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Apple Pie: How to Make It Taste Better!

Giovanna's dad was a brilliant Italian chef. As a result, Giovanna has a great interest in cooking delicious and nutritious food.


How to Make Apple Pie with a Twist

This article is about how to make apple pie taste better. That's impossible I hear you say... well no it's not! Although very American, apple pie is also a traditional British thing - and we know what we're talking about over here!

This is a recipe of a pie I baked yesterday - I took some photos while I made it. The finished apple pie doesn't look too beautiful, but it tasted delicious!

What do I do when autumn comes around? I pick apples and make apple pie with them. It's amazing how many apples can be found on abandoned trees on the lanes just outside London. I go out with my husband and son and pick apples that nobody else wants every weekend during September and we have made some delicious apples pies.

We also find lots of blackberries and I often add them to the apples and make a crumble top -they are extremely tasty too and practically completely free!

I hope I will encourage you to have a go at baking one.

Some the the apples we find for free!

Some the the apples we find for free!

They are not Large but they are Very Juicy

Apples from trees that people don't want.

Apples from trees that people don't want.

The Recipe: Apple Pie

In this recipe you don't only put lemon juice in with the apples, but you add zest in the pastry. I'd never thought of adding anything to pastry before I came across this, although now I add all sorts of herbs to savory pastry too, so it was a new thing for me and it turned out so good.

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

30 min

45 min

1 hour 15 min



  • 3 large cooking apples
  • 250 g plain flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 125 g butter
  • Juice of 1 large lemons
  • Zest of 1 large lemon
  • 1/2 cup COLD water to mix
  • 50 g sugar ( brown or white)
  • pinch of salt
  • A little milk & caster sugar for the glaze
  • Cinnamon
  • 845 ml rimmed pie-dish


  1. Pre-heat oven: gas mark 7, 425 F 220 C ( reduce these temperatures by 10% if you have a fan assisted oven)
  2. Shortcrust Pastry: Sift the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl. Cut the butter into small cubes and add to the flour. Rub gently and lightly with fingertips, lifting your hands up to keep the air in the flour. Keep it COLD. Do this as quickly as possible. When it looks crumbly, add LEMON ZEST to the dough. Start to sprinkle 2 tablespoons of water all over it and mix and cut with a plastic or round edged knife. Bring the mixture together adding a little water as you go along until you can form a ball of smooth dough with your hands that leaves the bowl clean. Wrap the pastry in foil or cling film and put in the fridge for about 20 minutes.
  3. Filling: While the pastry is resting peel and slice the apples and put them in the pie-dish. Add the lemon juice, sugar and cinnamon. Stir it together so the juice covers the apples. Place an over turned egg cup in the center.
  4. Roll out the pastry about Inch bigger than the pie-dish. Cut an inch strip to fit the edge of the dish. Dampen the edge, then fit on the strip of pastry. and then dampen that too. Then press the rest of the pastry over that to make a lid. pinch the edges together and make a small steam hole in the middle. Decorate with pastry leaves. Brush milk over the whole pie and lightly sprinkle it with castor sugar.
  5. Put in oven, bake for 10 minutes, then reduce the heat. gas mark 5, 375 F 190 C (more if you have a fan oven) and bake for 30 minutes more. It may need a little longer -test the apples with a knife to see if they're soft.Serve hot with single cream Mmmmmmmmm!

Great Things to Help you Along - How to Make Apple Pie

The biggest problem I had was preparing the apples because I had organic home grown ones and they had all sorts of marks and imperfections on the skin like holes and bruises they were just what organic apples should look like! I had to cut bits off and peel them very carefully.

A tip is to have some cold water nearby so you can dip them into it when they get covered in bits that you don't want.

This is a peeler I picked out and something that makes removing the core very easy, but if you click on one of them you will be taken directly to where there are others designs.

The Crumbly look of the Pastry - Keep cutting and mixing until it looks like breadcrumbs


Did you know that apples...

have no fat, sodium or cholesterol and are an excellent source of fiber.

If Your Apples Aren't Large - use at Least 6 Small Ones

Scroll to Continue

Did you know...

that the seed of an apple is packed with cyanide! It's OK though you'd have to eat loads of them before they do you any harm! ( about half a cup full )

Place the bowl over the pastry - and keep rolling it out until it is an inch bigger - then cut it all round



Subtle Lemon Taste

The lemon zest in the pastry is not over powerful. It makes the pastry a bit more exciting and adds to the gorgeous apple pie smell when it comes out of the oven.

This is how you put the strip of pastry on the pie dish


Place the top on using the rolling pin - it's easier


Did you know...

that apples are part of the rose family.

