If you've wondered how to make that perfectly crumbly streusel topping you'll find the secret right here. Be sure to check the handy chart below for the best apples to use!
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Table of Contents
❤️ Why you'll love it
- I'm giving you the secret to the MOST delicious apple filling ever. (hint: it's the combination of apple varieties)
- The crunchy, buttery streusel topping always comes out perfectly—and it's so simple to make!
- Easier than traditional apple pie because there's only a single pie crust to mess with (bye-bye, fussy lattice top!)
I've heard people call this an "apple crumb pie" but we've always called it Dutch apple pie. I'm not sure which parts of the country call it what - I just know that each bite is a piece of heaven.
This easy recipe always comes out perfectly, with a lavish layer of sweet crumble over not too tender but not too crisp spiced apples.
It's the Goldilocks "just right" combination of apple pie and apple crisp that you'll crave over and over again!
This is an overview of the ingredients. You'll find the full measurements and instructions in the green recipe card (printable) at the bottom of the page.
As written, this is one of the best apple pie recipes out there. However, you can switch up a few things if you're feeling creative.
If it ain't broke... well, you know the saying.
- You can use my flaky pie crust recipe, this easy food processor crust, or even an unbaked one from the store. (Homemade crust is best, though!)
- In a pinch, two cans of apple pie filling can stand in for the fresh apples, but you'll want to leave the flour and sugar out.
- Experiment with different warm spices like cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and ginger to see if you like a bit of extra flavor in the crumble topping. I have been known to add a pinch of chipotle.
- Finely chop pecans, walnuts, sunflower seeds, or old-fashioned oats to add in with the crumble ingredients for a more crunchy streusel.
This is an overview of the instructions. Full instructions are in the green recipe card at the bottom of the page.
- Peel, core, and slice apples.
- Add sugar to the apple slices in a large bowl.
- Add flour, cinnamon, cloves, and salt.
- Stir in vinegar and mix well.
- Place bottom crust in a pie plate and add apple mixture.
- Combine the crumble ingredients in a medium bowl.
- Sprinkle crumb topping over the apple pie filling.
- Bake until golden brown.
- Cool and enjoy!
Click on the image to watch me make this recipe from start to finish with extra tips! (Video opens in a new tab).
You can store homemade dutch apple pie covered at room temperature for two days. Refrigerate it to make the pie last for four days.
If you'd like to save some pie beyond a few days, wrap the leftovers tightly and freeze them! Let the pie thaw a bit in the refrigerator before serving.
You can eat the pie at room temperature, but most pie-lovers will tell you it is best served warm. Preferably with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Don't you just love when the sweet ice cream gets all melty and runs over the tart apples? Yum.
Microwave individual slices of pie for a few ten-second intervals until warm. If you have too much leftover pie to heat in the microwave, put the pie in the oven at 350F for about 10 to 15 minutes.
If it's been frozen let it thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
The perfect apple pie is just that easy!
💭 Things to know
Expert Tip: When apples are especially juicy, the sugar can pull the juices out during baking and you end up with too much liquid. That makes a watery filling. To fix this, add the sugar mixture to the apples and then put them aside for about 30 minutes. If there is any extra juice, it will come out of the apples and collect in the bottom of the bowl. Just pour it off and continue with the pie as directed in the recipe.
- When making pie, use ice-cold butter. Cube it and put it in the refrigerator or freezer until you are ready to use it. This not only helps the crumble keep its shape but creates a super tender, flaky crust, too!
- Use a variety of baking apples rather than just one type to give your pie more flavor. Choose a mixture from the following: HoneyCrisp, MacIntosh, Braeburn, Winesap, Jonathon, Jazz, or Granny Smith apples.
- Your streusel topping is mixed well enough when it forms a solid mass that at first seems to hold together, but then crumbles apart when you squeeze it in your palm.
- Once you've made the streusel, pop it in the freezer for 10 to 15 minutes before adding it to the top of the pie. Then, bake the pie as soon as you add the topping to it.
- Some people like to use a pastry blender to cut the butter into the streusel, but I find it works better for me if I just use my hands. (You know what they say about gardeners feeling dirt? Yeah, that's me with flour, sugar... it's healing.)
- The secret to that sweet crumble topping that's perfect every time?Sprinkling a little white sugar over it before it bakes.
- If you tend to have spillovers while baking, place the pie on a baking sheet. That way, you prevent the sugary apple juices from caramelizing on the bottom of your oven!
- As tempting as it is to dive right in, you MUST let your pie cool before cutting into it. This allows the yummy, caramelized apple juices to thicken up. If you cut into it while hot, the pie tends to fall apart. I try to leave any pie in the fridge overnight before serving. Patience is worth it!
What are the best apples for apple pie
Use a variety of baking apples rather than just one type to give your pie more flavor.
