The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Help! My Apple Pie came out wet!

Auntie_Ai's picture

Help! My Apple Pie came out wet!

This is not about bread but I didn't know where to turn to.  I'm hoping someone from the friendly Fresh Loaf community can help. 

I made an Apple Pie today (first time) and the filling is sooooo wet!  I'm not sure what I did wrong.  Here's the filling recipe:


4lbs of apples (I used 25% Gala, 75% Fuji), cut up into qtrs then thirds

juice of 1/2 lemon sprinkled over the apples to keep them from browning

flour mixture: 

   3/4 C sugar 

   1/4 C all purpose flour

   1   tsp salt

   1 3/4 tsp ground cinnamon

      1/2 tsp ground nutmet

      1/8 tsp grd allspice


I mixed all the ingredients for the flour mixture then sprinkled it over the apples before putting it into the crust.  I baked the pie at 400F for 1hr and 10minutes. 

Rosalie's picture

I'm not sure I've ever baked a pie before.  So I'd be guessing as much as you.

Your liquids are all from your apples and the lemon.  Some apples are better for pies than others.  Perhaps your apples have too much moisture.  Or maybe it was a particularly large and juicy lemon.


sphealey's picture

This information comes from jRh, the master pie maker of our family[1]:

  • Your proportions are in the right range
  • Except for the lemon juice - you only need 1 teaspoon
  • Fujis may be a problem; they are really designed for eating rather than baking. You should consider using Granny Smith or other firm tart baking apple as your primary apple (some Gala is OK she says)
  • Did you cut vent holes in the top? Just fork-poked holes are not enough for a fresh fruit pie; you will need some small moon-shaped openings (hers are usually 3/4" / 2 cm long and there are 4 to 6 of them plus a few fork holes)
  • Is it fully cooked? Often fresh fruit pie takes longer to cook, which can result in the edge of the crust burning. This is why bakers shops sell pie rings to put around the edge after 10 minutes or so; you can do the same with aluminum foil
  • Be aware that when fresh fruit pie comes out of the oven it IS very wet. It needs a minimum of 30 minutes to set, and if you want it firm you will need to let it fully cool. She points out that many people have only eaten resturant pie which is refrigerated and contains thickening agents.
  • Sometimes you get a wet one for no apparent reason. Use a long shallow cooking spoon to scoop it out; it still tastes great
  • Finally, fresh fruit pies are just overall wetter than commercial pies that are made with trans fat, thickening agents, etc.

By all means persevere however; there is nothing that compares to a well-made fresh fruit / fresh crust pie.


[1] No exaggeraton: my spouse's mother, maternal grandmother, and paternal grandmother were all expert piemakers. She learned from all of them and bakes a mean pie herself.

browndog's picture

Excellent overview. Your wife knows from pie all right.

One very good indicator of a thoroughly baked pie is big slow bubbles rising up through the vents. If you do not have bubbles I would think it very likely underdone inside, unless your vents are tiny and your crust quite strong. Pull it out of the oven, you will be able to hear the filling bubble too. In my experience a pie will continue to set up for hours after it's baked. Using minute tapioca according to the directions on the box, rather than flour, gives me a more reliably thickened pie and I like that texture too.


Reading over your recipe, it seems to me that an apple cut only in thirds is a pretty big chunk of apple. My slices are no more then a quarter of an inch thick. I wonder if that would affect pectin release?

Rosalie's picture

No, no, no.  The apples were cut into fourths, THEN thirds.  You misread it.


browndog's picture

Math-challenged. I didn't misread it, Rosalie, I misthought it. Are we talking about kings?

turosdolci's picture

Look at my apple pie recipe on

The type of apples are extremly important not all apples are good for baking. Also you can add either a few tablespoons of flour, cornstarch or in Switzerland they use ground almonds or hazelnuts. I am not a big fan of the nuts because I think it makes the pie too dry. I don't like apple pie that does not have a little juice. I use 3 types of apples (listed in the article I have also listed the types of apples that are good for baking). I also don't use lemon juice but use lemon zest.  However sometimes I add a little Calvados (apple brandy). I also cut a decorative slices in the crust to let out the steam. I cook the pie for the first 12-15 minutes at 425ºF and then for about 45 minutes at 350ºF. This varies depending on your stove. Keep all the ingredients very cold when making the crust and I even put it in the freezer for about 10 minutes before baking to bring the temp. down again.

qahtan's picture


 I always lightly cook my apple for an apple pie, this way I can control how much sugar to put in.

