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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 and were named for the way they’re often cooked, in a deep Dutch oven.
The 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 you might want to arrive early in the day 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 pie recipes.
The tart flavor and crisp texture of the Granny Smith apple pairs perfectly with many sweeteners. They’re excellent for all purpose baking, sauces and jams and of course for eating out of hand! You can also do a combination of Granny Smiths and another sweeter variety like Golden Delicious or any that are good for baking.
Other apples that are also good for baking:
- Pink Lady
We whole heartedly and enthusiastically recommend picking your own apples if you get the chance. Homemade apple pie made with fresh picked apples is out-of-this-world fantastic.
Try our Perfect Pie Crust Recipe made in 3 Easy Steps.
We’ve perfected our pie crust recipe over the years and believe it to be fool-proof. If you’re new to pastry, be sure to watch our how-to video.
Our flaky pie crust recipe makes enough for a double crust pie, or two single crust pies. If you don’t need two crusts simply freeze one for later!
We usually have at least one frozen pie crust disk in the freezer at all times. You never know when you might need a luscious, delicious, flaky pie crust!
For the best results pre-bake, or blind-bake the crust for this recipe before filling. If you’re looking for a shortcut and don’t want to make your own crust, use refrigerated store-bought pastry or your favorite frozen crust.
Ingredients for Dutch Apple Pie:
For the streusel crumble topping you’ll need:
- all-purpose flour
- light brown sugar
- granulated sugar
- unsalted butter
For the apple pie filling you’ll need:
- Granny Smith apples
- lemon juice
- granulated sugar
- ground cinnamon
- pinch of salt
- unsalted butter
- heavy cream
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 9-inch deep-dish pastry crust and blind bake or pre-bake in a pie pan. Set aside to cool.
Make the crumble topping:
- Combine the flour, sugars and melted butter in a medium mixing bowl. Toss with a fork to combine and refrigerate until needed.
Cook the apples on the stovetop:
- First peel, quarter and core the apples. Slice each quarter into four pieces about 1/4-inch thick.
- Toss the apples in sugar, cinnamon and salt.
- Sauté the apples in a little butter until they cook down into soft, little sweet bites.
- Place the cooked apples in a large colander set over a bowl to catch the juice. Pour the drained apples in the prepared crust.
- Combine the drained apple juices with a little heavy cream and cook until the juice is thickened.
- Pour the reduced apple cream sauce over the apple pie filling in the pre-baked pastry crust.
Add the crumbled top over the cooked apple pie filling:
- Use a fork to break up any large clumps of crumble topping until they’re pea sized.
- Spread the topping evenly over the apples and bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes.
The crumbled topping is sweet and crunchy, and the perfect compliment to the soft baked apple pie filling.
Even though the apple filling is made with a little cream, adding a scoop of ice cream on top of a warm slice of pie is still a great idea.
Make ahead directions for Dutch Apple Pie:
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 crumble topping. You can make each component the day before, refrigerate and then bake the morning you plan to serve.
As with many fruit filled desserts this pie is best served the day it’s made. However, leftovers can be sealed in an airtight container and refrigerated for up to 5 days.
Can you freeze Dutch Apple Pie?
Once the Dutch Apple Pie is assembled, but not baked, 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 a little extra baking time to ensure the filling is bubbling and the top well browned. Tent with foil if needed to prevent over browning.
Tips for baking a previously frozen pie:
Place a foil lined rimmed baking sheet in the oven while preheating. Place the cold pie directly on the hot pan and bake. This simple step will help crisp the crust and prevent a soggy bottom.
Fully baked, cooled individual slices of pie can be flash frozen then well sealed in plastic wrap for up to 3 months.
Enjoy a slice of Dutch Apple Pie with a scoop of vanilla ice cream!
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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 pounds Granny Smith apples about 10 large apples
- juice of 1/2 a lemon
- 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 the apples with lemon juice in a large bowl. Next add the sugar, cinnamon, and salt and toss to combine.
- Heat butter in large Dutch oven over high heat until melted and the foaming stops. Add apples and stir to coat in the butter. Reduce heat to medium-high, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the apples are softened and starting to break down, about 10-15 minutes.
- Set a large colander over the now empty large bowl. Spoon the cooked apples into the colander. Shake colander and gently toss the 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 a 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 enjoy:
Caramel Apple Pie ~ a delicious twist on a classic apple pie. The pie filling is sweetened with a creamy caramel sauce, then served with an extra drizzle of caramel on top for loads of caramel flavor.
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.
Finally, if you’re not in the mood to bake an entire pie, try making this Fresh Apple Pie Dip! This dip is terrific served with cinnamon coated chips, or spooned over your favorite ice cream.