The Best Dutch Apple Pie: Sweet and tart apples piled with crunchy, crumbly brown sugar cinnamon topping and baked into a flaky pie crust. It’s a total show-stopper AND incredibly easy to make.
Looking for something extra sweet to add to your holiday dessert table? I have just the pie for you: Dutch Apple Pie.
This is one of my absolute favorite pies, and I *highly* recommend you give it a try sometime. It’s a perfect dessert-to-impress for guests and even better if you just want to really treat yourself (because then you don’t have to share). 😉
What is Dutch Apple Pie?
Dutch apple pie is classic apple pie, spiced apples baked in a flaky pie crust, but with a sweet and crunchy streusel over the top.
The difference between Apple Pie and Dutch Apple Pie is the streusel topping. Where you make apple pie with a double crust, crust on the top and bottom, you only need the bottom crust for a Dutch apple pie. Instead of crust on top, the topping on Dutch apple pie is a crumbly mix of butter, brown sugar, flour, and cinnamon that bakes up crumbly and crunchy.
- Pie Crust: Use your favorite 9-inch pie crust recipe here. If you don’t have a go-to crust recipe, give my favorite Buttermilk Pie Crust a try. It’s foolproof and as one reader recently commented, “is a dream to work with.” (Also it just tastes really good and is SO flaky.)
- Baking staples: This pie is made with mostly baking staples, so if you have enough apples, you probably have all the rest of the ingredients for the pie on hand. You’ll need flour, granulated and brown sugar, cinnamon, lemon juice, salt, and nutmeg.
- Apples: I use and recommend Granny Smith Apples for this pie. They hold up well to baking without becoming mushy, and their tartness offsets the sweetness of the crumble nicely. You can use whatever baking apple you prefer, but a purely sweet apple will make this (already very sweet pie) very, very sweet.
- Butter: You’ll need softened butter for the crumble topping. I like to use salted butter here, but if all you have is unsalted, that will work fine. Just add 1/8 teaspoon of salt to the topping.
A Note on Pie Dough: If you don’t feel like making the crust from scratch, a frozen store-bought crust absolutely works. You still totally get pie-making bragging rights if you use one, and don’t let anyone tell you differently!
How to Make Dutch Apple Pie Topping
- For the crumb topping, we’ll be using cool room temperature butter, flour, brown and granulated sugar, and cinnamon.
- Take all your crumble ingredients, dump them into a large bowl (the bowl in the photos above was actually a little too small for this), and use a fork or clean hands (I always use my hands) to mix until well-mixed and crumbly.
- Put your crumble in the fridge and it’s time to make the filling.
A note on butter temperature: During the cooler months of the year, just set your butter out on the counter to soften an hour or so before you’re ready to get started, but if you’re making this pie during the summer, keep an eye on your butter temperature and don’t let it get too soft.
Butter that’s too warm and melty will be difficult to work with. You should be able to squish an indentation in it with your finger, but the butter should hold it’s shape around it, and should not be at all greasy.
Dutch Apple Pie Filling
- Peel and thinly slice your apples. Then toss your apple slices with lemon juice, brown and granulated sugar, flour, cinnamon, salt, and a pinch of nutmeg, and then layer them into your unbaked pie crust. You don’t need to perfectly stack each slice, but the flatter and more evenly the apples are layered, the less likely you are to have parts of your pie sink during baking.
- Depending on how shallow your 9-inch pie pan is, you may have slightly too many apples (the pie dish in these photos is quite deep so everything sits level). Mound them as high as you like as long as there’s room for the crumble.
- Finally, add the crumble. It will seem like a lot, but the crumble is the best part, so if it fits in the pie pan, use it.
Baking Your Pie
- To avoid drips in your oven, if using a metal pie pan, set your pie on a foil-covered baking sheet. For a glass, pyrex, or ceramic pan, set the sheet on the rack below.
- This pie starts at 425°F to help the bottom crust set quickly (no soggy bottoms here) and then drops to 350°F for the remaining cooking time.
- Keep an eye on your crumble during the initial high-heat cooking time, especially if it’s mounded high, and cover the top with a small piece of foil if any of the sugar begins to burn. Later in the baking process, you can cover the entire top of the pie with foil if the crust or topping is browning too quickly and looks like it might burn.
