Made with a flaky pie crust, a combination of sweet and tart apples, and a buttery streusel topping, this Dutch Apple Pie is the VERY best version of homemade apple pie.
Can't decide between classic apple pie and apple crisp for dessert? Don't settle! Instead, make Dutch Apple Pie and enjoy the best of both classic apple desserts.
What is Dutch Apple Pie?
Dutch Apple Pie is very similar to a classic American apple pie, with one key difference. Instead of the apple pie filling being baked between two pie crusts, the top crust is replaced with a buttery streusel.
And it is the buttery crumble topping that makes a Dutch Apple Pie the BEST apple pie ever, in my opinion.
Why You Will Love Dutch Apple Pie
- Easier to Prepare. One of the advantages of making a Dutch Apple Pie over a classic apple pie is that there is no need to mess with tedious latticework or perfectly crimping your pie crust. Instead, you just sprinkle the pie with an easy-to-make streusel, which gives this pie a beautiful presentation with minimal effort required.
- Better Flavor and Texture. As the pie bakes, the butter from the streusel slightly melts into the apples, further flavoring the filling, while adding an outrageously amazing texture to the pie.
- Two Desserts in One. Featuring a buttery pie crust, sweet apple pie filling, and a buttery streusel, this dessert features all the flavors you love and crave in both apple pie and apple crisp!
Notes on Ingredients & Equipment
- Pie Crust: You need one 9-inch pie crust for this recipe. I use my recipe for homemade pie crust. My recipe makes 2 pie crusts, so you can either opt to prepare the full recipe and freeze half the dough to use in the future or cut the recipe in half. Alternatively, you can use a refrigerated pie dough sheet and shape as directed OR use a frozen 9-inch deep pie crust, and allow the crust to thaw for 15 minutes before proceeding with the recipe.
- Apples: For the best apple pie filling, you want to use both Granny Smith and golden delicious apples. The granny smith apples are tart, while the golden delicious apples are sweet and the combination creates the most delicious, balanced apple pie filling. You really want to use both varieties of apples for the best pie.
- Sugar: This recipe uses both granulated and brown sugar. Granulated sugar is the best choice for the apple pie filling as it will dissolve as it bakes. Brown sugar is the best sweetener for the streusel as it gives the crumble a nice caramel flavor.
- Lemon Juice: Lemon juice will help to prevent the apples from browning and add a nice acidic balance to the sweet apple pie filling.
- Flour: Use all-purpose flour for both the filling and streusel topping. The flour will help to thicken up the juices the apples release as they bake and bulk up the crumble topping.
- Spices: Both cinnamon and nutmeg are used in both the filling and streusel. One thing I recommend is to grate whole nutmeg using a Microplane rather than using ground nutmeg. The flavor is really superior.
- Butter: Use cold unsalted butter for the streusel. The cold butter will slowly melt into the flour and brown sugar as the pie bakes, allowing for a rich, buttery crumbly topping.
- Pie Pan: This apple pie recipe is designed to be baked in a deep-dish 9-inch pie pan. You need that deep pan to give room for both the apple pie filling and streusel topping.
Tips for Making the Best Dutch Apple Pie
The following tips are provided to help you achieve perfect results. You will find the detailed instructions in the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
Tip #1: Chill the Pie Crust. Whether using store-bought or homemade pie dough, be sure it is fully chilled before rolling out the dough. This will help ensure your pie crust is flaky and light and that it will hold its shape. After shaping the pie crust, pop it into the freezer for 15 minutes, or refrigerate it for an hour, which will ensure the crust is thoroughly chilled.
Tip #2: Use two types of apples for the filling. Using both Granny Smith apples, which are tart, and golden delicious apples, which are sweet, ensures the apple pie filling is perfectly balanced and not overly sweet or overly tart.
Tip #3: Evenly slice the apples. Make sure your apples are sliced evenly in ¼-inch thick slices, so the bake time is consistent and each and every apple slice becomes tender.
Tip #4: Use chilled, cubed butter. It is best that your butter is cubed and chilled before preparing your streusel topping. That will ensure that the butter won't immediately melt into the other ingredients, causing the streusel to disappear into the pie.
