Do you think of apple pie as a summer or fall food?  Or both?  Even though apple season is in the fall, I will always associate apple pie with summer and more specifically with the Fourth of July.  Back when Ben and I were first living together and I was just learning how to cook and bake, I woke up one Fourth of July and decided I needed to make an apple pie to celebrate the holiday.  I don’t know if there is any real reason for the connection between Independence Day and apple pie – maybe the expression, “As American as apple pie”?  Or more likely for me, maybe the line from Friends, “It’s like Fourth of July with no apple pie…or Friday with no two pizzas.”

Ever since the first time I made it, Ben has declared my apple pie to be his very favorite kind of pie (though I think it may now be edged out by pecan instead).  I’ve tweaked the recipe and tried many filling variations over the years, and this is the version I’ve come to favor.  I personally prefer Granny Smith apples only in my pies, but you can use a combination of baking apples if you choose.  I normally make apple pies with a lattice top but I thought a star-covered version would be fun for the Fourth and I loved the way it turned out.  This would be a great way to finish off any cookout this holiday weekend – just don’t forget the vanilla ice cream!


Double crust pie dough
5-6 medium/large Granny Smith apples (about 2½ lbs.), peeled, cored and sliced
1/3 cup granulated sugar
3 tbsp. brown sugar
1 tbsp. all-purpose flour
½ tsp. ground cinnamon
¼ tsp. grated nutmeg
1 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tbsp. cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 large egg beaten with 1 tablespoon cold water (for egg wash)


  • 01

    On a lightly floured surface, roll out half of the pie dough into approximately a 12-inch round.  (Keep the other half of the pie dough chilled for now.)  Transfer the dough to a 9-inch pie plate, trimming the excess and crimping the edges.  Cover with plastic wrap and freeze for 30 minutes.

  • 02

    Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400˚ F.  Position an oven rack in the upper-middle position.  In a large mixing bowl, combine the sliced apples, sugars, flour, spices and lemon juice.  Toss well to combine.  When the bottom crust is finished chilling, pour the apple mixture and accumulated juices into the bottom pie crust and use a spatula to even the top out slightly.  Dot the surface of the apples with the pieces of cold butter.  Roll out the remaining pie dough on a floured work surface.  Cut out numerous star shapes and use these to cover the top of the pie.  (Alternatively, make a lattice top crust.)  Brush the top and edges of the crust with the egg wash.

  • 03

    Place a baking sheet on the lower oven rack.  Place the pie on the upper rack and bake until the crust is golden brown and the juices are bubbling, about 50-60 minutes.  Transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool for at least 30 minutes before slicing.  Serve warm or at room temperature.


  • Look at all those little pie dough cookies….great idea. I was justing thinking about apple pie and 4th of july too…a patriotic song I learned in Elementary school did it to me…”what’s more american than corn flakes, the 4th of july and uncle sam….I am I am I am” The song doesn’t mention word ONE about apple pie, but I think it should :) Apple pie is just an all American Food…if you ask me, which you’re not, but I’ll offer my two cents anyway…;)

  • I def think of it as a winter food, but this is a gorgeous version with the festive stars!

  • Your pie looks incredible!

  • WOW! I am not a fruit pir girl, but I think the BEAUTIFUL look at this will even convert me! You are amazing Annie – Super Woman for sure. ;)

  • Love the way this looks. The stars make it so festive.

    Although, I do associate apple pie with the fall.

  • How creative! I love the way it looks with the stars instead of the lattice. Great job!

  • Yum! Celebrating America and eating apple pie definitely go hand-in-hand!

  • Shauna

    I just came across this website by chance and I love it!! Im always looking for new recipes, and ALL the recipes Ive looked at so far look incredible. By the way, how is it humanly possible to cook the way you do while working and being a wife/mom?? I stay at home with my 3 and if I keep the house clean and manage to take a shower, its a good day for me. Cant wait to try some recipes!

  • Annie

    I have a very helpful husband, I’m organized and I plan plan plan. Here is a post with my planning strategies. Hope that helps!

  • What a great-looking pie! Thanks for sharing your terrific idea; it’s perfect for the 4th of July.

  • That pie is absolutely beautiful! Sure beats the three pies I threw together on Saturday night!

  • Beautiful, Annie! Love those stars. …Susan

  • Nicole G

    Apple pie is my husband’s favorite too, followed closely by pecan. That is a beautiful pie! Love the stars idea, thanks!

  • I love this! I’ll take apple pie on the Fourth of July, or any time of the year. Especially if it’s as beautiful as this! :)

  • Absolutely beautiful pie Annie – wish I could have a piece right now!

  • I love the stars on the top! I associate apple pie with the 4th of July, too, though I don’t know why. Those stars definitely make it festive, though!