Don't forget to make a steam hole in the middle


Not the Prettiest Apple Pie in the World - But it was VERY TASTY!


So are apples good for you?


The answer really is yes! There are many reasons for this and here's a quick list as an example. I am not a doctor or nutritionist - but I have found facts all over the web about the health benefits of apples.

  • There are only 50-80 calories in apples and they have no sodium or fat.
  • They contain potassium, which may be good for your maintaining a healthy heart.
  • They are packed with vitamins C, A, They have small amounts of iron, calcium and phosphorus.
  • Apples contain fiber, which is essential for the health of your intestines
  • They help to control insulin by releasing sugar slowly into your blood
  • They have pectin and this reduces cholesterol levels
  • Research shows that eating one before a meal can help you lose weight more quickly. Research also shows that apples are good for maintaining healthy skin.
  • Research shows that consuming 5 apples a week lowers the risk of respiratory problems such as asthma. It's a pretty impressive list isn't it.

Organic Zest is Best

If you can't find one then make sure you wash the lemon thoroughly in warm water and a little vinegar to remove the wax before adding it to your apple pie pastry.

Varieties of Apples - Which are best for making Apple Pie

An Apple a Day - Will it help keep the doctor away? It seems so! Here's why...

Article: Apples & Health

This Apple Pie Looks much Nicer! - I made this one yesterday, putting in a bit more effort with presentation!


What do you think?

Will you be making this apple pie?

© 2013 Giovanna

What did you think of my Recipe? Please help me improve it by leaving a comment. Thank you for your visit.

Giovanna (author) from UK on October 17, 2014:

Great! Thanks so much for your visit. I really do appreciate it.

Giovanna (author) from UK on October 17, 2014:

Mmmmm you're really making me hungry - I could do with a slice right now! Great ideas - thanks for contributing to my hub, I really appreciate it.

Stephen J Parkin from Pine Grove, Nova Scotia, Canada on October 16, 2014:

What better than apple pie and cream or ice cream in the summer, or even both! Another twist is to add sultanas or raisins too. It is also good with a few dried apricots or cranberries as additions and to add variety if you keep eating them like we do.

Barbara Tremblay Cipak from Toronto, Canada on October 16, 2014:

wonderful page, very helpful! - I haven't made a pie in so long, but you're inspiring me with this!

Giovanna (author) from UK on September 18, 2014:

Oh I'm blushing!! No I can cope with this - it really is a very ugly looking pie - but the tatse Mmmmmm! Thanks for your visit

Giovanna (author) from UK on September 18, 2014:

I'm sorry - not a fan of apple pie - you are the first person who has ever said that to me in my entire life!! lol - thanks for your visit and for passing on my yummy recipe!!

Pam Irie from Land of Aloha on September 17, 2014:

I think your recipe is wonderful and I love the custom garnish on the pie crust. Marvelous!!! I bet it tastes even better than it looks and it looks great to me!

Trisha Roberts from Rensselaer, New York on September 17, 2014:

I'm not a fan of Apple Pie, But I am going to definitely share this with a close friend who LOVES apple pie!

Giovanna (author) from UK on July 11, 2014:

@DreyaB: I hope you enjoy it as much as we do. I'm going to try a little rose water in my whipped cream. Let you know how I get on!! Thanks very much indeed for your visit.

DreyaB on July 11, 2014:

This sounds like a great idea, we will have to give it a try when the apples in our garden are ready! We made quite a few apple pies last year, but none with lemon zest in the pastry. I'm looking forward to the next one in the autumn now. :0)

Giovanna (author) from UK on June 18, 2014:

@julieannbrady: That's great I really hope you enjoy making it and that you like the lemon twist! Thanks very much for your visit and comment.

julieannbrady on June 18, 2014:

I haven't made an apple pie for many years - my grandma made the best! I like it with tart apples. I like using lemon a lot in recipes - will have to give your recipe a try!

Giovanna (author) from UK on November 12, 2013:

@ecogranny: Yummmmy!

Kathryn Grace from San Francisco on November 12, 2013:

@Adventuretravels: Oh yes, I see about the egg cup. Good idea. I tend to put so many apples in that my crust is usually lumpy on top.

Giovanna (author) from UK on November 12, 2013:

@ecogranny: Hello again. The egg cup stops the pastry from sinking in the middle! But if you have apples to the very top I don't suppose that would be a problem. Apple pie without a base is delicious because the apples are juicy - a bit like eating a delicious baked apple with a crust on top. My weight is always something I have to consider!! Thanks for your very interesting contribution to my page. Orange in the crust - now that sounds good too!

