Tart apples and lemon make a pleasing combination in this lemon apple pie. A twist on the classic apple pie recipe, this easy recipe will be a new favorite with the lemon lovers!
Darlings, my oldest asked me to bake this lemon apple pie TWICE IN A WEEK! This is the same child that doesn’t eat half the desserts I make because homemade dessert is not exciting. Fun thing, she’s been on a pie kick recently (it’s so cute) and so we’ve been baking a lot of pies. And when we were browsing a cookbook of old recipes and came across a lemon apple pie, she insisted we try.
The girl has good taste.
How to pick apples for lemon apple pie
When it comes to picking apples for apple pie, common wisdom says to skip the tart apples. You want to choose a nice firm baking apple with a balanced flavor. Not for this apple pie! This is the pie you bake with tart apples. Have some that aren’t quite ripe? They’ll do. Find yourself with lots of Granny Smith apples around? Bake the pie.
The reason why these work so well is the lemon. The lemon tempers the tartness of the apple and you don’t even have to add a lot of sugar! You just adjust the amount based on the tartness of your apples. I’ve found that the amount of sugar listed in the recipe works most of the time, but I’m using green apples from the store. But even with very tart apples, you shouldn’t have to adjust too much.
The surprise star of this pie is definitely the lemon. The slices in the filling soften to a nice texture, and add a delicious bright flavor. Lemon actually helps the apple flavor shine, in my opinion, and it keeps the filling from browning. So practical and delicious.
Pie Crust and Filling Details
The pie is a double crust apple pie. I’ve not made it with a lattice crust, always with a full, vented crust. There’s something very rustic about the look that draws me to it. And since the filling isn’t a particularly bright color I’d want to show off, a lattice isn’t necessary.
I do make my own all butter pie crust. I’m really liking the technique outlined in this post. It’s my current favorite for a crisp and tender pie crust.
If you don’t feel like making pie crust, don’t worry about it. Use your favorite store bought brand. Just make sure that you have two crusts to roll out. You’ll need one for the bottom and one for the top.
When I make my filling, I usually measure by number of apples. So the height of the pie varies. The pie in the photos is of the taller pies I’ve made, using 6 very large Granny Smith apples. Next time, I would use one less possibly. But if you want a tall pie, you can have one. Just look for big apples.
For the smaller apples, which you are more likely to get early in the season or from an orchard, 6 will give you a perfect little domed height. Think 1950’s vintage Americana apple pie pictures and you’ll get it.
The nice thing about this filling is that it’s very easy to mix and make sure the flavors are to your liking before baking. Just make sure you’re at your preferred level of sweetness and you’re all set to bake your apple pie!
I hope you love this lemon apple pie recipe. And if you’re looking for more unique apple pie recipe inspiration, why not check out my salted caramel apple pie, apple pie ice cream, or this tasty looking caramel pecan apple pie recipe?
Happy baking, darlings!
- 1 pie crust recipe (2 discs) or 2 store bought pie crusts
- 5-6 tart apples (about 6ish cups sliced)
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup packed brown sugar (dark or light)
- 1/2 fresh lemon, sliced into thin rounds, seeds removed
- 1 tablespoon butter cut into small cubes
- Preheat your oven to 425 F.
- Roll out one circle of your pie crust and place into your 9-inch pie dish. Do not stretch the dough. Make sure to gently guide it into the corners of the plate. Set aside until ready to fill. (see notes)
- Peel, core, and slice your apples and place in a large mixing bowl.
- Thinly slice half a lemon into rounds. Cut each round in half, remove the seeds. Add the lemon to the apples.
- Add the flour and brown sugar to the mixing bowl and gently toss to coat. If you have very very tart apples, taste to check sweetness levels. If needed, add more sugar 1 teaspoon at a time. (see notes)
- Pour the apple filling into the pie dish, forming a mound in the center of the pie. Dot the filling with the butter cubes.
- Roll out the top crust and place over the pie filling. Trim excess and crimp the edges.
- Bake the pie on your oven's middle rack for 15 minutes at 425 F, and then - without opening the oven - reduce the temperature to 375 F and bake an additional 45 minutes until the crust is golden. Check the pie about 15 minutes before the cooking time is up and tent the edges with foil or a pie protector to prevent excess browning.
- Allow the pie to cool one hour before slicing. Store extra pie loosely covered at room temperature up to 3 days.
- If you don't want to make the pie crust, buy it. Just make sure there are 2 crusts in the box so you have for a bottom crust and a top crust.
- If you are working in a warm kitchen, place the pie dish in the refrigerator. You want the crust to stay cold.
- I haven't had to adjust the sugar yet, but you can if you'd prefer.
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