This homemade Dutch Apple Pie features a flaky crust, tender apples, and a sweet and buttery crumb topping. Served with spiced caramel, your tastebuds will fall in love with this recipe bite after bite.
Disclosure: I partnered with Spice Islands® for this recipe post, but all opinions expressed here are my own. I am grateful for authentic partnerships like this.
I’m going to come right out and say it — I think this Dutch apple pie might just be my very favorite type of pie! It contains all the best parts of classic apple pie with a sweet streusel topping and caramel! I mean, who wouldn’t love that combination?!
For a taste that can’t be beaten, I love adding Spice Islands cinnamon and vanilla to my baking. They have such high quality and authentic products, which makes a world of difference! Serve this recipe at your next family gathering and watch as everyone’s jaws drop to the floor in disbelief!
What is a Dutch apple pie?
Believe it or not, Dutch apple pie (or apple crumble pie) has been around since the 1500s! It starts off the same way as any other traditional apple pie — flaky pastry crust on the bottom filled up with cinnamon-spiced apples.
Where Dutch apple pie separates itself from other apple pies is the topping. Instead of being enclosed by another pastry crust, it’s topped off with a sweet and buttery streusel. This adds such a unique textural element that I know y’all will love!
For those of you that may not know, streusel (aka crumb topping or crumble) is made from fat, flour, sugar, and oftentimes cinnamon. It’s used in many desserts like muffins, cakes, and pies just like this. So, let’s get baking!
- All-purpose flour: For a perfectly flaky yet tender crust, I recommend unbleached all-purpose flour. Any brand should do the trick!
- Granulated & brown sugar: I use granulated and light brown sugar in the crust, granulated and dark brown sugar for the filling, and brown sugar for the spiced caramel. This pie carries deep, rich, molasses flavors all throughout!
- Salt: Never leave your pie crust unsalted! A small ingredient can make such a huge difference. Regular salt works great for this Dutch apple pie.
- Butter: To better control the salt level, opt for unsalted butter. Make sure the butter for the crust is cold so you’re able to cut it into the dry ingredients. You will also need unsalted butter for the spiced caramel.
- Water: The water needs to be ice-cold so it doesn’t melt the butter and creates flaky pie crust layers.
- Spice Islands Ground Saigon Cinnamon: I add to the crust, the apple pie filling, and the caramel for sweet and spicy flavors.
- Spice Islands Pure Vanilla Extract: provides so much flavor! I love that I don’t need to use much at all, yet it still adds the perfect amount of creamy, aromatic notes that enhance the rest of this pie.
- Apples: I recommend Honeycrisp apples for their tart, juicy, and sweet flavor. You will need about six medium apples to properly fill the pie crust.
- Lemon juice: To prevent the apples from browning and add just a touch of tartness.
- Spice Islands Ground Nutmeg: Similar to cinnamon, nutmeg is a classic apple pie spice. I use Spice Islands Ground Nutmeg for the freshest taste. You can also add cardamom, ginger, or allspice!
- Cornstarch: To thicken the apple filling. If you don’t have cornstarch, use an equivalent amount of arrowroot starch.
- Heavy whipping cream: For a velvety smooth and decadent spiced caramel topping. Use heavy whipping cream, or substitute every cup with ⅞-cup of half-and-half and 2 tablespoons of butter.
How to make a Dutch apple pie
Make the dough
In a medium-sized bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, and salt together until well combined. Next, add the chilled butter cubes to the flour, and use a pastry cutter to cut the butter into the flour mixture until various-sized crumbs appear.
Slowly add the cold water into the flour until a ball of dough forms. Knead the dough quickly to bring it together. Don’t worry if there is a little flour left in the bowl!
Chill the dough
Remove the dough from the bowl and roll it into a ball. Cover it tightly with plastic wrap, then place it in the refrigerator for 30-45 minutes to rest.
Roll & shape the dough
Once rested, remove the dough from the fridge and lightly flour a clean working surface. Roll out your dough, wrap it around a rolling pin, and transfer it to a greased and floured 9-inch pie plate.
