I love apple pie in all its forms, from a rustic galette to a double-crusted classic American to a caramelized tarte Tatin. Here’s another favorite of mine: a crumble-topped version of American apple pie, also known as Dutch apple pie. Like an apple crisp in a pie shell, this pie is relatively easy to make because there’s no upper crust to deal with. The texture of the crumbly topping contrasts nicely with the buttery apple filling, which is flavored with cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and a shot of dark rum (though you can substitute apple cider or juice). This pie does take a while to bake – almost 2 hours – but as it fills your house with that heady scent of cinnamon and apples, you’ll begin to appreciate that long baking time.

Makes one 9-inch pie, serving 8


Pie Crust:

  • 1 ½ cups (195 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 3 tablespoons (36 grams) vegetable shortening, frozen for 15 minutes
  • 6 tablespoons (85 grams) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch chunks and frozen for 15 minutes
  • 3/4 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup (59 grams) ice-cold water

Crumble Topping:

  • 1 cup (130 grams) all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup (44 grams) old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 2/3 cup (144 grams) firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 8 tablespoons (113 grams) unsalted butter, slightly softened and cut into 1/2-inch pieces

Apple Filling:

  • 3 ¼ pounds (1.47 kilograms) apples (I used a mix of Granny Smith, Honey Crisp and Cosmic Crisp), peeled, cored and sliced ¼-inch thick
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons dark rum or apple cider or apple juice
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup (108 grams) firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup (66 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon finely grated nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, cut into ¼-inch pieces


Make the crust:

  1. Place the flour and salt in a food processor fitted with the metal chopping blade and pulse on and off until combined. Scatter the shortening, in chunks, and the butter pieces over the flour mixture. Pulse the machine on and off until the mixture is crumbly and resembles coarse meal. Mix the vinegar with the ice-cold water, add it to the flour mixture and pulse about 10 times, until the dough just starts to come together. (Don’t allow the dough to form a ball on the blade, or the resulting crust may be tough.)
  1. Turn the dough out onto a work surface and shape it into a thick disc. Wrap the disc in plastic wrap and chill for at least 2 hours (or up to two days).
  1. Unwrap the dough disc and place it on a lightly floured work surface. Roll the dough out to a 12-inch round, then roll it up onto the pin and unroll it onto a 9-inch deep dish pie pan, letting the excess dough overhang the edge of the pan and gently easing the dough into the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Using scissors, trim the overhanging dough if necessary, so that it is overhanging by about 1/2 inch all around. Fold the dough underneath itself and crimp the edge with your fingers. Refrigerate for at least 45 minutes.

Make the crumble topping:

  1. In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, oats, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt. Add the butter pieces and, stir and mash the mixture with a fork or your fingers until the topping is crumbly. Set aside.

Make the filling:

  1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with a piece of parchment paper or foil. In a large bowl, toss the apple slices with the lemon juice and the rum (or cider or juice). In a small bowl, stir together the cornstarch, granulated sugar, brown sugar, lemon zest, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and salt. Sprinkle the cornstarch mixture over the apple slices and toss well to combine. Spoon the filling into the pie dough. Dot the filling with the butter cubes.
  1. Sprinkle the top of the pie with the crumble topping, right up to the edge, pressing down slightly on the topping with your hands to make it adhere to the filling. Place the pie pan on the prepared baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes. Cover the pie with a piece of foil, and continue to bake until the apples are cooked through, about an hour longer. Remove the foil and bake for another 15 minutes, or until the top and crust are golden. Remove the pie from the oven and cool on a wire rack for at least an hour before serving with vanilla ice cream.

Recommended Equipment

KOOV Ceramic Pie Dish, 9 Inches Pie Pan


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Tish Boyle
Tish Boylehttps://pastryathome.com
Tish Boyle is the Managing Editor of Pastry Arts Magazine, a food writer and cookbook author with expertise in baking, desserts and chocolate. A graduate of Smith College and La Varenne Ecole de Cuisine, Tish has written several dessert and baking books including Chocolate Passion, Diner Desserts, The Good Cookie, The Cake Book and Flavorful. Co-writing credits include Payard Desserts and the Grand Finales series of books.

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