Delicious French Apple Pie Recipe to Impress Anyone

Ah, apple pie. Sweet, comforting and delicious – this classic dessert has remained a staple in culinary culture for centuries. As a culinary explorer, I have traveled the world sampling various interpretations of this beloved dish. And without exaggeration, French Apple Pie reigns supreme.

The French Apple Pie – known as tarte aux pommes – is the perfect combination of tart cooking apples smothered in sugar, ground nutmeg and lemon juice, all nestled in a crisp, buttery crust. The end result is an aroma that fills your kitchen and satisfies all cravings.

In my culinary journey, I have discovered that every aspect of this recipe is crucial to creating a tantalizingly delicious French Apple Pie. From choosing the freshest ingredients to perfecting the pie crust texture and seasoning, every little detail matters.

So let me share with you my carefully formulated recipe that guarantees to transport your taste buds straight to Paris. This French Apple Pie recipe is not just another version of the classic dessert; it’s an experience unlike any other.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Apple Pie, The French Way
Apple Pie, The French Way

It’s a chilly autumn day, and what could be better than the sweet and comforting aroma of fresh apple pie wafting through your kitchen? But this time, let’s try something different. Something better. Let’s try the French way of making apple pie.

This recipe has all the traditional elements that you love in an apple pie – the warm spices, tender sliced apples, and flaky pastry crust – with a few twists to elevate it to a whole new level of deliciousness.

Firstly, instead of just using sugar as the sweetener for the filling, we add a bit of brown sugar to create a deeper, richer flavor that perfectly complements the tartness of cooking apples. We also add a touch of ground nutmeg to bring out the apple’s natural sweetness and fragrance.

But that’s not all! To make our crust extra flavorful and flaky, we use both butter and margarine. The margarine adds a subtle nuttiness that pairs perfectly with our crust’s vanilla extract. Plus, using both fats creates excellent pockets of air in our pie crust dough, resulting in extra flakiness when baked.

So why will you love this recipe aside from its perfect flavor balance? Because it’s versatile! You can serve it either as a traditional apple pie or switch it up with French or Dutch techniques, depending on your preference. This pie is perfect for any occasion: family gatherings or holidays, weeknight indulgences or potlucks at work or school.

Trust me; once you taste this rich and delectable Apple Pie, you won’t want to go back to any other version!

Ingredient List

 Golden, flaky crust with the perfect cinnamon-scented hints.
Golden, flaky crust with the perfect cinnamon-scented hints.

For the Crust:

  • 2 cups of flour
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) of unsalted butter or margarine, cut into cubes
  • ¼ cup of milk

For the French Apple Pie Filling:

  • 6 cups of sliced tart cooking apples, peeled and cored
  • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract
  • ½ cup of white sugar
  • ½ cup of brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon of ground nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter or margarine

Pie Crust:

To make the perfect crust for your French apple pie, you’ll need flour, sugar, salt, unsalted butter or margarine, and milk. You can use either margarine or unsalted butter for this recipe. Make sure your butter or margarine is cold and cut it into cubes. The milk will help bind the crust together and create a flaky texture.

French Apple Pie Filling:

This recipe calls for six cups of sliced tart cooking apples. Make sure to choose the right type of apple – something that is slightly acidic and won’t turn to mush when baked. Granny Smith or Honeycrisp apples are good choices. Toss them in a mixture of lemon juice, vanilla extract, white sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and unsalted butter. The combination creates a fragrant blend that is both sweet and tangy.

The Recipe How-To

Are you ready to make a French-style Apple Pie that will impress any crowd? This recipe is both indulgent and sophisticated. Here’s how to make it:


For the crust:

  • 1 ½ cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, cold and cubed
  • 3-4 tablespoons milk

For the filling:

  • 6 cups peeled, cored, and sliced tart cooking apples
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons flour

Prepare the Crust

In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, and salt. Add cold cubed butter or margarine to the mixing bowl. Using a pastry cutter or a fork, cut in the butter until the mixture forms pea-sized crumbles. Add milk one tablespoon at a time while stirring to bring the dough together, stopping once it clumps together.