Fit the crust to the plate, flute the edges to your liking, then add it back to the freezer for 20 minutes.
Bake the crust
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Remove the crust from the freezer, line it with parchment covering the edges, and fill it with pie weights. Bake the pie crust for about 15 minutes, then remove it from the oven and take the pie weights out.
Gently prink the bottom of the crust with a fork several times and bake for another 8-10 minutes, then remove it and allow it to cool on a wire rack. Reduce the temperature of your oven to 375 degrees F.
Make the crumb topping
Combine flour, sugar, cinnamon, and salt together, making sure to break everything up. Stir together the butter and vanilla in a separate small bowl, then pour this mixture over the dry ingredients. Toss everything together until crumbs develop, then cover and refrigerate.
Make the apple pie filling
Add the apples, both sugars, lemon juice, cinnamon, salt, and nutmeg to a large bowl and toss everything together. Let the bowl sit at room temperature for about an hour, then drain the liquid into a large saucepan (there should be about ½-cup of liquid).
Add the cornstarch to the apples and toss to coat them. Over high heat, reduce the liquid in the saucepan to about ⅓-cup. Mix the reduced apple liquid with the fruit.
Assemble the pie
Layer the apples over the pre-baked pie crust, spreading them out evenly. Remove the crumble from the fridge and sprinkle liberally on top of the apples, leaving the baked pie crust bare.
Bake the pie
Bake your Dutch apple pie for 40-50 minutes, or until the apples are tender when pierced. To make sure your pie crust doesn’t burn, cover it with foil or a pie crust shield.
Prepare the spiced caramel
Melt butter in a saucepan, then whisk in brown sugar, heavy cream, and cinnamon until the sugar has dissolved. Bring to a boil for a few minutes, then take it off the heat, stir in a pinch of salt, and allow to cool. Serve your Dutch apple pie with spiced caramel and ice cream!
Tips and tricks
- Plan accordingly: Make sure you give yourself ample time to make the pie before it needs to be served. With baking and cooling, it can take upwards of 4-5 hours to complete (but, it’s totally worth the wait)!
- Use cold butter: Make sure your butter is chilled before working it into the dry crust ingredients.
- Pre-bake the crust: Pre-bake the crust so it doesn’t turn soggy from the apple juices.
- Evenly slice the apples: To ensure tender apples at the end, thinly and evenly slice them before baking this Dutch apple pie.
- Flour your surface: When working with pie crust, it’s important to work on a well-floured surface so it doesn’t stick.
- Use quality ingredients: When it comes to the subtleties of pie-making, high-quality ingredients make all the difference. That’s why I prefer , Ground Nutmeg, and for the best results every time.
- Refrigerate the streusel: If you have time, refrigerate the streusel so it forms into crumbs more easily.
What to do with leftovers
If you’re lucky enough to have leftover Dutch apple pie, here’s what to do:
- Room temperature: Cover with plastic wrap and store on the counter for up to 3 days.
- Refrigerate: Move the pie to the refrigerator and store it for an additional 2 days.
- Freeze: Transfer the apple pie to a freezer-safe container and freeze for up to 3 months.
While this Dutch apple pie is delicious at room temperature or chilled, you can also reheat it. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F, then add the pie to a piece of parchment paper or foil and cover it with foil as well. Bake it for 12-15 minutes, or until warm all the way through.
More pie recipes
Here are a few more of Grandbaby Cakes’ most popular and flavor-packed pie recipes:
- Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie
- Mississippi Mud Pie
- Sweet Potato Pecan Pie
- Caramel Pie
- S’more Pumpkin Pie
- Kool-Aid Pie
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I use store-bought pie crust?
You can use a store-bought crust if you’re pressed for time. However, the homemade crust is what really sets this pie apart.
What are the best apples to use?
I prefer Honeycrisp apples in my pie, but Golden Delicious, Granny Smith, and Braeburn are all great options as well.
