Dutch apple pie is a team player, a people pleaser, a delicious mix of apple pie and apple crisp. With the flaky, buttery bottom crust of traditional apple pie and a steep, crunchy, cinnamon-tinged streusel topping, it’s the best of both worlds. This Dutch apple pie recipe is here for you when you just can’t choose between the two, because really, you shouldn’t have to.
A great pie takes time and attention to detail, and this one is worth highlighting. First off, this is a project recipe with three distinct parts – pie crust, apple pie filling, and breadcrumb top – and you might want to divide the work up accordingly. (Each of these can be made ahead of time.) We use our Truly Perfect Pie Crust Recipe here, which offers a solid yet flaky crust that stands up to the sheer mountain of filling required. As for that apple filling: Yes, you have to pre-bake it. Does that sound like too much work? Are you planning to skip it? It’s not, please don’t, and here’s why. Cooking the apples in tender ensures a tender, evenly cooked filling with barely a crunch. It also draws liquid out of the fruit, helping to avoid a waterlogged rind. Finally, this liquid (assisted by a small amount of flour) turns into a thick sauce that serves as a mortar for the apples, which allows the whole pie to be perfectly sliced. You don’t have to worry about it turning into mush: the recommended mix of cooking apples will hold its shape beautifully. (Tart apples like Granny Smith and Pink Lady only. Golden Delicious, Honeycrisp and Braeburn just won’t cut it here.) Also, instead of apple slices, we cut them into cubes to improve structure. And no peeling, please!
We like to use a standard 9″ metal pie dish here—not deep flat. And one final note: This recipe has a long cooking time with two temperatures: higher first to fluff the dough, then lower to cook it until crispy. (If an apple pie recipe says under at least 90 minutes, run.) The end result will be a deep browned, nutty, toasted pie, and exactly what you want.
While we think the best Dutch apple pie recipe is one that doesn’t need a side dish, we wouldn’t mind serving it with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.