Divide the dough into two halves, thenpress each half into a disc shape. Wrap them tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least thirty minutes.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out one of your chilled pie crusts to be approximately 12 inches in diameter. It should be big enough for your pie plate. Once rolled out carefully lay it over your pie plate so that it rests evenly against and overlaps the sides of your dish.

Prepare Filling

In a medium bowl add all of filling ingredients: sliced apples, vanilla extract, cinnamon, nutmeg, lemon juice, white sugar and brown sugar. Toss gently until well combined.

Bake and Serve

Transfer the filling into your prepared pie crust.
Roll out the second half of your chilled dough on your floured surface into a circle that is slightly wider than your pie plate.
Lay this over the top of your apple filling as you would with any double-crust pie mix so that it is level with or hangs slightly off of the edge around your pie plate.
Crimp or fold up and pinch together edges of both layers all around to seal things up.
Pop apple pie in preheated oven (350°F) for about an hour or until golden brown colour appears on top of crust.
Once ready let cool at room temperature for no less than an hour before slicing or serving.

Now indulge in a slice of warm France-inspired apple pie with some ice cream on top!

Substitutions and Variations

 A slice of this apple pie is sure to bring a smile to any face.
A slice of this apple pie is sure to bring a smile to any face.

As a culinary explorer, I know that making changes to a recipe can lead to delicious discoveries. Here are some substitutions and variations to the French Apple Pie recipe that you can explore:

– Apples: While tart apples are recommended for this recipe, you can use different types of apples to change the flavor profile. Sweet apples like Honeycrisp or Pink Lady can be used to create a more delicate flavor. If tartness is not your favorite, try using Granny Smith apples in combination with sweet apples.

– Crust: You can use pre-made pie crusts or store-bought puff pastry for a quicker baking process. However, making your own pie crust will give your French Apple Pie an authentic texture and flavor.

– Toppings: For a twist on the traditional apple pie, sprinkle cinnamon sugar on top of the crust before baking. You could also make a Dutch Apple topping by mixing 1/2 cup flour, 1/2 cup brown sugar, and 1/4 cup butter. Or, if you prefer less sugar but still want crunch, try a crumble topping made of oats, butter, and brown sugar.

– Sugar: If you want to use less refined sugar, try substituting the white or brown sugar with honey or maple syrup. You could also experiment with other natural sweeteners like coconut sugar or date syrup.

– Spices: Nutmeg is traditionally included in apple pie recipes, but you may prefer allspice or ginger for a slightly different spice profile. Also, with fall approaching closer you might add some pumpkin spice to this one!

Keep in mind that any changes you make to the French Apple Pie recipe may affect the final product’s texture and taste. Experimentation is welcome in culinary explorations!

Serving and Pairing

 One look at this beauty and you'll be transported to the rustic countryside of France.
One look at this beauty and you’ll be transported to the rustic countryside of France.

Now that you have made the perfect French apple pie, it’s time to serve and enjoy it! The delicate and flaky crust of this pie pairs ideally with a dollop of whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. Or you can even serve it warm with a slice of sharp cheddar cheese on top for a sweet and savory taste.

I would recommend serving this French apple pie as a dessert at your next dinner party or potluck gathering. The beautiful aroma, as well as the stunning appearance of the pie, is sure to impress your guests.

Complement this delicious dessert with a cup of hot tea or coffee to balance its sweetness. Alternatively, pair it with an apple cider cocktail or a glass of Chardonnay for an added touch of extravagance.

Whether it’s a special occasion or just a casual weeknight dessert, this French apple pie is perfect for indulging in a sweet and comforting treat.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 The aroma of warm apples and buttery pastry is pure bliss.
The aroma of warm apples and buttery pastry is pure bliss.

When it comes to apple pie, it’s always best to bake it fresh and serve it warm. However, I understand that sometimes you need to plan ahead or have leftovers. With this French-style apple pie recipe, you can easily make it ahead of time and store it properly for later consumption.

To make ahead, you can bake the apple pie up to 24 hours in advance. Allow it to cool completely on a wire rack before wrapping tightly in plastic wrap and storing in the fridge. When ready to serve, reheat the pie in a preheated oven at 350°F (177°C) for 15-20 minutes or until heated through.