- The pie is done when it’s bubbly and you can insert a knife into the center and feel that the apples are softened all the way through.
- Cool for at least half an hour then serve with a big scoop of ice cream and enjoy!
Apple Pie FAQ
Can I make Dutch Apple Pie in advance?
Yes! You can make this pie up to 48 hours ahead of time. Store loosely covered at room temperature. Reheat in the oven to help re-crisp everything.
Does this pie need to be refrigerated? (How to Store Dutch Apple Pie)
No (but also, maybe). If you plan on eating the pie within 2 days, you can store it at room temperature, loosely covered. If it’s going to take longer to eat, store covered in the refrigerator.
Freezing a Whole Unbaked Pie: Double wrap your pie tightly in plastic wrap and foil, and if possible a large freezer bag. Store for up to 2 months. Defrost overnight in the refrigerator or on the counter for a couple of hours and then bake according to recipe instructions. (For step by step photos of this process, I really love this article from King Arthur Baking)
Pie dish note: Don’t freeze pies in Pyrex or glass pie dishes because the temperature change of putting cold dishes into a hot oven can cause them to shatter.
Freezing Baked Pie Slices: To freeze baked pie slices, place them on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet or cutting board (that will fit in your freezer). Freeze for 20 to 30 minutes until frozen solid. Wrap slices individually in plastic wrap and then store all together in a freezer bag. Defrost on the counter before reheating in the microwave or oven.
Reheating Dutch Apple Pie
Whole Pie: To reheat a whole pie, bake for 15 to 30 minutes at 325°F.
Slice: 10 minutes in the oven at 325°F or about 30 seconds in the microwave.
- If you’re a fan of Marie Callender’s French Apple Pie, and looking to recreate it, this is not an exact replica, but it’s pretty close to it. It’s not as tooth-curlingly sweet (not a knock, I love their French Apple Pie) and doesn’t mysteriously turn liquid when you reheat it (tell me this has also happened to you!), but it hits all the same sweet spots.
- This pie will drop slightly as it settles and cools. Expect it and don’t be alarmed. This is normal!
More Apple Desserts
Easy Dutch Apple Pie
- 1 unbaked 9-inch pie crust *
Dutch Apple Pie Topping
- 1 cup (120g) all-purpose flour
- ½ cup (100g) granulated sugar
- ½ cup (100g) lightly packed brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ cup (112g) salted butter *softened
- 7 cups peeled and finely sliced Granny Smith apples about 2½ pounds whole apples
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- ¼ cup (50g) granulated sugar
- ¼ cup (50g) lightly packed brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons (23g) all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Pinch of ground nutmeg
Dutch Apple Pie Topping
- Preheat oven to 425°F.
- In a large bowl, combine all topping ingredients and use a fork or clean hands to mix ingredients until well-mixed and crumbles form. Place in the refrigerator.
- In a large bowl, combine apples, lemon juice, both sugars, flour, cinnamon, salt, and pinch of nutmeg. Toss until well-mixed.
- Layer apples in the prepared pie crust. Slices don’t need to lie completely flat, but the more evenly they’re layered, without any air pockets, the nicer your layers will look when cooked and the less likely your pie is to sink in places.
- If using a shallow pie pan, you may have slightly too many apples. Fill crust until gently mounded.
- Top apples with crumble topping, fitting as much of the crumble into the pan as possible.
- Line a baking sheet with foil for easy cleanup. If using a metal pie pan, set your pie on the baking sheet and place on the center rack in the oven. If using a glass, ceramic, or pyrex dish, place your pie on the center rack and the sheet on the bottom rack.
- Bake at 425°F for 15 minutes. Keep an eye on your crumble and tent the top with a small piece of foil if the sugar begins to burn. Turn heat down to 350°F and bake for 45-55 minutes. Cover the top of the pie with foil if at any time it begins to brown too quickly. The pie is done when you can insert a knife into the center and feel that the apples are cooked through.
- Cool for 30 minutes and enjoy or cool completely and store covered at room temperature. To reheat, bake at 325°F until heated through (20-30 min).
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