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This easy Dutch Apple Pie is a traditional, old-fashioned dessert that always wins rave reviews! With the flaky pastry crust, tender, warmly-spiced apples, and buttery oat and brown sugar streusel crumb topping, it tastes like a cross between classic apple pie and apple crisp. The apple crumble pie gives you the best of both worlds, and it’s perfect with a scoop of vanilla ice cream!

Side shot of a slice of apple pie with crumb topping on a plate

Traditional Dutch Apple Pie

A Dutch apple pie (also called an “Apple Crumble Pie”) is a traditional dessert that’s a tasty twist on a classic apple pie. The main difference between a regular apple pie and a Dutch apple pie is in the topping. The Dutch apple pie has a traditional pastry crust and a classic apple filling — just like the original — but rather than a traditional pastry crust on top, it boasts a rich, buttery, streusel crumb topping. Think of this dessert as the perfect combination of an apple pie and an apple crisp!

History

Recipes for Dutch apple pies go back as far as the Middle Ages, but the version we know today — with its crunchy crumb topping — became popular when French, German, and Dutch colonists settled in Pennsylvania. In fact, the modern American “Dutch Apple Pie” is actually quite different from traditional Dutch apple pies that you’ll find in the Netherlands, reflecting the combination of histories and cultures that settled in the New World. Regardless of its origin, the apple crumble pie is a delicious dessert that has become a staple in our culture…for good reason!

The Difference Between Dutch and French Apple Pie

While Dutch apple pie has a sweet, buttery crumb topping, French apple pie, also called tarte tatin, is an entirely different dessert. French apple pie takes sliced apples and cooks them first in an ovenproof skillet with butter and sugar. When the apples begin to bubble, they are transferred to the oven to continue cooking, and then topped with a pastry round and baked again. After cooling, the pie is flipped over, revealing an open-faced French apple pie.

Apple crumble pie in a vintage pie plate on an old chest

Ingredients for Dutch Apple Pie with Oats

This is just a quick overview of the simple ingredients that you’ll need for an old fashioned Dutch apple pie recipe. As always, specific measurements and complete cooking instructions are included in the printable recipe box at the bottom of the post.

  • Single unbaked pie crust: use a store-bought refrigerated Pillsbury pie crust for a shortcut, or prepare your own pie crust from scratch. This is my favorite all-butter single crust recipe.
  • Apples: sweet-and-tart Granny Smith apples work best for the filling.
  • Sugar: to sweeten the filling.
  • All-purpose flour: to thicken the filling and also for the crumb topping.
  • Lemon juice: a bright, acidic touch. It balances the sweetness of the fruit and enhances the apples’ natural flavors.
  • Cinnamon, nutmeg and salt: spices that season the filling and the topping.
  • Butter, brown sugar, and oats: come together in the streusel crumb topping.

The Best Apples for Apple Pie

This is important, friends! My mom insists that you only use Granny Smith apples in the pie for two main reasons:

  • they offer a nice balance of sweet-and-tart flavors; and
  • the Granny Smith apples have a firm flesh that doesn’t break down and turn to mush as they bake.

That said, if you’re looking for a good substitute for the Granny Smith apples, I would suggest another similar variety with a firm flesh that won’t break down too easily. Good alternatives include Honey Crisp, Braeburn, Winesap, Pink Lady, Jonagold or a combination of these.

How many apples?

The recipe calls for 6 cups of thinly sliced, peeled apples. The total number of apples will vary depending on the size of the fruit. In general, you will likely need about 5-6 good-size Granny Smith apples to equal 6 cups sliced.

Do you cook the apples first?

No, you don’t! Yet another reason this pie is so darn easyYou don’t have to pre-bake the crust and you don’t have to pre-cook the fruit. The crust, filling, and topping all bake together in the oven.

Front slice of a slice of Dutch apple pie with a bite on a fork

How to Make Dutch Apple Pie

I took my mom’s classic apple pie recipe and tweaked it by adding a delicious crumb topping. This particular Dutch Apple Pie is made with oats in the streusel, which provides a chewy texture and a toasty flavor. Use a store-bought crust to keep the prep time short, or make your own crust from scratch with this recipe. Either way, the pie will be delicious!

