This delightfully colorful autumn leaves apple pie may look like it's difficult to make but with my tips and tricks, you too can make this adorable (and delicious) showstopping apple pie!
*Disclaimer: this post may contain affiliate links where I can earn commissions from qualifying purchases made through links in this post.
Our lives are so much busier during the fall and holiday season.
With cooking, baking, shopping, and entertaining, who's got time to whip up a fancy pie crust design?!?!
**Please Note - The printable recipe card with detailed instructions and complete ingredient measurements for making Colorful Autumn Leaves Apple Pie is available near the end of this post. OR click on the "jump to recipe" button (found above) to be taken directly to the recipe.
For all your gourmet and kitchen gadget shopping needs, check out For the Gourmet and have fun browsing the aisles.
The ingredient list for making autumn leaves apple pie:
**Note - The following lists of ingredients plus kitchen tools and equipment contain affiliate links (highlighted in blue) for your consideration and shopping convenience.
- Apples (I used Granny Smith)
- Fresh lemon juice
- Granulated Sugar
- Brown Sugar
- All-Purpose Flour
- Pure Vanilla Extract
- Frozen Prepared Pie Crust, or homemade crust (for the top crust)
- Deep Dish Pie Crust (for the bottom crust)
Kitchen tools and equipment needed:
- Gel Food Color
- Paint Brush, specifically used for food
- Baking Sheet
- Parchment Paper (optional)
- Paring Knife
- Measuring Spoons and Cups
- Leaf Cookie Cutter
- Extra small bowls or Paper Cups
- Paper Towels
- Vegetable Peeler
- Large Mixing Bowl
Why this recipe works:
Since this beauty takes advantage of store-bought pie dough and takes virtually no painting or artistic ability (honest), anyone will be successful at making this autumn leaves apple pie.
How long with this colorful autumn leaves pie take to make?
If using store-bought pie dough (as I did), this pie will be ready for the oven in approximately 30 minutes.
Since painting the leaves for this painted pie crust takes no artistic skill whatsoever, this can be performed relatively quickly.
How long does this pie take to bake pie crust designs in the oven?
Approximately 60 minutes.
Once you see the juices ooze and smell the incredible aroma wafting from the oven, you know your pie is ready!
Can this decorative pie crust pie be frozen?
By all means...YES!!
Once it is completely cooled, wrap it well in several layers of cling wrap. This pie can be frozen for up to 2 months.
Unwrap, and thaw completely at room temperature before serving.
A look back at the inspiration for this fancy pie crust design:
If I'm going to be totally honest here (and if you know me at all, you know that I'm all about honesty and integrity), the idea for this colorful autumn leaves apple pie came to me due to the overwhelming popularity and success of my Adorable Turkey Crust Pumpkin Pie (pictured below)
Naturally, I'd like to do my part in keeping the excitement alive for creative pie crusts, and this colorful fall pie is hopefully one that excites and inspires you in your own kitchen.
I'm always extremely proud to place a decorative pie with a fancy pie crust design on any dessert table. They're not only pretty, but they're also conversation starters.
Want more dramatic pie crust ideas?
How to make autumn leaves apple pie:
- Peel, core, and slice 6 Granny Smith apples.
- Toss them in a large bowl with 1 teaspoon lemon juice, granulated sugar, brown sugar, flour, vanilla, cinnamon, and a pinch of salt.
- Pile the sugared coated apples in a deep-dish pie crust (I used a preformed store-bought deep dish pie crust), and dot with butter.
- Set aside while preparing the leaves.
- Unroll a store-bought pie crust and use a leaf maple leaf cookie cutter to cut out 8 leaves.
- Use a paring knife to score the veins in each leaf.
- In a small bowl, make an egg wash of 1 egg, 2 tablespoons water, and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract.
- Divide the egg wash evenly between five small dishes or paper cups.
- Add 3-4 drops of gel food color (red, orange, green, yellow, brown) to each of the dishes, and use a fork to mix the colors thoroughly in the egg wash.
