Favorite Dutch Apple Pie Recipe photo by Taste of Home
Total Time
Prep: 20 min. Bake: 40 min. + cooling
The streusel topping on Dutch apple pie means you can cut out all the time you'd typically need to chill and roll dough in a classic double crust.

Updated: Jun. 10, 2024

Maybe you don’t bake often and you’re looking for an excuse to use your store of apples. Or maybe you love to bake and just don’t have the time before a holiday gathering. No matter the reason, Dutch apple pie is the way to go.

Perfecting the classic lattice pie crust can take time, and that’s where the crumbled topping of this apple pie comes to the rescue. No lattice, no decorative pie crusts. It needs just one crust, which hides in the bottom of the pie plate, and the crumbled topping is meant to be uneven and rustic. Even experienced bakers love to make this pie because of its crunchy, flavor-packed surface.

We take that crumbly texture a step further by adding oats to the topping—and to the crust. This way, there’s no need to master a flaky pastry. Instead, simply press the crust into the pie plate with your fingertips, fill it with apples, sprinkle the remaining oat mixture on top, and bake until golden.

Dutch Apple Pie vs. Apple Pie

The origins of Dutch apple pie are hazy, with some claiming European roots and others pointing to a limited availability of butter in colonial America. The name is likely a misnomer, perhaps applied when this pie style became popular among German-speaking emigrants and their descendants who settled in Pennsylvania.

Today, most Americans call any apple pie that replaces the upper crust with a layer of streusel a Dutch or crumb apple pie. The same apple filling used in a classic two-crust pie can be covered with a crumbly Dutch topping.

Ingredients for Dutch Apple Pie

  • Quick-cooking oats: Fine, quick-cooking oats break down easily in the pie crust and cook more evenly than regular or thick oats. Avoid instant oatmeal, whose powdery texture lacks the structure needed to press the crust into the pie plate.
  • Tart apples: Tart apples provide a counterpoint to the pie’s sweetness. Whether naturally tart or slightly underripe, they also tend to be firm and hold their shape when baked.
  • Cornstarch: Cooking the cornstarch into a syrup before adding the fruit and filling the pie helps to thicken the apples without the risk of an off-putting chalky flavor.

Directions

Step 1: Mix the crumble

Preheat the oven to 350°F. In a medium bowl, mix the flour, brown sugar, oats and butter, stirring with a fork, until moist crumbs form. Transfer 3/4 cup of this mixture to a small bowl for the topping; set aside.

Step 2: Prepare the crust

Crumble the remaining mixture onto the bottom of an ungreased 9-inch pie plate. Use your fingertips to lightly press the crumbs into an even layer across the bottom and up the sides of the dish. Set aside.

Step 3: Mix the filling

In a large saucepan, mix the sugar, cornstarch and water until smooth; bring the mixture to a boil. Cook and stir for about two minutes, until thickened. Remove the syrup from heat; stir in the apples and vanilla.

Step 4: Fill and top

Pour the filling into the prepared crust, using a spatula to distribute it evenly. Sprinkle the reserved topping over filling so that it covers all of the apples.

Step 5: Bake the pie

Bake the pie for 40 to 45 minutes, until the crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbly. If the crust appears to be browning too quickly, cover the edges with a pie crust shield during the last 20 minutes of baking.

Step 6: Cool and serve

Remove the pie from the oven, and set it on a wire rack. Let it cool completely so that the slices keep their shape when cut. If desired, serve with ice cream and caramel.

Dutch Apple Pie Variations

  • Nut crumble topping: For extra crunch, add a couple of tablespoons of chopped walnuts or pecans to the streusel topping.
  • Oat-free crumb pie: For a more traditional Dutch apple pie, mix up an oatless topping, and roll a classic butter pie crust for the bottom.
  • Spiced Dutch apple pie: To bring out the apple flavor, replace the vanilla with lemon juice, and mix a pinch or two of cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg into the apples and/or the topping.

How to Store Dutch Apple Pie

Be sure to cool pie completely at room temperature before storing it. A Dutch apple pie can be stored for about four days, first on the counter if you have a cool kitchen and then in the fridge. A pie keeper is the easiest way to keep the pie covered without brushing off the crumbly topping, but foil will work in a pinch.

For longer storage, wrap and freeze the whole pie, baked or unbaked, for up to four months.

Dutch Apple Pie Tips

Taste of Home book editor Hazel Wheaton shares her culinary tips on how to make this juicy, crumbly treat:

What kind of apples should you use to make Dutch Apple Pie?

For baked goods in general, go for a firm, crisp apple that will keep its structural integrity when in the oven. The best, most readily available apples for pies are Granny Smith, Braeburn, Crispin, Cortland, Empire, Jonathan and Rome Beauty. If you can find rarer types, such as Northern Spy or Winesap, you’re in for a treat. Numerous heirloom apple varieties will make a great pie.

What can you serve with Dutch Apple Pie?

The crumb topping on a Dutch apple pie makes it an ideal platform for something creamy and delicious that will melt down into the crevices and make flavor magic happen. You can’t go wrong with a scoop of premium vanilla ice cream! If you want to try something new, lean into the creaminess with a dollop of mascarpone cheese, a drizzle of heavy cream, or even a pour-over of homemade custard sauce or salted caramel sauce.

Watch how to Make Favorite Dutch Apple Pie

Favorite Dutch Apple Pie

Prep Time 20 min
Cook Time 40 min
Yield 8 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup quick-cooking oats
  • 3/4 cup butter, melted
  • FILLING:
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1-1/4 cups cold water
  • 4 cups chopped peeled tart apples (about 2 large)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Optional: Vanilla ice cream and caramel sundae syrup

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Mix flour, brown sugar, oats and butter; reserve 3/4 cup mixture for topping. Press remaining mixture onto bottom and up sides of an ungreased 9-in. pie plate.
  2. In a large saucepan, mix sugar, cornstarch and water until smooth; bring to a boil. Cook and stir until thickened, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in apples and vanilla. Pour into crust. Crumble topping over filling.
  3. Bake until crust is golden brown and filling is bubbly, 40-45 minutes. Cover edges with foil during the last 20 minutes to prevent overbrowning if necessary. Cool on a wire rack. If desired, serve with ice cream and caramel.

Nutrition Facts

1 piece: 494 calories, 18g fat (11g saturated fat), 46mg cholesterol, 146mg sodium, 81g carbohydrate (49g sugars, 2g fiber), 4g protein.

Everything about this Dutch apple pie recipe (especially the crumble!) makes it the top request at our family gatherings. The oat crust reminds me of a cookie, and the tart apple filling just can't be beat during harvest time. —Brenda DuFresne, Midland, Michigan
Recipe Creator