  1. Roll out the pie crust, transfer the crust to a 9-inch pie plate, and chill (covered) for 10-15 minutes while you prepare the filling and the topping.
  2. Toss together the apple filling.
  3. Stir together the crumb topping.
  4. Layer the apple mixture in the chilled crust.
  5. Sprinkle with crumb topping.
  6. Bake the pie in a 375° F oven for about 45 minutes, loosely covering the top with foil after the first 25-30 minutes.
  7. Cool for about 2 hours before slicing and serving.
Pie crust in plate.
Apple pie filling in large mixing bowl
Oat streusel crumb topping in mixing bowl.
Apple filling in an unbaked pie crust.
Process shot showing how to make Dutch apple pie.
Overhead shot of grandma's Dutch apple pie before slicing

Serving Suggestions for Apple Crumble Pie

This easy Dutch apple pie is delicious on its own, but it’s even better when paired with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream. Don’t forget to enjoy leftovers for breakfast the next morning, too! A slice is delicious with a cup of coffee…

Overhead shot of two small red and white vintage plates with slices of dutch apple pie

Storage

This pie does not need to be refrigerated right away. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, fruit pies made with sugar can be stored at room temperature for up to two days. We typically store the pie in the refrigerator after the first day, and then reheat individual slices in the microwave as necessary. The pie will keep for 3-4 days in the refrigerator, but the crust tends to get soggy as it sits.

Wrapped tightly, the baked Dutch apple pie will last for up to 4 months in the freezer. Thaw the pie at room temperature, then reheat in a 350°F oven until warmed through (about 30 minutes).

Overhead shot of a sliced traditional Dutch apple pie with oats

Recipe Variations

  • Instead of purchasing a store-bought crust, make your own pie crust from scratch. This is my favorite all-butter single crust recipe.
  • Use a variety of apples for more complex flavor. Just make sure that you’re picking firm apples that won’t break down during baking. For instance, try a combination of Granny Smith and Honey Crisp apples.
  • Add more warm spices like cloves, ginger and allspice.
Side shot of the best Dutch apple pie recipe on a blue chest

Tips for the Best Dutch Apple Pie Recipe

  • Let the pie crust come to room temperature for 10-15 minutes before you try to roll it out. Otherwise the cold pastry may tear or crack.
  • Once the dough is in the pie plate, I like to cover the dish and chill it in the refrigerator for about 10-20 minutes before I add the filling. This isn’t necessary, but the cold pastry yields a flakier pie crust!
  • Don’t slice the apples too thin. They will break down as they bake, so you don’t want them to completely turn to mush in the oven.
  • Towards the end of the baking time (after 25-30 minutes), I suggest that you lightly cover the top of the pie with aluminum foil. This will prevent the crumb topping from burning or getting too dark while the rest of the pie bakes.
  • Allow the pie to sit to cool for about 2 hours before slicing. This gives the filling a chance to set.
  • Top each slice of pie with vanilla ice cream or freshly-whipped cream for a real treat!
Side shot of a slice of apple crumble pie with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top

More Apple Dessert Recipes to Try

Side shot of a slice of apple pie with crumb topping on a plate

Dutch Apple Pie {Apple Crumble Pie}

4.50 from 2 votes
Prep: 25 minutes
Cook: 45 minutes
Cooling Time 2 hours
Total: 3 hours 10 minutes
Servings 8 people
Calories 521 kcal
This easy Dutch Apple Pie is a traditional, old-fashioned dessert that always wins rave reviews!