 I never use any spices as we like the flavour of "apple " pie.

My pastry is always butter pastry 

Salted butter, flour, sugar, egg and water.


demegrad's picture

 Well I know it cheating but what works with a lot of fruit pies is to sprinkle the sugar over the fruit, I think this is called macerating (thats probably spelled wrong), but I think it should work with cut apples.  Let that sit around until the sugar absorbs a lot of water from the fruit then drain the juice into a saucepan and simmer gently for a while until the juice thickens, then throw your not cooked apples into the crust and top with the already thickened juices.  Once the pie is baked and cooled everything should be good.


SDbaker's picture

In baking, sugar is treated and acts as a liquid  (ever try to make whipped cream or egg whites and add the sugar too quickly and see the mass break and water form at the bottom?  It's the disolving sugar doing that.  You may look for a recipe with a lower sugar level as an experiement and see how it turns out. Or reduce the amount of this recipe.

Some recipes dust the sliced apples in flour.  Also, there are apples which are best for baking due to their characteristics when cooked.

Venting during baking and resting after baking are always good ideas.

Hope this helps.

 SD Baker

Ramona's picture

I know that all apples have their own characteristics and bakers say that some are for eating and some  are for baking, but I use whatever I have and I often mix my apples like you did.  I actually kinda throw mine together and do not get wet pies.  I use whole wheat or spelt flour with butter and cold water for the dough.  I just sprinkle some spices and flour (or date sugar) across the apples about twice as I layer.  I never precook the apples, but I also don't get that gooey kind of gel that store bought pies have in theirs.  I then twirl some (a little) honey (if not using date sugar) across the apples, dot with with a couple of tbsp. of butter and put on the top crust.  I like an egg wash on top and put in 4-6 slashes.  Bake at 425 degrees for about 45 minutes.   When I have made peach pies in the past, I put the peaches and the flour/spice mixture in a bowl and mix it all up and then put it into the pie crust.  This might help.  I will say this though.  I use only organic apples.  Non-organic vegs. and fruits are grown with alot of chemicals.  The fertilizers make the plant very thirsty and so the plant gourges itself on alot of water while it produces and the fruit really gets big and looks good, but actually, is very bland and full of water.  That's why store bought tomatoes taste awful.  If you have ever had a tomato grown organically, you would know what I am talking about.  So, what I am saying is that your apples are probably full of water and it all comes out in the hot oven. 

biscuitman's picture

Hi aunti_ Ai !  Biscuitman here !

   There's a couple things you can do !  I would use either corn starch or what they call cassava powder(Tapioca before the beading process takes place as a thickener in placer of the flour . They both will bake clear when the pie is done which is a good thing . 

  When tossing the sugar & spice  mix in with the apples hold back the salt until right before you add it into the pie  the salt will draw excess moisture out of the fruit prematurely.  If you add the salt in with everything else then do as previously mentioned and drain off the juices ,reduce them to a syrup and then add them back in .

   You can brush lightly the bottom of your pie crust with a whipped egg white first and bake it in the oven for 5 minutes .   This will help to prevent juices from the fruit leeching directly into the bottom crust which will make it soggy.  Another thing to do to prevent the soggies is to sprinkle some semi dry yellow cake crumbs into the bottom of the shell to help sop up some of the juice.  They won't show up in the final product either. 

  This is an ol' pastry chef's trick.  I always keep a decent supply on hand in my freezer and use it in place of bread crumbs for a number of purposes including sprinkling on all kinds of cheese gratins,meatloaf,meatballs,chicken or pork parmesan or any other type of cutlets,and baked fish, etc... 

  I personally think that the best way to serve a pie is to bake it the day before and then let it set completely and cool off to room temp and then put it in the fridge over night .  The day you're going to serve it gently warm it back up in the oven slightly .  It should slice perfectly and taste great and it gives all the flavors a chance to marry and gel together !