Kathryn Grace from San Francisco on November 12, 2013:

Using just a top crust for the pie is an interesting idea and would definitely save on the calories without reducing the overall flavors. Great idea!Your idea for lemon zest in the crust makes my mouth water. While I always use fresh squeezed lemon juice in my apple pie filling, and have sometimes used orange zest in pie dough, especially during the holidays, I haven't tried lemon zest. Must do next time. Sounds delicious!I am curious about that egg cup. It would be difficult for me to want to give up any space for apples, but I suspect the egg cup has a purpose. Will you share please?Lastly, thank you so much for mentioning organic. Loved that.

Giovanna (author) from UK on October 22, 2013:

@anonymous: Thank you - I hope enjoy baking one - let me know what you think of it.

anonymous on October 22, 2013:

Wonderful lens, I like it. :)

Giovanna (author) from UK on October 17, 2013:

@ashleydpenn: i don't always know what I'm talking about, but on this occasion I do! lol Thanks for leaving a comment.

ashleydpenn on October 17, 2013:

A proper good apple pie recipe from someone who obviously knows what they're talking about. Lovely! Thanks for sharing.

Giovanna (author) from UK on October 14, 2013:

@LaughingLady LM: It's not a strong lemon flavor otherwise it would be like a lemon pie!

Helen Phillips Cockrell from Virginia on October 14, 2013:

This sounds delicious!! I love the idea of adding lemon, that is something new to me and I can't wait to try it!

Giovanna (author) from UK on October 11, 2013:

@BrownEyedGirl69: Great - let me know if you like the lemon. Thanks for calling by.

BrownEyedGirl69 on October 11, 2013:

Nice Lens! You made me hungry. The nights are getting cooler here and after taking a look at your lens...I think I may have to do some apple picking and make a pie! Good weekend to do it!

Giovanna (author) from UK on October 09, 2013:

@maxaon: Thnaks so much for visiting. Enjoy the pie.

maxaon on October 09, 2013:

Great tips!

Giovanna (author) from UK on October 08, 2013:

@DebMartin: It is a great idea. You have to try it a couple of times to get the right amount for your taste, but the amount I recommend is enough for a subtle taste that is a nice surprise when it hits the taste buds, and it smells good too. The lemon shouldn't be too strong, it is an apple not a lemon pie! Give it a try I'm sure you'll like it. Thanks for your comment.

DebMartin on October 08, 2013:

Wow. When I saw lemon zest was an ingredient it seemed novel but a good idea. And the I found out you put it in the pastry. Good idea went to great idea. I'm eager to try this.

Giovanna (author) from UK on October 07, 2013:

@SavioC: Thank you! You'll find that the lemon flavor is very subtle. Let me know what you think. Thanks for your visit and leaving a comment.

SavioC on October 07, 2013:

Just showed this to my wife who's promised me this will be tried in this month. She was bit apprehensive about the lemon thing though. Lets see what happens. Nicely made lens. Congrats on being Purple Star.

Giovanna (author) from UK on October 07, 2013:

@girlfriendfactory: There may be quite a few children out there who would not like lemon -but this is a very subtle taste. Perhaps it would be best to wait till he gets a bit older! Hope your friends enjoy it. Thanks for your visit and comment.

girlfriendfactory on October 06, 2013:

I think your pie looks scrumptious and the pie looks beautiful! My son doesn't like lemon, so maybe I'll make one for my best friend's family ~ they have an apple tree!!! I also learned many new things about apples and their seeds. Muahahahahahha! lol Great work! Bummer, now I want pie!

Giovanna (author) from UK on October 06, 2013:

@IreneL11: Glad you think so. Will you be baking one? If so let me know what you think. Thanks for your visit.

IreneL11 on October 06, 2013:

It looks very tasty! :)

Giovanna (author) from UK on October 05, 2013:

@WendyArts: Great - let me know what you think of it. Thanks for leaving a comment.

WendyArts on October 05, 2013:

Great lens!! I look forward to trying your recipe. I am sure there will be plenty of opportunity to bake an apple pie over the next couple of months. Thanks for sharing.

Giovanna (author) from UK on October 04, 2013:

@hgb282: Thank you for your feedback I'm so glad you like the lens. Are you going to be baking my delicious apple pie?

hgb282 on October 04, 2013:

I love how you included interesting facts and creative ideas related to apples in between your apple pie recipe. Great lens!

Giovanna (author) from UK on October 03, 2013:

@somebudiesangel2: Tank you so much for your visit and comment.

