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?
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 (150 g) all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling out the dough
- ½ teaspoon (0.5 teaspoon) salt
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 3 tablespoons vegetable shortening, chilled
- 4 tablespoons (57 g) cold unsalted butter, cubed
- 4-5 tablespoons (4 tablespoons) ice water
- 5 (1134 g) large Granny Smith apples, about 2½ pounds
- 4 (907 g) large McIntosh apples, about 2 pounds
- ¼ cup (50 g) granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon (0.5 teaspoon) ground cinnamon
- Pinch of salt
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- ½ cup (120 ml) heavy cream
- 1¼ cups (150 g) all-purpose flour
- ⅓ cup (66 g) light brown sugar
- ⅓ cup (66 g) granulated sugar
- 7 tablespoons (99 g) unsalted butter, melted
- Make the Pie Crust: Process the flour, salt and sugar in a food processor until combined. Add the shortening and process until the mixture has the texture of coarse sand, about 10 seconds. Scatter the butter pieces over the flour mixture; cut the butter into the flour until the mixture is pale yellow and resembles coarse crumbs, with butter bits no larger than small peas, about ten 1-second pulses. Sprinkle 4 tablespoons of the ice water over the mixture. Continue to pulse until the mixture comes together in a loose ball. Flatten the dough into a disk, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or up to 2 days.
- Note: 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.
- Remove the dough from the refrigerator. Roll the dough on a lightly floured work surface to a 12-inch circle. Transfer the dough to a 9-inch pie plate. Ease the dough into the pan corners. Trim the dough edges to extend about ½ inch beyond the rim of the pan. Fold the overhang under itself; flute the dough or press the tines of a fork against the dough to flatten it against the rim of the pie plate. Refrigerate the dough-lined pie plate until firm, about 40 minutes, then freeze until very cold, about 20 minutes.
- Blind Bake the Pie Crust: Adjust an oven rack to the lower-middle position and hat the oven to 375 degrees F. Remove the dough-lined pie plate from the freeze, press a doubled 12-inch piece of heavy-duty foil inside the pie shell, and fold the edges of the foil to shield the fluted edge; distribute 2 cups ceramic or metal pie weights over the foil. Bake, leaving the foil and weights in place until the dough looks dry and is light in color, 25 to 30 minutes. Carefully remove the foil and weights. Continue baking until deep golden brown, about 12 minutes more. Transfer to a wire rack and 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.
- 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]