I made a great apple pie last week, and it was quick, easy, and yummy! Actually, I made two apple pies. We were having twenty folks over for Thanksgiving, and I was worried about having enough desserts. I don’t know why I was concerned. I had already baked two pumpkin pies, a sweet potato pie, and a pecan pie, and my daughter was bringing a pumpkin-cream cheese layered pie, my best friend was bringing an awesome pumpkin-gingerbread trifle, and another pal was bringing a chocolate cake. Well, we southern cooks are known for “overkill” when it comes to serving food, and I’m no exception. I had two problems here, though. I didn’t have any apples, and there was no way I wanted to wade through the crowds at the supermarket the day before Thanksgiving. The other problem was time – I didn’t have enough to spare to make an apple pie from scratch – much less two. Aha! A little light bulb suddenly appeared over my head. I had some frozen pie crusts, and I had some canned apple pie filling in the pantry, so I was in luck. I’d been thinking of making a deep dish apple pie that included cranberries, and it just so happened that I had some dried cranberries on hand. The kitchen gods were smiling upon me. Check out these easy apple pie recipes!
Easy Apple Pie Recipes
I’ve always sort of wondered about the old “easy as apple pie” simile. The pies really aren’t that easy to make. You have to choose the right apples, then you have to wash them, core them, peel them, and slice them. You also have to make two pie crusts, roll them out, and maneuver one into a pie plate and the other one onto the top of the pie. Then you have to crimp the edges just right so that the crusts will adhere to each other. Most recipes for apple pie involve a fair amount of work…and time.
The key to really easy apple pie recipes is to use ingredients that are already prepared – or at least mostly prepared. That means using frozen pie crusts and canned apple pie filling. Oh, I don’t use the filling as-is, right out of the can. I enhance it a bit to make it richer and tastier. Still, that’s a heck of a lot easier than preparing your own apples. Is it as good? I won’t say that it’s quite as good, but it is pretty darn close! It’s a great option when you’re in a hurry, as most quick and easy recipes are.
Apple Crumb Pie
Are you familiar with apple crumb pie? Most traditional apple pie recipes use two pastry crusts – one on bottom, of course, with another on top. Apple crumb pie, however, uses only one pie crust, and that goes on the bottom. Instead of another pie crust on top, a crumbly streusel-like mixture is used on top in lieu of a pastry crust. Some cooks don’t use a pie crust at all for this type of dessert. They just sprinkle the streusel topping over the apple mixture. Whether a bottom crust is used or not, such a pie is often referred to as Dutch apple pie or French apple pie.
So, how do you make streusel topping? It’s a crumbly mixture of butter or margarine, along with flour and sugar or brown sugar. Some people use Bisquick and reduce or omit the butter or margarine. Also, some cooks like to add a little spice to their crumb topping, usually in the form of cinnamon, nutmeg, ground ginger, or ground cloves. Personally, I like to add a pinch of salt. Ground or chopped nuts might be added, too. Below is an easy streusel topping recipe.
Streusel Topping Recipe
1/3 cup cold stick butter
¾ cup brown sugar
¾ cup all purpose flour
Dash of salt
Directions: Cut butter into small pieces. Add brown sugar, flour, and salt. Use a pastry cutter or your fingers to combine the ingredients into a crumbly mixture.
Blind Bake Pie Crust
If you like, you can blind bake the crust before adding the pie filling. This will keep your crust from getting soggy. If you choose to do this, make sure the crust is completely thawed beforehand. Pierce the crust around the edges and on the bottom portion with a fork. Bake the empty crust at 400 degrees for ten to twelve minutes or so, until the crust just begins to brown. For these apple pie recipes, you don’t need to completely bake the crust – you just need to give it a head start.
You’ve heard of pie weights, right? They look like marbles and are added to a pie crust before it’s blind baked. The weights keep the crust from “puffing up.” Instead of pie weights, many cooks use dried beans or rice to weigh down the pastry crust, placing them in a large coffee filter or in parchment paper. If you pierce the crust as I suggested, however, you won’t need to use pie weights.
