Blue Ribbon Apple Pie

This amazingly delicious {classic} apple pie is perfect for Thanksgiving (although I make it all throughout the year; you just never know when a craving for apple pie is going to hit).

A bit of prep goes a long way here. The sautéing of the apples in the beginning ensures that your pie doesn’t come out of the oven with a gappy and soggy crust. Soggy crust = no good. So it is well worth the effort, in my opinion. The apples are both sweet and tart and the pie is packed with apples from floor to ceiling. Perfect, perfect, perfect.

Make-Ahead Tip:
The pie dough can be made ahead of time. Also, the pie, once baked and cooled, can be covered with plastic wrap and stored at room temperature for up to one day. To serve warm, reheat the pie in a 300-degree oven for about 15 minutes.

Blue Ribbon Apple Pie

Blue Ribbon Apple Pie

Yield: Makes one pie

Blue Ribbon Apple Pie

I originally posted this recipe (years and years ago) using the pie crust listed in the ingredients/steps. However over the last few years, I've transitioned to almost solely using this sour cream pie crust. A double batch of the sour cream pie dough works great for this recipe.


    Easy No-Fail Pie Crust:
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 cup Crisco shortening (butter-flavored or regular, I prefer regular)
  • Blue-Ribbon Apple Pie:
  • 1 recipe double-crust pie dough (easy, no-fail recipe directions below)
  • 2 1/2 pounds (about 5) firm tart apples, peeled, cored, and sliced 1/4-inch thick (I used Granny Smith)
  • 2 1/2 pounds (about 5) firm, sweet apples, peeled, cored and sliced 1/4-inch thick (I used Gala)
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated fresh lemon zest
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 egg white, beaten lightly


  1. For the pie crust, mix the pie ingredients with your hands to form a uniform mixture. Add 1/3 cup ice water.
  2. Dip your hands in flour so they won’t get too sticky (although it will still be messy). Mix the ice water in to the shortening/flour mixture with your hands. Roll into a round ball (the dough will resemble a sugar cookie dough). Divide in half and on a lightly floured surface roll into two circles. Bake according to pie directions.
  3. For the pie, roll one disk of pie dough into a 12-inch circle and fit into a 9-inch pie plate, letting the excess dough hang over the edge. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Roll the other disk of dough into a 12-inch circle on a lightly floured surface and transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet; cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes also.
  4. Toss the apples, 1/2 cup of the sugar, brown sugar, zest, salt, and cinnamon together in a large bowl. Transfer the apples to a large pot or Dutch oven and cover, cooking over medium heat and stirring frequently, until the apples are tender when poked with a fork but are not mushy (don’t over cook because the apples will finish cooking and softening up in the oven!), about 10-12 minutes.
  5. Transfer the apples and their juice to a rimmed baking sheet and let cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes.
  6. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Drain the cooled apples thoroughly in a colander, reserving 1/4 cup of the juice. Stir the lemon juice into the reserved 1/4 cup of apple juice.
  7. Spread the apples into the dough-lined pie plate, mounding them slightly in the middle, and drizzle with the lemon juice mixture. Loosely roll the second piece of dough around the rolling pin and gently unroll it over the pie. I find it easiest to trip the bottom crust and keep a 1/2-inch overhang. Fold this overhang up over the top crust and crimp the edges together. Cut 4 vent gashes in the top of the pie. Brush the crust with the egg white and sprinkle with the remaining one tablespoon sugar.
  8. Place the pie on a foil-lined baking sheet and bake until the crust is golden, about 25 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees and continue to bake until the juices are bubbling and the crust is deep golden brown, about 25-30 minutes longer. Let the pie cool on a wire rack until the filling has set, about 2 hours. Serve slightly warm or at room temperature.

Recipe Source: Aunt Marilyn

39 Responses to Blue Ribbon Apple Pie

  1. Kristy says:

    *Mel*, sorry, need to slow down (good friend’s name is Michelle) 🙂

  2. Kristy says:

    Awesome, thank you Michelle! Picking up my apples today & baking all day tomorrow. Thanks again! <3

  3. Kristy says:

    Hi Mel! Looking forward to trying my hand at pies for the first time this Thanksgiving. My daughter is allergic to egg, does the egg white give it the nice browning? Any suggestions for getting the same effect w/o the egg? Thanks in advance, we love your recipes! 🙂

  4. Becca says:

    How do you think this would work if all green apples were used? Would you add more sugar?

    • Mel says:

      Becca – Yes, I’d probably add a bit more sugar to taste since the apple filling would be more tart. It’s hard to know exactly how much – taste as you go!

  5. Diane says:

    Does this recipe fit in a standard nine inch pan, or is it meant for a deep dish? I haven’t managed to get myself a deep dish, and most of the apple pies I see have too many apples for a standard dish. (By the way, thanks! I’m sure you’re busy.)

  6. Anonymous says:

    Could I make this with a crum top?

  7. Sadie says:

    Your website is always my go to when I need a recipie! Do you know how long this takes from start to finish? I’m on a time limit and don’t know if I will have time!

  8. Jodi says:

    I made this for the 4th of July and man was it delicious. Thanks for this great recipe. Definitely the best apple pie I have ever made and the crust was a big winner. Just like my grandma’s, maybe even better (but don’t tell her that)!