One more method you might want to try is to blind bake your shell for 15 min ,prebake your apple filling,let it cool slightly,the beauty of this method is you can completely adjust your filling flavors ,drain the resultant juices and reduce as stated before and then add them back in.  

  I truly will again try to talk you into using a baking stone .  This will give your crust a more consistent golden brown color and will eliminate the resulting soggy crust also !

I would also recommend that you hold back from too much sweetener in your crust dough because then you will be reeking havoc with your crust color and you open that can of worms involving tenting and baking rims changing your oven temp 2 or 3 times and so on IMHO.  I think there is nothing wrong with raising the temp a little in the becoming to jump start the whole process .  But 400 degrees for the whole duration of the baking process might be slightly excessive IMHO  and may cause too much of the juices from the fruit  to run out .  I bake mine on the stone @ 350 for the whole time for about an hour to an hour and 15 minutes.

Again with a stone there is no appreciable heat loss opening the oven door.   You just need to cook the pie a few more minutes.  In the end when fully cooled and reheated the next day you will have a beautifully golden brown fully set ,nice slicing great tasting dessert...When done correctly I still think it is the icon of all American desserts . 

  Here are some links to help you in choosing the right apples for your pie depending on what time of year it is and where you live:

I am certainly not the last word on fruit pies but these techniques work for me...I hope this helps you some !   Good Luck !!!


Auntie_Ai's picture

Great tip list Biscuitman! One question...

We have cornstarch, Cassava powder, Tapioca all available here.  In your experience, which would you recommend I try first?  And would the amount I put be the same among the three?



biscuitman's picture

Hi Aunti_ai ! Biscuitman here!

I would start with cornstarch first . Cassava powder and tapioca are one in the same except they are at different stages of processing. The powder being the optimun type is used before it is subjected to the beading process used in puddings. As far as amounts go these three types have twice the thickening power of flour. When using cornstarch the filling has to come to a full boil before it will thicken completely(when the filling is bubbly)...don't overcook your filling or pie when using cornstarch or it will start to become runny again. This is not generally a problem . Like with most baking you are paying close attention just before you remove your product anyway....Cassava powder will thicken slightly sooner and arrowroot starts thickening at about 160 degrees.

Add a pinch more thickener if you plan on slicing the pie soon after the rest period out of the oven....What I like about using these thickeners instead of flour is they will not impact flavor if at all compared to regular flour. Remember that the more sugar you use in the filling the more thickener you'll probably need...always increasing these amounts in small quantities.

There is no difference between the amount of thickener used with fresh fruit pies and of frozen pies as they have the same amount of juice pretty much. Cassava wont work as well with lattice top pies.

There are many variables to consider here which ultimately will demand you do some experimenting . Such as what type of apples ,what oven temp,type of crust . Everybody's oven works slightly differeent . If you plan on eating your pie the following day you might be able to get away with using slightly less thickener because it will naturally set up a tad more having 24 hrs to set.

The other thing to remember is that most of the natural pectin is found just inside the skin so when peeling don't have too heavy a hand . This natural pectin also impacts how your final filling sets up and the slicability of your pie. I think a little juice running out is just about right !

I would say that you try substitutions and combos of different types of fruit as the seasons over lap! I'm currently doing a peach mango filling with sultanas with a small amount of ground macadamias in the crust dough...nothin like it ....WHOA! Experiment with agave nectar as a sweetener ...

One last thing that you must remember is not to make too many changes at one time or you won't be able to track their impact and wont know where the improvements are actually coming from.. Always be patient when dealing with the flavoring part and with when you take something out of the oven...I would venture an educated guesss that 75% of baking failures take place in these areas . Also purchase your self a quality oven thermometer

browndog's picture


Noodlelady's picture

I've made apple pies both ways–with raw apples and with cooked apples. I've found that I like to pre-cook my apples a bit to let them release their juices and add the sweetening while while they're sauteeing. That way if there is too much liquid, you don't add it all. I don't even add lemon juice most of the time unless the apples are overly sweet. But I like sweet pies! You can mix galas or fujis with some granny smith, which is a nice combo. If you like the way the mixture tastes, it'll make a great pie. Then I usually top with a crumb mixture of flour, sugar, butter. I've even frozen the sauteed apples. That way when I have a pie crust ready, I defrost the apple mixture, add the topping, and bake.