Dutch Apple Pie
For the Pie Crust
- 1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
- 1 tsp granulated sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup very cold unsalted butter cut into cubes
- 1/4 cup very cold water up to 1/3 cup
For the Apple Filling
- 8 cups thinly sliced apples about 6 medium apples- prefer Honeycrisp here)
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup dark brown sugar
- 1 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp Spice Islands Ground Saigon Cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp Spice Islands Ground Nutmeg
- 4 tbsp cornstarch
For the Crumble Topping
- 3/4 cup all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 1/4 tsp Spice Islands Ground Saigon Cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 6 tbsp unsalted butter melted
- 1 tsp Spice Islands Pure Vanilla Extract
For the Spiced Caramel Sauce
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 1 cup light brown sugar packed
- 6 tbsp heavy whipping cream
- 1/2 tsp Spice Islands vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp Spice Islands Ground Saigon Cinnamon
- pinch of salt
For the Pie Crust
- In a medium sized bowl, add flour, sugar and salt and whisk together to combine.
- Next add your butter cubes to flour and using your pastry cutter, cut the butter into the flour mixture until various sized crumbs appear.
- Start with ¼ cup of cold water and slowly add the flour until a ball of dough forms. Knead the dough quickly to bring it together. Don't worry if there is any flour left in the bowl.
- Remove the dough from the bowl and roll into a ball. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for 30-45 minutes to rest.
For the Apples
- Start on the apple pie filling, by peeling and coring the apples. Thinly slice until you have 8 cups of apples. Add both sugars, lemon juice, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg to a large bowl and toss to mix everything together. Let the pie filling sit out at room temp for about an hour. It might look like a lot of apples, but don’t worry! It’ll shrink down and all of it will fit the pie.
For the Crumble
- Add flour, sugar, cinnamon and salt to a medium sized bowl and toss together making sure to break up everything. Stir together the butter and vanilla in a separate small bowl and pour over the dry ingredients. Toss everything together until crumbs develop then cover and refrigerate.
- Once the dough has rested, remove the dough from the fridge and lightly flour the surface. Roll out your dough, wrap around a rolling pin and transfer to a greased and floured 9 inch pie plate. Fit to the plate then flute the edges to your liking then add back in the freezer for 20 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Remove the crust from the freezer and line with parchment covering the edges and fill with pie weights to just the level. Bake pie for about 15 minutes then remove from the oven and remove the pie weights. Gently prink the bottom and sides of the crust with a fork several times and bake for another 8-10 minutes then remove and cool on a wire rack. Reduce the temperature of the oven to 375.
To Finish Apples and Assemble
- Next take the apple filling that’s been sitting and drain the liquid in the filling into a liquid measuring cup up to ½ cup. Make sure to gently press the apples down so you get the liquid. Pour the liquid into a medium saucepan. The apples should be left in the bowl.
- Add the cornstarch to the apples and toss together to coat then set aside.
- Over high heat, reduce the liquid in the saucepan to about a 1/3 cup. Takes about 4-6 minutes. Do light swirling during this then remove.
- Pour the reduced apple liquid over the fruit and stir everything together.
- Layer the apples over the prebaked pie crust, spreading them out and pressing the slices down.
- Finally remove the crumble from the fridge and break up crumbles with a fork. Liberally sprinkle on top of the apples leaving the baked pie crust bare.
- Bake for 40-50 minutes or until the apples are tender when poked and pierced with a fork. To make sure your pie crust doesn’t overbrown, cover with foil or a pie crust shield.
- Let cool to room temperature and then serve warm with caramel below and vanilla ice cream of course.
For the Spiced Caramel
- Melt butter in a saucepan.
- Add brown sugar, heavy cream, vanilla extract and cinnamon and whisk constantly over medium heat until sugar is dissolved.
- Bring to a boil and allow to boil for 3-4 minutes. Don’t go over that time.
- Remove from heat, stir in a pinch of salt and allow to cool. Serve with pie.
- Don’t have a pastry cutter? You can use 2 forks to cut the butter into the flour.
- Don’t have pie weights? Use 1lb of dry beans instead.