  9. Audrey Mueller says:

    Do you think you could make this pie with peaches instead of apples? My husband requested a pie for his birthday next week instead of cake and I thought maybe I could tweak this recipe to make it work….

    • Mel says:

      Audrey – I’ve never tried this pie with peaches. It might be best to google a peach pie recipe just so you are sure it will work out!

  10. […] scoured quite a few recipes, trying to pick one. I finally settled on an apple pie I found on Mel’s Kitchen Cafe blog. It requires the extra step of sauteeing the apples on the stovetop for a few minutes, but […]

  11. Jennifer says:

    If the dough is made and refrigerated the day before, does it still need to be refrigerated after putting it in the pie plate? Thanks, Jennifer

    • Mel says:

      Jennifer – refrigerating the dough in the pie plate helps it to not shrink when it bakes, so yes, I would say that it does need to be refrigerated in the pie plate even if was refrigerated before rolling out. Hope that helps!

  12. Mel says:

    Hi Deb – I haven’t had a problem with the pie being too soupy – sorry that happened to you! Perhaps reducing the liquid next time or draining even more thoroughly will help. Good luck!

  13. Deb says:

    I really liked the flavor of this pie, but I must have done something wrong because it was really liquid-y, have you had that problem before? Makes no difference, the crew around here devoured it!

  14. Tamar says:

    The pie was AWESOME! Can’t wait to try your other favorite after I detox from all the junk I ate this weekend. Thanks again!

  15. Tamar says:

    Hi! I don’t know if you get comments from older posts but I have a question. In the recipe you say to follow the pictures for cooking the apples on the stove…there are not any pics. Do I have to do anything special or do I just cook them in a pot? I am excited to try this but I don’t want to mess it up. EVERYTHING that I have made from your blog has been WONDERFUL and I am sure that this pie will be no exception. Thanks! Tamar

    • Mel says:

      Tamar – it was an error in the recipe since I had typed it up from a book where there were photos. But you don’t have to do anything special – basically just cook them down in a pot. I hope it turns out for you! Let me know.

  16. C says:

    Hi Mel,
    First off I must say I love your website. I’ve been making your recipes for about a year now and love every one . . . except this pie crust. Mixing the dough to a uniform texture without pockets of fat virtually guarantees it will not be flaky. I am no expert. I rely on you to figure this stuff out for me. So on behalf of myself and your other pie crust-clueless readers, I issue a plea and a challenge — Help! We want flaky! We want moist! We want buttery goodness! We want oohs and ahhs! Maybe summer (I’m daydreaming of cherries) would be the perfect time for it so we can practice before the pressure of Thanksgiving is upon us. Help! Mel! Help!

  17. Katy R says:

    Yum! I aslo have a no-fail pie recipe that uses oil, you just mix it together in the pie pan and press up the sides! And don’t let the oil fool you, it is NOT greasy at all, but very tender and flaky 🙂

  18. Melanie says:

    Danielle – thank you for trying this pie and letting me know how it worked out! I’m glad you liked it (despite the extra lemon).

  19. Danielle says:

    I have been looking for an apple pie recipe that didn’t involve apples from a can or bottle. This tasted terrific even though I added too much lemon juice by accident. It also looked beautiful which is especially important on Thanksgiving.

  20. Melanie says:

    Anonymous – so glad this pie worked out ahead of time. I hope your boss loved it!

  21. Anonymous says:

    I just made this pie & it was my first attempt at making a homemade pie!

    It was easier than I thought and it is beautiful. I am so glad that it turned out so well because I am bringing it to my bosses for dinner tomorrow night.

    Thank you for giving directions on how to store it for the next 24 hours.

  22. Katy ~ says:

    I’ll def take a nice big wedge of that gorgeous looking pie. Apple is one of my all time favorites.

  23. JoAnn says:

    Boy, it sure is a toss-up for me between apple pie and pecan pie. I’m not too big on pumpkin – does that make me an outcast? Thanks for your recipes!

  24. Melanie says:

    Hi Leisel – your comment was so nice! Thanks for letting me know you enjoy the blog. It seriously made my day.

  25. Melanie says:

    Hi Wendy – I fixed the link. Sorry about that!

  26. Wendy says:

    The link did not work for the caramel apple pie and I can not seem to find it. Could you help me here? Thanks!!

  27. Christy says:

    Apple pie is the perfect completion to Thanksgiving dinner! Again, thank you for all the tips and suggestions!! Fabulous!

  28. grace says:

    apple pie is far and away the very best part of thanksgiving for me, and it’s especially relevant because i’m the one who gets to make it. your recipe is a great one!

  29. Memória says:

    YUMMY! I bookmarked this one.

  30. Liesel Marsing says:

    Can I just say I LOVE YOUR BLOG!! I’ve been a follower for a long time, but haven’t ever made a comment. I’ve also told almost everyone I know about your blog. I check it every day for yummy new recipes to try. I will definitely be trying one or more of the Thanksgiving 101 recipes. Luckily I don’t have to make all of Thanksgiving dinner myself. I have many recipes from your blog that I absolutely love and they find themselves on my dinner table often. Thank you so much for sharing!

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