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Dutch Apple Pie (With Crumb Topping)

This easy one-crust Dutch Apple Pie with tender spiced apples and a sweet, buttery and crunchy streusel topping is a perfect dessert for fall, the holidays or any time of the year!

Also known as apple crumble pie, apple crumb pie or apple streusel pie, this is the best apple pie I’ve ever made (or eaten)!

So what’s the difference between a traditional apple pie and a Dutch apple pie?

  • A traditional apple pie has 2 crusts, one on the bottom and one on the top.
  • A Dutch apple pie only has a bottom crust. The top crust is replaced with a streusel topping that’s made with butter, flour and brown sugar (which makes it so much easier and even more delicious).

That combination of flaky crust, sweet-tart tender apples spiced with cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cardamom, and the sweet, buttery, crunchy topping is absolute perfection!

There’s lots of apples in this recipe (3 pounds worth). They’re piled high and bake up tender but not too soft or mushy.

The filling is nice and thick and not at all watery or runny (and you don’t have to pre-cook it, so that saves you an extra step).

And if you pick apples that are sweet-tart, such as Honey Crisp, or use a combination of tart and sweet-tart apples, such as Honey Crisp and Granny Smith, your pie will be perfectly balanced and not too tart or too sweet.

This pie is sure to be a hit with anyone who likes apples!

a whole uncut Dutch apple pie with a pie server in the foreground and apples and plates in the background

Ingredients You Need:

Note: Ingredient amounts are in the recipe card below.

  • Prepared pie crust dough (homemade or store-bought*)
  • Apples (such as Honey Crisp or a combination of Honey Crisp and Granny Smith**)
  • Lemon juice (fresh or bottled)
  • White granulated sugar
  • All-purpose flour
  • Cinnamon
  • Ground ginger
  • Nutmeg
  • Cardamom (optional)
  • Butter
  • Light brown sugar

*Although store-bought pie crust dough will work just fine, I highly recommend making a homemade crust. It will definitely take your pie to the next level of deliciousness.

If you need a recipe, try my Easy All-Butter Pie Crust (you can make it by hand or with a food processor).

**See the section “What Kind of Apples to Use” below for more recommendations on what type(s) of apples to use (and which ones to avoid).

Note: The above video is just a brief overview of the steps. Scroll down to the recipe card for the full printable recipe with detailed instructions.

What Kind of Apples to Use:

That’s a bit of a tough question to answer because it really all depends on the flavor and texture that you like in an apple pie. You can use all one kind or a combination of different varieties.

I prefer and recommend apples that will become tender when baked but will still hold their shape and not become mushy (apple pie filling should not be like applesauce). I also lean towards the apples being sweet-tart rather than tart.

Some of the more common apples that are sweet-tart and stand up well to baking are Honey Crisp (my favorite and the one I use most often), Braeburn, Jonagold, Pink Lady, Empire, Crispin, and Winesap.

If you like things sweeter, try using Gala or Golden Delicious. Gala will hold its shape better, while the Golden Delicious will be softer (so you might want to mix it with a firmer apple).

Granny Smith apples – the ones that seem to be most often recommended for apple pie – are actually quite tart. I recommend mixing them with some of the sweet-tart or sweeter apples for a better balance (unless, of course, you prefer the tartness).

Avoid using McIntosh, Red Delicious and Fuji apples. Although they are good for snacking, they can get very mushy and fall apart in a pie.

There are lots of other varieties of apples, so experiment and see which ones you like best. When I made the pie for this post, I used a combination of Suncrisp and Cameo apples (both sweet-tart), and it was fantastic!

a Dutch apple pie in a baking dish with a piece taken out and the pie server in the dish and apples in the background

Recipe Tips & Tidbits:

  • If making a homemade pie crust, be sure to add an additional 1 to 2 hours to prepare the dough.
  • Make sure the apple slices are all approximately the same size (about ⅛ inch thick) so they cook evenly.
  • I use a regular 9-inch glass pie dish, and the apples are piled high, but they all fit (they will cook down a bit). You could use a deep-dish 9-inch pie dish if you’d rather.
  • Cardamom is optional but adds a nice little something extra if you happen to have some on hand. It can be expensive, so I wouldn’t go out and buy it just for the relatively small amount in this pie (it will still be awesome without it).
  • It’s important to bake the pie until the filling starts to become bubbly. This is when it will thicken. If you don’t take it to this stage, your filling will be runny.
  • Keep an eye on the pie as it bakes. If the crust and/or topping is getting too brown, lay a piece of aluminum foil over the top.
  • Wait for the pie to cool before you slice it (the sauce will thicken up more as it cools). If it’s too hot or still very warm, it will fall apart and you will have a runny mess rather than slices that hold together beautifully. You can always warm it up a little right before serving, either in the oven or in the microwave.
  • Chopped pecans or walnuts would be a delicious nutty addition to the streusel topping (use about ½ cup).
a piece of Dutch apple pie being lifted out of the pie dish and apples in the background

Make-Ahead, Leftovers and Freezing:

This pie is at its best when freshly baked because that streusel topping will be nice and crunchy (it will start to soften up once you cover it).

