This Dutch Apple Pie is my all-time favorite apple pie! Made with a flaky homemade pie crust, a deliciously flavorful apple pie filling and it’s finished with a sweet and buttery streusel crumb topping. Pie doesn’t get any better than this!
What’s Different about Dutch Apple Pie?
So what’s the difference between a Dutch, French or American style apple pie? The typical American apple pies are all flakey, butter or shortening crust based, with a crust enclosing the apple filling both above and beneath. While Dutch apple pie is typically covered in a sweet crumb topping or covered in a lattice, and a French apple pie comes in several variations made with an egg based cookie-like pastry dough, a puff pastry dough or a crumb topping. French apple pie also commonly contains raisins in the filling.
Fun History About Apple Pie
Did you know the first apple pie dates back to a recipe recorded in England in 1381 (source)? It included apples, pears, raisins, figs and saffron. Looks like this dessert has evolved quite a bit, coming in many variations around the globe. But I think it’s a timeless dessert that will stick around for many more centuries to come. It’s just that good!
And the first authentic Dutch apple pie dates back to a cookbook from the year 1514 (source). It was baked in a Dutch oven pan, made with a standard pie crust, soft apples and lots of spices. It also included what we would now view as an odd method: removing top pie crust partway through baking and pressing the baked pie filling through a sieve, then stirring the pie with a wooden spoon and adding cream and baking to dry. How pie has changed!
My modern Dutch apple pie obviously is not the same as that very first recipe but it is easily one of the best pies I’ve ever tasted! Every time I serve it it gets so many compliments. Perfection in every layer!
Ingredients for Dutch Apple Pie from Scratch:
- Unbleached all-purpose flour: This is used in each layer, the crust, the filling and the topping. Preferably used unbleached over bleached for best flavor.
- Granulated sugar and brown sugar: These sugars sweeten the pie, without it it wouldn’t be much of a dessert.
- Salt: Add this to build some flavor in the crust and a hint in the topping.
- Unsalted butter: Here’s another ingredient thats added to all three layers of the pie. Because butter makes the best pies.
- Vanilla extract: You’ll be dreaming about this vanilla flavored crumb topping. Don’t skip the vanilla.
- Apples: Preferably use a blend of golden delicious and granny smith.
- Lemon: This brightens up the flavor of the apple layer and reduces browning.
- Cinnamon and nutmeg: What would apple pie be without that warm cinnamon spice? I also love a hint of nutmeg too because why not?
- Ice water: using very cold water helps ensure butter doesn’t soften and pie crust ends up tender and flaky.
Scroll down for my recipe (with printable option)!
How to Make Dutch Apple Pie:
- Prepare and blind bake pie crust: This will include preparing the dough, chilling, rolling and shaping in a pie dish, then chilling again, and blind baking. It’s a process but so worth it!
- Make the crumb topping: In a mixing bowl you’ll mix brown sugar, flour, nutmeg and salt. Then add in melted butter and vanilla mixture and stir to moisten. Chill.
- For the apple pie filling: In a large mixing bowl toss sliced apples with remaining 2 Tbsp melted butter and lemon juice. Add sugar, 3 Tbsp flour, and cinnamon and toss.
- To assemble pie: Layer a handful or two of apple mixture into the pie dish at a time, spreading and pressing into an even layer and turning slices flat. Top with crumble.
- Bake: Place the pie on a rimmed baking sheet, bake until apples are almost fully tender when poked with a toothpick about 45 – 55 minutes.
- Let cool to warm: Remove pie from oven and let cool on a wire rack (it will take about 2 hours of cooling). Serve just warm with vanilla ice cream if desired.
Can I Use a Store-Bought Pie Crust?
For the very best pie I highly highly recommend a homemade crust. But if you insist a store-bought crust will work too but the partial blind baking instructions can vary, just follow the guide on the package.
Can I Make it in Advance?
This pie does keep well for 2 days. I highly recommend reheating slices (just a short time in the microwave) before serving with cold ice cream.
If you’d like to serve the pie a few hours after baking but want some prep to be done the day before you can prepare the crust and blind bake the day before (store in the fridge then bring to room temp and fill) and you can also prep the crumble topping the day before and store in the refrigerator.
What Apples are Best to Use?
