lives on and you will be able to pass it to the next two generations.

    1. Custard and apple pie is a very English thing. I did enjoy it as well. Custard is not so sweet as ice cream. You are right about the smell of an apple pie baking! Yummy!! xoxo

  3. Love,love August Apple Pie but not available for long - I use Cortland in the winter but a blend is a great idea - never tried anything except regular sugar but am going to try half and half next time. We eat it plain - any spice addition makes the family upset, but my mother always added nutmeg. With a family of five, everyone fought over the last piece. We had to toss for it. I never won...

    1. The best part of making your own pies Linda, is that you always get to win! You need to try a blend of apples and then both sugars. I am betting you might enjoy it! xoxo (At least I hope you will!)


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