Tip #5: Use a slotted spoon to add apples to the pie crust. After chilling the pie crust and preparing the apple pie filling and streusel, spoon the apple mixture into the pie crust using a slotted spoon. If there is any excess liquid left in the bowl that the apples released while sitting, discard it. Adding it to the pie crust along with the apples could result in a soggy crust.
Tip #6: Bake the pie on a rimmed baking sheet. Placing your assembled Dutch Apple pie on a rimmed baking sheet prior to placing it into the oven. This will help keep any juices from spilling into your oven while the pie is baking.
Tip #7: Watch the pie closely towards the end of the bake time. I highly suggest checking on the pie crust after 35-40 minutes of bake time. If the crust or crumb begins to brown too quickly cover the pie loosely with foil.
While it is tempting to slice the pie immediately, it is best to cool the baked Dutch Apple Pie until just slightly warm or to room temperature, as this makes slicing the pie easier and allows for beautiful slices.
This Dutch Apple Pie is so delicious, that it needs no adornment. However, it is never a bad idea to serve with a drizzle of caramel sauce, dollop with whipped cream, or top with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Storage and Reheating Instructions
- Store at Room Temperature: Once the pie has been cooled thoroughly to room temperature, cover the pie plate tightly with a layer of plastic wrap or foil. Store at room temperature for up to 2 days.
- Refrigerate: Cover tightly with plastic wrap or transfer the leftover pie to an airtight container after the pie is fully cooled. Store the pie in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
- Freeze: Prepare the Dutch Apple Pie in a freezer-safe disposable pie pan. Cool to room temperature and then place the pie on a baking sheet and freeze until solid. Once frozen, wrap it in foil and place it in an airtight freezer bag. Freeze for 3 months. Defrost in the refrigerator overnight before using. Once defrosted warm the pie in the oven at 325 degrees F or by the slice in the microwave.
- Reheat: I highly recommend gently warming individual slices of apple pie before serving, as nothing compares to a slice of warm Dutch apple pie. To warm a slice of pie, place it onto a heat-safe plate and microwave for 20-30 seconds, until just warmed through.
More Apple Recipes
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Dutch Apple Pie
For the Pie:
- 1 9-inch pie crust
For the Apple Filling:
- 4 cups golden delicious apples peeled, cored, and sliced into ¼ inch thick slices (about 4 small apples)
- 4 cups granny smith apples peeled, cored, and sliced into ¼ inch thick slices (about 4 small apples)
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice fresh is best
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ⅛ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
For the Crumb Topping:
- ½ cup light brown sugar
- ¾ cup all-purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- ½ cup cold butter cubed
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and position an oven rack to be in the bottom third of the oven.
- Roll out the pie dough into a 12-inch circle. Transfer to a 9-inch pie plate and fold under the overhanging crust so that the edge is even. Flute the edges if desired.
- Place the pie crust into the freezer for 15 minutes, or refrigerate for an hour, to chill the crust thoroughly.
- In a large bowl, combine the sliced apples, lemon juice, sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt until the flour, spices, and sugar evenly coat the apples. Set aside to prepare the crumb topping.
- In a medium bowl, combine the brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, and nutmeg together until evenly mixed. Add in the cold butter and use your fingers to mix the mixture together, until crumbs form and the butter is well distributed through the flour and sugar.
- Remove the pie crust from the freezer or the refrigerator and spoon the apple mixture into the pie crust. If there is excess liquid the apples released while sitting, discard that liquid. Adding it to the pie crust could result in a soggy crust. Sprinkle the crumb topping evenly on the apple mixture.
- Place the assembled pie on a rimmed baking sheet to catch any liquid that may bubble up while baking. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, or until the filling is bubbly and the crumb topping is golden. Check on the pie after 35-40 minutes of bake time. If the crust or crumb begins to brown too quickly cover the pie loosely with foil and continue to bake for 10-15 minutes, or until the apples are fork-tender.
- Remove the pie from the oven and allow it to cool to room temperature before slicing and serving.