Baking pies is something I hold near and dear to my heart. In fact, a lot of the pie recipes I make have never ended up on the blog simply because I’m baking them for pure comfort and joy. I don’t think about making them perfect or how I’m going to photograph them for the blog, instead I bake them with somebody special in mind, aka my husband.
What I love most about pie baking is that I get to work creatively with my hands, which somehow feels therapeutic and soul soothing, especially this time of year.
So, what do you say? Wanna throw on that Mariah Carey Christmas album (it’s never too early), put on your pajamas and spend time by yourself for a few hours making the most delicious homemade magic? If so, then this dutch apple pie recipe is for you.
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What’s the difference between regular apple pie and dutch apple pie?
You might be wondering: what the heck is a dutch apple pie and why is this chick telling me it’s a must make?! Let me fill you in: dutch apple pie is traditionally made with a streusel topping made up of butter, flour, brown sugar and sometimes, nuts or oats. It’s just slightly sweeter than traditional apple pies made with a lattice crust or regular crust on top and perfect with ice cream on top.
Basically, a dutch apple pie is what happens when a classic apple pie and apple crisp had a baby. And yes, you very much need it in your life.
Ingredients in dutch apple pie
This homemade dutch apple pie is filled with warming spices, tender apples and a perfectly sweet dutch apple topping. It’s truly incredible and perfect for fall, winter & all holidays. Here’s what you’ll need to make it:
- Homemade pie crust: you’ll use my best-ever homemade pie crust recipe to kick off this amazing dutch apple pie.
- Butter: you’ll cook down the apples to tender perfection in a bit of butter.
- Apples: I recommend using firm, sweet-tart apples like honeycrisp, braeburn or pink lady.
- Spices: we’re using cinnamon, allspice & nutmeg to spice the filling.
- Sweetener: you’ll need a mix of brown sugar and regular sugar to sweeten the filling.
- Secret flavor trio: for an even more incredible flavor you’ll add bourbon or amaretto, vanilla extract & apple cider vinegar to the filling.
- All purpose flour & cornstarch: you’ll use a bit of flour and cornstarch to thicken up the apple filling.
- For the dutch apple topping: you’ll need some more all purpose flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, rolled oats and butter to make a golden dutch apple topping.
Can I use store bought crust?
Yep! Feel free to use your favorite store-bought crust. The pie will still be delicious.
What makes this apple pie extra special?
I made this pie twice in one month two years back: one for fun and one for our friendsgiving. Both times it got rave reviews; as in, people were practically begging me for the recipe! Here are the secrets to really, really good apple pie:
- Use a good pie crust. A good, flaky pie crust is essential. I used my all butter flaky pie crust, which can be made ahead of time and kept in your fridge for up to a week or freezer for 3 months until ready to use.
- Peel your apples. Don’t forget to peel your apples. It’s annoying but worth the effort.
- Use thicker apple slices. Cut your apples into 1/4th inch slices and then pre-cook them down a bit so they are tender, but still have a nice bite. Trust me, this makes all the difference! Keeping them as slightly thicker slices helps them maintain their texture, and cooking them down a bit in sugars and spices helps to release their flavor before baking.
- Use both sugars. My recipe calls for both brown sugar and regular granulated sugar. Brown sugar adds a nice hint of molasses and caramel flavor. Bonus points if you use dark brown sugar.
- Add the special trio. To make this apple pie extra special, I add three special ingredients: a splash of bourbon, vanilla extract and apple cider vinegar. This, along with a hint of cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice make this apple pie recipe absolutely PERFECT.
How do you make dutch apple pie?
- Make your crust. Roll out your dough, place it in the pie dish, shape your crust as desired and then cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge until you are ready to add your apple pie filling.
- Peel your apples and cut into slices. You should end up with about 9-10 cups of sliced apples. Pay attention to how thick you are cutting them. 1/4th inch is perfect.
- Make your apple pie filling. You’ll add a little butter to a skillet then stir in your apple slices. Add in brown sugar, sugar and spices a cook over medium low heat for 5 minutes until apples begin to soften a bit. Finally stir in the bourbon, vanilla, apple cider vinegar, flour and cornstarch. Cook for 3-5 minutes more until sauce thickens up a bit. Cool filling for 30 minutes.
- Make your dutch crumb topping. In a large bowl mix together the flour, brown sugar, oats and cinnamon. Stir in melted butter and mix together until a crumb topping forms. Place in the refrigerator.
- Assemble the pie. Add the pie filling to pie crust, top with dutch topping mixture and bake! I recommend baking your apple pie on a baking sheet just in case the filling bubbles over. The pie is done when the filling is bubbly and the topping is slightly golden brown.
