Last Updated on January 2, 2023
Why is my apple pie watery? Today we will look at the most common causes of watery pies. And, we have the easiest and most effective solutions!
Why Is My Apple Pie Watery?
Apple pies are amongst the most popular baked desserts to date! But, it’s actually not as easy to make as people think. There are loads of things that can and do go wrong during the process. But, the hardest part isn’t fixing the mistake. It’s figuring out what caused it in the first place.
One of the most commonly asked questions on this topic is “Why is my apple pie watery?” This is the perfect example of where one problem has a thousand possible causes. So, let’s go through all of them one by one.
1. Overripe apples
Overripe apples are one of the most common reasons people end up with a watery apple pie. That’s because the apples contain too much moisture. While you may be thinking “yummy,” it can offset the ratio of wet and dry ingredients in the filling.
So, why is this a problem? Well, if there is too much liquid, not enough will evaporate during baking. This has a few negative effects on the pie.
First, it creates an overly juicy filling that is difficult to eat. But even worse, it can make the crust soggy. The liquid just sits on top of it with nowhere to go. Usually, the liquid that remains in the filling is more syrup-like in consistency. So, it doesn’t get easily absorbed by the crust. But, a runny liquid will.
2. You skipped soaking the apples
Many people skip this step for no good reason. Soaking apples in granulated sugar helps extract excessive moisture from the flesh. This, in turn, will make your filling thicker. And don’t worry, it won’t take away any flavor. It just prevents a soggy crust.
3. No thickening agent in the recipe
Apples alone will create an extremely juicy filling. For apple pie, this is a no-go. So, even if you use perfectly ripe apples and have soaked them, you still need to add a thickening agent.
This thickener will help make the remaining juices thicker. It creates a creamier and even juicier filling.
4. Crust wasn’t par-baked
Par-baking pie crusts are essential! DO NOT SKIP! This step alone will help prevent a watery apple pie and soggy pie crust.
If you don’t par-bake the crust, the liquid will get instantly absorbed into it. This may seem like it solves your “too much liquid” problem. But it also makes the crust soggy, mushy, and impossible to enjoy!
5. No vents in the crust
This is another common problem that causes a soggy crust, but one that is so easy to avoid. Think about it: if moisture needs to evaporate from the double-crusted pie, it needs somewhere to escape.
So, by closing it completely, you simultaneously create more moisture. The steam (evaporated moisture) builds up inside the crust. Then, it condensates and turns back into moisture.
6. Underbaked pie
And finally, the most common reason people have watery pies. The apple pie isn’t ready when the crust is brown. That just means that your crust is browning too much.
The apples also need to be completely cooked and the juices should be allowed time to thicken. If any one of these factors hasn’t happened, then the pie isn’t finished baking. Your crust should be baked and browned, the apples soft, and the sauce thick.
How To Prevent Runny Apple Pie
Now that you know the many answers to “why is my apple pie watery?” let’s look at ways to prevent it. Ans trust us, it’s super easy! You know the problems, and they are also the solutions.
1. Properly prepare the apples
To start, always choose ripe apples. Even slightly under-ripe apples will be fine (if not better). It is easier to add sauciness than it is to take it away. This is honestly the best way how to make apple pie less watery.
Then, you also have to soak your apples in granulated sugar. Add a tablespoon of lemon juice to the mixture as well. The sugar extracts a lot of moisture from the apples.
Then, you can use the juice-infused sugar as the liquid base for the filling.
2. Don’t use a runny filling recipe
It’s easy enough to say “avoid the recipe.” But sometimes you don’t know what it will end up looking like until it’s too late. But, can you make it thicker after the filling has been made?
Remember, the best recipes all have a thickener. So, you can simply incorporate more of it if you see that your filling is too watery.
That’s by far the easiest way how to make apple pie filling thicker.
2. Dock and prebake the crust
There are many answers to “How to keep apple pie crust from getting soggy?” The ultimate solution is pre-baking it.
To start, line your baking dish with the pastry. Then, dock it all around the bottom. Docking is optional, but we highly recommend it. This will help the base bake evenly and uniformly.
Then, you can blind-bake the crust for 8-12 minutes (depending on the thickness and size). One the crust starts looking slightly baked (but not browned), you can remove it from the oven.
Blind baking allows the crust to form a barrier on the outside of the pastry. This barrier will help prevent excess and super runny juices from soaking into the crust.
3. Don’t forget vents!
If you are making a closed double-crusted apple pie, make sure to cut air vents in the top. This pie doesn’t get par-baked. But, it gets baked for longer.
The vents can be anything from a hole to a couple of slits. You can even get very creative and make a lattice-work pie top. The small holes between the lattice pieces will allow enough steam to escape.
Why Is My Apple Pie Watery? Final Thoughts
We are sure you learned a lot from this article. And we hope that one of our solutions helps you figure out “why is my apple pie watery.” And remember, it’s always easier to avoid than to fix. With pies especially, there are no effective shortcuts.
If you enjoyed this educational article, make sure to go check out some others as well!
Read more about 9 Best Types of Apples for Apple Pie
Lindy Van Schalkwyk is a culinary specialist with a background in Advanced Cooking, Advanced Pâtisserie, Media Communications and Nutrition. She has gained invaluable experience in the culinary industry having worked in some of the top restaurants in Africa in 2016 and 2017. Her expertise in nutrition has enabled her to develop recipes for special dietary needs. In 2018, Lindy began working in the Food Media industry, focusing on recipe development, recipe writing, food writing and food styling.