I can’t tell you the best part about a Dutch Apple Pie.
It might be the simplicity of a bottom crust only pie — no need to make a lattice top or fear shrinking apples and a crust gap. It could be the perfection of fall apples baked until tender and juicy or the buttery crumble top flecked with the barely sweet flesh of pecans.
Maybe it’s the scent of cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove wafting through the air making my home smell like how a warm blanket feels on a cold day – inviting and cozy.
I think, perhaps, it’s all of the above. Apple pies are the comfort food of the dessert world and there’s no denying it.
WHAT IS DUTCH APPLE PIE?
A Dutch Apple Pie also goes by the name crumble pie, or streusel pie, which gives you a little more insight into what you’re about to bake than the Dutch title.
The pie has a pastry crust bottom with cinnamon-scented apples piled onto it, and then it’s topped with a crumble or streusel topping. The buttery flaky crust, followed by the just tender warm and spicy apples, and the crumbly sweet topping give the pie layers of flavor and texture that I just love.
It’s one of my all-time favorite pies.
WHAT IS THE TOPPING ON DUTCH APPLE PIE?
The topping or crumble is a combination of flour, sugar, pecans, and spices. I’m partial to cinnamon. It’s then tossed together with melted butter and crumbled over the pie. It doesn’t get much easier.
CAN I OMIT THE NUTS IN THE CRUMBLE TOPPING?
I put chopped pecans in my crumble topping but you can skip them or swap them out. Almonds would be delicious too.
WHAT ARE THE BEST APPLES FOR PIE?
If you’re forcing me to choose, my first choice for a pie apple is Braeburn followed by Gala.
When I was developing this recipe, I actually made four pies. I tried Braeburn, gala, pink lady, respectively, and in one version, a combination of the three. Each apple held its shape but became tender when baked.
I would only really caution against baking pies with red or yellow delicious apples or Jonagold. They tend to break down quickly and end up a little mushy.
That being said, I’ve never had an apple pie I didn’t like. I’ll be honest with you, I’ve made pies out of granny smiths, jazz apples, Honeycrisp (though they are pretty pricey to put in a pie and taste so good eaten out of hand, I’d probably save those for snacking), and pretty much any apple that was on sale at the store.
So, I guess what I’m saying is if you have apples, then bake a pie. You’ll be fine, and so will your pie.
For more information on which apple varieties are best for baking, check out our Guide to Apples.
WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO SLICE AN APPLE FOR PIE?
When I was a kid, I remember eating apple pies with thick-cut, chunky apples. I don’t make pie that way. I prefer thin slices of apple. Doing so provides more apples for the pie and they layer nicely so you get a slice that holds together when you cut it.
I like to cut my apples into slices about 1/8 of an inch thick.
WHAT TO SERVE WITH APPLE PIE?
If that’s too rich for your blood, I get it. Some lightly whipped cream is always a delicious addition. If you don’t do dairy you can certainly use a butter alternative in the crumble topping, and use this coconut whipped cream on top.
HOW TO STORE DUTCH APPLE PIE
Apple pie doesn’t last long in my house. If I think we will eat it up within 3 days I usually store it covered in foil on the counter. If I think it might take a week or better, I’ll keep it covered in the fridge. Apple pie tastes great any way you eat it, but it’s best served slightly warm or at room temperature.
CAN YOU FREEZE APPLE PIE?
It’s best to freeze an unbaked pie. Freezing a baked pie usually results in overcooked crust edges and a soggy bottom crust when you go to reheat or thaw it.
Pie will keep frozen, unbaked, wrapped in plastic wrap and foil for up to four months. Remove the foil and plastic and bake it at 375°F for about an hour.
NEED MORE PIE?
Dutch Apple Pie Recipe
The pie crust I linked to in this recipe makes two crusts. Just make the full batch, and freeze half for a rainy day.
For the pie:
- 1 single pie crust
- 3 pounds (8 cups, about 6-8 whole) apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup (100 g) sugar
- 1/4 cup (35g) flour
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
For the topping:
- 3/4 cup (110 g) all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup (40g) pecan pieces, chopped
- 3 tablespoons (35g) brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons (44g) granulated sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- Pinch of salt
- 5 tablespoons butter, melted
1 Heat oven to 375°F.
2 Roll out the crust: On a surface sprinkled with flour, using a floured rolling pin, roll pastry dough into a circle 2 inches larger than a 9-inch pie plate.
Fold the pastry over the rolling pin, lift it up and place it in the pie plate. Gently press the pastry into the bottom and sides of the pie plate.
Fold and crimp the pie dough around the rim of the pie plate. Transfer it to the refrigerator.
2 Make the topping: In a small bowl, combine flour, pecans, brown sugar, granulated sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Pour melted butter over the bowl in a circular motion and toss with a fork.
3 Make the filling: In a large bowl, combine apples, sugar, flour, lemon juice, cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove and toss with your hands.
4 Assemble and bake the pie: Retrieve the pie crust from the refrigerator. Pour the apples into the pie plate, arrange them a bit so they fit, then sprinkle the apples with the crumble topping.
Place in oven to cook at 375°F for 55 min. If it looks like the edges of the pie are getting too browned, cover them with an aluminum foil strip.
5 Serve: Let the pie cool on a cooling rack for about 30 minutes. Then slice and top with freshly whipped cream or vanilla ice cream and caramel.
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