The Best Dutch Apple Pie Recipe
A Dutch apple pie with a perfectly cooked apple filling, flaky crust, and tons of crumble topping. The perfect fall dessert!
Apple picking has begun, and my pie-loving heart is so happy! It is no secret that I love sky-high pies with all kinds of buttery crusts, crumbles, and streusel toppings. This recipe’s topping is so incredible it now outranks one from a favorite local bakery.
Of course this boasts a flaky, buttery base, crisp apples, a creamy filling, and those crumbs! Oh, those crumbs! It’s truly a pie lover’s dream and I am so excited to share it with you!
What makes it a “Dutch” apple pie?
The unique crumb topping of butter, sugar, and flour is what sets this dessert apart.
Dutch apple pie has been recorded in recipe books as far back as the early 1500s, but eventually it made its way to the northeastern U.S., where it is sometimes called Pennsylvania Dutch Apple Pie.
Apple pie prep tips
This is an amazing recipe, but quick it is not. Buckle up for some kitchen time when you decide to make this. There is quite a bit of inactive and baking time, but if you plan to make it start-to-finish all at once then plan on at least 4 hours of time for this apple pie.
I promise those four hours go by quickly when your kitchen smells this good! However, I know that time can be hard to find, so here are some tips for making ahead:
- The crust here can be made ahead of time, wrapped tightly in plastic wrap, and put inside of a freezer bag. If that’s done, this crust can be stored for up to 3 months.
- The pie can be baked, cooled, then refrigerated up to 1 day in advance. Bring to room temperature before serving.
- The crumble topping can be made a day in advance and refrigerated until ready to use.
What apples should I use?
I prefer a mix of sweet and tart apples and recommend McIntosh and Granny Smith for this pie. If you are working with mostly tart apples, you may want to add additional sugar.
This Dutch Apple pie recipe calls for you to peel, core, and quarter a total of nine apples – which may look like a lot! However, we are going to be cooking these down before baking, which helps us keep the bottom of the crust flaky and strong enough to hold the delicious filling and crumb!
What baking supplies do I need?
First and foremost, you want to be sure you have a quality pie plate. Glass is great for fruit pies, as you can see exactly what your crust is up to!
You will also want some pie weights (my newfound favorite tool for this is granulated sugar – fill up the entire foil-lined crust with sugar – it works wonderfully!), as well as a colander for draining the cooked apples (and preserving their incredible cooking juices for later in the recipe). A food processor is preferred for making the crust, but if you don’t have one, a fork and some elbow grease will do!
Suggestions for serving
If you ask me, pie is great every which way… warm, room temperature, chilled – any time!
This Dutch Apple pie is phenomenal fresh, right after it’s cooled, and you just HAVE to have it with a big scoop of my favorite Cinnamon Ice Cream. Or whip up a quick batch of homemade whipped cream to dollop on top, OR drizzle with salted caramel sauce!
Though it likely won’t last long enough, leftovers will keep well for up to 2 days in the fridge.
Looking for more fall favorites?
- Dutch Apple Pie Bars
- Apple Dumplings
- Caramel Apple Cheesecake Pie
- Classic Apple Pie
- Jewish Apple Cake
I would absolutely love it if you made this Dutch apple pie for dessert one day soon; if you do, please stop back and leave a rating and let me know how you liked it! ENJOY! 😍
Dutch Apple Pie Recipe
- 1¼ cups (162 g) all-purpose flour, divided
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 6 tablespoons (85 g) cold unsalted butter, cut into ¼-inch slices
- ¼ cup (46 g) vegetable shortening, chilled, cut into 2 pieces
- 2 tablespoons ice water
- 2 tablespoons vodka, chilled
- 5 large Granny Smith apples, about 2½ pounds
- 4 large McIntosh apples, about 2 pounds
- ¼ cup (50 g) granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Pinch of salt
- 2 tablespoons (28 g) unsalted butter
- ½ cup (120 ml) heavy cream
- 1¼ cups (162 g) all-purpose flour
- ⅓ cup (71 g) light brown sugar
- ⅓ cup (66 g) granulated sugar
- 7 tablespoons (99 g) unsalted butter, melted
- Make the Pie Crust: Process ¾ cups of the flour, the sugar, and salt together in a food processor until combined, about 2 one-second pulses. Add the butter and shortening and process until a homogenous dough just starts to collect in uneven clumps, about 7 to 10 seconds (the dough will resemble cottage cheese curds with some very small pieces of butter remaining, but there should be no uncoated flour). Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula and redistribute the dough evenly around the bowl. Add the remaining ½ cup flour and pulse until the mixture is evenly distributed around the bowl and the mass of dough has been broken up, 4 to 6 quick pulses. Empty the mixture into a medium bowl.