While I’ve tried many different types of apples in apple pie I’ve narrowed my favorite here down to golden delicious and granny smith. They golden delicious have a delicious apple-y flavor and granny smith hold up the structure of the pie. But if there’s a baking apple you like better you can use it here, just keep in mind some bake up differently than others (as in taking longer to cook through and so forth).
Jonagold and Braeburn apples would be two other good choices.
How do You Store It?
Once pie is cool cover with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator. You can serve chilled but it will taste best rewarmed briefly in the microwave.
Tips for the Best Dutch Apple Pie:
- Allow plenty of time to make the pie. It’s a process and requires some cooling time too, begin about 5 hours before you want to serve it.
- Use a deep pie pan so you can fit in all the apples.
- Partially blind bake the pie crust before filling so it doesn’t get soggy from the juices of the filing while baking.
- Use a blend of baking apples for flavor and structure.
- Slice apples thin especially those that are more crisp and take longer to bake through. Also work to cut into even slices so they end up tender at the same time and not some over-baked or crisp.
- Test apples for doneness. They should almost be softened, they’ll continue to cook with the carry over cooking as the pie will remain hot once removed from the oven but they should not be tough when pierced, they should almost be soft.
- Serve with vanilla ice cream for the ultimate fall dessert!
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Dutch Apple Pie
- 1 1/4 lbs (4 small) golden delicious apples, peeled cored and sliced 1/4-inch thick*
- 1 1/4 lbs (4 small) granny smith apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced 1/6-inch thick
- 2 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
- 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
- 3 Tbsp (26g) unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- To make crust: In a medium mixing bowl whisk together 1 cup flour, 2 tsp sugar and heaping 1/4 tsp salt. Add butter and cut into mixture using a pastry blender until there are just small pea size clumps of butter throughout.
- Add ice water 1 Tbsp at a time and toss until mixture is just moistened and comes together in bigger clumps. Gather mixture into a ball and shape and press into a smooth, 6-inch round on a lightly floured surface. Cover and refrigerate until dough is more firm, about 60 minutes.
- Remove dough, roll out into a 12 1/2-inch round on a lightly floured surface. Fold in half then into a quarter or wrap around a rolling pin and transfer to a 9 1/2 to 9-inch deep dish pie plate and unwrap. Fit to plate, flute edges if desired.
- Refrigerate until well chilled about 1 hour (or freeze for 15 minutes). Meanwhile preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Line crust with a sheet of foil or parchment paper (cover to edges), add dry beans, rice, sugar or pie weights to fill just level to the top. Bake pie in preheated oven 15 minutes.
- Hold all four corners of foil and remove beans. Prick bottom of pie crust about 10 times. Return to oven and continue to bake until it's starting to dry, about 8 - 12 minutes longer. Remove crust and let cool on a wire rack while you prepare the topping and filling.
- Move oven rack down one level from center. Reduce oven temperature to 350.
- For the crumb topping: Add brown sugar to a medium mixing bowl and break up with fingertips. Add 3/4 cup flour, nutmeg and salt and whisk.
- Stir vanilla into 6 Tbsp melted butter. Pour into flour mixture and toss until evenly moistened. Transfer to refrigerator while you prepare filling.
- For the apple pie filling: In a large mixing bowl toss sliced apples with remaining 2 Tbsp melted butter and lemon juice. Add sugar, 3 Tbsp flour, and cinnamon. Toss mixture to evenly coat.
- To assemble pie: Layer a handful or two of apple mixture into the pie dish at a time, spreading and pressing into an even layer and turning slices flat (this will help ensure you'll fit all of them in).
- Remove crumble from refrigerator, break into small clumps and sprinkle evenly over the top of the pie.
- Place the pie on a rimmed baking sheet and bake in preheated oven until apples are almost fully tender when poked with a toothpick (they should have a just little give as they will continue carryover cooking as the pie cools), about 45 - 55 minutes. Check pie a few times throughout baking to ensure the topping or crust isn't overly browning, if needed tent with foil. If it's not browning enough you can move oven rack up one level.
- Remove pie from oven and let cool on a wire rack (it will take about 2 hours of cooling). Serve just warm with vanilla ice cream if desired.
- *I recommend slicing apples through the short width of cut apple pieces not the length of the apple so you get smaller pieces so you can fit more into the pie, refer to photos. Jonagold and Braeburn apples can be substituted.