Dutch Apple Pie

Dutch Apple Pie

Written by Emily

The pie I think least about is apple pie. Not apple sour cherry or apple plum – just regular apple pie. It seems boring to me, yet it’s the most coveted emblem of American dessert eating. To be honest, any of the apple mash-ups on this blog can be changed into a regular apple pie. However, when a friend texted me this weekend for apple pie recipes, I realized that I had never added a good old fashioned Dutch Apple Pie. It just feels wrong to have a pie blog and not have this recipe on there.

Anyone can make a good apple pie. I’m certain of it. Like most things in life, it’s personal – the spices, the texture, the sweetness is completely up to you. I’m going to outline the basic tips for a good apple pie and then you can experiment from there.

  • Use a mix of sweet and tart apples to create more depth of flavor (Granny Smith, Pink Lady, Jonagold, Honeycrisp…and then anything growing locally!)
  • Peel and slice your apples about 1/4 inch thick. I promise it’s worth it. If the apples are too thick and crunchy, they will tumble out of the pie and off your fork as soon as the pie is cut. Mom, if you are reading this, you know I am right.
  • Cook the apples down and make the filling first. I swear by this step. Throw them in a skillet or dutch oven with sugar and cook them down to release some juice (stop before they are super soft). Pour off some juice so there’s not too much and then add your cornstarch/spice mixture and the rest of the sugar. It will thicken and come together on the stovetop. Turn off heat and set aside to cool.
  • I do not like super sweet pie, so I think an apple pie needs no more than 1/2 cup sugar and some of that cooks off and gets left behind in the juices. Experiment with what type of sugar combinations you like – brown sugar, granulated sugar, maple syrup – all great choices to try.
  • Lemon is key. Lemon prevents the pie from getting weighed down with too much spice and brightens up the apple flavor.
  • Spices. This is where your personal taste comes in. I would say no more than 1 1/2 – 2 teaspoons of spices total and that cinnamon is probably the leading spice. I think there needs to be some nutmeg in there to taste like apple pie and then I never pass on a chance to use cardamom. I choose that instead of ginger.
  • Do what you will with the top. I will be using a crumble topping like always… but if you must use a top crust, use more apples. Heaping apples are good for a top crust because it will help it hold its shape. If you are doing a crumble top, keep the apples more shallow.

Go forth and bake up a storm – it’s apple season!

Print Recipe

Dutch Apple Pie With Caramel Apple Drizzle



  1. Up to two days in advance, prepare pie crust according to directions, roll and plate. If doing in advance, cover loosely with plastic wrap and keep in refrigerator.
  2. Preheat oven to 425
  3. Peel and slice apples 1/4 inch think and place in a dutch oven or large skillet.
  4. Add lemon zest and 1/2 cup brown sugar to the apples and mix.
  5. Cook over medium heat for about 5-8 minutes or until the apples are just starting to soften but still hold their shape. Pour off some of the juice, leaving behind enough to thicken into a filling.
  6. While apples are cooking, mix together 1/4 cup granulated sugar (or however much you want to use), spices and 3T cornstarch.
  7. When you have poured off some juice and apples are just starting to get soft, add the cornstarch mixture, stirring constantly until it thickens.
  8. Remove from heat and add lemon juice and vanilla and mix well. Set aside to cool. Tip: Spreading the mixture on a baking sheet helps it cool faster. You can also do this step ahead of time and store the filling in the refrigerator for up to three days.
  9. While the apples are cooling, you can make your crumble topping. Making the crumble topping is also a great step to do in advance. I make mine far in advance and keep it in the freezer.
  10. Using a large spoon so that you leave behind some of the juices in the bowl (and so that you take a little bit with you into the pie because it's delicious!), fill the prepared pie shell with apples. I like to fill mine just to the top because I like a compact, easy to eat pie. The more heaping it is, the longer it will need to bake but definitely fill to your heart's content. Apple won't overflow like other fruit pies will.
  11. Cover evenly with crumble topping.
  12. Bake at 425 for 15 minutes then turn the oven down to 350 and bake for another 30 minutes or until pie is brown and juices are bubbling. Cool completely before eating.

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