- Sprinkle the vodka and water over the mixture. With a rubber spatula, use a folding motion to mix, pressing down on the dough until it is slightly tacky and sticks together. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and bring it together with your hands, pressing it into a 6-inch round. Lightly flour the top and gently and quickly roll it out to a 13-inch circle, picking it up and doing a quarter turn after every couple of rolls to keep it from sticking.
- Transfer the dough to a 9-inch pie plate and gently press it into the bottom and up the sides. Trim the dough to 1 inch beyond the lip of the pie plate, then tuck it under itself so it is flush with the edge of the pie plate. Flute the edges or press with the tines of a fork, then refrigerate the dough-lined plate for at least 2 hours.
- Blind Bake the Pie Crust: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line the chilled pie dough with aluminum foil and use granulated sugar to fill the whole pie plate. Bake for 40 minutes; remove the foil and sugar and place the crust on a wire rack while you make the filling.
- Increase the oven temperature to 425 degrees F.
- Make the Apple Filling: Peel, quarter, and core the apples; slice each quarter crosswise into pieces ¼ inch thick. Toss the apples, sugar, cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl to combine. Heat the butter in a large Dutch oven (or pot) over high heat until foaming subsides; add the apples and toss to coat. Reduce the hat to medium-high and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until the Granny Smith apple slices are tender and the McIntosh apple slices are softened and beginning to break down, about 10 minutes.
- Set a large colander over a large bowl; transfer the cooked apples to the colander. Shake the colander and toss the apples to drain off as much juice as possible. Bring the drained juice and the cream to a boil in the now-empty Dutch oven over high heat; cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened and a wooden spoon leaves a trail in the mixture, about 5 minutes. Transfer the apples to the prebaked pie shell; pour the reduced juice mixture over and smooth with a rubber spatula.
- Make the Streusel Topping: Combine the flour and sugars in a medium bowl; drizzle with the melted butter and toss with a fork until evenly moistened and the mixture forms many large chunks with pea-sized pieces mixed throughout. Sprinkle the streusel evenly over the pie filling.
- Bake the Pie: Set the pie plate on a baking sheet and bake until the streusel topping is deep golden brown, 10 to 20 minutes. Cool on a wire rack to room temperature and serve.
- Crust: Use the included crust or my all-butter pie crust.
- Make Crust by Hand: If you do not have a food processor, use this method to make the pie dough: In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar and salt. Scatter the shortening and butter over the dry ingredients and, using a pastry blender or your fingers, work the fat into the flour mixture until it looks like coarse sand. Then sprinkle the water over the mixture and use a fork to incorporate until it is evenly moistened and the dough will hold together when pinched between your fingers.
- Equipment: Pie plate / Food processor / Peeler / Colander
- Apples: A mix of sweet and tart apples is recommended, but any combination of apples will work!
- Serving Suggestions: Top the pie with Cinnamon Ice Cream, homemade whipped cream, or a drizzle of salted caramel sauce!
- Make-Ahead: The pie crust dough can be refrigerated for up to 4 days or frozen for up to 3 months. The par-baked pie crust can be cooled, wrapped in plastic, and refrigerated for 1 day or frozen for up to 3 months. The baked pie can be cooled completely, then refrigerated for 1 day prior to serving.
- Storage: You can store leftovers, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
- Freezing Instructions: You can freeze the unbaked pie by wrapping it in plastic wrap, then in foil, and placing it in a freezer bag.
- Recipe adapted from Cook’s Illustrated.
[Photography by Dee of One Sarcastic Baker]