  • I definitely think of apple pie as a fall food but I love it so much that if I can find the perfect apples – I’d eat it year round!! Your pie is absolutely beautiful. Nearly too beautiful to slice into. Nice job :)

  • Mary

    Wow! Beautiful!

  • Mmmm! I love your tablecloth =) And the stars on the pie, great idea.

  • Rachael G

    Any post that includes a “Friends” reference is worthy of 5 stars! :)

  • This is just beautiful! I’m just about drooling thinking of this nice and warm with the yummy vanilla ice cream! Thanks for a great idea! Chris

  • That crust looks so pretty and festive!

  • Joe

    Whoa! Totally cool.

  • christyd

    beautiful pie! I think of apple pies for the Fourth and for the Fall; can’t have a Fourth of July celebration without an apple pie!

  • I love the stars! What’s more American than Apple pie with a star crust?

  • Diana

    Huge points for the Friends reference. =)

  • LisaK

    Very pretty!

  • Gorgeous pie! I love the star cutouts!

  • This is so clever! And in the fall you can use leaf cut outs for your apple pie instead of stars – apple pie is delicious in any season.

  • haha love this! How patriotic of you :)

  • Love the stars on top. They make the pie so festive and perfect for the 4th.

  • Annie

    That’s exactly what I do! I love my little leaf pie crust cutters :)

  • Cant beat a good old apple pie for a comforting pud. Love the unique presentation and it sounds scrum-diddly-umptious :)

  • This is a gorgeous pie! We talked at work about doing apple pie cupcakes for summer, but a few people said that seemed to fall-ish. I think apple pie is good any time of year.

  • Tiffany Brown

    What is an egg wash? I know silly question but I see it alot and cannot find out what it is Thank you :)

  • Annie

    It’s explained under “ingredients” :)

  • Tiffany Brown

    Thank you I feel like I need the egg wash now LOL :)

  • How precious is that!

  • I love it!
    It looks so pretty! :)
    I want to try it out for our sunday family reunion!
    I personally like this apple pie all year, summer, fall, with a glass of milk yummy!
    I really want my dad to try it,
    He doesn’t like citrics, can I remove or substitute the lemon juice? :o

  • Christine

    Annie, you had my heart a long time ago – what with your scrumptious looking pictures, easy-to-follow instructions, and amazing recipes. But quoting Friends in your posts? You just took my adoration for you to another level :D

  • Annie

    Oh, my knowledge of Friends is rivaled only by my knowledge of The Office. We have all the seasons on DVD and have watched the Friends ones more times than I could count. I’m sure you’ll read more here and there :)

  • Annie

    You won’t taste the lemon juice at all, it just keeps the apples from looking overly brown and keeps a fresh flavor to the pie.

  • :o Okay! Thank you Annie :)

  • I usually associate apple pie with fall (I always think of cherry or blueberry pies for summer), but this version would be absolutely perfect for the 4th, especially with the star crust! It looks fantastic!

  • LOVE IT! How could anyone resist an apple pie that looked like that!! you are so creative! Thanks for sharing your marvellous ideas :)

  • This is BEAUTIFUL BEAUTIFUL BEAUTIFUL BEAUTIFUL! Nothing better than a GOOD piece of pie!

  • Beautiful star cutouts!I imagine this cake warm with a scoop of ice cream. I love your blog, great recipes with home air

  • Alishea

    This looks beautiful! I don’t care what time of year it is- apple pie is always welcomed. However, I have to say that I prefer a sweet crumb topped apple pie (probably cause it’s about twice the calories so it tastes so much better)! But I love the look of this pie and would definately not pass it up!

  • That is totally adorable!! Doesn’t need to be apple, either. Cherry would be divine! Or blueberry. Or all three!

  • I have to say I don’t think there is a wrong time for apple pie. It is delicious and can be done up in so many ways. I absolutely love what you’ve done with the stars on top very festive for the 4th!

  • Danielle

    Oh, this pie is not only CUTE, but it looks AMAZING!!!

  • the picture looks like it came straight from a williams sonoma catalog…beautiful! (and delicious too, of course)

  • Katie

    That pie looks beautiful, but to me apples are for fall and winter. By now they’ve been sitting in cold storage for months and are not worth buying in my opinion.

  • What beautiful pictures. I bet the pie tasted fantastic.

  • Annie

    That all depends on where they come from. Not all are old and poor quality!

  • This looks fantastic!!! If I find time, I’ll have to try it this weekend.

    Also, I just stumbled upon your blog after someone linked to one of your recipes and I am way too excited. Mostly because I live in Indianapolis (well, Carmel) and am starting nursing school on Tuesday. In the event that I ever cross paths with you during a clinical, I’ll try not to be all, “OMG IT”S YOU!” haha.

  • Annie

    Congrats on nursing school! I think I know someone who will be in your class. Don’t worry, I do occasionally get recognized and I think it’s funny. Good luck!

  • So cute! I love the design on top.

