How to Cut Apples for Apple Pie

Bursting with the flavor of fresh apples and a pinch of cinnamon, there’s an apparent reason why apple pie is a crowd favorite. If you want to surprise your family with an apple pie this upcoming holiday season, you must know how to cut the apples correctly. Thankfully, it’s a relatively simple process.

Cutting apples for apple pie is a cinch. Start by thoroughly washing and peeling the apples. Then, cut the apple into four portions (or use an apple corer). Finally, slice the apples into slices or dice them. The key is to make the apples the same size, so they cook at the same speed.

Hey! How’s it going, apple pie fanatics? My name’s Michelle, and I’ve spent the last ten-plus years baking treats in my home kitchen. I make pies regularly, with one of my house staples being apple pie. That said, I have made my fair share of apple pies, and I’m here to share how to cut the apples correctly.

Get out your paring knife, and let’s cut some apples!

How to Cut Apples for Apple Pie Fillings

I get it – some baking tasks are complex. For example, making the perfect macaron or chocolate souffle isn’t precisely the most straightforward task. But not all things have to be tricky, and one of the simplest things you will do is cut apples for apple pie.

My biggest tip is to be precise and don’t rush the process. Otherwise, you may end up with an apple pie that has mushy and hard apples. Yuck.

What You’ll Need

You only need a few things to get this task done:

Now, let’s dive into cutting those apples!

Step 1: Thoroughly Wash and Dry Your Apples

If you’re not washing your fruit when it comes home from the grocery store, you’re doing yourself a significant disservice. No, I’m not trying to be picky or have you do extra work – it’s actually a Food and Drug Administration recommendation!

At the very least, run your apples under running water to remove any debris.

If you want a very thorough clean, you can use a fruit/veggie brush. 

Dry your apples with a clean paper towel or cloth before proceeding to step two.

Step 2: Peel the Apples

Yes, you have to peel your apples for apple pie. If left unpeeled, it may hinder the development of your filling. It won’t taste bad or create a disgusting texture or anything; it just won’t be “typical.” 

Use a vegetable peeler to remove the skin of the apples.

I like to cut the top and bottom off of my apples before peeling them. It just makes things easier.

Step 3: Core the Apple/Cut the Apple

For this next step, you have two options.

You can use an apple corer to get rid of the cores and seeds of your apple. This will ensure that no leftover nuances stand in the way of you and your perfectly-cut apples.

However, you’re not totally out of luck if you don’t own a corer. All you need to do is cut the apple into four sections. Get as close to the core as possible. Try to make sure that the four sections are around the same size.

Step 4: Slice or Dice!

When it comes to actually cutting the apples, you have two choices.

Most people (including me) cut their apples into small, very thin slices (about ¼-inch thick).

However, you can also dice them into small cubes. Again, this won’t affect the flavor or texture of your apple pie; it’s just not the “norm.”

Use a sharpened paring knife to cut the portions into slices or cubes. Lay the apple down, so the flat part is on your cutting board. It will be challenging to cut it any other way. 

Be very precise with your cuts. Apple slices that are of different sizes will not cook at the same time. If that happens, you can end up with mushy and hard apples in a single pie, and nobody wants to deal with that.

Visual learners, here is a handy video showing exactly how to cut apples for apple pie:

Step 5: Place Cut Apples into a Bowl of Water

When you’re done cutting your apples into slices or chunks, place them into a bowl of cold water. 

This will keep the apples from browning prematurely.

Step 6: Store or Use Immediately!

All done slicing and dicing? Then it’s time to get bakin’. 

If you don’t plan to use your apples right away, you’ll need to place them in an airtight container or resealable freezer bag. Place them in the freezer immediately. 


See? I told you that cutting apples for apple pie was easy breezy. Now all you need to do is check out these frequently asked questions. (OK, you don’t have to, but I guarantee you’ll be glad you did.)

How thin should you slice apples for apple pie?

The best size for sliced apples for apple pie is ¼-inch thick. Being this thin, the apples will bake beautifully and have a delightfully tender texture by the time the pie is done baking. If the apple slices are too thick, getting them the right consistency will be challenging and time-consuming.

Is it better to slice or chop apples for apple pie?

It is better to slice than chop apples for apple pie, but no hard and steadfast rule exists against it. If you want to dice apples into small chunks for your apple pie, you can do so. It’s simply not the “standard” way to cut apples for apple pie.

What apples should not be used for apple pie?

Many apples are excellent for use in apple pies, but not all. The two you should refrain from using include Red Delicious and Gala. They simply can’t undergo the cooking process and will ruin your apple pie. Opt for Granny Smith Apples, Honeycrisp, Golden Delicious, or Rome.

Cutting Apples for Apple Pie is a Quick and Easy Process!

If you have a peeler and a good paring knife, you can quickly and easily cut up apples for your upcoming apple pie. I recommend cutting the apples into ¼-inch slices. Keep the slices as uniform as possible so that they bake simultaneously, leaving you with a perfect pie.

Do you have any tips for cutting apples for apple pie?

About Michelle
I have been a lover of sweets since day one. This led me on a self-taught baking journey starting at the age of 13. It's been over 10 years since the start of my baking adventures, and I’ve learned a lot along the way. Now, people rave about my delectable treats, whether it’s a chocolate cake or a strawberry crepe.

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