If you have leftover apple pie, store it properly to maintain its quality. Cover the pie in plastic wrap or aluminum foil and keep it refrigerated for up to three days. You can also freeze the apple pie for up to three months. Wrap the baked and cooled pie tightly in plastic wrap and aluminum foil before freezing.

To reheat frozen apple pie, allow it to thaw overnight in the fridge prior to reheating. Preheat your oven at 350°F (177°C), remove all wrappings, and place the pie on a baking sheet. Bake for approximately 40-50 minutes or until heated through.

Remember not to reheat the apple pie excessively as it may cause overcooking which could ruin taste consistency. Proper storage ensures the longevity of the French-style apple tarte, maintaining that classic flavour that you love even after reheating.

Tips for Perfect Results

 The perfect balance of tart and sweet apples is key to this French-style pie.
The perfect balance of tart and sweet apples is key to this French-style pie.

Achieving the perfect French apple pie takes practice, patience, and a little bit of knowledge. Below are some tips that will help you make a French apple pie that is sure to impress.

Firstly, it’s important to use the right type of apples. Tart cooking apples work best for this type of recipe as they tend to hold their shape and provide a sharp flavor that balances out the sweetness of the sugar. Granny Smith or Honey Crisp apples are great options, but feel free to experiment with different varieties to find your favorite.

Secondly, for the perfect crust, make sure to chill your butter or margarine before using it, as this prevents it from melting too quickly and allows for flakier pastry. For additional richness and depth of flavor, try using a combination of unsalted butter and margarine in your dough.

Thirdly, when making your filling mixture, toss the sliced apples with lemon juice before adding any other ingredients. The acidity in the lemon juice helps to prevent browning and enhances the overall flavor of the pie.

Fourthly, consider adding ground nutmeg and vanilla extract to your filling mixture for additional complexity and depth of flavor. These spices complement the flavors in the apples and provide a warmth that is perfect for colder weather.

Fifthly, avoid overfilling your pie crust. The apple filling should sit below the top edge of the pie plate. This will help prevent bubbling over during baking and ensure an even distribution of heat throughout the filling mixture.

Sixthly, be careful not to overbake your French apple pie. It is important to keep an eye on it towards the end of cooking time and remove it once it has turned golden brown and the filling is tender. Overcooking can result in a mushy filling or burnt crust.

Finally, let your French apple pie cool completely before slicing into it. This will allow time for the filling mixture to set properly and make for easier slicing.

By following these tips, you will be well on your way to creating a delicious French apple pie that is sure to impress. Remember that practice makes perfect and don’t be afraid to experiment with different variations until you find one that suits your taste preferences perfectly!


As with any dish, there may be some questions or concerns about this particular recipe. Here are some frequently asked questions and answers that will help you make the most of your experience with this French Apple Pie.

What is the difference between French apple pie and regular apple pie?

When it comes to apple pies, Dutch Apple Pie sets itself apart from the traditional version by trading the top layer of crust for a delectable layer of brown sugar crumb. This variation is also known as French Apple Pie or Streusel Apple Pie, but the delicious combination of cinnamon-spiced apples and crumbly topping remains a constant.

Whats the trick to a great apple pie?

As a culinary explorer, I have discovered some essential tips and recommendations for baking the perfect apple pie. To start, it is crucial to keep all your ingredients cold, especially the butter. This helps to create a flaky crust. Speaking of crust, I suggest using an all-butter recipe to enhance the flavor and texture. You can also try making a butter-flour paste to create a sturdy crust that won’t crumble.

The next tip is using vodka (or not) in your pie crust recipe. Vodka is known to evaporate faster than water, creating a tender crust. But if you prefer not to use vodka, you can add ice-cold water instead. When it comes to incorporating the liquid into the dough, be sure to use a spatula and not your hands to avoid overworking the dough.

In choosing the type of apple, I suggest opting for tart apples as they hold their shape better and balance the sweetness of the filling. It is also essential to go easy on the seasoning, as you want the natural flavor of the apples to shine through. Moreover, par-cooking your apples before filling your pie helps to create a perfectly cooked filling without a soggy crust.

By following these tips and recommendations, you will be on your way to making an unforgettable apple pie that will be the talk of the town.

What is the difference between traditional apple pie and Dutch apple pie?

