Easy, Rustic Apple Pie: From-Scratch Recipe for the Complete Idiot

Updated on January 24, 2020
Sherry Hewins profile image

I'm a mom and a grandma. I have been cooking and baking for my family for almost 40 years.


Old-Fashioned Apple Pie From Scratch

One thing I love to do on a rainy day is bake. Usually, I don't want to go out, so I make something out of whatever I have on hand. One recent rainy day, what I had on hand was apples, so this is what I made. This is a basic, rustic apple pie the way Grandma used to make it.

Be sure to wash your apples well before you cut them up. Don't rinse them after they're sliced, or they will absorb water and it might make your pie runny.

The Filling:

  • Peel, core, and slice about 10 small apples, more or less depending on how big the apples are and what size pie you're making.

  • Add about 1/2 cup of sugar and a sprinkle of cinnamon.

  • Toss it all together.

My apples were pretty sweet if you have tart apples you might want to add a little more sugar. Just taste an apple slice. That will give you a pretty good idea of how sweet your pie will be.

If you have one of those pre-made pie crusts around, that makes it easier, but I didn't have one, and for my rainy day baking, I'm not so worried about quick and easy. Besides, there comes a time in every woman's life when she needs to make a pie crust from scratch, and this recipe is pretty forgiving. This only makes the bottom crust, so if you want a top crust, double it. I made a crumb topping for my pie.

Slice up the apples and toss with sugar and cinnamon

Pie Crust Step-by-step

Click thumbnail to view full-size

The Crust


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 stick butter (Use cold butter—1/2 cup of shortening works too)
  • 1/4 cup water


  1. First, cut the butter up with a knife.
  2. Then add the flour and work it through your fingers until the butter is pretty evenly distributed. It should be in little pea-sized clumps.
  3. Then add the water. Stir till it forms a sticky ball.
  4. Turn the dough onto a generously floured board. Roll it over a couple of times and work in some of the flour. With this recipe, you need quite a bit of extra flour.
  5. Flatten the dough out with your hands, then pick it up and turn it again. Make sure there is plenty of flour on all sides so it doesn't stick then roll it out with a rolling pin.
  6. Don't make the crust too thin, just roll it till it's about the size of the pie pan. Then fold it in half, then in half again, to make it easier to pick up and put in the pan. I used a 9-inch pan here.
  7. Place the crust in your pie pan and unfold it. If you have any cracks just squish them together with your fingers. Trim off the excess and use your fingers to pinch the crust all the way around as shown in the photos. It's not very fancy but it's easy and gives it that "handcrafted" look.

Crumb Topping in Progress

The Crumb Topping

I had a little dough left over that I trimmed from the crust, so I used that to make my crumb topping. Just add sugar, maybe 1/4 cup and cinnamon, just a sprinkle. Then squish it through your fingers some more till it gets all crumbly. If you don't have enough just add a little more flour and butter.

It it Pie Yet? Almost.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
You want the apples to be kind of mounded up because the apples will shrink while cooking.
You want the apples to be kind of mounded up because the apples will shrink while cooking.
You want the apples to be kind of mounded up because the apples will shrink while cooking.

Homemade Apple Pie

OK, so you have your crust made, put the apples in it, spread them around so they look nice, they should be mounded up a little because they shrink during cooking, then sprinkle on the topping.

Bake in a 350° oven. Check to see if the apples are cooked by sticking them with a fork. I checked mine after an hour and the apples on the bottom seemed done, but the ones on top seemed dry, so I pushed them down a little with the back of a big spoon, then back in the oven for 10 minutes and they were done. You can put a piece of foil over it if you think the crust is getting too brown before the apples are done.

I broke a little piece of the crust taking it out of the oven. OK, so I never said I was Martha Stewart, but nobody's going to mistake this for a store-bought pie. Any person you serve this pie to will be well aware that you made it with your own two hands, and they will surely sing your praises throughout the land. Let it cool for a while before cutting, maybe an hour. It can still be warm.

Click thumbnail to view full-size

© 2012 Sherry Hewins


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    • profile image


      5 years ago

      It looks so good my husband and I are making this right now for thanks giving we r excited on trying it!!! Thanks for sharing.

    • Sherry Hewins profile imageAUTHOR

      Sherry Hewins 

      6 years ago from Sierra Foothills, CA

      I bet they would, you can always add a little more sugar.

