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Dutch Apple Pie with a buttery, crunchy streusel topping
An heirloom pie packed with tart Granny Smith apples, cinnamon and a sweet crumble topping.
Dutch Apple Pie is the pretty and delicious cousin of the Classic Apple Pie. Early Dutch Apple pies date back to the Middle Ages. They were named for the way they’re cooked, often in a deep Dutch oven. A bottom crust is pre-baked then filled with soft cooked apples flavored with warm spices like cinnamon and cardamom.
In the United States, Dutch Apple pie typically refers to an apple pie with soft, pre-cooked apples covered with a crunchy, sweet and buttery streusel topping. While it does not differ greatly in flavor from the classic apple pie, the Dutch Apple Pie has a very different texture which we love.
We recently made our annual trip to a local apple orchard.
Family owned Carter Mountain Orchard in Charlottesville, Virginia is our favorite place to pick apples, drink fresh cider and binge on the famous, fresh, warm cider doughnuts. This year we were lucky enough to spend the day with our grandson Isaac and put him to work gathering apples for our Dutch Apple Pie.
We also picked an enormous amount of Fuji apples to share and enjoy. The Chiles family really has it all figured out and make apple picking an event to remember! During apple season I highly recommend going early to beat the crowds! Weekends at the orchard get very busy this time of year.
Granny Smith’s are my favorite go-to apples for all our apple pies.
Their tart flavor and crisp texture pair perfectly with your favorite sweetener. Granny Smith’s are excellent for all purposes like baking, making sauces and jams and of course for eating out of hand! You can also do a combination of Granny Smith apples and another sweeter variety that are good for baking.
If you get the chance to pick your own apples, I highly recommend it. Apple pies are out-of-this-world fantastic made with fresh picked apples, just saying.
We highly recommend trying our Perfect Pie Crust Recipe made in 3 Easy Steps.
This easy pie crust is rolled out and pre-baked / blind-baked before filling. If you’re looking for a shortcut or don’t want to make your own crust, use refrigerated store-bought pastry or your favorite frozen crust.
Our flaky pie crust recipe makes enough for a double crust pie, or two single crust pies. If you don’t need both crusts, freeze one for later! I keep frozen pie crusts in my freezer at all times. You never know when you’ll have need for a luscious, delicious, flaky pie crust!
Ingredients needed for Dutch Apple Pie:
For the streusel crumble topping you’ll need:
For the apple filling you’ll need:
And finally, you’ll need a 9-inch deep dish blind-baked pie crust either homemade, store-bought refrigerated crust, or a frozen store-bought.
How to make Dutch Apple Pie:
- Prepare a pastry crust and blind bake or pre-bake.
While the crust is chilling and then baking, the apples are cooked on the stovetop.
- First, the apples are sautéed in a little butter and tossed with cinnamon and sugar. The apples cook down into soft, little sweet bites.
- Drain the juice from the cooked apples and combine with a little heavy cream. Blend everything together and pour into the pre-baked pastry crust.
Next, an easy streusel topping is mixed together and crumbled on top of the cooked apple filling.
- Finally, the assembled pie is popped into the oven for just a short time, about 15 minutes. This is just long enough for the streusel topping to bake and lightly brown.
The crumbled topping is sweet and crunchy, and the perfect compliment to the soft baked apple filling.
Even though the apple filling is made with a little cream, ice cream on top is still (always) a great idea. I would not steer you wrong!
Can Dutch Apple Pie be made ahead?
All the components of the Dutch Apple Pie can be made ahead and assembled just before baking. This includes the blind-baked pie crust, the apple filling, and the streusel topping. You could make everything the day before then assemble and bake the morning you plan to serve.
As with any fruit filled dessert, this pie is best served the day it’s made. Leftovers can be sealed in an airtight container and refrigerated for up to 5 days.
Can you freeze Dutch Apple Pie?
Once the pie is assembled it can be frozen until needed. Allow the pie to thaw in the refrigerator for 4 to 6 hours, then bake. You’ll need to add some additional time to ensure the filling is bubbling and the top browned. Tent with foil if needed to prevent over browning.
When baking a previously frozen pie, be sure to preheat a foil lined baking sheet in the oven. Place the cold pie directly on the hot pan in the oven. This will help the crust stay crisp and prevent a soggy bottom.
Fully baked, individual slices of pie can be frozen as well.
Dutch Apple Pie with a scoop of vanilla ice cream! Yes indeed 😉
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Dutch Apple Pie
For the crumble topping:
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup light brown sugar
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
For the apple filling:
- 4 to 4 ½ pounds Granny Smith apples, about 10 medium to large apples
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- pinch of salt
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- ½ cup heavy cream
To make the struesel topping:
- Combine the flour and sugars in a medium mixing bowl and drizzle with the melted butter. Toss with a fork to combine. Refrigerate until needed.
To make the pre-baked pie pastry:
- Prepare the pie pastry and line a 9-inch pie deep dish pan. Trim the dough and crimp the edges as desired. Place the pie shell in the refrigerator for 60 minutes. This will help control shrinkage during the blind bake.
- Adjust the oven rack to the lower-middle position. Preheat oven to 425°F. Line the frozen pastry with a double thickness of heavy duty foil, making sure the fluted edge is covered. Fill the pastry with 2 cups of dried beans or pie weights. Bake for 20 minutes. Carefully remove the foil, beans or weights and return the pastry to the oven. Bake until light golden brown, about 10 minutes longer. Remove from the oven.
To make the apple filling:
- While the pie crust is chilling and baking, prepare the apples.
- Peel, quarter, and core apples; slice each quarter crosswise into four pieces about 1/4-inch thick. Toss apples, sugar, cinnamon, and salt in large bowl to combine.
- Heat butter in large Dutch oven over high heat until melted and the foaming stops. Add apples and toss to coat in the butter. Reduce heat to medium-high and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until apples are softened and starting to break down, about 10-15 minutes.
- Set a large colander over large bowl. Spoon the cooked apples into the colander. Shake colander and toss apples to drain off as much juice as possible.
- Return the juice to the Dutch oven and add the cream. Bring to a boil over high heat; cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened and wooden spoon leaves trail on the bottom of the pan, about 5 minutes. Transfer the cooked apples to pre-baked pie shell; pour reduced juice mixture over and smooth top.
- Use a fork to break up any large clumps of the crumble topping. Spread the crumble evenly over the top of the apples. Bake the pie in the preheated oven until the topping is golden brown, about 15 minutes. The apple filling should be bubbling around the edges. Tent with foil if needed to prevent over browning.
- Cool on a wire rack and serve topped with ice cream if desired.
Finally, here are a few more of our favorite apple pie recipes you might also enjoy:
Caramel Apple Pie ~ a delicious twist on a classic apple pie. The pie is lightly sweetened with a creamy caramel sauce, then served with an extra drizzle on top.
Our Classic Double Crust Apple Pie Recipe is made with tart, juicy apples piled high and wrapped in a buttery, flaky, double crust pastry. To me, nothing says ‘home’ like Apple Pie!
Apple Cranberry & Currant Crumb Pie ~ a delicious pie with a fantastic combination of tart and sweet fruits, all soaked in a little brandy and topped with a tasty crumble.