Ultimate Apple Pie Recipe


This recipe is perfect for fall, but even better on Thanksgiving.

Active Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
8 hrs 15 mins
8 serves

We found the ultimate apple pie in the most unexpected place. When customers walk through the door of Buxton Hall Barbecue in Asheville, North Carolina, they are greeted not just by the sweet smell of smoke of whole hogs cooking over oak and hickory wood, but also by "the pie table". Ashley Capps, the pastry chef behind the restaurant's in-house Buxton Hall Bakery, crowns the long table's vintage stands with flavors like Caramel Walnut Chess and her sell-out hit Banana Pudding Pie. Capps' developed the Ultimate Apple Pie to include fresh and dried fruit along with apple butter for a deep flavor and engaging texture. This recipe is perfect for fall, but even better on Thanksgiving. Bake a few different pies this year and set up your own pie table.

Ultimate Apple Pie from Buxton Hall

Greg Dupree; Prop Styling: Christine Keely; Food Styling: Torie Cox


Flaky Pie Dough

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting

  • 2/3 cup whole-wheat pastry flour

  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 10 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

  • 1/2 cup cold whole buttermilk, plus 2 to 3 Tbsp. more, if needed


  • 3 pounds mixed apples (such as Winesap, Mutsu, Granny Smith, and Honeycrisp), cored, peeled, and cut into 1⁄2-inch-thick slices (about 6 apples)

  • 4 ounces dried apples, coarsely chopped

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter

  • 1/4 cup apple butter

  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from 2 lemons)

  • 1 teaspoon orange zest (from 1 orange)

  • 1/2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger

  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom

  • 2 cups packed light brown sugar

  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour

  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Additional Ingredients

  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons demerara sugar


  1. Prepare the Flaky Pie Dough: Line a small metal or plastic bowl with aluminum foil. Place 6 tablespoons butter in a small heavy saucepan; cook over medium, stirring constantly, until butter begins to turn golden brown, 6 to 8 minutes. Remove from heat; immediately pour butter into prepared bowl. Freeze until butter has solidified, about 1 hour. Lift foil from bowl; remove foil from butter, and cut into small pieces.

  2. Stir together flours and salt in a medium bowl. Sprinkle browned butter pieces and cold butter pieces over flour mixture. (Do not mix into flour.) Place bowl in freezer 10 minutes.

  3. Remove from freezer. Using your hands, pinch and smear butter pieces into the flour mixture to evenly distribute. (Return bowl to freezer for 10 minutes if butters begin to soften.)

  4. Add 1⁄2 cup cold buttermilk, and stir just until dough begins to come together, stirring in more buttermilk, 1 tablespoon at a time, if needed. Dough should be dry and formed into a mass; pieces of butter should be visible.

  5. Divide dough in half. Press each half into a round, flat disk; wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, at least 1 hour.

  6. Remove 1 dough disk from refrigerator and unwrap. Roll dough into a 13-inch circle on a lightly floured surface. Fit dough into a 9-inch pie plate, making sure dough is evenly draped with no stretching or pockets. Place pie plate in refrigerator.

  7. Remove remaining dough disk from refrigerator and unwrap. Roll dough to 1⁄8-inch thickness on lightly floured parchment paper. Cut into about 8 (1-inch-wide) strips. Transfer dough strips, with parchment paper, onto a large plate or baking sheet, and chill until ready.

  8. Prepare the Filling: Stir together apple slices, dried apples, butter, and apple butter in a large skillet. Cook apple mixture over medium-high, stirring often, until apples are tender-crisp, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from heat. Add lemon juice, orange zest, grated ginger, and vanilla. Gently stir to combine. Sprinkle cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and cardamom over apple mixture, and gently stir to combine. Sprinkle with brown sugar, flour, and salt, and gently stir to combine.

  9. Spoon Filling into chilled pie shell. Arrange dough strips in a lattice pattern on top. Trim excess dough, and discard. Press edges with a fork or crimp by pinching with your fingers to make a decorative pattern. Freeze 20 minutes.

  10. Preheat oven to 425ºF. Brush crust with beaten egg, and sprinkle lightly with demerara sugar. Bake in preheated oven 15 minutes; reduce oven temperature to 350°F, and bake until Filling is bubbly and crust is golden brown, about 45 more minutes. Cover pie with aluminum foil after 30 minutes to prevent overbrowning. Let cool completely (4 to 6 hours) before slicing.

Related Articles