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No-Fail Apple Pie

4.5 from 6 votes


  • 8-10 cups granny smith (or tart) apples, peeled cored, and sliced
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 4 tbsp uncooked instant tapioca
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch (divided)
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 fresh orange or lemon, squeezed
  • 1/8 tsp fresh nutmeg
  • 4 tbsp butter (divided)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon sugar
  • 2 boxes refrigerator pie crusts (or homemade pie crusts enough to make three to four 9″ pie crusts)
  • flour for dusting


  • Preheat oven to 350°. Peel and core 8-12 granny smith apples. Cut into slices approximately 1/8″ thick. Put apples into a large, microwave-safe mixing bowl.
  • Add white sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, tapioca, 1/8 cup cornstarch, salt, 1/2 fresh squeezed orange juice (or lemon), nutmeg, and 2 T butter to the apples. Stir and microwave for 5 minutes on high. Stir again and microwave for 5 more minutes.
  • While apples cook, lightly dust work surface and roll out one pie crust. Lay in bottom of pie plate and press into corners. Roll out top pie crust. (It can be used as is or can be cut into strips approximated 1/2 – 3/4″ wide to make a lattice-patterned top. If making a lattice top, cut an additional pie crust into strips. )
  • Stir vanilla and almond extracts into apple filling. Pour apple filling into bottom pie crust and spread evenly. Sprinkle edge of pie filling with remaining 1/8 cup cornstarch to soak up any excess moisture from apples as they are cooking. Dot top of filling with 2T softened butter. Allow pie filling to cool.
  • If using pie crust as is, cut a few slits for vents, place on top of the pie and skit to step six. To create a lattice pattern, weave sliced strips of pie dough (see pictures.)
  • Wet outer edge of bottom pie crust with water and press upper pie crust into it. This “glues” them together. Crimp top and bottom crusts together with a fork. Cut off excess dough.
  • Cut out leaves and make florets and other desired embellishments out of remaining pie dough. Sprinkle entire top generously with cinnamon sugar. Bake pie for 45-60 minutes or until apples are tender when speared and filling is bubbling.