classic brandy apple pie slice on white plate with granny smith apple

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This brandy and cinnamon apple pie recipe is a classic in our family for good reason — it’s too good to eat just one slice!

classic brandy apple pie slice on white plate with granny smith apple

Another family recipe for ya today! Every Thanksgiving, I’ve always looked forward to Mom’s apple pie. It also happens to be Granny’s recipe, except that we no longer use Granny’s homemade pie crust recipe with it. Instead, we use pre-made Pillsbury pie crusts.

mom holding pan with apple pie ready to bake

I know, I know… it seems kinda blasphemous at first. And sure, it doesn’t quite have that everything-about-this-is-homemade type of feel… but you do what works best, right? I always found that our homemade crust was too soggy on the bottom and totally changed the texture of the apples, which is one of my favorite parts. So, I decided to share the semi-homemade version instead.

The cinnamon. The spice. The flaky crust. The tartness of the granny smith apples and how it’s never baked too long to get mushy. It’s all just mouthwatering deliciousness. K and I both had two slices the night Mom and I baked this!

I don’t think it’s possible to overstate how much I enjoy this perfect apple pie every year. I’ve never only had one piece. It even makes a great — albeit indulgent — breakfast the next morning when I need the sugar rush for the Black Friday frenzy… another family tradition of ours!

peeled granny smith apples

Mom came over the other weekend to help bake and we got some great video footage. I’m still editing that down to share with you all, but I’m definitely planning on doing cooking sessions with her more often; she and I had a lot of fun.

I think I’ll create two versions: one that’s just a short recipe video (more share-friendly) to add to this post later, and a longer one that has all of Mom’s fun commentary and bloopers (such as the now-very-bruised apple that skittered across the table when Mom had the brilliant idea to shine it up with olive oil for the photography). For now, I’m posting just the recipe to make sure I have it up before the holidays! Enjoy!

You May Need:

  • 9-inch pie plate
  • pie server
  • mixing bowls
  • sharp knife

The best apples for cinnamon apple pie filling

For best results, I think tart apples like Granny Smith make the best option for apple pies because they balance out the sugar. You can potentially use other options like Braeburn apples or Pink Lady, but note that this may change the balance of the fruit sweetness with the rest of the pie filling.

I also prefer to cut the apples into cubes or chunks. Cutting them into thin apple slices makes them really soft after baking, but I like the texture of the larger bite.


Easy Cinnamon Apple Pie | Family Favorites

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This classic brandy apple pie never lasts long in our household — with premade crust and granny smith apples, this semi-homemade recipe is delicious fresh or as leftovers.

  • Author: Sarah Fogle
  • Cook Time: 1+ hour (bake + cool down)
  • Total Time: 0 hours
  • Category: dessert


  • 2 teaspoons apple pie spice
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon allspice
  • 2 dashes ground cloves
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/8 c. apple brandy
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 6 large (8 medium) granny smith apples — peeled, cored & quartered
  • 1 box (2ct) premade Pillsbury pie crust


  1. Preheat oven temperature to 425°. Remove pre-made pie crusts from box. Sprinkle a little bit of flour on the counter or cutting board & roll one out with rolling pin. Cut to size & place in pie dish. Save the other for later.
  2. Peel, core, & cube apples and place into a large bowl.
  3. Mix sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, ground cloves, and salt into a separate medium bowl. Coat apples with this flour mixture.
  4. Add lemon juice and brandy. Toss filling to evenly distribute.
  5. Place coated apple filling in pie pan. Add butter in slices over the mound of apples.
  6. Roll out second pie crust and cover top of the apples. Overlap and pinch bottom crust to the top crust to ensure no seepage on the edges during baking. Optional: coat with egg wash on top of the pie.
  7. With a sharp knife, add a few slits to the top pie crust.
  8. Bake pie for 15 minutes at 425 °. Turn oven down to 325° and bake another 45 mins. Turn off oven and allow to cool down in the oven before serving.


  • Pre-made pie crust needs to warm up to be pliable for rolling. If it doesn’t unfold, let it thaw longer (otherwise it will break along the folds from the box).
  • Our family is pretty generous with the brandy, which is the “secret ingredient” to the flavor in this recipe. We usually add it by the capful, rather than traditional measuring.
  • My granny always made her own pie crust for this recipe, but I found it was always too soggy on the bottom. Pillsbury gets it right!
  • Waiting until the filling cools down in the oven will help make the filling less runny.

What to serve with apple pie

As with most fruit pies, one of the best ways to serve it is a la mode with vanilla ice cream!

Brandy substitutions

If you don’t have brandy or don’t like it, there are a number of substitutes including non-alcoholic options:

  • Whiskey — equal amount; may make the recipe taste a little more boozy
  • Rum — equal amount; may taste a little sweeter
  • Brandy extract (non-alcoholic) — one part extract to four parts water; will keep the same notes and as close as you can get to the real thing
  • Apple juice (non-alcoholic) — equal amount; may taste sweeter (you can dilute with water as long as it’s the same total amount) and will not have quite the same taste but will bring out a similar flavor

Don’t get to pin it for next time!

moms classic brandy apple pie recipe

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  1. Wet the top of the crust with water and sprinkle sugar on top before baking to get a pretty top. You can use regular sugar but I like to use sugar in the raw for this.