Auntie_Ai's picture

Wow, great advises!  I learned a ton today.

Sphealey  & Biscuitman - great tip list!  I will print it out and recheck what I did and incorporate the tips when I do the apple pie again.

I did cut vents - I cut about 5  1/2-in vents then thought then to be too few so added another 6 1/2-in vents.  It's interesting to know you can hear the bubbling.

Ramona - that's great info about organic veggies.  I live in a tropical island (about 80F the entire year) so no locally grown apples here.  We do have locally grown tomatoes (from small local farmers) and come to think of it, the local tomatoes are tastier than the US tomatoes, albeit they are smaller and not available year-round. 

Apples, on the other hand, are brought in by refrigerated containers from the US West Coast.  Most of the time, we have Fujis, Red Dels, Galas, a smattering of Grannies and Gold Delicious.  This week, the grocery only had Fujis & Galas.  The info on what chemicals do to veggies make me think I will have to the technique demegrad has suggested.

Thanks everyone!  I'll be baking another pie this weekend!  Wish me luck!


Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

my contribution. If I find my pie wet, then I switch to a lattice top allowing moisture to rise. I never put salt in pie filling unless it's a meat pie. Salt will draw all the moisture out of your apples and make your pie salty. Yuck! Try potato starch instead of flour, tastes better and only use enough to dust(as previously mentioned) the apple pieces. I also use much less sugar. Like the spice mix.

I have another recipe that uses a sugar cookie like crust and apples are grated and baked allowing moisture to evaporate then after first 15 minutes, a custard sour cream mixture is poured over the apples and returned to the oven. Excellent! Swiss recipe.

Oh, oh, oh, if you take an overgrown zucchini (summer squash), cut it up and let it soak an hour in lemon juice, you get Apple substitute.
Good to know on a tropical island...Mini Oven

Paddyscake's picture

are you!! Please, will you share the Swiss recipe with the sour cream custard?

I have made "apple crisps" with zucchini.. you can't tell the difference..good way to use up extras  :  )

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

This recipe uses a sugar cookie like crust and apples are grated and baked allowing moisture to evaporate. After the first 15 minutes, a custard sour cream mixture is poured over the apples and returned to the oven. Excellent!

Swiss Apple Pie:
makes one

150g Flour
1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder
75g Sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg
75g Butter or Margarine
a little grated lemon peed (optional)

750g Apples peeled, grated or sliced thin, discard cores

2 eggs
100g sugar
1/2 to 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon lemon juice
6 Tablespoons Sour Cream
1 Tablespoon Starch

Preheat oven. Combine flour with baking powder and form a nest. In middle egg, sugar and vanilla, on edge cut up butter flakes. With a fork (or fingers) stir middle and then flour until a dough forms. Knead lightly, may need just a little flour.

Use a 9 1/2" Spring form with parchment circle on bottom (a little sprinkle of water between form and parchment prevents slipping). Grease sides. Spread out dough till it covers bottom and comes up the sides about 3 cm or an inch.

Place grated or thinly sliced apple loosely onto crust and bake 200°c (380°F) for 15 minutes. Meanwhile mix up custard. When pie has baked 15 minutes, pour custard slowly and carefully over apple. You might want the aid of a fork to lift apple to make sure it's spread around evenly and any apple sticking strait up should be patted down to avoid over browning. Bake another 45 minutes till golden brown with little dark brown peaks of apple. Allow to cool.

Paddyscake's picture

I'm going to the local farm to get some apples..gravenstein and honey crisps are in. Have you ever used this sugar cookie crust with any other type of pie?

Auntie_Ai's picture

Thanks! Mini Oven for this recipe.  I am intrigued by it.  I wonder how the sour cream  custard marries with apples... a great excuse to bake!  =)

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

The custard smells so good you'll be tempted to taste it without any apples. It makes a nice change from Cinn. Apple pies. --Mini Oven

peanutpatty's picture


Deep-Dish Apple Pie
from the Episode: Deep-Dish Apple Pie

Use a combination of tart and sweet apples for this pie. Good choices for tart are Granny Smiths, Empires, or Cortlands; for sweet, we recommend Golden Delicious, Jonagolds, or Braeburns. Wrap leftovers tightly in plastic wrap and store at room temperature for up to 24 hours. To reheat, remove the wrap and warm the pie in a 350-degree oven for 15 to 20 minutes. See below for freezing instructions.

