Why Is Your Apple Pie Watery? How to Fix It?

Why Is Your Apple Pie Watery?

Apple pie is a fruity dessert and a delicious one. Simple to make and even more delicious, apple pie is the golden medium between the joy of cooking and eating. Still, as beautiful as this sounds, apple pie could be runny, which would diminish your enjoyment. So, why is your apple pie watery, and how to fix it?

The reasons why your apple pie is watery can be because of using overripe apples, not making vents in the top crust, taking out the pie too soon, blending the apples instead of chopping them, not soaking the apples, and not adding thickeners. One way to fix it is to put it back in the oven.

Unfortunately, I have many stories about runny apple pie, so I have dug and experimented to find the perfect recipe to enjoy my apple pies without dealing with a runny filling. In the following paragraphs, I will talk about the reasons behind a runny pie, ways to prevent and fix this, and the best timing to serve your pie. 

Why Is Your Apple Pie Watery?

There are several reasons why your pie is watery. Since it is a fruity dessert, apple pie has a stronger tendency to be more watery than other pies, such as meaty pies, for example. However, apple pie isn’t watery only because it is a fruit pie, because there are several other factors to consider.

Overripe Apples

The general rule is that you can use whatever apples you like in your apple pie, but this isn’t entirely true. Even though you are free to choose the type of apples, you should closely look at their ripeness. Using overripe apples is a massive contributor to a watery apple pie. 

The riper the apples are, the more liquid they will release, so to avoid a watery apple pie, first and foremost, you need to choose your apples carefully. Using nice and firm apples will help you avoid excess liquid in your apple pie. 

Blending the Apples

Another factor determining if your pie will be watery or not is how you cut your apples. Blending them will result in a runny pie, so chop them into small chunks instead. The apple chunks have integrity, structure, and liquid retaining bonds still standing. 

Blended apples are disintegrated, and they will continue releasing liquid as they don’t have the consistency needed to retain it. 

Not Soaking the Apples

Adding one more step into the apple pie-making process isn’t anyone’s favorite idea, but soaking the apples will significantly reduce the chances of a watery apple pie

Placing the apple chunks in sugar for about an hour before putting them into the crust sucks the moisture out of them, giving you a compact and solid apple pie. Also, stirring them will help evaporate the excess liquid.

Not Using Cold Ingredients

Assembling your apple pie, whereby your crust and filling haven’t been appropriately chilled beforehand, will give you a watery apple pie. If the apple filling isn’t cooled in the fridge before assembling your pie, it will produce more moisture while baking, which the crust won’t be able to absorb without getting soggy. 

Not Using Thickener

If your apple filling doesn’t contain any thickening agents, chances are it will become watery. Thickeners such as cornstarch or other thickeners absorb the moisture, giving you a solid and compact apple filling. Moreover, the more moisture the thickener absorbs, the less moisture will remain for the crust, meaning that your crust will hold the filling nicely. 

Not Making Vents on the Top Crust

Covering your pie without making vents in the top crust will result in a disaster. The moisture your apple filling produces will stay sealed under the crust and absorb back into the apples. Also, your crust will be incredibly soggy, and you will end up boiling your pie instead of baking it. 

Taking Your Apple Pie out of the Oven Too Soon

Assuming you did everything right, the final step is baking your pie. The nice golden color of the top crust suggests that the pie is ready to be taken out. Once it’s out, you notice that your pie is watery, which means that you took it out too soon. 

Leaving your pie in the oven for five to ten more minutes will make a huge difference, so don’t be stingy on oven time. 

Cutting Your Pie Too Soon

When you take your pie out of the oven, it needs some time to set. Cutting your pie while still setting is a significant reason for a watery pie. Even if you followed all the steps and did everything to avoid a runny pie, cutting it too early will make the filling fall out, giving you a messy and shapeless dessert. 

How to Fix a Watery Apple Pie?

If despite everything you did to prevent it, your pie still turns out watery, there are two corrective measures you can take to fix this. 

Back to the Oven

If your apple pie is runny, try and bake it for additional five to ten minutes at 302 °F. It is good to poke a few extra holes into the crust to make it easier for the excess moisture to evaporate. The extra oven time will additionally dehydrate your pie and reduce the moisture in the filling. 

Place your pie on the low oven rack instead of the medium rack or the top one. This way, your apple filling will thicken without burning the crust. 

Additional Fridge Time 

Watery or not, apple pie requires some fridge time before serving. Prolonging the cooling time for your apple pie will thicken the filling and let it set better. After all, apple pie is the best when served cold.

Let your pie cool naturally before placing it in the fridge. Refrigerating your pie right after taking it out of the oven will make things even worse.

How to Prevent Watery Apple Pie Next Time While Baking?

Watery apple pie is preventable, so you don’t have to worry about excess moisture in your dessert next time you make it. 

Make sure you use enough cornstarch or another thickening agent in your apple filling. The Thickener will do its job, giving you a pleasurable dessert experience.

Another thing you can do is preheat the oven at 302 °F for 15 minutes before baking, and use everything cold, from ingredients to baking pan. If your filling, crust, and baking pan are cold when you put them in the oven, the sudden temperature change will initially dehydrate your pie, leaving less moisture to be released further along. 

Precook the filling to let the excess juice evaporate. By simmering the apple filling for 15 minutes, you can prevent your pie from becoming watery. 

Cool your pie for a whole day, or leave it overnight. After your pie cools naturally, cover it with aluminum foil, place it in the fridge, and let it sit for at least five hours. It is best to put your pie on the top shelf to prevent it from soaking the moisture from the fridge. 

How Long Does Apple Pie Take to Set?

The setting process of your apple pie should last about two to three hours. You just leave your pie on the counter to cool down by itself. Don’t cover it and don’t cut it, just let it rest. 

Making your apple pie doesn’t end when you take it out of the oven, as the following steps are also essential. Once your apple pie is out, it needs time to set, and you mustn’t skip this. 

The setting is a crucial aspect because this is where everything you previously did falls into its place. All the ingredients you used are now becoming a single unit. Disrupting the setting process can only lead to disaster. 

After your apple pie sets, the next step is to place it in the fridge. You should cover your pie with aluminum foil and leave your pie in the refrigerator for at least three hours. It is best to place it on the top shelf to prevent it from absorbing moisture from the air in the fridge. 

How Long Should Pie Set Before Cutting?

You can cut your pie two to three hours after taking it out, so after it has set. But just because you can, it doesn’t mean that you should. It is best to cut your pie after it has spent some time in the fridge and has set and cooled properly. 

Still, if you don’t want to wait four to six hours to try your pie, it is ok to cut it without refrigerating it as long as you observe the mandatory setting time. 

How to Cool Apple Pie Quickly?

Cooling your apple pie in a short amount of time should never be your first option. It needs to cool down on its own and gradually. 

However, if you are in a big hurry and you have to cool your pie quickly, you can reduce the setting time. Instead of two to three hours of setting time, leave your pie set for about 30 to 40 minutes. If the temperature in your fridge is over 41 °F, lower it before putting your pie inside. Keep the apple pie in the fridge as long as you can, but not less than an hour. 

  • Laura is the owner of Julie's Cafe Bakery. She started this blog with her grandma Julie who introduced her to the amazing world of cooking. She likes to experiment with different flavors, and her favorite flavors combo is chicken with coconut milk, curry and peanuts!