- Allow pie to cool for at least 4-6 hours. This is necessary to help the filling set. If you cut into it earlier, it’s likely to not be ready and the filling may not hold up as well.
What kind of apples are best for pie?
It’s best to use a sweet, yet slightly tart, firm apple in this dutch apple pie recipe. I recommend honeycrisp, braeburn or pink lady. A mix of honeycrisp and granny smith apples would also be delicious!
Do not use a soft apple or your apple pie filling won’t hold up as well.
Make it ahead of time
If you’re prepping this for the holidays or a special occasion, feel free to bake this pie 2-3 days ahead of time. It will hold up well at room temperature, then after a few days should be transferred to the fridge for optimal freshness.
How to store & freeze apple pie
- To store: after baking, you can keep the pie covered at room temperature for up to 2 days, then it’s best to transfer to the fridge and store for up to 3 extra days.
- To freeze: you can freeze dutch apple pie after baking by wrapping the pie tightly with aluminum foil and placing it in a heavy freezer bag. Pie can be frozen for up to 3 months. Once ready to eat, defrost the pie in the fridge and then reheat at 350 degrees F for 20-30 minutes or until warm.
More desserts you’ll love
- Best Ever Healthy Pumpkin Pie
- The Best Tart Cherry Pie You’ll Ever Eat
- Vegan & Paleo Pecan Pie Bars
- Brown Butter Pumpkin Snickerdoodles
- Best Healthy Apple Crisp Ever!
Get all of our delicious dessert recipes here, and our fav Thanksgiving recipes here!
I mean come on, how delicious does this apple pie look? It’s perfect to bake for Thanksgiving or the holiday season! I hope you love it as much as my husband does — don’t forget to top it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
If you make this dutch apple pie recipe, please leave a comment below and rate the recipe. I LOVE hearing from you and it helps other readers know how you liked it. xo!
Tony’s Very Favorite Dutch Apple Pie
Incredible dutch apple pie made with an amazing perfectly spiced apple pie filling thanks to cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla and a hint of bourbon. Topped with a traditional dutch apple crumb topping that gets golden brown and crunchy when baked. This homemade dutch apple pie recipe is my husband Tony's absolute favorite and will be yours, too!
- For the crust:
- 1 recipe for pie crust
- For the filling:
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 3 ½ pounds sweet-tart, firm apples (honeycrisp, braeburn or pink lady are great), peeled and cut into 1/4th inch slices (about 10 cups sliced apples)
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon allspice
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- ½ cup packed brown sugar
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon bourbon or amaretto
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ½ tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- For the dutch apple topping:
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ½ cup packed brown sugar
- ¼ cup rolled oats
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- 6 tablespoons butter, melted
- For serving:
- vanilla bean ice cream
Make the pie dough and shape the crust in a pie pan ahead of time, then store covered in the fridge. You can follow my recipe for an all butter flaky pie crust, use your favorite recipe, or a store-bought crust.
To make the apple pie filling: Melt butter in a large skillet or pot over medium heat. Add the sliced apples to the pan and stir to coat the apples with the butter. Sprinkle brown sugar, sugar, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg over the apples and stir well to combine. Lower heat to medium low and cook for about 5 minutes or until apples soften. Next stir in bourbon, vanilla, apple cider vinegar, flour and cornstarch, and cook over low heat for 3-5 minutes so that the sauce thickens up. Remove from heat and allow to cool for at least 30 minutes.
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F.
Make the dutch crumble topping: in a medium bowl, mix together the flour, brown sugar, oats and cinnamon. Add in the melted butter and stir together with a fork until it begins to form into crumbles and resembles wet sand. You may need to use your hands/fingers to form into nice crumbles. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in the fridge until ready to use.
Remove pie pan with pie crust from the refrigerator and place pie pan onto a large baking sheet. I do this to avoid any spillage that may happen as the pie filling bubbles and bakes. Pour cooled apple pie filling into the crust, then top apple pie filling with the dutch crumble topping.
Bake for 50-65 minutes or until the filling is very bubbly and the crumble is slightly golden brown. Check pie after 30 minutes to make sure the crust isn’t burning. If it is getting too golden brown, simply cover pie edges with foil or pie shield.
Allow pie to cool on a wire rack for at least 4 hours before cutting into (this is annoying, but if you cut into it before then the pie filling won't be set). The longer the pie rests, the easier it is to serve! Serves 9. Great with vanilla bean ice cream. Enjoy!
Feel free to make this pie with a store-bought crust instead of homemade. It will still be delicious.
