Apple Chess Pie

An autumn-inspired spin on classic chess pie.

Apple Chess Pie in a brown pie dish
Photo: Photo: James Ransom; Food Styling: Ruth Blackburn; Prop Styling: Christine Keely
Active Time:
20 mins
Cool Time:
2 hrs 30 mins
Total Time:
4 hrs

A chess pie is a simple thing of beauty. This Thanksgiving, give the old-standby the holiday treatment by adding cinnamon and slices of crisp Granny Smith apples into the filling.

Sure, you could make a traditional double-crust apple pie, but if you're a little bored with making the same pies year after year, this recipe delivers a fun twist on two classics in one. Thin apple slices are the key to a pretty pie and also ensuring they cook through while baking.

Although you could use another kind of tart apple, we like how Granny Smith's sour taste balances out the sweetness of this pie's custard filling. Granny Smith apples also hold their shape well when baking, unlike other varieties that quickly turn to mush.

If you're tight on time or not confident with your pie dough making skills, swap our All-Butter Pie Dough out for store-bought; your guests will never know the difference.


  • 1 recipe All-Butter Pie Dough

  • 2 cups granulated sugar

  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface

  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt

  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten

  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, melted

  • 3 tablespoons evaporated milk

  • ½ teaspoon grated lemon zest plus 1 tablespoon fresh juice (from 1 lemon)

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 2 medium Granny Smith apples, peeled and thinly sliced (31/2 cups)

  • Powdered sugar, for garnish

  • Vanilla ice cream, for serving


  1. Roll out All-Butter Pie Dough on a lightly floured work surface into a 12-inch round. Place in an ungreased 9-inch pie plate, pressing dough into the bottom and sides of the pie plate. Fold excess dough under edges; crimp as desired. Freeze for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 400°F, and remove the pie from the freezer while oven preheats. Line pastry with parchment paper; fill with pie weights or beans. Bake 10 minutes. Remove parchment and weights. Prick bottom and sides of crust with a fork; return to oven, and bake 8 minutes. Let cool 30 minutes.

  2. Whisk together granulated sugar, flour, cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl until combined. Add eggs, butter, milk, lemon zest, lemon juice, and vanilla, whisking until smooth.

  3. 3. Arrange apple slices in bottom of prepared piecrust. Pour egg mixture over apples.

  4. Reduce oven to 350°F. Bake until center is set and barely jiggles, 55 to 60 minutes, covering edges with aluminum foil halfway through baking time to prevent overbrowning, if needed. Let cool completely on a wire rack, about 2 hours. Garnish with powdered sugar, and serve with ice cream.

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