For example, MacIntosh apples have a fabulous flavor but they don't hold their shape when cooked. So, we combine them with other apples to get the flavor AND texture we're looking for.
Choose a mixture from the following:
|Apple Type||Flavor||Texture||Hold shape?|
|HoneyCrisp||sweet||crisp & juicy||yes|
|Braeburn||balanced sweet & tart||firm & crisp||yes|
|Winesap||sweet; slight spicy flavor||crisp & juicy||yes|
|Jonathon||sweet & tangy||crisp||yes|
|Jazz||sweet, tart, tangy, slight spice||crisp & juicy||yes|
|Granny Smith||very tart||crisp||yes|
The main difference between the two is the topping. An apple pie usually has a double crust (one on the bottom, one on top.) It's often served with a lattice top. A Dutch apple pie recipe uses a crumbly streusel made of butter, flour, sugar, cinnamon, and sometimes nuts or oatmeal for the top crust.
The fruit pieces will be tender if you stick a knife into them and you'll see the filling bubbling up through the streusel. If you listen closely, you'll hear a thick, slow bubbling sound.
Absolutely! Assemble the pie as indicated and wrap it in a double layer of plastic wrap or aluminum foil. Refrigerate for a few days, or freeze for up to three months.
To cook from frozen, cover the pie with foil and bake for about 45 minutes. Then, remove the foil and continue baking for 30-45 minutes or until done. Alternatively, let the frozen pie thaw overnight in the fridge, then bake as directed in recipe.
Tip: When preparing your pie, make a second to freeze for last-minute special occasions, parties, house-warming gifts, or even weeknight cravings. The perfect dessert is only a few simple steps away!
For the best flavor, I recommend using a combination of sweet and tart apples. See the "Things to know" section above for my favorite picks.
📚 Related recipes
- Another one of my favorite apple recipes, this Apple Bread tastes just like fritters—gooey cinnamon layer included!
- Red Hots Candy Apple Pie has the best cinnamon flavor, thanks to Red Hot candy syrup and a splash of Fireball Whiskey.
- Buttery cake, sugary crust, and a Whiskey brown butter sauce—this Irish Apple Cake is only missing one thing: you!
- Apple bundt cake is full of fall flavor in an easy cake that stays moist for days.
🍽️ Serve with...
Y'all, apple pie goes with anything you put on the table. If you want to fancy it up a bit put a scoop of this Cinnamon Gelato on top. It's an elevated pairing for classic apple pie!
📞 The last word
This is the best apple pie, ever - I promise. SO tangy and sweet and buttery! It's perfect for the fall season but I love it all year long!
If you click on the number of servings in the recipe card you can adjust the measurements up or down for the exact number of servings you need. Don't forget that you can click on "add to collection" to save it to your own, private recipe box!
If you love this recipe please give it 5 stars! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
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- Heat oven to 400°F.
- On a floured surface roll dough into a circle roughly 2 inches bigger than a 9-inch pie plate.
- Place the pastry in the pie plate, pressing down slightly.
- Put the pastry lined pie plate in the freezer while preparing apples.
- Peel and core apples. Cut into ½-inch thick slices.
- In a large bowl toss the apples and everything else that remains except the topping ingredients.
- Remove the pie plate from the freezer. Spoon apple mixture into the pastry lined pie plate, mounding the apples up in the center.
- Use your fingers to mix the butter, flour, brown sugar, and salt until it is a mass that holds together then crumbles when you squeeze it.
- Sprinkle it on top of the filled pie.
- Sprinkle with the 2 tablespoons of sugar.
- Bake 40 to 55 minutes or until pie crust and crumb topping are deep golden brown and filling begins to bubble.
- Transfer to cooling rack to cool before serving.
- Granny Smith
- Use ice cold butter. Cube it and put it in the refrigerator until you are ready to use it.
- Mix your dry ingredients together and then add the butter, squeezing it and blending it in with your fingers.
- Continue to blend the butter cubes into the dry ingredients until it forms a solid mass that crumbles apart when you squeeze it a little.
- Experiment with spices like cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and ginger to see if you like a little spice in there. I have been known to add a pinch of chipotle.
- Finely chop pecans, walnuts, sunflower seeds, or old fashioned oats to add in with the dry ingredients.
- Once you've made the streusel pop it in the freezer for 10 to 15 minutes before adding it to the top of the pie.
- Sprinkle a tablespoon or two of sugar over the top before baking.
- Once the crumble topping is on the pie bake it immediately.
- If you tend to have spillovers in your oven go ahead and place the pie on a baking sheet.
- Either a homemade crust or a store bought one is fine.
- I like to sprinkle cinnamon sugar on the trimmings and excess dough and bake until crispy.
Nutrition information is estimated as a courtesy. If using for medical purposes, please verify information using your own nutritional calculator. Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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First published December 2016. Last updated July 3, 2023 for readability, to add information, and editorial improvements.