Dutch Apple Pie Recipe
This is an apple pie with crumb topping. It’s super easy to make, and it’s really yummy. If you like, you can get “fancy” and call it French apple pie or Dutch apple pie. I don’t think the terminology you use is going to make your dessert taste any better, though. Really, it’s already delicious enough.
1 frozen pie crust
1 can apple pie filling
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon butter
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
Directions: Thaw pie crust.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Combine pie filling, brown sugar, butter, and spices. Heat in microwave until butter melts. Stir.
Pour pie filling mixture into pie crust. Sprinkle with streusel topping. Place pie on a cookie sheet.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until crumb topping is golden brown.
Caramel Apple Pie
This caramel apple pie recipe is just as easy as the other apple pie recipes I’ve shared here. In fact, it’s actually easier. Because of the caramel sauce, you don’t have to add any brown sugar or butter to the canned pie filling. Actually, you don’t really need to add any extra spices, either. How’s that for easy apple pie? By the way, I’ve found that the caramel sauce in the jar works better than that in the squeeze bottle. The jarred sauce seems thicker to me. As for brands, I like Smucker’s.
2 frozen pie crusts, thawed
1 can apple pie filling
1 jar caramel ice cream topping
Directions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Blind bake bottom crust for 10-12 minutes.
Add ½ cup caramel sauce to apples and mix gently.
Add mixture to pie crust. Top with second crust and squeeze edges of top crust to bottom crust, or fold edge of top crust over edge of bottom crust. Cut vents or designs in top crust.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, until top crust is light brown.
While pie is still warm, top with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Drizzle more caramel sauce on ice cream. Yum!
Recipe For Apple Pie – with cranberries
This is a deep dish apple pie that includes dried cranberries. You can use fresh or frozen cranberries in a cranberry-apple pie, but using the dried version is much easier and much quicker. As I explained, I was all about quick and easy recipes on the day before the big feast.
Rate my easy apple pie recipe! Thanks!
|Prep time||Cook time||Ready in||Yields|
- 1 frozen deep dish pie crust
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 2 tablespoons apple juice
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 can apple pie filling
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- streusel topping recipe
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Thaw pie crust and blind bake according to my directions above.
- Place dried cranberries in a microwave-safe dish and add apple juice and lemon juice. Heat mixture in microwave until cranberries plump.
- Combine cranberries and juice with pie filling, brown sugar, butter, and spices. Heat in microwave until butter melts. Stir ingredients and add to pie shell.
- Make crumb topping according to my recipe, and sprinkle it over surface of pie.
- Bake until topping is brown, about 20-25 minutes.
Add your feedback. Thanks a bunch!
Cynthia Zirkwitz from Vancouver Island, Canada on January 10, 2020:
Look like delicious recipes!
Nat Zen on November 17, 2018:
These are perfect--love the options outlined here, thank you! Can't wait to try!
Janisa from Earth on April 01, 2018:
I really love crumble pie, but I want to make the crust from scratch, suggestions?
Holle Abee (author) from Georgia on November 28, 2012:
Many thanks for your support, pals!
drbj and sherry from south Florida on November 27, 2012:
The apple pie with ice cream and caramel sauce looks yummy to me, Holle. Even though pie is not my favorite dessert, when it is covered with ice cream and caramel or chocolate sauce, that's a whole other subject. :)
NCBIer on November 27, 2012:
Your picture of the ice cream atop the pie and smothered with caramel sauce completely convinced me that I need to make some apple pie this weekend, if I can wait that long! I will be trying the caramel apple pie and thanks for the tip on how to avoid the pie weights. Voted up!
Pat Materna from Memphis, Tennessee, USA on November 27, 2012:
Can't do better than Apple pie and Ice cream and caramel. I know what you mean about southern cooks ... we never think we'll have enough food. Of course we always have an overabundance. But that's good for take home goodies. Thanks for these recipes. Voted up!
carol stanley from Arizona on November 27, 2012:
My favorite ideas here are the crumbs..love them and when I saw the caramel sauce I fell in love. My absolute favorite flavor. These all look yummy and thanks for making it all so easy to follow. Voting up +++ and sharing.