Apple pie can be made with many different sorts of apples. The more popular cooking apples include, Braeburn, Gala, Cortland, Bramley, Empire, Northern Spy, Granny Smith, and McIntosh. The fruit for the pie can be fresh, canned, or reconstituted from dried apples. These different types of apples (canned, dried, fresh) affects the final texture and the length of cooking time required will vary, therefore people disagree on if it affects the flavour or not. Dried or preserved apples were originally substituted only at times when fresh fruit was unavailable. Along with the apples people commonly use, cinnamon, salt, butter, and most importantly sugar. Though most of the old recipes don't include sugar due to the price or having a better sweetener option, most people definitely use it today. Apple pie is often served in the style of "à la Mode" (topped with ice cream). Alternatively, a piece of sharp cheddar cheese is, at times, placed on top of or alongside a slice of the finished pie. Apple pie with cheddar is popular in the American Midwest and New England, particularly in Vermont, where it is considered the state dish.Recipes for Dutch apple pie go back to the Middle Ages. An early Dutch cookbook from 1514, Een notabel boecxken van cokeryen ("A notable little cookery book"), documents a recipe for Appeltaerten (compare modern Dutch Appeltaarten "apple pies"). This early recipe was a simple one, requiring only a standard pie crust, slices of especially soft apples with their skin and seeds removed, and den selven deeghe daer die taerte af ghemaect es (roughly meaning "the same dough that the pie [crust] is made of") to fill in the top. It was then baked in a typical Dutch oven. Once baked, the top crust (except at the edges) would be cut out from the middle, after which the apple slices were potentially put through a sieve before the pie was stirred with a wooden spoon. At this point the book recommends adding several spices to the pie, namely: cardamom, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, mace and powdered sugar. Finally, after mixing the ingredients into the pie with cream, it is once again put into the oven to dry.
Traditional Dutch apple pie comes in two varieties, a crumb (appelkruimeltaart) and a lattice (appeltaart) style pie. Both recipes are distinct in that they typically call for flavourings of cinnamon and lemon juice to be added and differ in texture, not taste. Dutch apple pies may include ingredients such as full-cream butter, raisins and almond paste, in addition to ingredients such as apples and sugar, which they have in common with other recipes.
The basis of Dutch apple pie is a crust on the bottom and around the edges. This crust is then filled with pieces or slices of apple, usually a crisp and mildly tart variety such as Goudreinet or Elstar. Cinnamon and sugar are generally mixed in with the apple filling. Atop the filling, strands of dough cover the pie in a lattice holding the filling in place but keeping it visible or cover the pie with crumbs. It can be eaten warm or cold, sometimes with a dash of whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. In the US, "Dutch apple pie" refers specifically to the apple pie style with a crumb, streusel, topping.English apple pie recipes go back to the time of Chaucer. The 1381 recipe (see illustration at right) is the earliest known apple pie recipe in the world, and lists the ingredients as good apples, good spices, figs, raisins and pears. The cofyn of the recipe is a casing of pastry. Saffron is used for colouring the pie filling. Today, the English style incorporates generous layers of sweetened slices of, usually, Bramley apple; layered into a dome shape to allow for downward shrinkage, and thus avoid a saggy middle, then topped with butter or lard shortcrust pastry, and baked until the apple filling is cooked.
In English-speaking countries, apple pie, often classified as a satisfying 'comfort' food, is a dessert of enduring popularity, whether it's eaten hot or cold, on its own or with ice cream, double cream, or custard.