Follow our advice for a pie so good, you’ll swear Grandma baked it.

By Sierra Guardiola
Updated August 23, 2019
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Ted + Chelsea Cavanaugh

Want to bake up a blue-ribbon pie? Use at least two varieties of apples for balance in flavor and texture, says Amy Traverso, author of The Apple Lover’s Cookbook ($16; amazon.com). Think 50 percent sweet, like Honeycrisp or Golden Delicious, and 50 percent tart, like Granny Smith or Cortland. If you have a local farmers’ market, you may be able to find specialty varieties, like the sweet Jonagold or Crispin or the tart GoldRush or Liberty.

Before you buy, check for a fresh, fruity aroma, says Traverso. No smell? The apple could be mealy, which will leave your pie lacking in flavor.

Plan on four pounds of apples for a deep-dish pie and three pounds for a standard nine-inch pie, says Dawn Perry, Real Simple’s food director. Contrary to what many recipes suggest, bake your pie for at least an hour, she adds. This will soften firm apples and help create the perfect golden crust on the top and bottom.

Get our favorite apple pie recipe: Old-Fashioned Apple Pie