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 

      6 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      What a beautiful pie! I have a "rustic" apple tree. The apples are small and tart, but I'll bet they would be good in a pie like this.

    • Sherry Hewins profile imageAUTHOR

      Sherry Hewins 

      6 years ago from Sierra Foothills, CA

      Thanks for reading Blond Logic. It's really more important how the pie tastes anyway!

    • Blond Logic profile image

      Mary Wickison 

      6 years ago from Brazil

      Well you had me at the title.

      I don't know why for the life of me I have never made an apple pie with a crumble topping. I make a cake that has this type of thing but never thought about using it in place of a top crust.

      Your pie crust turned out better than mine does. By the time mine gets to the pan it looks like a patchwork quilt. I think I need to use more flour on my pastry board.

      Vote up and shared.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      This pie crust is way easier to make than the one on the back of the flour bag. There's no hard preparations. There's not a lot of ingredients. And you don't have to refrigerate before you cook it. You have just made baking pies an easy thing for me. Thank you so much:D

    • Sherry Hewins profile imageAUTHOR

      Sherry Hewins 

      7 years ago from Sierra Foothills, CA

      I actually felt a little silly putting in so many step-by-step photos for such a simple recipe, but, I like to see how things are supposed to look along the way. I'm glad you appreciate them.

    • 2patricias profile image


      7 years ago from Sussex by the Sea

      Great illustrations (I often wish there was a 'vote' button for illustrations). I have voted this Up - and am adding it to my Recipe Index for HubPages.

    • livingsta profile image


      7 years ago from United Kingdom

      Awesome recipe. I have always thought , baking a pie is something that I can never succeed in. This recipe looks simple, explained very clearly. I will give it a try soon.

      Thank you for sharing. Voted up and awesome. Sharing too!

    • ishwaryaa22 profile image

      Ishwaryaa Dhandapani 

      7 years ago from Chennai, India

      A well-written hub packed with detailed instructions, helpful step by step photos & above all, drool-worthy first+last photos! I am a dessert person & would like to have a tasty homemade apple pie slice with sundae. Pinned your hub for reference.

      Thanks for SHARING. Useful & Awesome. Voted up & Shared

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I was just looking up how to make a apple pie last night.. yay!!! Thanks for the recipe.. I will be making it tonight..

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Take that back love you Crystal and your pie.I looks better than anything Martha Stewart can make.

    • rjsadowski profile image


      8 years ago

      Your pie looks delicious. I will save the recipe for a later date.

    • Sherry Hewins profile imageAUTHOR

      Sherry Hewins 

      8 years ago from Sierra Foothills, CA

      Thanks Claudia, I hope you make lots of pie now that you know. Really so easy there's no reason to buy one. Thanks for taking the time to comment.

    • MPG Narratives profile image

      Maria Giunta 

      8 years ago from Sydney, Australia

      Apple pies is one of my family's favourite desserts so this hub is bookmarked for future use, thanks Sherry Hewins. I love the idea of the crumble too.

    • Claudia Tello profile image

      Claudia Tello 

      8 years ago from Mexico

      This rustic apple pie looks like a winner. I love your idea of replacing the top crust with crumbs. If I had known making a crust is so easy I would have made tons of all sorts of pies already.

      Very nice Hub, well written, good visual support and nicely edited, congratulations.

    • Sherry Hewins profile imageAUTHOR

      Sherry Hewins 

      8 years ago from Sierra Foothills, CA

      Thanks Fiddleman. Some people think "from scratch" means hard, not so. I guess this is where the saying comes from, pie is easy. Thanks for reading and commenting.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      About as easy as it gets and I bet makes for some lip smacking among family and friends who enjoy this dessert.

    • Sherry Hewins profile imageAUTHOR

      Sherry Hewins 

      8 years ago from Sierra Foothills, CA

      Thanks viking305. I like baking better than cooking. It's less of an expected chore, and more of an extra special thing. I appreciate your vote, and your compliment

    • viking305 profile image

      L M Reid 

      8 years ago from Ireland

      I love cooking too and make my own apple pies. But wow I love the idea of putting the pastry crumbs on top of the ordinary pastry together. Next time I bake an apple pie I am going to try that.

      I like to eat my pie hot with ice cream and cream.

      Thanks for SHARING. Voted up and Awesome


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