Ingredients
  

FILLING:

  • 6 cups Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and sliced (about 5-6 medium apples)
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • ¾ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

CRUMB TOPPING:

  • ½ cup (1 stick) salted butter, melted
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • ¾ cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt
  • Optional, for serving: vanilla ice cream or whipped cream

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 375° F. Roll out pie crust to about 12 inches in diameter. Place pie crust in a 9-inch pie plate; crimp edges with fingers or a fork. Cover and chill the crust for 10-15 minutes while you prepare the filling (the cold pastry will yield an even flakier crust).
  • In a large bowl, toss together all of the filling ingredients.
  • In a separate bowl, stir together the crumb topping ingredients.
  • Layer the apple mixture in the chilled pie crust. Sprinkle with crumb topping.
  • Bake for 45-50 minutes, covering the top of the pie loosely with foil after the first 25-30 minutes (so that the crumb topping doesn’t burn).
  • Cool pie on a wire rack for at least 2 hours before slicing and serving.

Notes

  • Let the pie crust come to room temperature for 10-15 minutes before you try to roll it out. Otherwise the cold pastry may tear or crack.
  • Once the dough is in the pie plate, I like to cover the dish and chill it in the refrigerator for about 10-20 minutes before I add the filling. This isn’t necessary, but the cold pastry yields a flakier pie crust!
  • Don’t slice the apples too thin. They will break down as they bake, so you don’t want them to completely turn to mush in the oven.
  • Towards the end of the baking time (after 25-30 minutes), I suggest that you lightly cover the top of the pie with aluminum foil. This will prevent the crumb topping from burning or getting too dark while the rest of the pie bakes.
  • Allow the pie to sit to cool for about 2 hours before slicing. This gives the filling a chance to set.
  • Top each slice of pie with vanilla ice cream or freshly-whipped cream for a real treat!

Nutrition

Serving: 1sliceCalories: 521kcalCarbohydrates: 87gProtein: 4gFat: 19gSaturated Fat: 9gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 31mgSodium: 285mgPotassium: 210mgFiber: 4gSugar: 55gVitamin A: 406IUVitamin C: 5mgCalcium: 46mgIron: 2mg
Keyword: apple crumb pie, apple crumble pie, apple pie with crumb topping, dutch apple pie
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Author: Blair Lonergan
blair

Hey, I’m Blair!

Welcome to my farmhouse kitchen in the foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Inspired by local traditions and seasonal fare, you’ll find plenty of easy, comforting recipes that bring your family together around the table. It’s down-home, country-style cooking!

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Comments

  1. 4 stars
    Made this for my husband’s birthday since apple pie is his all-time favorite dessert. Good flavors, especially with the crumb topping. I used a frozen pie crust, brought to room temperature before filling and baking. Crust was a bit soggier than I would have liked.

    Next time I’ll add chopped nuts to the topping for a change in flavor and texture. Might try a combination of cooking apples also, but it’s very good with just Granny Smith apples.

    1. Thanks, Eileen! Yes, the chopped nuts would be a nice, crunchy addition on top! If using a frozen pie crust, you might find that it stays more crisp and flaky if you keep it cold (rather than room temp). You can also put the pie on a lower rack in the oven to help the bottom crisp up more. Glad that you liked the flavors!

  2. 5 stars
    Hi Blair! I made this yesterday and everyone loved it! My only comment is that it came out pretty runny. The filling had more liquid than your photo did with the apple filling pre-baked, and the finished pie much after cooling was also very runny. The flavor was great though! I followed the recipe exactly with the 2T flour and all other ingredients. Any suggestions for next time to thicken this up? Thanks!

    1. Hi, Mary! I’m not sure — I wonder if your apples were just juicier than mine? You can definitely add more flour the next time and see if that helps, though. I would increase to 3 tablespoons to thicken it up even more. Thanks for your note, and happy Thanksgiving!

  3. Hi, I am Mary and I would like to know if I don’t have nutmeg can I just us cinnamon. And I am using the Honey Crisp Apples. And also if I don’t have All-Purpose flour can I use self rising flour instead? One more thing I do not have lemon juice is it ok not to use it?
    Thank you

    1. Hi, Mary! Yes, you can just use the cinnamon. Honey Crisp apples are a great option. I’m not sure about the self-rising flour as a substitute. It would probably be fine, but it will add a bit of salt (in addition to the leavening agent it includes0. You can omit the lemon juice.