To store: After baking, you can keep dutch apple pie covered at room temperature for up to 2 days, then it's best to transfer to the fridge and store for up to 3 extra days.
To freeze: You can freeze dutch apple pie after baking by wrapping the pie tightly with aluminum foil and placing in a heavy freezer bag. Pie can be frozen for up to 3 months. Once ready to eat, defrost the pie in the fridge and then reheat at 350 degrees F for 20-30 minutes or until warm.
Recipe by: Monique Volz // Ambitious Kitchen | Photography by: Eat Love Eats
This post was originally published on November 3, 2020, republished on October 27, 2021, and republished on October 11th, 2022.
This looks delicious! Can’t wait to try it! Can we use vegan butter as a substitute for the crust & filling?
Yes that should work just fine!
Oh wowwie, Monique! This is such a beautiful apple pie! The crumble, sliced apples, flaky crust…I want it all!
Thanks so much, Cassie! It was so much fun to make. Perfect for the holidays!
Thanks Cassie! So delicious 🙂
Excited to make this next week! Just curious if you used an 8-in or 9-in pie pan (or if it matters)? Thank you!
I used a 9-inch pie pan!
I’ve looked all over your site for the Dutch cherry pie you were making in your Friendsgiving video. It looked so good! Can I follow this recipe but just replace apples with cherries?
Unfortunately not, the recipe would be different. I haven’t quite perfected the cherry pie so that’s why it didn’t end up on the site. Maybe next year 🙂
I want to make this on Thanksgiving and am a HUGE crust girl – would it work to double the crust recipe, and add another crust on top vs. the crumble?
I’m planning on making this for Thanksgiving but I need to alter it to be gluten free. I have a gf crust recipe but do you have any recommendations for replacing the flour in the filling and topping? Thanks!
Oat flour would be perfect, or a gluten free all purpose flour 🙂
Just wanted to check and see if you were able to make this gluten free flour mix and how it turned out
Just made this tonight!! My husband said it’s the best apple pie I’ve ever made. Thanks for the great recipe!
Amazing! So happy to hear that 🙂
This pie is AMAZING… by far the best I’ve ever tried!! My husband loves crust and I love streusel, so this works perfectly for our family. Also, we think the pie is even better the next day. Thank you so much for your wonderful recipes!
Love that! The perfect combo 🙂 Thanks for your note, Amanda!
We always have apple pie for Thanksgiving. I wanted to try your recipe this year. It was a hit!! It tasted delicious!!
Amazing! So happy to hear that 🙂
This pie is amazing. I made it for Thanksgiving this year, and out of 17 pies at my fiancé’s aunt’s house it was the only one that was completely gone! The crunchy streusel topping adds great texture and the apple pie flavor is spot on. I will definitely be making this every year for the foreseeable future!
Love that! Perfect for the holidays. I’m so happy everyone loved it too!
I made two of these for Thanksgiving. The entire family loved it! My mother in law swooned when she saw I had Dutch apple pie! This pie will become a Thanksgiving tradition! Many blessings and a merry Christmas to your growing family!
So happy to hear that, Emily! And thank you so much 🙂 Happy holidays to you too!
I made this recipe exactly as written. I thought there would be way too many apples to fit in my 9” pan but as usual these recipes are on point and work perfectly! This is my new favorite Apple pie recipe and that’s saying a lot because I have been making my mom’s pie for 20 years. (I did use store bought crust because I didn’t have the time for scratch pie crust. And you couldn’t tell at all.)
Perfect! I’m so glad you loved this one – it’s my new go-to, too 🙂
An excellent pie! I was worried that cooking the apples ahead of the baking would make them mushy, but that was not the case. This pie is absolutely perfect!
So happy you enjoyed! The apples do stay nice and crisp 🙂
I’ll never make a different kind of apple pie ! I’ve usually stuck with the traditional apple pie crust but decided to try something new and followed the crust recipe as well as this Dutch apple pie recipe. I got so many compliments on the pie , it came out better then I expected .
So happy you found this recipe! It’s my all-time favorite 🙂 Glad everyone loved it!
Your Dutch apple pie was the best apple pie I’ve ever made . The pie crust was super tender and flaky and the apple were like eating candy😋. Each person had multiple pieces. Thank you for giving me a recipe for a gluten free dreamy pie
Amazing! So happy to hear that!
This is DELICIOUS!!! Followed the pie crust recipe and added some extra oats into the crumble topping. This is a perfect mix between an apple pie and an apple crumble and the spices/sweetness/liquor was spot on (be sure to add some vanilla bean ice cream on top!). Thank you for this recipe and all the work you are doing to spread awareness, resources and support for what is going on today. This pie definitely brought me some comfort.