  • Mercedes

    Thanks for posting this recipe – my friend asked me to bring a dessert to her BBQ yesterday and this was the perfect addition! I used a combo of granny smith and pink lady apples and it was VERY delicious (and patriotic!)

  • Lindy@Itsy Bitsy Paper

    This looks great! I want to dig in just looking at it!

    I am having a Red, White and Blue Linky Party and hope you will join in on the fun!

  • Allison

    My husband and I just finished baking 3 of these! (I know crazy!) We waited until our 4 month old went to bed and went for it! They turned out awesome :D I can’t wait to try them tomorrow at our family BBQ. Thanks for the recipe and great ideas!

  • Morgan Lee

    I made this for a Fourth of July celebration, and it came out wonderful! I can’t wait to make it again next year.

  • Many thanks for this recipe! I made it on the 4th and everyone loved it… I even had a couple people tell me it was the best apple pie they’d ever had… which was a really nice thing to hear since it was my first time making apple pie!!

  • Annie

    Awesome! So glad to hear it :)

  • katie s

    I made this for my in-laws for 4th of july. I followed the recipe exactly, and I got so many compliments! I had to cover it with foil after about 30 minutes to prevent over-browning, but it was pretty as picture! Everyone wanted the recipe so I posted a link to it on my facebook. Also, your crust was fabulous,that’s my new go-to crust recipe!

  • Annika

    Hello from Germany! Yesterday, I was craving for any kind of pie. After I checked my storrage, I only had ingredients around for this Apple Pie. I’ve never tried to make such a, let’s call it “typical American” pie. So I tried my best making it and I have to say thank you very, very much for this amazing recipe! It tastes so good and it was easier to make than I expected it to be.
    Again, a very big Thank You!

  • Pingback: Rezept für Appel Pie()

  • Desiree

    I want to use this pie for Thanksgiving and use cut out leaves instead- however, applie pie and I have a runny history. Any tips on how to keep my pie from getting soupy? I never stray from the recipe and sometimes I end up with cinnamon apple soup

  • Lily

    Does the nutmeg have to be grated can you just buy ground nutmeg?

  • Annie

    Either one is fine. I love freshly grated but ground works as well.

  • Annie

    I think that’s probably more dependent on the recipe than anything you are doing wrong. No special strategy should be required. Don’t worry, you can do it!

  • LOVE what you did with the little stars. It’s all in the details! Really cool idea for pimping regular things up. You have a new fan!

  • Mandy

    On his return last night from a week long trip away, I surprised my husband with this pie – he LOVED it!! I baked as directed and it came out perfectly. Tastes great warm or even right out the fridge, still cold. I love the flavor – the spices are just right! I had a blast making it. Thanks Annie! :)

  • Mandy

    Made this again yesterday as part of the Birthday dinner for the hubby and once again it turned out amazing! :) I used stars around the border and also cut out letters for Happy Birthday. I put each letter in the center of a star. Was super cute and everyone loved it! :)

  • Elizabeth

    Hey there I just have to say your pie dough and apple pie recipe taste AMAZING!! I’m not sure if anyone else is having issues with it being watery, I haven’t read though the comments sorry. Your recipes are the first attempt I’ve ever made in making a pie from scratch and the filling has come out watery for a second time, I’ve made it twice it taste do good!! Can you please help me figure out what I’m doing wrong :( I’m always hoping it will come out perfect. This time I even waiting two hours to cut into, but still watery. I hope you can help me out :)

  • annieseats

    Fruits hold lots of juices and water and will release that when baked, so fruit pies are liquidy. They need a long wait before slicing if you want them to hold together better but pie isn’t really supposed to be neat. If it weren’t juicy, it probably wouldn’t taste very good. You could try using a different variety of apples.

  • Angelcakeshawaii

    I’m so glad to know this. I’ve made your blueberry and peach pie over the past couple of weeks and the fillings were liquidy. I thought I had messed something up. They were both amazingly delicious(no surprise there). I’m going to try the cherry pie next. Thanks!

  • Kristin

    Hi Annie: Can the apple pie filling be made in advance and refrigerated, just like the cranberry blueberry pie filling can? I’m hoping to simplify Thanksgiving day prep as much as possible :) Thank you as always for your responses!

  • annieseats

    I think you probably could. My only concern is that the texture of the apples might be slightly affected because the sugar, etc. would sort of macerate them. I think if I were making it in advance, I would peel and slice the apples in advance and then mix the rest of the ingredients in just before baking just to be safe.

  • Kristin

    Good advice. Thank you!

  • Louie

    OMG! That looks delicious, Annie!

  • Shelly

    That was easy! Thanks to you! Another baking challenge conquered. Thank you for the detailed instructions, they really are a tremendous help. Happy Pi Day!

  • annieseats

    Woohoo! I’m so glad it worked out well :)