Open Face Apple Pie

September 29, 2015

Fall is officially here (honestly, hooray!) and just this year, we’ve started a new family tradition: apple picking! I can’t think of a better way to celebrate the start of my favorite season – plus, it’s so fun to see my toddler pluck ripe apples from trees, all while grinning from ear to ear and attempting to take just a single bite out of each one. So with 15 pounds of honeycrisps, and enough apples in our bellies to keep the doctor away for years, how can one not make the obligatory apple pie? Since I’m not a huge fan of your standard fruit pie, with it’s far too sweet and mushy filling, I thought I’d challenge the norm with this open face apple pie. Not only is it gorgeous, it’s delicious. The way the fruit is arranged allows it to bake and caramelize evenly, maintaining the integrity of the apple. I won’t have apple pie any other way. And there you have it friends, another family tradition created.










(images by HonestlyYUM)



  • pie crust ingredients (ingredients and recipe found here)
  • 2 lbs of apples
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tbs unsalted butter
  • 3 tbs apricot or quince preserves


  • Follow these directions for a flakey pie crust. Roll out the dough to fit a 9″ or 10″ pie pan. Set aside.
  • Preheat the oven to 425°.
  • Peel the apples. Cut them in half and use a melon baller to scoop out the cores.
  • With the cut side down, cut the apples into 1/8″ slices and place them in a large bowl.
  • Add sugars, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and lemon juice and use your hands to gently toss and coat the apples.
  • Allow the apples to macerate for 30-40 minutes.
  • Drain the apples through a sieve, reserving the liquid.
  • Simmer the liquid with the 2 tbs of butter until it’s reduced to at least half to thicker consistency.
  • Meanwhile, overlap the slices in the pie shell, starting from the outside edge and spiraling towards the center.
  • Once you’re done, insert apple slices into any gaps with the tip of a knife. The slices should be packed rather tightly in the pie shell.
  • Pour half of the reduced liquid over the apples. Dissolve the preserves to the remaining liquid and keep warm.
  • Cover the pie with foil and steam vents and bake for 30-40 minutes until the apples are tender.
  • Remove the foil and brush the top of the pie for the preserve mixture.
  • Bake for another 10-15 minutes until the crust is golden brown and the pie is bubbling.
  • Allow to cool and serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream!


I omitted the sugar for health reasons and feel like the pie was fantastic. There is so much natural sweetness that comes from the apples that the pie frankly didn’t need any sugar at all. I also left the skin on the apples to preserve some of the nutrients. This is the closest thing to healthy apple pie one will find, and it’s delish!

That crust recipe is great. A) It says to mix 1 cup water with the 1.25 tsp of vinegar; it doesn’t say use it all, it says about 6 this, which makes sense as 5-6 tbls is common for 1 crust. You should both read the recipe in full before being so insulting, as it makes you look silly. 1 cup is def too much, but 5 tbls will not make a dry pastry. Read/follow the recipe and learn.

Made this for Easter, everyone said it was the best apple pie they’ve ever had. Followed recipe exactly as written. Got the pie crust recipe from NYT Cooking. THANK YOU

this is so good keep cooking !!!!! i love it so gooooooooooooddddddddddd make some more recipe’s yay big hit.

The flour to water ratio in pie crust link is outlandishly WRONG. 1-1/2 cup of flour to 1 cup water makes a goop. Water should be more like 5 tablespoons. Not happy to have wasted my precious leaf lard ordered online. Have to start over on crust.

5 Tbsp? A hefty third, if you will. Lmao I feel bad for the poor souls that are subjected to eating your sandy ass pastry.

Do you think I could use a tart pan instead? It’s 9″ across but only 1″ deep.

Thanks a lot for this recipe. Made it yesterday for a friends’ get together and it was an instant hit! Pie crust was fab, used the link you left in the post!. Beautifully crunchy and flaky!

I made this last year for Thanksgiving and it was came out darn good. Excited to make it again.

I’m going to make this for Thanksgiving!! Hope the family likes it I know they’ll think it’s beautiful just hope it tastes as goid as it looks & sounds !! So if I wanted to make it tonight and have it for tomorrow bit I want it to still be warm and fresh should I hold off on the last 10-15 min baking step until tomorrow? Or just completely do it tonight and warm it up in the oven tomorrow for lunch ????

Just popped the pie in the oven, I went with a Cinnamon roll crust and added a pinch of clove to the reserve liquid while I was cooking it down. I also used a mixture of granny smith and pink lady apples I think the tartness of the granny smiths will mix well with this pie.

Wow!! This presentation is absolutely amazing!! Almost too pretty to eat! I normally love the big crust of a pie but I’m definitely giving this one a try.

This pie is so beautiful! I’m tempted to see how it’ll come out with peaches in the place of the apples…

I’m making this pie as I type! I’m so excited to try this. I’m doing it with a cinnamon roll crust. I’ll let you know how it goes.

Does it have to be kosher salt? Or can I just use regular salt I have at home?

This looks lovely! I am going to attempt at making it tomorrow. Curious though, how do you get the innermost pieces to curl in around themselves when you are prepping the pie? Just really thin slices so that they are flexible?

Thanks Sarah! Yes and macerating the apples make them soft. Good luck!

Please update this recipe! some of the ingredients and steps are not listed.

@Terrie I can’t seem to find the missing step. Can you let me know what you’re feeling is missing?

Wondering where the lemon and lemon juice come into play in the recipe. Thanks!

@Kortini I removed the half lemon from the ingredients. It was there originally as a way to preserve the apples, as they soaked in water, after they’ve been peeled. But ultimately, it doesn’t really matter as it’s alright if the apples oxidize a bit.

I have 2 questions:
I have 2 pie pans. One is 2″ deep and one is 1 1/2 ” deep. Which one should I use?
How long can I leave this out (not refrigerated? Planning to make it on Wed night to serve Thurs dinner.
Thank you for your help!

@Victoria. I would go with the one that is 1.5″ deep. It’s nice to have the apple slices peek above the pie crust but honestly, either size would be just fine and just as beautiful! You can leave it out overnight. Maybe even leave it par cooked (under foil) and on the day of Thanksgiving, bake for 10-15 minutes uncovered. Because who doesn’t love a warm apple pie?

Would this work with a press-in crust, like a short bread or nut crust?

Do you think you could freeze this? Before baking and then pop in the oven the day of?

My goodness, this is just gorgeous, it looks like a rose! So yummy….adding this to my “to do” list this fall :o)

I would love to make this. How long did it take from start to putting it into the oven? I’m having a dinner party this week and want to see if this is feasible. It looks SOOOOOO beautiful.

@Anne, it just depends on how precise you wanna be with the apples. It probably took me about 2 hours from start to finish. But you can always prep the apples ahead of time.

This is so gorgeous! I wish I had your pie-making skills, so beautiful!

Honeycrisp apples are thaaa best! I’m going apple picking this weekend and I think I know what I’ll be making!

this is a very serious pie mic-drop! most beautiful apple pie I’ve seen in a long time!!

This is stunning! I love the addition of the apricot preserves–sounds heavenly!

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