So happy you loved this one! And absolutely – always hoping to share delicious recipes with a dose of awareness + inspiration. I’m so glad this brought you comfort, too!
Can the apple pie filling be frozen?
Super yummy recipe! I live in Amsterdam and found this pie to be similar to others that I’ve had in cafes. I wanted a little less refined sugar so used coconut sugar instead of the brown sugar. With substitutions you don’t get the the perfect crumble as with regular sugar, but it was still sooo delicious. Just one very small note which is actually not about the pie-making itself…the word “Dutch” should always be capitalized because it is the nationality of people who live here In The Netherlands. Not saying this to be the grammar police, just wanted to educate about my country. I know it’s really confusing and I couldn’t resist the temptation to clarify. Anyway, thank you for a lovely pie recipe!
Made this twice in one weekend and both times it was a success. Recipes are always spot on! This was was so good, I made it for my boyfriends parents and everyone loved it.
THIS WAS A HIT with my family. I added in salted caramel and oh my goodness the flavors all together tasted amazing. And your pie crust was perfect !!!!!
I’m so glad! Salted caramel sounds amazing in this, too 🙂
Hey Monique!! My family is Dutch and I grew up on this stuff – it’s amazing!!! One thing we do differently (we are from Friesland in the north) is soak some raisins in rum and add them to the mix. It’s a game changer – really!! But regardless, great recipe. Thanks for sharing!!!
Hi Emma! Wow that sounds amazing – will have to try next time 🙂 Thanks you for sharing, too!!
Made this for my in laws and it was a hit! I made the dough and my husband made the filling. Your recipes never fail!!!!!
Perfect! So happy to hear that 🙂
My mom taught me to make pies when I was young. We did everything by hand and used only green apples . This was more than 45 years ago. Your recipe brings back so many memories and is truly the best apple pie I have ever made .
Thank you for sharing it will be made several times a year.
Amazing! So happy to hear that. Love recipes that go back years.
Do you think you could prepare the pie a day in advance so it’s oven ready on Thanksgiving?
Hi Brian! Apologies for the delay – in the post I recommend baking it ahead of time and then keeping it a room temp for 2-3 days 🙂
This pie recipe is amazing! The pie filling is so so good! I also made your crust – which was butter, flakey perfection. My husband went back for seconds! SO GOOD!
I’m so happy you loved both! 🙂
Fave apple pie recipe I’ve ever tried!! Wish I would have actually measured the apples out because they do cook down and I did not use enough, but it was delish either way. So flavorful, even the crust!
So glad you enjoyed regardless!
First time making apple pie, and definitely not the last!! Probably the yummiest apple pie I’ve ever had. Going to be a holiday staple from now on 🙂
Amazing! So happy to hear that 🙂
So good!!! I made this and your vegan pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving. My family loved both. The crumb top is so much tastier than using pie crust!
Amazing! So happy to hear that 🙂
This Apple pie is so tasty! I think it’s relatively easy to make too. This is my second year making it for Thanksgiving dinner and it’s always a hit! Definitely plan to make it early so it has time to set, the recipe recommends fours hours! Was hard to wait but definitely worth it. So good.
So happy to hear that! And yes definitely give it some time 🙂
I LOVED this recipe! The family cannot get enough, it’s almost fully gone and I had enough to make a 9.5inch pie! I actually opted for the double crust/lattice style (which was incredible) but I cannot wait to make this again with the Dutch Apple topping 😍
Amazing! Sounds beautiful, too 🙂
Incredible taste and phenomenal texture that is unforgettable. Best apple pie our family has ever tasted! Really easy recipe to make and very clear instructions. We’ll definitely be making it again soon.
Amazing! So glad everyone loved it.
This is my second time making this apple pie. The recipe is easy to follow and turns out delicious! Thank you!
So happy to hear that!
Made this last Thanksgiving and it was my favorite pie!
I made this recipe twice, once for practice and once for my family’s actual Thanksgiving dinner. Both times the pie was gone within 2 days and everyone absolutely loved it. I followed the recipe exactly, the only thing I did differently was cook the apples a bit longer than 5 min to get the sauce mixture thick enough and not runny. This is a FANTASTIC recipe and sure to please any apple pie lover.
Amazing! So happy to hear that 🙂
This is my second year making the amazing Dutch apple pie! This was my first pie attempt ever and I was so pleasantly surprised.
The crust was flaky and beautiful—vodka and ice cold water is what my mom says made it perfect.
My family and partners family were very happy the pie! I think this will become a tradition!
Thanks for such a great recipe!