  • Make-Ahead: If you don’t mind losing some or all of that crunch in the topping, you can bake it a day ahead. Once completely cooled, cover it with plastic wrap and store it at room temperature for up to one day (or you can put it in the refrigerator if you’d rather).
    • For longer storage beyond one day, keep in in the refrigerator (covered) for up to 4 days or freeze it (see next).
  • Leftovers: Store leftovers in the refrigerator (covered) for up to 4 days or freeze (see below).
  • Freezing: You can freeze the baked and cooled pie either whole or in slices. For best quality, use within 2 to 3 months.
    • To freeze the pie whole: wrap the pie and dish in plastic wrap and then in aluminum foil. For extra protection, then put it in an extra-large freezer bag.
    • To freeze individual slices: put the slices on a baking sheet or tray lined with parchment paper or wax paper, keeping them separated. Freeze until firm, about 2 to 3 hours. Wrap each slice tightly in plastic wrap and then in aluminum foil and place in a freezer bag.
    • When ready to enjoy, thaw in the refrigerator. Then remove from the refrigerator, unwrap and allow the pie or slices to come to room temperature before serving. Reheat in the oven or microwave, if desired.
a piece of Dutch apple pie on a white plate with whipped cream on top and  apples and the whole pie in the background

This pie is fabulous warm, cold, served as is, with vanilla ice cream, or topped with whipped cream. You could even drizzle it with some caramel…although it doesn’t really need it!

I wish everyone a very Happy Thanksgiving and hope your day is filled with family, friends, fun, and lots of delicious food!

I hope you try this Dutch Apple Pie recipe and love it as much as I do. Thanks for visiting today!

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More Dessert Recipes You Might Like…

If you make this recipe, I’d love to know how it went! Please leave a star rating and comment below, Thanks!

a slice of Dutch apple pie on a white plate with an apple and another piece of pie in the background

Dutch Apple Pie (With Crumb Topping)

This easy one-crust Dutch Apple Pie with tender spiced apples and a sweet, buttery and crunchy streusel topping is a perfect dessert for fall, the holidays or any time of the year!
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Author: Michelle / Now Cook This!
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 55 minutes
Cooling Time: 3 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 15 minutes
Servings: 8
Estimated Calories: 422

Ingredients

For the Crust:

  • 1 unbaked pie crust dough for a 9" pie, homemade or store-bought (see Notes below)

For the Filling:

  • 3 pounds sweet-tart apples, such as Honey Crisp (see Notes below)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice, fresh or bottled
  • ½ cup granulated white sugar
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon cardamom, optional

For the Streusel Topping:

  • cup cold butter, cut into small cubes
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup light brown sugar

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400°F.

Prepare the Crust:

  • On a floured surface, roll out the pie crust dough until it is 12 inches in diameter.
  • Transfer the dough to a 9-inch pie dish; gently press it down into the bottom and sides of the dish (try not to stretch the dough; lift up the edges if needed to help it lay right in the dish).
  • Fold the excess dough under all the way around the dish, then flute the edges.
  • Place the pie dish in the refrigerator while you prepare the filling and topping.

Prepare the Filling:

  • Peel, core and thinly slice the apples about ⅛ inch thick.
    Make sure the apple slices are all roughly the same size so they cook evenly. You want about 8 cups of sliced apples.
  • Place the sliced apples in a large bowl and toss with the lemon juice.
  • Add the granulated white sugar, ¼ cup of flour, and the cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cardamom (if using). Stir until well-combined and the apples are evenly coated; set aside.

Prepare the Streusel Topping:

  • Place the cold cubed butter, ¾ cup of flour and the light brown sugar in a medium bowl.
  • Cut in the butter until the mixture resembles very coarse crumbs (you can do this with a pastry blender, a fork or two knives); set aside.

Assemble and Bake the Pie:

  • Remove the pie crust from the refrigerator and fill it with the apple mixture, mounding it up slightly higher in the center.
  • Sprinkle the streusel topping evenly over the apples.
  • Place the pie dish on a large baking sheet to catch any drips during baking.
    This step is optional but highly recommended (I always get a few drips once the filling starts to bubble, and it's easier to clean the baking sheet than it is the oven. You could even line the baking sheet with foil for super easy clean-up).
  • Bake for 45 to 55 minutes or until the filling begins to bubble and the crust and topping are a deep golden brown.
    It is important to bake the pie until the filling is bubbly because this is when it will thicken up. If you don't take it to this stage, the filling will end up runny.
    Keep an eye on the pie as it bakes. If the crust and/or topping is getting too brown, lay a piece of aluminum foil over the top.
  • Remove the pie from the oven, place on a wire rack and allow to cool.
    This will take about 2 to 3 hours. It will still be slightly warm at 2 hours and should be cooled completely at 3 hours.
    It's important to wait for the pie to cool before you slice it (the sauce will thicken up more as it cools). If it's too hot or still very warm, it will fall apart and you will have a runny mess rather than slices that hold together beautifully. You can always warm it up a little right before serving, either in the oven or in the microwave.
  • Slice and serve either slightly warm or at room temperature. It's delicious as is, with vanilla ice cream or with whipped cream!

Notes

  • I use and recommend my Easy All-Butter Pie Crust for this recipe (or any homemade pie crust); the pie will be so much better. If making homemade crust, be sure to plan for an additional 1 to 2 hours of time to prepare the crust.
    • Store-bought refrigerated pie crust can also be used and will save you some time (and the pie will still be very delicious!).
  • See “What Kind of Apples to Use” in the post for options on some of the apple varities that are best for pie (as well as ones to avoid).
  • I use a regular 9-inch glass pie dish, and the apples are piled high, but they all fit (they will cook down a bit). You could use a deep-dish 9-inch pie dish if you’d rather.
  • Cardamom is optional but adds a nice little something extra if you happen to have some on hand. It can be expensive, so I wouldn’t go out and buy it just for the relatively small amount in this pie (it will still be awesome without it).
  • Chopped pecans or walnuts would be a delicious nutty addition to the streusel topping (use about ½ cup).
  • Store leftovers in the refrigerator (covered) for up to 4 days; freeze for longer-term storage.
Did you try this recipe? I’d love to see it!Share it on Instagram, tag @nowcookthis and use the hashtag #nowcookthisrecipes. Thanks!

Recipe adapted from Pillsbury.

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