Mile High Apple Pie

This recipe is called Mile High Apple Pie because you'll think you're piling the raw apples a mile into the sky before you bake it, but rest assured they will shrink down to perfection when baked. A little sugar sprinkled on top of the pastry crust before baking will give it a nice crunchy texture and a shine on top. 

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Raw apples in a pie crust in a pie pan as one stage in Mile High Apple Pie.

The best pies have a perfect pastry crust. To see more about how to make the perfect pastry, click here where you’ll find a recipe and video to help you along.

Sprinkling sugar on top of Mile High Apple Pie before baking.

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Mile High Apple Pie

  • Prep Time: 20 m
  • Cook Time: 55 m
  • Resting Time: 30 m
  • Total Time: 1 h 15 m
  • Servings:


  • Basic Pie Dough for 2 9-inch circles
  • 9 cups peeled cored and sliced apples (about 3 pounds; ½-inch slices)
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar plus more for sprinkling on top
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg or preferably freshly grated nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon allspice
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 4 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons butter cut into cubes
  • 1 egg lightly beaten


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 425 ̊F.
  2. Roll out the pastry circles on a floured surface until they are about ¼-inch thick. Place one circle of rolled out dough into the pie dish and gently press the dough into the edges of the dish. Trim the edges of the pastry and refrigerate the pie shell for 30 minutes. Place the other circle of dough in the refrigerator, either rolling it up in parchment paper or a silicone baking sheet.
  3. Combine the apples, sugars and spices in a large bowl and toss together. Let this sit and macerate for at least 30 minutes. Strain the apples through a colander into a bowl, reserving the liquid. Bring this liquid to a simmer in a small saucepan on the stove and reduce it almost by half.
  4. Toss the apples with the cornstarch and then return the reduced liquid to the mix. Transfer the apples to the pie dish with the rolled out pastry. Pile the apples high in the dish and dot the apples with the butter. Drape the remaining rolled out pastry circle over the top.
  5. Brush the lower edge of the pastry with water, and seal the top edge of the pastry down on the bottom edge. Once sealed together, trim the pastry around the dish. Make 5 or so slits or cut outs in the pastry to allow steam to escape during cooking. Brush the surface of the pie with the lightly beaten egg, and sprinkle the surface with sugar.
  6. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes. Reduce the heat to 350 ̊ F and continue to bake for another 20 to 25 minutes. If at any point the edges of the crust are getting too dark, cover the edges with aluminum foil. The pie is finished when nicely browned on top and the apples inside are tender and soft when pierced with a paring knife through one of the vent slits.
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Comments (24)Post a Reply

  1. Whenever I make an apple pie the apples shrink down and I’m left with a high crust and a layer of apples below. How do you prevent this. Is it the type of apple used?

    Thank you for your help.

    1. Hi Rae, Apples will shrink down as they cook and crispy pastry will set in place, so not having a gap can be a challenge. I haven’t come across an apple that doesn’t shrink yet, but it’s possible that some might shrink less than others. I like to think of that gap as a place for me to spoon some cream or ice cream into. 😉

  2. I would love to know how to keep from having a void between the crust & the apples after baked. Thank you

    1. That’s tough, Renee. The apples will always shrink as they cook and if the pastry is crispy (which is how I like it), it will remain high. With a different pastry (perhaps one made with shortening, rather than butter), you might be able to minimize the gap.

  3. This pie looks delicious! What are the best apples to use? Also is this a very sweet pie because I don’t like a very sweet apple pie.

    1. There are so many good apples to use in a pie, but they do have different results. If you don’t love a sweet pie, I would go with Granny Smith apples. They are more tart than other apples and the sugar in the pie will be a nice counter balance.

  4. I made this pie and baked it probably 20 minutes longer than specified in the recipe. The apples were still a bit crunchy and the bottom crust was not baked through completely. Any thoughts? It was otherwise delicious!

    1. Hi Patty. There are so many variables that could have affected that – the temperature of your oven, the temperature of the pie before you put it in the oven, the type of apples you used, the type of pie pan you used (glass, metal, ceramic). It’s hard to get everything exact. Sorry it took you a little longer to bake, but glad to hear that you did eventually enjoy it.

    1. Hi Kathy. I like Fuji, Honey Crisp, Winesap, Jonagold or Pink Lady, but there are lots of other great options too.

  5. I have made a lot of apple pies but this one by far is the best recipe. It came out very good but the only thing was when I cut it, the top crust kind of collapsed. There was a lot of liquid also but who cares because once you put ice cream on the top, it becomes a little bit of heaven. Thanks for the recipe.

  6. 5 stars
    One way to prevent the gap between apples and crust is to slightly pre-cook the apples. Would love to have you experiment with this and share instructions for amount of time to pre-cook.

  7. Hi,

    This pie looks awesome, but I am afraid to try it, because every time that I made apple pie it turns out more like soup. Too much liquid. What am I doing wrong???

    1. That’s a common problem. This recipe tosses the apples in sugar ahead of time, pulling out much of the liquid. Then, you strain that liquid and reduce it on the stove so that it’s thicker. This should help you avoid the soupy pie.

  8. I have been making pies for years and use honey as my sweetener and find lots of liquid so what I do now is to pre cook the liquid and add the apples that seems to work better and I do add flour to thicken the liquid. I love using fuji apples , sweet and crisp.

  9. 4 stars
    I made this pie last week. It tasted pretty good although it was “way” too juicy. Sliced into the first piece and apples slid out everywhere. I poured out as much juice as I could from the dish while saving the apples from sliding out. I think next time I’ll omit the strained juice. Also, strain the juice only after adding the sugar, then add the spices. Either this that or just add the apples right away to the pastry and cook. 🙂

    1. It is best to reduce the strained juice over the stovetop until it reaches a thicker consistency before adding it back to the apple filling. You will want to add it back in because it does add some flavor. Depending on what apples are used, there could be more juice than others. You can also add another teaspoon or two of the cornstarch to thicken it up.

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