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Dutch Apple Pie

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Dutch apple pie, or apple crumb pie, is a perfect bite of fall. Fresh apples are baked under a buttery crumble topping. Add a scoop of vanilla ice cream for a fabulous dessert.

Slice of apple crumble pie with bottom crust, apple slices and butter crumb topping on top served on small white plate.

This pie is filled with a mound of apple slices baked under a buttery streusel. The combination tastes wonderful and will make your whole house smell amazing while it bakes.

When life gives you apples, make apple pie! I am pretty sure that is how the saying goes.

We love my great-grandma’s classic apple pie with a top crust. My family also loves my great-great-grandma’s dutch apple cake.

This apple crumble pie recipe has hints of both. And the combination is delicious.

Why limit yourself to one kind of apple pie when you can enjoy them all?

What’s the Deal With the Lemon in Apple Pie?

This particular pie recipe uses both lemon juice and lemon zest. That may sound like a strange addition.

Tossing the apple slices in lemon juice keeps them from oxidizing. That way, they don’t get too brown while you are putting together the pie.

It also adds a little balance to the sweet apples and added sugar.

Ingredients including pie crust, apples, butter, cinnamon, ginger, lemon, sugar, and flour ready to be made into a Dutch apple pie.

This Dutch apple pie recipe takes it a step further and adds zest to the crumb mixture. I think the lemon adds a great brightness to the finished pie.

You can certainly leave out the zest if you want the warm cinnamon and ginger flavors to really pop. Though I think you should try it with the zest sometime if you want.

If you want to leave the lemon out altogether, you can use my great-grandma’s trick and toss the apple slices in a couple of Tablespoons of orange juice instead. You will still slow the oxidation without the lemon juice.

Tips for Getting the Perfect Apple Pie

Cutting your apples thin and uniformly is a key to making sure they cook evenly. You don’t want large chunks of undercooked apples in the pie.

Chill the crust while you prepare the filling. Cold pastry = flaky pastry.

Bake your pie on the bottom rack, especially if you are using a glass or ceramic pan. That will give plenty of heat to the bottom crust and help you avoid a soggy bottom.

You should be able to see the juices bubbling inside the pie before you pull it. If they aren’t really bubbling, the juices won’t be thickened enough. 

This is the hardest part, but wait for the pie to completely cool before you slice it. It will take several hours to get completely to room temperature, but if you cut it before that the juices won’t be set.

The pie will absolutely taste amazing, but you’ll wonder why the filling is soupy. It’s better to let it cool and then reheat your slice a bit before you top it with ice cream.

And of course, enjoy the process. The love you are putting into it is the super secret ingredient. 

The Best Apple Varieties for Baking into a Pie

Not all apples are created the same. Some stand up to the heat of baking better than others.

Check out this list to find your favorite apple. Or use a few different varieties for the maximum apple goodness!

Great-grandma’s recipe specifically calls for McIntosh apples because they are juicy and slightly tart. Their shelf life isn’t as long as some other apples, though, so you may not always be able to find them. Don’t despair. There are more great options.

Jonagold apples are great for baking.  They are one of my favorite apples to get at our local orchard.  They work perfectly for recipes like this because they are fabulous on their own and bake well.  They don’t store as well, though, so enjoy them during the peak of the season.

Jonagolds are a mix between Jonathan and golden delicious.  Jonathan’s themselves are a great baking apple and tend to be just a tad bit more tart than the Jonagold. Both are crisp, delicious, and great for cooking with. 

Braeburn apples are another flavorful apple in their own right, so they are perfect for a recipe like this where the apples are the star of the show.

Pink Ladies are a fabulous option.  They have that mix of sweet and tart and hold their shape wonderfully.

Honeycrisp apples are basically the be all end all of apples.  They are wonderful in almost any situation, especially if that situation involves some oatmeal streusel and a scoop of ice cream.

Baked apple pie with buttery crumb mixture on top, one slice missing.

Granny Smith apples are sort of the classic baking apple.  They are naturally tart, so the finished product doesn’t end up too sweet. 

The skins on granny Smith apples do tend to be a little tougher than the rest, but it certainly isn’t a deal breaker.  You may want to reserve them for something like a pie, though, so you can remove the peel.

More apple varieties to try in baking: Fuji, crispin, golden delicious, and winesnap.

Homemade Pie Crust Recipes

There is no shame in picking up some refrigerated pie crust at the grocery store. I do that quite a bit myself.

However, if you want to make your pie extra special, making your own crust takes it to the next level and it is easier to do than you might think. Here are a couple of our favorite recipes.