Tami-Lynn from North Vancouver on October 03, 2013:

No improvements needed:) Great page, awesome looking pie.....!:)

Giovanna (author) from UK on October 03, 2013:

@mina009: OK I stand corrected thanks for your positive (and very kind ) feedback! Will you be baking one?

mina009 on October 03, 2013:

Your apple pie looks reallyy pretty ok? And don't say anything about it. Loved the decorative leaves on it.

Giovanna (author) from UK on October 03, 2013:

@SusanDeppner: Thank you! I was taught to do that by my wonderful dad who was a fabulous chef. Make sure you put flour on the pin before you start rolling and don't press too hard or it will get stuck! Thanks for your visit and for leaving a comment.

ChocolateLily on October 03, 2013:

@Adventuretravels: I understand. I've spotted some in mine before after reading them a number of times. No, Squids don't like typos. That's for sure!

Susan Deppner from Arkansas USA on October 03, 2013:

Awesome pictures to complement a yummy-sounding recipe! I love how you put the pastry on the pie dish - clever method! Great job on this page.

Giovanna (author) from UK on October 03, 2013:

@ColettaTeske: Yes, that's what I thought. My son made this pie at school and I though his excellent cookery teacher had made a rare mistake. But I was so wrong. It is so good. Tell me what you think if you get round to making one. Thanks for your comment.

Giovanna (author) from UK on October 03, 2013:

@ChocolateLily: Well spotted! Thanks for telling me I hate typos, even though they can be very funny! It's important that there are none in lenses because they upset the Squids - but they are very hard to spot. You've no idea how many time I read the lens over. Thank you. As for the lemon crust -it's a subtle taste just makes the pie more interesting. Let me know if you give it a go.

Giovanna (author) from UK on October 03, 2013:

@smine27: Hi - it is a very subtle taste - not strong lemon at all. It makes the crust a little more exciting! It so delicious with custard. Let me know if you bake it. Thanks for your visit and comment.

Giovanna (author) from UK on October 03, 2013:

@flinnie lm: Thank you so much. It's always great to hear that the photos are working. Pictures really help with this kind of page.

Gloria Freeman from Alabama USA on October 03, 2013:

Hi thanks for this great apple pie how-to. Loved your photos, great job. Thanks for sharing.

Shinichi Mine from Tokyo, Japan on October 02, 2013:

i've never thought of adding something to the pastry either, but I can just imagine how it might taste. Thanks for sharing this delicious apple pie recipe. I'll be making this one soon.

ChocolateLily on October 02, 2013:

Good lens! I'm not sure about the lemon in the crust, but I'd eat it if it was offered to me. I do want to point out one thing you seem to have overlooked when editing: look at your subtitle for your rolling pin. It made me laugh in a good way. You may want to leave it and see how many people notice.

ColettaTeske on October 02, 2013:

Your apple pie recipe sounds interesting. I use a little lemon juice to keep the apples from turning brown. I never thought of using the lemon zest. Good idea!

Giovanna (author) from UK on October 01, 2013:

@Elsie Hagley: Thanks very much for your comments on my lens. I am so glad you liked it. I'm going to add another really delicious apple cake soon. So call in again!

Elsie Hagley from New Zealand on October 01, 2013:

I think you did a great job of presenting how to make an apple pie, love the photos as you progressed along the way.By adding lemon juice to the apples it would stop them from browning before you cooked it.It's great to know that by putting lemon juice in the pastry that it turn out nicely for you, always handy to know.

Giovanna (author) from UK on September 29, 2013:

@DawnRae64: Thank you so much! What an amazing feedback. I think you should have a go at baking my pie - I am no expert either, but that recipe works every time for me. Just keep the pastry cold. You could cheat and buy some frozen ready made pastry. It's better than any ready made pie. Let me know how it goes. Thanks again for taking the time to leave me some feedback.

Dawn from Maryland, USA on September 29, 2013:

It's highly unlikely that i will try the recipe. Pie-making scares me. (i'm terrible in the kitchen). But the recipe sounds wonderful. And i loved your page. I'm new, so i don't have an expert opinion. But i'm still going to share my opinion. I loved the photos. I loved that you shared that you use apples that would have gone to waste. I love the layout of the page...with the "did you know..." sections, between the small amount of amazon items, between the continuing "how to" of the recipe. I really liked how that flowed.

Giovanna (author) from UK on September 27, 2013:

@Fufurinha47: Thank you do much :0)

Giovanna (author) from UK on September 27, 2013:

@MarathonRunning: Thank you :0)

Martina from Croatia, Europe on September 27, 2013:

Great Lens!It is so yummy :) Love apples!

Beatriz from Portugal on September 27, 2013:

Loved your Lens :DGreat job.

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