Makes one 9-inch pie, serving 8 to 10

All-Butter Pie Pastry
2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (12 1/2 ounces), plus additional flour for work surface 

1 teaspoon table salt  

1 tablespoon sugar  

16 tablespoons unsalted butter (2 sticks), cold, cut into 1/2-inch cubes and frozen for 10 minutes 

3 tablespoons sour cream  

1/3 cup ice water , or more if needed 

Apple Filling
1/2 cup granulated sugar (3 1/2 ounces), plus 1 teaspoon 

1/4 cup packed light brown sugar (1 3/4 ounces) 

1/4 teaspoon table salt  

1 tablespoon lemon juice  

1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest  

1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon  

2 1/2 pounds tart apples (firm), about 5 medium, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices (see note) 

2 1/2 pounds sweet apples (firm), about 5 medium, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices (see note) 

1 egg white , beaten lightly 

1. For Pastry: Process flour, salt, and sugar together in food processor until combined, about 3 seconds. Add butter and pulse until butter is size of large peas, about ten 1-second pulses.

2. Using fork, mix sour cream and 1/3 cup ice water in small bowl until combined. Add half of sour cream mixture to flour mixture; pulse for three 1-second pulses. Repeat with remaining sour cream mixture. Pinch dough with fingers; if dough is floury, dry, and does not hold together, add 1 to 2 tablespoons ice water and process until dough forms large clumps and no dry flour remains, three to five 1-second pulses.

3. Turn dough out onto work surface. Divide dough into 2 balls and flatten each into 4-inch disk; wrap each disk in plastic and refrigerate until firm but not hard, 1 to 2 hours, before rolling. (Dough can be refrigerated for up to 24 hours. Let thoroughly chilled dough stand at room temperature for 15 minutes before rolling.)

4. For Pie: Mix 1/2 cup granulated sugar, brown sugar, salt, zest, and cinnamon in large bowl; add apples and toss to combine. Transfer apples to Dutch oven (do not wash bowl) and cook, covered, over medium heat, stirring frequently, until apples are tender when poked with fork but still hold their shape, 15 to 20 minutes. (Apples and juices should gently simmer during cooking.) Transfer apples and juices to rimmed baking sheet and cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes. While apples cool, adjust oven rack to lowest position, place empty rimmed baking sheet on rack, and heat oven to 425 degrees.

5. Remove 1 disk of dough from refrigerator and roll out between 2 large sheets of parchment paper or plastic wrap to 12-inch circle, about 1/8 inch thick. (If dough becomes soft and/or sticky, return to refrigerator until firm.) Remove parchment from one side of dough and flip onto 9-inch pie plate; peel off second layer of parchment. Working around circumference, ease dough into plate by gently lifting edge of dough with one hand while pressing into plate bottom with other hand. Leave dough that overhangs plate in place; refrigerate until dough is firm, about 30 minutes.

6. Meanwhile, roll second disk of dough between 2 large sheets of parchment paper or plastic wrap to 12-inch circle, about 1/8 inch thick. Refrigerate, leaving dough between parchment sheets, until firm, about 30 minutes.

7. Set large colander over now-empty bowl; transfer cooled apples to colander. Shake colander to drain off as much juice as possible (cooked apples should measure about 8 cups); discard juice. Transfer apples to dough-lined pie plate; sprinkle with lemon juice.

8. Remove parchment from one side of remaining dough and flip dough onto apples; peel off second piece of parchment. Pinch edges of top and bottom dough rounds firmly together. Following illustrations 1 through 4, trim and seal edges of dough, then cut four 2-inch slits in top of dough. Brush surface with beaten egg white and sprinkle evenly with remaining teaspoon sugar.

