Apple Crumb Pie
Dutch Apple Crumb Pie is filled with tart, tender apple slices wrapped in sweet, syrupy goodness and nestled in a flaky crust. Then, it’s covered with a buttery streusel crumb topping. This dessert recipe is perfect for the holidays or anytime and is sure to be a crowd favorite. Serve it up warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and you have a match made in heaven!
Apple Pie is an old-fashioned American classic and definitely in my top 5 list of favorite desserts. This family recipe for Dutch Apple Crumb Pie is definitely the BEST way to enjoy apple pie! I’m obsessed with the sweet, slightly tart apples, warm spices and flaky crust. Then, add the buttery crumble topping and this apple pie is next level delicious! Whether you decide to make this Apple Crumb Pie recipe to serve after your Thanksgiving feast or on a lazy Sunday afternoon, it’s a MUST try!
What is an Apple crumb Pie?
An Apple Crumb Pie or, also called, a Dutch Apple Pie is a recipe meant for all the streusel topping lovers out there, like me! Truly, the only difference between your traditional apple pie and an Apple Crumb Pie is the topping. The terms Dutch Apple Pie, Apple Crumb (or crumble) Pie and Streusel Apple Pie are used interchangeably and it is simply an apple pie with a crumb or streusel topping, as opposed to a pastry crust topping. There’s also the French Apple Pie, which can be made a variety of different ways, but usually has an egg-based cookie-like pastry dough, a puff pastry dough or a crumb topping. French apple pie also commonly contains raisins in the filling. However, in my research, there doesn’t seem to be a clear definition to what the determining factor is that makes an apple pie, French and not Dutch.
This Apple Crumb Pie recipe is the perfect way to enjoy fall flavors and freshly-picked apples this season. If the thought of making an apple pie intimidates you, it’s because you just haven’t found the right recipe!
This apple pie recipe is made with a store-bought pie crust (shh, don’t tell!), and topped with a rich, buttery crumble that’s totally irresistible. Let’s get to all of the delicious details!
Ingredients needed to make homemade apple crumb pie:
This easy Apple Crumb Pie recipe uses simple baking ingredients that you likely have on hand. Here’s everything you need:
- Pie crust – You can definitely use a homemade pie crust, but to keep this recipe really easy, I just use a store-bought pie crust and my pie always turns out wonderful!
- Apples – Use an apple that will stand up to baking. More suggestions on what type of apple to use, below. I like to use a mix of Honeycrisp and Granny Smith apples in my pie for a nice balance of sweet and tart.
- Sugar – We’re using granulated sugar to sweeten the apple pie filling and the crumb topping. If you’d like to sub with brown sugar for the crumb topping, that works!
- Butter – For added flavor, you’ll need a small amount of melted butter in the filling and cold butter for the streusel.
- Sour cream – Not a common ingredient in apple pie filling, but a small amount of sour cream balances the sweetness of the filling for incredible flavor.
- Lemon juice – This brightens the flavor of the apple filling and reduces browning of the apples.
- All-purpose flour – A small amount of flour is added to the filling to thicken it up and you will also need flour for making the crumb topping.
- Spices – A combination of ground cinnamon and ground nutmeg pairs wonderfully with the apples and gives the pie a warm, cozy flavor.
Best Apples for apple crumb pie:
In my opinion, using a variety of apples in apple pie yields the best results. I always recommend using half tart and half sweet. Tart Granny Smith apples paired with a sweet variety such as Pink Lady, Honeycrisp, Jazz, and/or Fuji apples is such a flavorful mix.
How to make apple crumb pie:
This Dutch Apple Pie recipe is one of the easiest pies to make! The most complicated part of making this pie is peeling and slicing the apples. Here’s a great apple peeler and corer that makes for quick apple prep.
Pro tip: You can cut your apples into any size or shape that you like, just be sure to cut them uniformly, so that they all cook at the same rate. I like apple slices in my pie and aim for about 1/4-inch thickness.
- Once the apples are sliced, toss apple slices with sugar and let them sit for at least 15 minutes (longer is even better) to draw out juices.
- Preheat oven and move rack to lowest setting. Place cookie sheet on this rack to heat while the oven preheats.
- Prep crust. Line pie plate with refrigerated pastry dough or use a store-bought crust that is already in an aluminum pie pan.
- Make apple filling. Use a slotted spoon to remove apple slices from juices and discard juices. Then, combine slices with the filling ingredients. Spoon filling into crust.
- Make crumb topping. Cut butter into flour/sugar mixture until it resembles clumpy sand. Sprinkle crumb topping over apples.
- Bake pie for 45-50 minutes or until bubbly. Once you notice bubbling, cook for 5 minutes more and then remove from oven.
- Cool pie. It’s very important to let pie cool for 3 full hours on a wire cooling rack. This lets the juices set before slicing, so the filling is nice and thick.
- Serve and enjoy. Slice and serve with a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream. If you like your pie warm, simply reheat in the microwave for about 20-30 seconds.
Do you have to peel apples for apple pie filling?
Whether you take the extra time to peel your apples or not, this apple crumb pie will be wonderful. I personally like to peel my apples because it makes for a more tender pie that melds together so perfectly. However, leaving the skins on your apples adds extra color and texture. You can always do a little bit of both – peeling some apples and leaving some with the skins.
Tips for recipe success:
- Pie dish. This is the inexpensive pie dish that I use and love. It’s 9-1/2″, and works great for all of my pie recipes.