If you’re a fan of apple pies, you might have noticed that there are two types of toppings commonly used – the crumbly streusel topping and the classic top layer of pie crust. Each type gives a different texture and flavor profile to the pies. Let’s explore the differences between Dutch apple pies and classic apple pies.

Why do you put lemon juice in apple pie?

When preparing apples for a pie or cobbler, it is commonly recommended to toss the slices in a small amount of lemon juice. This is because lemon juice acts as a protective barrier between the apple’s flesh and the air, preventing oxidation and the browning of the slices.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, I highly recommend trying out this French-style apple pie recipe. With its perfect blend of tart cooking apples, ground nutmeg, and cinnamon sugar, it is sure to become a favorite in your household. The use of butter and lemon juice adds richness and brightness to this traditional dish. Plus, the option for different pastry styles allows for customization and experimentation in the kitchen.

Whether you are a seasoned baker or just starting out, this recipe is easy to follow and can be adapted to suit any taste preference. Not to mention, it is a delightful addition to any special occasion or family gathering. And with the helpful tips and substitutions provided in this article, ensuring perfect results has never been so simple.

Do not waste any more time dreaming about the delectable aroma of freshly baked apple pie wafting through your home. Gather the ingredients today and start creating your own French-style masterpiece. Trust me, your taste buds will thank you for it!

Apple Pie, The French Way

Apple Pie, The French Way Recipe

I found this recipe in an old "McCall's Cooking School " magazine from the 1970's. I have made it quite a few times, and although it is more time consuming than a simple apple pie, it is quite scrumptious, and I feel it is worth the extra time. Be sure to serve it within a day of making; any longer than that and the custard starts getting absorbed and disappears (although it is still good!)
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Prep Time 50 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine French
Calories 575.1 kcal


  • 1 pastry for double-crust pie


  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoon butter or 1 tablespoon margarine
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Apple filling

  • 2 lbs tart cooking apples
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons butter or 2 tablespoons margarine
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 dash ground nutmeg
  • 3/4 apricot preserves
  • 1 egg yolk


  • Have the pie crust dough ready.
  • Roll out 2/3 of the pastry to form a 12 inch circle and line a 9 inch pie plate with it.
  • Refrigerate with remaining pastry.
  • To make custard: In a small saucepan, combine 1/3 cup sugar and the flour; mix well.
  • Stir in milk.
  • bring to a boil, stirring; reduce heat; simmer, stirring until slightly thickened, approx.
  • 1 min.
  • or so.
  • In a bowl, beat 3 egg yolks slightly.
  • Beat some of the hot mixture into yolks.
  • Pour back into the saucepan, stirring.
  • Add 1 tablespoon butter and the vanilla.
  • Turn into a bowl to cool.
  • Apple filling: Core, pare and slice the apples, sprinkle with lemon juice.
  • In a skillet, heat the butter with the sugar and nutmeg.
  • Add the apples; saute, stirring occasionally.
  • Cook until almost tender- about 5 minutes.
  • Remove from heat.
  • Melt apricot preserves in a little saucepan and set aside.
  • Preheat oven to 425F.
  • Assembly: Pour the custard into the pie shell, spreading evenly.
  • Arrange the apple slices on top, mounding slightly in the center and only adding a little of the juices released from cooking them.
  • Spread with the melted apricot preserves.
  • Roll out the rest of the pastry dough to make a 10 inch circle.
  • Cut into 12 strips, 1/2 inch wide.
  • Moisten the edge of the pastry shell with a little water.
  • Arrange six pastry strips across the filling; press ends to rim of pie shell; trim ends if necessary.
  • Arrange rest of strips at a right angle to the first strips, to form a lattice.
  • Bring overhang of the pastry up over ends of strips; crimp edge.
  • Mix egg yolk with 1 tablespoon of water and brush on pastry.
  • Bake 40 minutes, or until golden.

Your Own Notes


Serving: 290gCalories: 575.1kcalCarbohydrates: 69.2gProtein: 7.5gFat: 31gSaturated Fat: 10.8gCholesterol: 146.8mgSodium: 392.5mgFiber: 4.7gSugar: 31.3g
Keyword < 4 Hours, Apple, Dessert, Fruit, Oven, Pie, Weeknight, Winter
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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