9. Set pie on preheated baking sheet; bake until crust is dark golden brown, 45 to 55 minutes. Transfer pie to wire rack and cool at least 1 1/2 hours. Cut into wedges and serve.

10. Freezing Instructions:
We tried two different methods for freezing: (1) fully assembled and ready to go directly from freezer to oven and (2) divided into separate components of crust and cooked apple filling to be thawed, assembled, and baked. Both versions were good, although the reassembled pie was deemed marginally better for its slightly flakier, more evenly browned crust. You'll probably want to choose one method or the other based on how long you expect to keep a pie (or its components) in the freezer.

Assembled pies kept well for up to two weeks in the freezer; after that, the texture of the crust and apples suffered. To freeze an assembled pie, follow the recipe all the way through sealing the pie crust, but do not brush with egg wash. Freeze the pie for two to three hours, then wrap it tightly in a double layer of plastic wrap, followed by a layer of foil, and return it to the freezer. To bake, remove the pie from the freezer, brush it with egg wash, sprinkle with sugar, cut slits in the top crust, and place directly on the baking sheet in the preheated oven. Bake 5 to 10 minutes longer than normal.

For a longer freezer storage time of several months, freeze the crust and apples separately. Freeze individual batches of the cooked, drained apple filling in quart-sized freezer bags (this doubles as a great alternative to canning). Then make the pie dough, shape it into two 4-inch disks, wrap the disks tightly in a double layer of plastic wrap and foil, and freeze. When you're ready to make the pie, simply thaw the apples and crust in the refrigerator the night before, assemble as per the recipe instructions, and bake as directed. Of course, you can always just freeze the apples and make the crust fresh the day you bake the pie.

Step-by-Step: Forming the Crust
1. Trim excess dough with kitchen shears, leaving 3/4-inch overhang. 
2. Fold dough under itself so that edge of fold is flush with outer rim of pie plate.

3. To seal pie, flute edges using thumb and forefinger or press with fork. 
4. Using sharp paring knife, cut four 2-inch-long slits in top of dough.

Combine the sugar and the other dry ingredients. Mix well. Spread half over the pastry-lined 9" pie pan. Lift apples from cooking liquid into crust. Add 1/4 cup of the cooking liquid. Sprinkle with remaining sugar mixture. Sprinkle pie filling with lemon juice and dot with butter. Roll, fit, and seal top crust. Brush with milk and sprinkle with sugar, if desired.

Bake on lower shelf of oven at 425 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes, or until nicely browned.

Moisture from the apple juice , is the reason that the crust is soggy.

This pie is never wet.

It is delicous.

TroutEhCuss's picture

One technique that is used to help eliminate a soggy pie crust is to precook the crust, so that it has a chance to cook without the interference of the filling.  

director517's picture

Couldn't resist responding to your inquiry because I'm here trying to learn more about getting my bread right, but pies are something I do know something about!

Actually, I don't do apple pie all that often, and I think the suggestions posted are accurate and full of good advice. I just wanted to point you in the direction of an apple pie article and recipe in cooks illustrated. (If you don't subscribe, I'd be happy to cut and paste for you, but it's long.) They take an unorthodox approach by pre-cooking the apples, but the results sound interesting, and I tend to trust their articles, particulary the indepth ones. As I said, it's slightly unorthdox, but may result in a sensational apple pie.

Patf's picture

This is such an interesting thread. Apple pie is one of my husband's favourite foods, and I made one this morning.

I wonder if you people in America can get "canada" apples? At least that's what they are called here in France. They break down beautifully when baked and are ideal for pies. They are very round and have brownish skin. Never watery.

The best of all for pies are an english apple called Bramley. I do miss them here. When fresh they cook down to a foamy purée with an almost fizzy taste. Never watery.

For my pie today I used a pastry recipe with mascarpone, and a little butter. The only time I've managed to make good pastry, as I'm mainly a heavy handed bread baker.

Just a suggestion for the original poster: if you can only get these watery apples, forget about apple pie, and make a crumble instead, maybe with some blackberries too. Then the juice won't spoil it.


Amori's picture

After taking a class w/Malgieri, I've learn to saute the apples in butter and play with any kind w/o worries, it also helps to keep a minimal gap [tall pies] between fruit and top crust when using double crust.