Love that! The perfect tradition 🙂
I subbed in vegan butter and used a pre-made pie crust and it was amazing!
Perfect! Love it!
This is hands down THE best pie recipe, I have made it a countless amount of times and always receive raving feedback. My go to pie recipe and the only one I share to anyone who asks!
My first time making a pie from scratch and it turned out delicious!!
So happy to hear that!
This pie is my new go-to! It was a hit at my family’s Thanksgiving, and I prepared it for my boyfriend’s family and definitely earned some brownie points. I didn’t have bourbon on hand, so I used fireball instead and it turned out great! I also used gluten free flour (Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 mix, in the blue packaging) and the taste was still phenomenal.
Amazing! So happy to hear that 🙂
I have made this recipe over a dozen times and it never fails to be a hit! So delicious!
I’ve used several apple pie recipes in the past few years and this is now ‘the one’ for me. It’s so so good. I think next time I will try half granny smith apples mixed with my honey crisp, just because I like the little bite with the two mixed. The spices in this mixture are perfect.
This apple pie filling is perfect! It’s a little more work but the texture and the topping are spot on. I often am disappointed by apple fillings that are too runny but the combo of thickeners here is a foolproof solution. My new staple filling!
So happy to hear that!
I’m planning on making this tomorrow for my beaus birthday. Absolutely love the recipe. My only question is I’m wondering on what oven rack you bake the pie on?
I always bake them on the middle rack 🙂 hope you both loved this one!
This is the BEST apple pie I have ever made! The texture and flavor is beyond amazing and the pie was actually super simple to make. Thanks for such a great recipe! I will definitely be making this over and over again.
Super delish and not too difficult! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Nice!! Happy to hear you loved it, Rene 🙂
Absolutely delicious! I made this on Halloween for a little get-together with friends. Everyone raved about how delicious it was. One of my friends even said he typically doesn’t like apple pie, but this one he really enjoyed! 10/10 recommend and will be making again!
Oh I love that!! So glad this one won him over 🙂 Hope you can enjoy it again soon!
This pie was fabulous! The flavor was perfect without being too sweet. I love the crumble topping so much better than a crust. I’ll be baking another one for Thanksgiving next week. I love the idea of cooking the pie filling before baking the pie. I have a question, though. Why don’t you recommend to par-bake the crust? I thought with wet pie fillings like apple, it should always be par-baked. Thanks so much for this recipe!
Yay!! So happy you loved it, Chris 🙂 I personally don’t par-bake my crusts because I haven’t found it necessary when I’ve tested my recipes, but totally fine to do that if you prefer!
Made this pie for Thanksgiving this year and it was absolutely delicious. Love the crumble on top instead of traditional lattice. Substituted all-purpose flour for gluten-free and worked great!
This was amazing! I used Granny Smith apples but other than that I followed the recipe precisely and it was a hit! The only dessert that was completely demolished – will absolutely make this again (and again and again and…)
YAAAY so happy it was devoured! Thanks, Megan 🙂
Excited to make this. I was wondering if you can use old fashion oats instead of rolled? I have the old fashion on hand.
Yes, I use old fashioned oats, also called “old fashioned rolled oats”! Enjoy 🙂
This was a total success!! Next time I might just reduce the amount of sugar on the crumble but I 100% recomend this 🤩
Also, I couldn’t quite fit the 3.5lb of apples in my 9 inch mold so I kept the left overs and am using it as my morning oats topping 🤤
I’m so glad you enjoyed it! I wonder if your pan was a bit more shallow than mine… Good call to use the leftovers on oats, that sounds amazing!
this looks exactly what I have been looking for especially the topping! can I leave alcohol out completely? please reply to email I am a senior and have problems thankyou
Hi, Dorothy! Yes, you can absolutely leave out the bourbon in the filling, and you can substitute buttermilk for vodka in the crust.
I’ve just made this and the first one is baking in the oven as I type. With the amount of apples I have I ended up with TWO pie heaped high,, probably could have done 3 if I had another pie dough handy, lol!! And that’s after snacking on probably an apple’s worth of cooked and seasoned slices. It was hard to resist. <3 LOL, I'm looking forward to tucking into this later today.
This is great! These apples are definitely addicting, I am happy you enjoyed this recipe!
Hi! I’m new to your page and notice you use bourbon in more than one recipe. What’s your preference?
I don’t have a preference. I will typically just use whatever we have on hand.
I only have white vinegar!! Can I add that or would it be best to just omit from the recipe??
Quick (dumb) question… if I make this and wait 4 hours to serve/set the filling – will it still be warm? If not… should I pop it in for a certain amount of time/temp to get it warm again?