- Use a clean paintbrush to liberally, and with utter abandon, "paint" each leaf. *Note - It's best to start with yellow as painting yellow over another color will not work. As we all know, no two leaves are perfect or ever the same, so go at this with a sense of fun and don't worry about perfection.
- Once the leaves are painted, place them over the apples in the pie dish, in different directions. *Note - the leaves will not cover the apples completely. This is part of the charm.
- Top the leaves with a generous coating of granulated sugar.
- Place the pie on a baking sheet and bake in a preheated 350-degree oven for 50-60 minutes, or until the pie juices run liberally from the crust.
- Cool completely. Serve and enjoy!
Can homemade pie dough for this decorative pie crust?
If you're not pressed for time and feel at ease in making your own pie dough, I fully urge you to do so.
Since I wanted to make it this recipe less intimidating for all my readers, store-bought seemed to be the way for me to go.
What size cookie cutter should I use for this leaf pie crust?
The leaf cookie cutter I used is 3" in diameter.
Other size cutters (or shapes) can be used if desired, but this recipe was written using a 3" cutter.
Have fun making this pie, and get creative if you feel comfortable. As always, I completely encourage you to play with your food!
What if I don't want to use food color for this apple pie crust design?
Not a problem. Just don't use it!
This pie will be just as spectacular with plain pie leaves as with colored leaves.
Get creative! It's your pie, make it your way!!
Below is the full-length live video. Please enjoy!
Below is the printable recipe card along with the nutritional information for making today’s Autumn Leaves Apple Pie.
If you've made this recipe, or are excited to make this recipe, I'd appreciate it if you'd take a moment to leave it a star rating on the recipe card, along with a comment if you're so inclined. Thank you. 🙂
Autumn Leaves Apple Pie
- 6 Granny Smith apples peeled, cored and sliced into ¼" slices
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- ¾ cup sugar plus 2 tablespoons for topping
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons vanilla divided
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1 9 " deep-dish pie shell found in the freezer section or homemade pie dough for 2 crust pie.
- gel food color yellow, red, orange, green and brown
- 1 egg
- 2 tablespoons water
- Preheat oven to 350-degrees.
- Place the sliced apples, lemon juice, ¾ cup sugar, brown sugar, salt, flour, cinnamon, and 1 teaspoon vanilla in a large bowl and toss to coat the apples evenly in the mixture.
- Pile the sugar-coated apples in the deep dish pie shell and dot the top with butter. Set aside.
- Unroll a flat, round pie dough (found in the refrigerated section) press out any broken areas (if needed).
- Use the cookie cutter to cut 8 leaves into the round pie dough. Remove the scraps, leaving only the leaves. *Note - if desired place the scraps on a separate baking sheet. Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar, and bake for 10-12 minutes at 350 until crispy.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg, water, and 1 teaspoon vanilla until blended.
- Divide the egg wash into 5 separate small dishes (or paper cups), and add a few drops of each gel color to each dish. Mix each color thoroughly with a fork.
- Use a paring knife to gently score the veins on each leaf.
- Liberally paint the leaves with the gel egg wash (starting with yellow) and adding color as you like to each leaf. *Note the colors will intensify slightly during the baking process.
- Place the leaves in random fashion over the apples in the pie plate and sprinkle the leaves with the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar.
- Place the pie on a baking sheet and bake in a preheated oven for 50-60 minutes, or until the pie juices are flowing.
- Remove and cool on a baking rack.
- Serve and enjoy!
I'm proud and pleased to say that this autumn leaves apple pie crust design was featured in an easy Thanksgiving dessert post on Shari's Berries blog.
Check it out along with all sorts of other delicious (and easy) desserts to grace your Thanksgiving table! Thanks, Shari's Berries!!
I sincerely hope you've enjoyed today's easy apple pie recipe and crust design as much as I've enjoyed bringing it to you.
**Note - The post above includes affiliate links. As always, I truly thank you for your support!