Pie server lifting out a slice of apple crumb pie with soft apple slices in the middle and buttery crumbs on top.

My great-grandma was known for her tender pie crusts. My mom was looking for her recipe for years, and we finally got her lard pie crust recipe.

If you don’t want to use lard, MiMi also has a super flaky pie crust recipe that uses butter and a splash of apple cider vinegar. Both recipes are delicious and will be perfect for your homemade pumpkin pie.

Frequently Asked Questions:

How long does Dutch apple pie last?

Homemade apple pies can be stored at room temperature for a couple of days or in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Just cover it with a little bit of plastic wrap or aluminum foil.

Bite of Dutch apple pie on fork next to slice of pie topped with vanilla ice cream.

Can you freeze apple pie?

Yes, but it best to freeze it before it’s baked. Wrap the unbaked pie in plastic wrap and freeze for up to 2 months.

You can bake it directly from the freezer to your oven. There’s no need to thaw. Of course, it will take a little longer to bake.

Watch the top and tent the pie with aluminum foil when it reaches your desired level of darkness. That way, the top doesn’t get overbrowned while the apples are getting cooked through.

How do you serve apple crumble pie?

As we discussed earlier, you want to let the pie cool completely before you serve it. That will give the juices a chance to set up.

We like to warm a slice up for a few seconds in the microwave and then add a scoop of vanilla ice cream. It is also great with whipped cream, cream cheese whipped cream, or a drizzle of caramel sauce.

Slice of apple crumb pie served with scoop of ice cream, with pan of remaining pie in the background.

For something a little different, try making an apple custard pie with crumb topping. The apples bake in a simple creamy custard for a fun twist on this apple crumb pie.

Slice of apple crumble pie with bottom crust, apple slices and butter crumb topping on top served on small white plate.

Dutch Apple Pie

Dutch apple pie, or apple crumb pie, is a perfect bite of fall. Fresh apples are baked under a buttery crumble topping. Add a scoop of vanilla ice cream for a fabulous dessert.
5 from 3 ratings
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 12 Servings
Calories 227 kcal


  • 1 9-inch deep dish pie crust

Apple Filling

  • 2 pounds apples
  • 3 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour

Crumb Topping

  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup all purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter
  • teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest optional
Makes: 9inch round


  • Preheat oven to 375℉.
  • Prepare pie crust and fit into pie plate. Put in refrigerator.
  • Peel and core apples. Thinly slice. Put in large mixing bowl and toss with lemon juice.
    2 pounds apples, 3 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • In a small bowl, stir together sugar and flour. Sprinkle over apples and toss to coat.
    ½ cup granulated sugar, 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • Now, make the crumb topping by stirring together the sugar, flour, cinnamon, ginger, salt, and lemon zest.
    ½ cup granulated sugar, ½ cup all purpose flour, ½ teaspoon cinnamon, ¼ teaspoon ground ginger, ⅛ teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • Add the butter and cut in to form crumbs. You can use a couple of butter knives, a pastry cutter, or your fingers to do this.
    ¼ cup unsalted butter
  • Arrange apple slices in pie crust. It should be mounding over the top, but they will cook down as it bakes. Distribute the crumb topping over the top.
  • Put pie on a sheet pan to catch any juices that may escape. Bake on the bottom rack of the oven for an hour. Watch the top and tent with foil if it browns before the pie is done. The pie is done when the crust and topping are golden and the juices and bubbling and thickened.
  • Cool before cutting. Store at room temperature for up to 2 days or refrigerate for up to 4 days.


You should get about 6 cups of apple slices from the 2 pounds of apples.
For a spicier pie, you can add a little bit of nutmeg, cloves, or allspice. Or substitute a teaspoon of apple pie spice for the spices in the recipe.
You can omit the lemon zest if desired. You can also use orange juice in place of the lemon juice if desired for a warmer flavor.
Allowing the pie to cool completely before serving lets the liquid set up and will result in prettier slices. Rewarm the pie for a few seconds in the microwave to enjoy warm. 
We like to use a variety of apples in the pie to get the best of everything. Check out the tips in the post to see what apple varieties work well in pies. 



Serving: 1sliceCalories: 227kcalCarbohydrates: 39gProtein: 2gFat: 8gSaturated Fat: 4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0.2gCholesterol: 10mgSodium: 84mgPotassium: 108mgFiber: 2gSugar: 25gVitamin A: 160IUVitamin C: 5mgCalcium: 11mgIron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @carleecooks or tag #cookingwcarlee!

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