- Bake pie on a sheet pan. This pie can get juicy while it bakes and there’s a chance the juices might seep out and overflow. I highly recommend wrapping a lipped baking sheet pan with aluminum foil and placing your pie on it while it bakes to protect your oven. The aluminum foil makes for easy cleanup – trust me, you don’t want to have to scrub burnt sugar off of the baking sheet.
- Allow time. My #1 tip is to allow plenty of time to make this apple crumb pie. It’s a process to make homemade apple pie, even though you don’t have to worry about making your crust from scratch with this recipe, you will need at least 2-3 hours of cooling time. The pie also takes a good amount of time to bake. I recommend beginning to make the pie about 5 hours before you want to serve it.
How to avoid a soggy crust
For this apple crumb pie recipe, we’re taking several steps to prevent the bottom crust from ending up soggy. Here’s my recommendations:
- Get the crust cooking fast. Move the oven rack where your pie will bake closest to the heating element. Also, when you are preheating the oven, you will also be heating a sheet pan, which is where you will place the pie when you’re ready to bake it.
- Glass pie plate. Use a glass pie plate, so you can watch and see how golden (and cooked) your crust looks.
- Remove excess liquid from apples. Tossing the apple slices in sugar will cause excess liquids to naturally release. The longer the apples sit the better; one to two hours is best. Then, you’ll want to drain off as much of the excess liquid as possible and pat apples dry with a paper towel.
- Let it bake. Don’t be afraid of over-baking the pie! It’s honestly pretty difficult to over-bake an apple pie, the only thing you have to be careful about is not over-cooking the crust. Most people tell you, your pie is done when the crust is brown and you see juices bubbling. Those are good suggestions, but I disagree. After you see those first signs of bubbling juices – wait, be patient. Let the pie continue to cook and bubble for at least another 5 to 10 minutes, so the apples finish cooking, giving the liquid inside a little more time to evaporate.
Pro tip: If you notice the top crumble layer getting a bit too brown, loosely cover the pie with aluminum foil.
Apple Crumb Pie Variations
This pie is pretty perfect, but feel free to add other tasty ingredients!
- Apple Pear Crumb Pie. Try swapping in 3 sliced pears for 3 of the apples.
- Cranberry Apple Pie. Simply add 1/2 to 1 cup of fresh cranberries to the filling. If you add cranberries, I would increase the sugar in the filling by 1/4 cup.
- Nuts. For added crunch, add 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup of chopped nuts to the topping, such as walnuts, almonds or pecans.
STORING APPLE crumb PIE
Make Ahead. Apple crumb pie is a great dessert to make ahead of time! Make 1 day ahead of when you plan to serve it. Once it’s baked and after it cools, cover tightly and keep at room temperature.
Storing leftovers. After this pie has baked completely, store covered either at room temperature for 1 to 2 days and then in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, though, I doubt it lasts that long. 😉
Freezing apple pie. Baked pie freezes well for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and allow it to come to room temperature before serving. Prepared filling can be frozen up to 3 months, thaw overnight in the refrigerator before using.
There is nothing as delicious as this homemade apple crumb pie served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Serve this irresistible dessert during the summer to celebrate America and definitely add it to the lineup for Thanksgiving.
MORE FAVORITE PIE RECIPES
If you try this homemade apple crumb pie recipe, let me know! Leave a comment and if your family loves it as much as mine does, be sure to give it a five star ⭐️ rating! Also, tag @kimscravings on Instagram with a picture of your creation. It’s so fun to see what you’re cooking! Be sure to subscribe to our mailing list to receive more healthy delicious recipes straight to your inbox.
Apple Crumb Pie
- 1 pre-made pie crust
- 6 medium tart apples
- ¼ cup sugar, for tossing apples
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
- 2 tablespoons sour cream
- 4 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- ½ cup sugar
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- ½ cup sugar
- ¼ cup cold butter
- Peel skins and remove core of each apple. Once prepared thinly slice apples with a mandolin for accuracy. Or, if done by hand, try to ensure they are the same thickness for even cooking. I aim for slices that are about 1/4-inch thick.
- Toss apples with sugar and let sit for at least 15 minutes (the longer the better, even up to 2 hours is great), so juices can be drawn out.
- Pre-heat oven to 375°F and move rack to lowest setting so it is closest to the heating element. Place cookie sheet on this rack so it can heat while oven does.
- Line a 9-inch pie plate with refrigerated pie pastry dough or homemade crust. Crimp or flute edges. Alternatively, you can use a pre-made pie crust that is in a tin pie pan. Set aside.
- Use a slotted spoon to remove apples from excess liquid and pat dry.
- Discard juices from bowl. Then, combine apples, butter, sour cream, lemon juice, sugar, flour, cinnamon and nutmeg in a bowl. Spoon filling into pie crust.
- To make the crumb topping, use a separate bowl to combine flour and sugar. Once mixed, cut in the butter using a fork until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs or clumpy sand.
- When you can no longer see the butter and the mixture has a crumbly texture sprinkle the crumb topping over the entire pie filling.
- Place pie in the oven and on the heated cookie sheet. Bake pie at 375°F for 45-50 minutes or until the filling is bubbly and apples are tender. Once you notice bubbling, let the pie cook for an additional 5-6 minutes.
- After removing pie from the oven, allow it to cool on a wire rack for a full 3 hours, so it can come to room temperature and juices can set before serving. Serve pie with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream. Enjoy!