Baking · Expat Berlin · Food · Lifestyle · Recipe

Homemade Apple Pie


I have lived in Berlin for a year now and have searched far and wide in this great country for a slice of traditional American apple pie, but continue to be disappointed every time a menu tempts me.  Germans love their Kuchen (cakes/pies) and I have noticed that they never stray from traditional recipes.  Every bakery sells the same cakes and pies, and each time I order apple pie in a restaurant it is usually served in the form of a torte with some form of a crazy gel that should never be consumed by any human or any living thing for that matter.  So I have baked my own pie.  One for a yoga event and the other, well of course for my husband who would be in tears if I left the house without leaving a slice for him.

Recipe adapted from The Joy of Baking. I have included the German ingredient equivalent in italics.


Apple Filling

  • 8-9 apples (I prefer green apples, but all work just as well)
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar (Brauner Zucker)
  • 1/4 cup white sugar (Weißzucker)
  • 2 Tbsp butter (I used unsalted butter)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon (Zimt)
  • 1/2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Pie Crust

  • 2 1/2 cups  white flour (Weizenmehl Type 405)
  • 1 cup of frozen unsalted butter
  • 2 Tbsp white sugar (Weißzucker)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup ice-cold water

Making the Pie Crust

  1. In a bowl, combine the flour, salt, and sugar.
  2. Take your butter out of the freezer and cut it into small square units or you could grate it through a thick whole cheese grater. I find this much easier than working with a pastry knife or other utensils.
  3. Combine flour mixture and grated butter until it forms a lumpy mixture with some loose flour (you want small chunks of butter, you do not want to cream it all together)
  4. Slowly add the ice-cold water into the flour/butter mixture until the dough just holds together.  Adding too much water will make the pie crust tough as you will have to add more flour and will end up over working the dough.
  5. Take your dough and separate it into two equal parts, one for the shell and the other for the top.
  6. Shape them into discs, wrap in plastic wrap, and place them in the fridge anywhere from 30 mins to 2 hours.  This settles the gluten in the flour and chills the butter.
  7. Remove one disc of dough from the fridge and roll the it out on a floured surface till it is ~2mm thick.  Use your pie dish to figure out how big you need to roll it out to (picture below).
  8. Gently peel the dough from the counter and place it inside your pie dish.  Place it back into the fridge to keep it cool.
  9. Repeat roll out instructions for the cover when you have finished the filling and placed it in the pie dish.


  1. Peel, core and slice up the apples.  I prefer smaller and thinner slices, but slice to your preference.
  2. In a bowl mix the apples slices with the brown and white sugar, cinnamon, lemon juice, and salt.  Let this mix sit for half hour to one hour.
  3. Place the apples and their juices in a strainer to capture all the juice.
  4. Take the juice and butter and heat on medium until caramelized. IMG_0908
  5. Put the apple slices in the pie shell, and then pour the caramelized juices over top of the apple slices. IMG_0911
  6. Finally cover with your dough topper, pinch together the shell and topper to make an interesting design.
  7. Make some slits in the topper to create vents for the pie while it is baking, and then place in the fridge for half hour to 2 hours.IMG_0912
  8. Heat your oven to 200 degrees C and bake for approx. 1 hour to 1 1/2 hours (depends on your oven).

Optional (Recommended): 15 min before finishing up in the oven, beat an egg and paint it onto the topper to create that professional browning you sometimes see.



Wait for about an hour before you dish it and add some vanilla ice cream or whip cream when serving.  Guten Appetit!!



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