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Apple Pie Internal Temperature

This seems like a silly question, but I really do need an answer. What is the correct internal temperature (i.e., the center temperature of the filling as measured by a probe thermometer) for a fully-cooked apple pie?

It is now so drilled into us to cook by temperature rather than by time, you'd think this information would be posted someplace. Thanks!

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  1. I don't know of any recipe that has a internal temp for pies, but I would like to see it noted, as it is more accurate than color and time. I did a quick search of my baking books and there is nothing listed, but it was far from exhausting my sources.

    I bake my breads to between 190-215°F depending on type, but temp is seldom used in desserts, outside of custards. I might have a to bake a pie this weekend to look for temps, just for kicks and giggles.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Kelli2006

      At the point it started seriously bubbling over, I figured it was done. The thermometer read something around 190°F (although I was a little busy trying to prevent too much of a mess). Despite the spillage (I keep a cookie sheet at the bottom of the oven just for this sort of thing), it is a nice looking pie.

      I am afraid I am not organized enough to actually check my breads' temp. I usually just guess and hope for the best.

    2. Cooking by taking measurements of internal temperature is important with foods not considered to be safe if eaten unless cooked to a predetermined temperature.

      Plain fruit pie doesn't fall into that category to my knowledge. While the chemistry of sugar, juice and flour will cause gelling at a certain temperature (held for a variable amount of time, depending on volume), other factors of "done-ness" such as texture of fruit filling, texture of binding juices, texture and color/flavor of pastry are subjective and are according to individual taste and preference. Baking a successful apple pie depends on satisfying all those requirements.

      While I think newer technologies are powerful tools, I also believe in developing a base of knowledge and experience by which to judge baking and cooking attempts.

      I think there's nothing wrong with keeping your instant-read thermometer in the drawer on this one.

      1. I assume you are asking because you want the apples to have the right 'doneness' (not undercooked, not overcooked). Without reinitiating the controversy created on another board about how to make apple pies, I would suggest you check out the recipe for deep dish apple pie on americas test kitchen (it's a freebie). They suggest (and I have followed this suggestion many, many times), that you precook the applies in a dutch oven over medium heat about 18 minutes. What happens when you do this is that the structure of the pectin in the apples changes so that they will not become mushy in subssequent cooking (for as long as you like) in a hot oven. So basically you cook the pie until the crust is done, without worrying about the apples (there are other benefits related to the fact that the apples don't cook down). So maybe 35 - 45 minutes at 425 until the crust is a nice golden brown (brush it with an egg white wash and sprinkle with sugar ahead of time). Also, put the pie on a sheet pan that has been heating in the oven for 15 minutes or so to help the bottom crust to cook and not become too soggy.

        6 Replies
        1. re: bnemes3343

          It's interesting that you mention the Cooks Illustrated/America's Test Kitchen approach to applie pie, as it is their pie crust recipe that I have been using. As these things go, I have never found one easier and more foolproof.

          1. re: pgreen

            I agree. That's really true of most of their recipes. They are relatively straightforward, they use ingredients that are pretty easy to find and they aren't 'broken' (and produce good results). I generally do their all butter, sour cream dough (the one that they have with the deep dish apple pie), although will be trying the vokda crust as well. The 'science' behind how alcohol vs. water reacts with the flour is interesting to me.

            1. re: bnemes3343

              To be specific, I used the vodka recipe (and will keep using it, at least until I run out of vodka, since it is really easy and it works). As a bit of a science geek, I too found that pretty interesting. I have not, however, tried the pre-cooked apple approach. There's something about dirtying up all that extra equipment and wasting all that juice that I just can't get myself to do!

              You know, next time I make a pumpkin or sweet potato pie, maybe I should try substituting whisky for vodka?

              1. re: pgreen

                Extra equipment: Just cut them right into your dutch oven (use it as a bowl)

                Wasting juice: Don't follow their advice. I use as much juice as I can get in and my neighborhood 'tasters' really prefer.

                Also, I pretty much double the sugars and spices; again my 'tasters' prefer. I also dot with butter over the apples.

                1. re: bnemes3343

                  Would it shock you if I admitted that I do not own a dutch oven? Oh, the shame of it (I wonder what ever happened to my mother's?).

                  I also am heavy-handed on the spices (although not the sugar). I like it too.

                  1. re: pgreen

                    Any kind of (fairly) heavy bottomed large pot (soup pot, pasta pot?) would work. Just needs to be large enough to hold 5 pounds of apples.

                    Some (many?) of the dutch ovens available are VERY expensive (and too heavy for my wife to pick up and clean). ATK recommended (and I have) a very nice and inexpensive one (Tramontina, I believe).

        2. I wonder if the reason nobody publishes the "correct" internal temperature for apple pies is because there is no "correct" internal temperature. Maybe you just have to establish your own "correct" internal temperature to suit how well cooked (soft) you like your apples. And, of course, this is also dependant on what kind of apples you like to use.

          1. I don't know about internal temperature, but I can tell you when a pie is done. It is done when it sings, and it sounds like yours was singing!

            Here is my response on another thread:

            http://www.chowhound.com/topics/474334

            1. Well, it's not scientific, but my mother used to push a paring knife through one of the vents in the top crust, and poke it into the apples to make sure they were not too crisp, not too soft. Some varieties of apples seem to take longer than others, so it might be prudent to take the temperature of various pies made with various apples, and see if they all agree. Easier to use the knife!

              4 Replies
              1. re: bakergal

                Maybe not scientific, but a very practical suggestion. I think I will try it next time. The pie, by the way, turned out really well. The last pie I made was over-thickened (it was an apple-cranberry pie). This was juicy without being soupy. Plus, the few leftovers were actually better (I think) the day after. It had thickened up a tiny bit more, and the flavors seemed to have blended a little more.

                Thanks to all for the suggestions and comments!

                1. re: pgreen

                  i think the OP's question is a really good one, particularily because, from what I've learned, the starch in flour doesn't really thicken until the liquid it's thickening reaches almost boiling (200-212)..
                  so in answer to your question...i think the temp has to be between 205-212...i checked my own apple pie today after finishing in oven and it had a read of 208.

                  1. re: sixelagogo

                    ok, i take it back...when i cut open the pie, i found my granny smith apples overcooked..(the crust was beautiful, however)....so my guess is now under 200...i'll check next time i bake a pie

                    1. re: sixelagogo

                      That might work better if you use cornstarch or tapioca (both of which thicken at lower temperatures than flour).

              2. Good question, inane answers. The internal temperature of a Granny Smith apple pie, done baking according to the criteria of a browned crust and bubbling filling, is 180 degrees F.