Who can resist a sweet, buttery, streusel-topped Dutch Apple pie like the one Grandma used to make? This easy recipe is the best of the best – it always comes out just right with a ton of buttery, cinnamony, apply flavor. If you’ve wondered how to make that perfectly crumbly crumb topping you’ll find the secret right here. This post has been updated from the original December 2016 version.
For this recipe you’ll need: unbaked pie crust, apples, sugar, flour, ground cinnamon, ground cloves, lemon juice, butter, brown sugar
My mom’s family was from Michigan. They all lived in a relatively small area that extended from Lapeer to Howell and we’d drive up there every summer for an extended vacation. I haven’t been back in decades so I can’t tell you how much it’s changed – but I can tell you that back then it was a lot of farms.
Since Mom’s family were mostly farmers I spent those idyllic summers slapping mosquitos and checking haylofts for kittens.
One of my aunts lived on her family’s farm – it had been given to her and my uncle. The farm, at that time, took up quite a large area and her uncle lived on the farm as well – across the street and up a path. He had a tiny little bungalow where he lived by himself and he tended his small vegetable garden until the day he died. I loved to walk over there and listen to him talk about his childhood – which would have been in the 1860s and 1870s when that area of Michigan was relatively wild.
He had an apple tree that grew an unknown type of apple – I only know that it seemed to be as old and gnarled as he was and produced the best tasting apples I’d ever eaten.
Sometimes we’d pick several and then I’d help him in his kitchen while he baked the best Dutch apple pie that had ever been made in the history of the world.
I was too young to understand that the people we love are not ours forever and that things left unsaid and undone sometimes can’t be retrieved. I never got a recipe for that pie and I never got a name for those apples!
I tried for years to adjust apple pie recipes and crumble topping recipes to get it just right – I think this one is pretty close.
Dutch Apple Pie FAQs
Experience level: Easy
What is the difference between a Dutch apple pie and an apple pie?
The main difference between a Dutch apple pie and a regular apple pie is the topping. An apple pie usually has a pastry crust on top but a Dutch apple pie is covered with a crumbly streusel made of butter, flour, sugar, cinnamon, and sometimes nuts or oatmeal.
Is Dutch apple pie really Dutch?
Well… it’s Dutch because it became popular with the Pennsylvania Dutch but it likely is a variation of a French pie.
How do you make crumb topping for apple pie?
You can make it by hand or with a food processor. If you make it with a food processor be careful not to over blend it. At the most basic you blend flour, sugar, and butter with your fingers until it becomes crumbly – be sure it’s not too wet. Sprinkle that over your apple pie filling before baking. Some people add chopped nuts, oatmeal, cinnamon, or other spices as well.
What are the best apples for Dutch apple pie?
The flavor is definitely dependent on the apples! I like to use a combination of apples to get the most flavor. Choose a mixture from the following varieties:
- Granny Smith
Tips and Tricks for the Perfect Dutch Apple Pie
The crumble topping, meltingly tender apples, and all of that cinnamon flavor call me from where ever I am to take one. more. bite. I just can’t resist a good Dutch Apple pie!
There’ve been so many times that I’ve made it and the topping melted or ended up with a weird texture that I couldn’t believe when this one came out exactly right.
It took years, y’all. Years.
Use whatever apples you have available. I like to use a mixture of sweet and tangy so usually try to go with a combination of Granny Smith, HoneyCrisp, Pink Lady, and Braeburn. Experiment to find a combination that you like best. Once you have the perfect combination for your tastes be sure to write it down. Someday someone may want to make your apple pie!
You can certainly use all one type but the flavor is a little more flat and “eh”. I promise you, if you’re looking for an apple pie that will win a blue ribbon at the state fair you want to use a mixture of apples. It’s just so much better.
How to Make the Streusel Topping
Have you ever made a streusel (crumble) topping and had it flatten out in the oven? Yep, me too. Here are some tips to ensure that that never happens again!
- 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.
- Once the crumble topping is on the pie bake it immediately.
YOU MIGHT NEED…
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What’s new? A brand new store full of things to help you make the recipes, celebrate the days, and create the memories! Check out Restless Chipotle & Co. As always, thanks so much for being a part of Restless Chipotle!
I love enamelware. It fits perfectly with my retro 1930s kind of country kitschy style. This enamelware pie plate is likely to last forever so it’s a good thing it’s pretty! They do have it in other colors.
More Old Fashioned Pie Recipes from Restless Chipotle
Who doesn’t love pie? Here are some of my favorite pie recipes –
- Red Hots Candy Apple Pie – Cinnamon and spice plus a gorgeous color! Perfect for the holidays.
- Swedish Apple Pie – Similar to this one but the crumble is different and there’s bright citrus in the filling.
- Bourbon Apple Pandowdy – A Pandowdy is kinda like a pie and a cobbler but different, too. This one is baked in an iron skillet.
- 50 Best Pie Recipes – You seriously need this list! I’m trying to bake my way through it!
- Orange Bourbon Pecan Pie – Someone told me this smells just like Christmas when it bakes – as far as I know this is a Restless Chipotle Original.
- Fresh Strawberry Pie – Anyone remember Shoney’s?
Dutch Apple Pie Recipe
I love this apple pie! It makes the house smell so good – there’s no candle that can match it. Give my favorite Dutch Apple pie a try and see if you don’t love it as much as I do. And… go ahead and give it 5 stars, thanks!
Dutch Apple Pie: Sweet, Crumbly Classic
- 1 inch unbaked 9- pie crust – chilled
- 8 cups sliced cored peeled apples, a mixture of granny smith, honey crisp,pink lady, etc works best
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 tablespoon cider vinegar or lemon juice, adds more flavor
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, , diced and chilled
- 1 cup flour
- 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- Pinch Salt
- 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.
- Put in the freezer while preparing apples.
- In a large bowl toss the everything that remains except the topping ingredients.
- Spoon into the 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 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.
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